Real Resolutions: Nicole F. On Teaching Her Kids To Use Their Voices
January is a month filled with resolutions. On the first day of the month, as each of us wave goodbye to the previous year, we make way for all the things we plan to do once we have a fresh slate. We ask ourselves, What will I do better this year? How will I do better? What do I want to change about myself? About my behaviors? How can I improve? Resolutions made by women by and large get a bad rap. At face value, it's so easy to assume they'll all be the same: I'm going to lose weight!; I'm going to wake up earlier!; I'll travel! but if you take a look deeper, you'll notice just how raw and real resolutions made by women — especially moms — are. They're complex, multi-layered, and they're also incredibly honest.
Mothers aren't just making resolutions for themselves. They're constantly factoring in how the things they do and say and believe will shape and influence their children. Though moms are faced with these types of decisions day in and day out, the new year provides an opportunity to look at the year as a whole and to consider all the things they plan to change and improve on. For 2017, Romper spoke to 31 different moms all over the country in an effort to highlight just how diverse, bold, and exciting their resolutions are.
Name: Nicole Plyler Fisk
Occupation: Associate Director of First-Year English / College Writing Instructor
How old are your kids: My daughter, Arina, is 12 years old; my son, Jack, is 7 years old
What resolution do you think you're supposed to make? Why do you feel this way?: Most people my age seem to be running marathons (my husband says it's the new midlife crisis). So, I kind of feel like I should resolve to exercise more. That's always a worthy goal... though maybe I'll save it for 2018.
I want my kids to have joy in their fandoms, bravery in their activism, and the wisdom to ask "real or not real?" in a post-truth era.
What's your actual resolution this year, and why?: My real resolution is to have as awesome a family-themed Halloween costume in 2017 as we did in 2016. The kids and I were characters from Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games series. I was Effie (pictured), Arina was Katniss, and Jack was Haymitch. We take costuming very seriously. 2017: best costumes ever? Challenge accepted.
What's the one resolution you won't make again?: In the past, I've resolved to stay on top of answering each and every email in a timely fashion, but now I realize that emails are like chocolate on a Candy Crush level. In other words, it's not possible. Especially when you have four inboxes to check. Hmm... maybe my resolution should be to delete some email accounts.
What's the one thing in your life you want to change but don't feel like you can?: Having to live under a Donald Trump presidency — though living is better than the alternative (obviously), and it's hardly practical to pack up and move to another country.
What's one thing you did or didn't do last year that you forgive yourself for?: My kids are homeschooled, and we never accomplish as much as I'd planned. I'm not sure if that's because I make unrealistic plans or execute them poorly. Probably both. That said, my kids know what Aleppo is, which means they're on par with some of 2016's presidential candidates.
Do you tell your kids your resolution? Why or why not?: Of course! We share both Halloween costume themes and resolutions. Honesty and transparency are admirable things, and I try to practice both as often as I can.
What specifically do you want for your kids this year?: I want my kids to have joy in their fandoms (whether The Hunger Games or Harry Potter, Star Wars or Oscar's Oasis); bravery in their activism (we rallied to "take down the flag" in 2015; advocated for Syrian refugees in 2016; and I have a sneaking suspicion that we'll need to do all of that times 10 in 2017); and the wisdom to ask "real or not real?" in a post-truth era.