Parents: You Have Permission to Ditch the Resolutions in 2023

Constant sickness, a formula shortage, inflation—it's all just too much. So don't feel bad for not making any big goals this year. Honestly, just getting through the day is more than enough.

A woman in black boots standing on top of confetti in the street

Holly Clark / Stocksy

I usually feel energized and excited thinking about my resolutions for the new year. And, sure, I'm ready for a fresh start in 2023, but 2022 has been tough—especially for parents. Between a severe baby formula shortage, an extra brutal sick season, and a lingering pandemic, it feels like families are in survival mode lately. And some are.

Since October, my family has had the flu, strep, COVID, plus some random viruses. Seriously, it's been relentless. My 4-year-old had strep and the flu at the same time, which surprised even his pediatrician. And my 20-month-old has been sick so much that the ear tubes he got last year to prevent recurring ear infections got totally clogged—and he wound up with an earache from hell and a fever that wouldn't break. The scary part? There's also an amoxicillin shortage, so we had to call around to pharmacy after pharmacy before we could even get his medicine and get him relief. And there's no Children's Tylenol or Motrin to be found in stores where we live.

But we're lucky. Families around the country—including some colleagues and friends—are spending time in the emergency room for severe cases of RSV. They can't find the formula their infants need and are desperately turning to neighbors, friends, and families to help out. They're struggling to make ends meet as inflation drives costs through the roof.

How are we supposed to think about planning family vacations or fitting in more time to exercise or trying out journaling when we can't find fever-reducing medications for our toddlers or formula for our infants? When our kids are on the never-ending sick cycle and out of school and daycare so often that we don't know how we can possibly call out of work again?

I'm usually not this negative. And trust me, I will spend New Year’s Eve thinking about all of the things for which I’m grateful. But I know I'm not alone in feeling overwhelmed thinking about more goals for the new year. Because for me, like for so many caregivers, my goal is to keep my kids happy and healthy. To focus on my mental health. To make some time for my partner. To get through the day.

In 2023 I'm lowering the bar and just going to survive. And you know what? That feels like more than enough.

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