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Some people thrive off of creating new years resolutions. Other people, like me, absolutely despise it. New years resolution season is difficult for me because I don’t want to make the same old resolutions I will never keep, and I don’t want it to be some superficial thing that means nothing in the long run. Since becoming a mom, I’ve found new years resolutions to be almost laughable. Like, yeah, I’ll resolve to eat more vegetables, but finding time to eat is a struggle sometimes. Telling a busy mom that she should resolve to exercise every day of the week is almost a joke, figuring that some moms can barely find time to sleep.
So what kind of new years resolutions can moms make that are actually worth their time? Below I have a few resolutions we could all make as moms that will make a lasting impact on our lives.
1- Be Kinder To Yourself
Society puts such a heavy weight on moms. We’re expected to create perfect little humans, who by the way are also autonomous people, and be perfect wives, and perfect employees, and be fit and good cooks. That kind of pressure on moms results in many of us being hyper critical of ourselves. Perhaps this is the year we turn the tide on our negative self talk, and we start being kinder to ourselves.
This new years resolution was my only resolution for 2021. I resolved that I would minimize my negative self talk, and start allowing myself to make mistakes. I definitely wasn’t perfect, but I noticed a big change in myself over the year. I started noticing that not everything is my fault, and just because it isn’t perfect doesn’t mean it’s my fault. We could all resolve to be kinder to ourselves in 2022.
2- Feed Your Body And Your Mind
No, this isn’t another new years resolution to eat vegetables and lose weight.
This new years resolution is about actually remembering to eat. Literally, just put some food in your mouth on occasions. How many moms out there are trying to normalize starving themselves until 8pm only to binge on animal crackers when the kinds are in bed? Too many moms are so busy feeding their kids (and sometimes spouses), that they put their own nutrition last. Your literal physical needs should not come last.
We also spend a substantial amount of our days reading to our kids, while we forget we have brains as well. I’m pretty sure I can count on one hand the amount of books I have read this year. On the other hand, I’ve read shelves and shelves of books to my son. Great for my son’s mind, but not so much for my own. We as parents deserve to further our minds and immerse ourselves in great stories as well. Research also shows that regularly reading books relaxes us substantially more than binge watching the latest Netflix show. So don’t just feed your kids and read to your kids, give yourself the same kind of physical and mental sustenance.
3- Stop Treating Basic Needs As Self Care
Oooooh boy…here comes a big soap box.
Taking a shower is NOT self care! Getting groceries for your family is NOT self care! Sitting on the toilet alone is NOT self care! Eating food is NOT self care!
Let’s say this together: Meeting your basic needs is NOT self care!
If you are finding yourself drifting down the hole of believing that meeting your basic needs is self care, then you’re setting the bar too low for yourself. Self care is doing something for yourself that is above and beyond meeting your basic needs.
Moms often fall into this hole of belief, because we’re so busy meeting everyone else’s needs that we forget our own. This includes our need for self care. We bend over backwards to create healthy restorative activities for our kids. We give our husbands time to do what they enjoy. Meanwhile, we call taking a dump alone a “break”. We deserve better than that.
This new year, let’s resolve to set our need for self care as more valuable than the bare minimum. If self care is an area you struggle in, I got some posts right here that can help:
4- Give Yourself Permission To Have Feelings
When I became a mom, I heard a lot of sayings that later haunted me as a new mom. For example, I was told to “enjoy every moment,” and that “you never know when your kids will be gone, so soak it all in.” Yes, all of those statements are true. Yet when I was in the thick of postpartum depression, trying to “enjoy every moment” became like a millstone on my neck. All that did was guilt me deeper into the hole I was in.
When I started giving myself permission to NOT enjoy every moment, I started feeling free again. Sometimes the most emotionally liberating thing we can do is give ourselves permission to think something sucks. This, of course, doesn’t mean we constantly dwell in the bad. But instead, we acknowledge that how we feel isn’t great. We give it the space to exist, then we let it go.
Giving myself permission to finally say “it’s ok that I feel this way,” has been one of the most liberating things I have ever done. This year, let’s allow ourselves to simply NOT enjoy something if it’s not worth enjoying. Let’s feel comfortable with admitting that we’re overwhelmed, sad, disappointed, or afraid. Let’s stop the toxic notion that moms have to have it all together, and give ourselves permission to not be ok.
