it’s that time of year again where you recap the year, where your life is right now, and decide to make changes for the new year! For moms, it’s a time to reflect on your family life, make decisions for your growing toddler or child. For me, I always say I am going to lose 10 pounds (no, seriously I say this every year), which is never an easy thing to do with a clear direction of how I’m going to get there… but I do think that there are some New Year’s Resolutions Every Mom Should Make… where there are little changes you can make every day, but really it’s about self-control and letting go all at once.
Becoming a mother doesn’t mean that your life has to revolve around your children 24/7 (although it may feel like it does), but taking time for yourself is always just as important. We all make mistakes in parenting and sometimes feel like the “worst mother ever”, but it’s all about how you reflect back on your mistakes and make changes for the future that defines the type of person you are.
Last photo with my friend Anna or A Mermaid DIary
Photography by Diana Putnam Photography
1. Play with your children every day. You always here it from other mothers with older kids, and it’s so true, but TIME FLIES. The newborn stage, while you are in it, may seem like it will last a lifetime, it just goes by so fast and your baby is suddenly walking and talking. I get it, we’re all busy, but I think it’s important to try and play with your kids every day (well at least every day that you do see them).
2. Try to see things as they do. Sometimes we can get frustrated by all the little things our kids do, the things they get in to, the things they DON’T do, I’m sure you know what I mean. But sometimes I just have to take a step back and think about what’s going through their mind. If they are getting into anything and everything in the house, it’s because they are exploring. If they are getting into trouble or doing things they shouldn’t be (for the first time), they are most likely learning their boundaries. A lot of times we will get frustrated because our kids won’t sleep in their own beds every night, but they have nightmares, they get scared of the dark and I want to be sensitive to that too.
3. Don’t compare your child to others. This one might be a tough one, but especially I feel like with mom groups or FB groups or seeing other people on social media, it’s hard NOT to compare your own child to others. Yea, that kid over there may know 2 languages fluently, know how to read at age 3, or play Mozart on the piano by age 4… and if your kid is not doing that, so be it. Every child learns at their own pace. They will get caught up eventually or shine at their own talents.
4. Be present. How many times a day are you on your phone when you are with your kids? Or are you multi-tasking? It’s been hard for me, but I am trying more and more to put down my phone when I’m with my kids. I don’t want them to grow up with the image of me on my phone in their heads all the time. When they ask you a question or help with homework, give them your attention. Of course, if you are in the middle of something important like cooking a meal, teaching them patience and waiting is just as important of a lesson.
5. Pick your battles. This is honestly one that I am still learning and will probably still be learning forever. If your kid wants to go down the slide one extra time, let them do it. If your kid wants to touch the hot stove, well don’t.
6. Get help when needed. When we have the kid’s grandparents come and visit us, it’s the best help ever! Unfortunately, we live far away from the or else we could ask for help more regularly. I’m always so envious of those who live close to family, we certainly don’t. However, we have gotten close with neighbors and the kid’s friends at school’s parents and have used them as babysitters so that Marvin and I could go out, get errands done, etc.
7. Go out on date nights or with your girl friends. And just going along with the last one, scheduling time to go on dates with your husband or significant other, or even a night out with your girl friends, oh it will be so great for the soul. All moms need a break once in awhile and when I take one, I usually come back more refreshed and feeling like a better mom.
8. Take care of your own well-being. Eat healthy, sleep well, workout regularly… I’ll be the first to admit, while these may sound like simple things to do, they aren’t, and I don’t really do any of these things that well! But I know in the end, it is the best for my health and will probably catch up to in my old age. But honestly for me, being a working mom, having a blog, being a business owner (for my lip biz), that’s what makes me feel good about myself, it makes me feel empowered. So beyond just the normal health things, finding your passion and drive, something outside of being a mother, I think will really help.
9. Accept the reality of motherhood. At the end of the day, we can’t all have a clean house, a kid who gets straight A’s, and a perfect life. You just have to accept that reality and what I like to say… is that we are all “perfectly imperfect”. There will be days when you feel like you are the worst mother ever, but the next day your kid will come running to you with a hug and it will all be worth it.
10. YOU DO YOU. Stop judging. And finally, every mom is different, every child is different, every family is different. We need to be accepting of each others differences and support one another. This motherhood journey ain’t easy, and there’s nothing worse than being judged by other moms about how or what you are doing. I’m all for empowering and supporting other women and moms, if I don’t have a nice comment to say, I’ll move on, to each her own.
And lastly, to all the mothers or mother-to-bes out there! We made it! We made it another year in this motherhood journey and there’s bound to be even more exciting things happening in the journey ahead!
Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions of your own to add? Would love to hear them!
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