A new year, a new start; a tired trope yes, but a logical one. After weeks of overindulgence, it makes sense to kick off the year on a positive note. You want to be the best parent you can be, so why not draw up a list of easily achievable goals that will help you to raise a happy, healthy and well adjusted child? Well, that’s the idea anyway. Here are the common parenting promises people make, and the reasons why they’re doomed to failure…

Dry Jan

Seems like the easiest promise to keep when your head is still swimming in Prosecco. However, just wait until the next time you’re child free and you’ll hear a familiar voice in your head that whispers conspiratorially, “I fancy a drinking my own body weight in ale tonight.” No matter how utterly crushing and depressing it is to look after a child when you’re hanging, NOTHING tastes as good as that first sip of chilled Chablis when the kids are in bed does it? Actually, shall we open that other bottle?

Less screen time

We all have this utopian view of the future, where your child sits quietly in their room, reading Peter Rabbit books and sketching pretty pictures of animals running free in a woodland setting. The reality is that when you’re in a coffee shop, and your child is screaming their head off and running around like a drunken dwarf, sticking Peppa Pig on the iPhone shuts them down immediately. End of.

No arguing in front of the kids

This usually lasts until 2pm on New Year’s Day. You’ve decided to go for a walk to clear the hangover, but you forgot to pack your baby’s favourite soft toy didn’t you? So you have to RUN back to the house to get it, while your child wails uncontrollably and your partner shouts abuse at you from across the road. “I asked you to do ONE THING…”

No bribery

Nobody plans to raise a whiny little brat who always gets what they want (insert Trump gag here). But this method has instant results and that’s why it’s so dangerous not to fall into the trap of promising your child a Lucy the Dog (R.R.P £34.99) if they stop putting food down the toilet.

More sex

Yeah, good luck with that. Anyway, sex is the reason you’re in this mess you idiots!

Monthly date nights

What a lovely idea. It’s important to remember why you started a family in the first place, right? Your children are the obvious expression of your intense love for your partner and spending quality time with them away from the distractions of home is fundamental to keeping your relationship fresh. Babysitter costs £30, cinema tickets are £22.50 (excluding booking fee) and the Pizza Express offer still means food will be about £20. Let’s face it, date night means a curry and a box set and you know it.

Whatever lies you want to tell yourself this year, have a good 2017!