5- Give Your Phone A Break
By no means does this new years resolution mean to be a jab at your screen habits, because I’m very guilty of being too attached to my phone. Instead, let this new years resolution be a challenge to let go of inflated social media standards, and lean into the good you have right in front of you.
Social media has made motherhood into an internet popularity contest, and it is messing with a lot of us. When we get ourselves caught up in the highlight reels of other people’s lives, we miss the good we already have. So I challenge you to make 2022 a year you put your phone down more, and learn to see the good that already exists in your unfiltered life.
6- See Yourself As More Than A Mom
Since becoming a stay at home mom in 2020, I’ve found myself falling into the trap of believing all I am is a mom. I’ve definitely been sucked into believing that all I had to offer the world was my efforts of raising a family. The truth is that I am a mom, but I am also many other things. I am a wife, a Christian, a business owner, a musician, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and so much more. I have so much more to offer the world than just being a mom, and so do you.
This year, make a list of all you are, not just a mom. Instead of only prioritizing motherhood, make an effort to prioritize all of yourself. This may mean picking up a new or old hobby. Perhaps that may mean advancing in your career. Maybe that looks like making more time for yourself. Regardless of what being more than a mom looks like, you are worth seeing yourself as a whole person. Not just a mom.
7- Take Your Mental Health Seriously
If there’s anything good that came out of 2020, it’s a societal understanding that mental health matters. For many moms in the world, we have had to drop everything for our families over the last two years. Many moms left or lost their careers to Covid, some became homeschooling moms, and some of us stepped into the world of being a stay at home mom. These major changes to our lives as moms has shown to have consequences on the mental health of many moms.
This year, as we hopefully begin to rebuild our lives after Covid, let’s take our mental health seriously. If you want to read more on benefitting your mental health, check out these posts:
8- Take Your Spiritual Health Seriously
The last couple of years have been challenging for many people’s spiritual lives. Many of us were kept away from corporate worship because of Covid, and some of us experienced other painful issues with our Christian brothers and sisters. For many Christians, the last couple of years have put their faith in the crucible.
Refueling that spiritual fire that has been under fire is just what some of us need. Especially the parents whose lives have been uprooted these last couple of years. Perhaps what we need to do is find just a few minutes a day and pray again, or read our Bible again. Maybe we need to grace the doors to our local church again, or fellowship with other believers.
If you need some help growing in your faith, I got some posts that may help:
- 5 Misconceptions About Having Faith
- 5 Best Devotionals For Moms
- 7 Practical Ways Busy Moms Can Study The Bible
9- Embrace The Mess
When new years resolution season rolls around, I see many people resolving to make their house spotless. It usually works for a few weeks, then when life gets busy the house gets messy again. That’s usually when I see those same people saying “sorry for my messy house,” or “gosh I’m such a slob,” or “why can’t my house look as nice as hers.” I don’t think the problem is our cleaning habits, but our expectations.
This new year, I think we could all benefit from embracing the messes in our house. You live in your house, therefore it won’t be spotless. Making your house look great may be satisfying for some of us, but for others the process is triggering. For those of us who find keeping a perfect house emotionally exhausting, learning to find contentment in the mess can be exactly what we need.
So maybe this year our new years resolution is to let the laundry pile go. Perhaps we find a healthy bare minimum with the cleanliness of our house, and stop believing that a clean house makes a good mom. I talk more about embracing the messes in my house here.
Resolutions Worth Keeping
There are many people out there who make a big hairy audacious new years resolution and actually keep it. Others of us make them and end the year disappointed in our lack of progress. There could be a million reasons for that, but I believe one of the biggest reason we make resolutions we don’t keep is because they’re simply not worth keeping.
Sure, keeping a clean house is great, but will it make you a stronger woman? Yes, working out everyday is great for you, but will it fix the gaping holes in our souls? There’s many resolutions we could make, but the ones worth keeping are the ones that make a forever impact on our lives. Reflecting deeply on how we treat ourselves as moms and resolving to treat ourselves better will echo into all of the areas in our lives. Choosing to grow our minds, our faith, our self compassion, and our expectations will not just be good for one year, but all the years to come. Those kinds of new years resolutions are the ones worth keeping.