January 12, 2009 —

As we welcomed the New Year last week, I started to think about New Year's resolutions for all of us here at Five Moms. The New Year is a great chance to renew our mission and recommit ourselves in the effort to prevent teen cough medicine abuse. With this in mind, I thought about five resolutions we can fulfill in the New Year, and I'd like to invite you to join us in reaching these goals.

1. Learn more about stopping cough medicine abuse

Christy's knowledge and personal experience with cough medicine abuse within her own family has given us all a deeper insight into this important issue. It's a good lesson to continue educating ourselves and to stay current on the latest information and trends. In the New Year, I resolve to keep learning and sharing information, with the help of web sites like drugfree.org, StopMedicineAbuse.org and CHPA-info.org, in addition to FiveMoms.com.

2. Get involved in my community

In 2008 I had the incredible opportunity to participate in BlogHer 08, and this year I would like to take what I learned from the wonderful women I met from that online community and apply it to my own life—online and off. Julie wrote a great article about encouraging our children to participate in community service, and it has inspired me to take action myself. This year, I plan to become a more active member of my community.

3. Spend time with my family

We have so many demands on our time, but I will make an even greater effort this year to have more family conversations. As a parent, educator, and Five Mom I know I know that it can be difficult to juggle so many busy schedules, but this year I will make a greater effort to talk to my children about school, their activities, and their lives.

4. Set rules and boundaries we can follow as a family

The New Year is also the perfect time for our family to "clean house" and start anew. This year, I plan to go through our medicine cabinets and clean out our closets. After I take inventory of my medicine cabinet and throw out expired medicine, I will review with my family the great points Blaise brought up in her article about keeping an eye on our medicine cabinets. Blaise wrote about talking to our kids about why we need to set certain rules, particularly when it comes to staying healthy.

Sometimes, as parents, we feel like we're saying no all the time. It might also seem that way to our kids. It's important, however, to set rules and boundaries, and to make sure our kids know what the rules are and how we feel about certain things, like medicine abuse. In 2009, I promise to talk with my kids and discuss our family's rules and why they are put in place.

5. Reach more moms with the Five Moms campaign

In the New Year, I promise to not only tell five more moms about the Five Moms campaign and the dangers of cough medicine, but I also will encourage them to tell their friends about our mission. By asking our friends to talk to their friends and families, our mission to protect our children and prevent cough medicine abuse will continue to spread. As Becky pointed out in her last article, each of us passing along what we know to just five friends will have such a powerful impact on countless families around the country.

We want to make it as easy as possible to reach every type of community, whatever language they may speak. That's why I am pleased that we have made so many of our resources for you to share available en español because it helps us reach a community that is important to me.

Over the next year, I intend to take one step at a time to fulfill these promises. Some of my resolutions will be harder than others, but I know that even the smallest effort will make a difference. I hope you will join Becky, Blaise, Christy, Julie, and me in trying to reach new parents and communities with the Five Moms mission in 2009.