I’ve learned that most mom’s are simply looking for permission to do and feel what comes natural, and I hope this list of New Year’s Resolutions gives you just that!
1. Stop Being so Hard on Yourself
Being a mom is hard and do you know what makes it so hard? The pressure that we put on ourself! We try to do it all, and while we usually do it all pretty well, we always end up “failing” in our own eyes. This year, make a resolution to ease up the reins and stop being so hard on yourself!
2. Show Yourself Some Grace
I’m currently 7 months postpartum, and struggling with my body image. While, I know that being 7 months PP, truly isn’t that long, for me, I had thought that I would be a lot further into my weight loss journey by now. Even after losing 40+ pounds, I’m still not happy with how I look and I’m still disgusted with my stomach (there, I said it). But, on a daily basis, I’m also attempting to show myself some grace. I created 3 beautiful babies, for a combined 27 months of pregnancy in the last 5 years- 18 of those months in the last 2 years! That’s a roller coaster of gaining a substantial amount of weight, stretching my body to it’s limits, only to quickly deflate.
I have to remind myself that it will take time. It didn’t happen overnight, and it won’t go away overnight, or in 7 months.
Show yourself some grace this year!
3. Take Time for Yourself
When you read up on how to combat postpartum depression, you’ll notice that nearly every article tells you to do this- take time for yourself. Do something that you enjoy, regularly. It sounds so silly and simple, but ladies- It. Is. Essential.
You don’t have to send a lot of money, but do something for yourself, that is SELFISH. Go get your hair done; get your nails done; go for a hike; read a book in peace; go hang out with a friend (sans kids); something! Do something!
Motherhood is so consuming that we find ourselves waking up and feeling lost if we don’t continue to feed our soul. So get your paint brush out. Crack that book open. Plug that sewing machine in, and take some time for yourself this year.
4. Adjust Your Expectations
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in the last few years, it’s that the biggest cause of pain and stress, for me, is caused by my own unrealistic expectations. How many times have I expected my husband to do something (without ever communicating it), only to be disappointed? How many times have I made big plans for the day, only to fall short? How many times have I mentally told myself that I will be making big changes, only to face obstacle after obstacle? I’ve learned that I have to adjust my expectations. I have 3 kids now, which is SO much more challenging than I had ever imagined. I can’t just make a quick trip to any store. I can’t just run into Kohls to get a few things. I can’t just meet up for dinner with a friend spontaneously. I have to remind myself to set realistic expectations and if you struggle with this, too, then adjust your expectations this year!
5. Take the Darn Picture
A week after my 3rd child was born, we had family pictures taken. Let me tell you, I felt like the sexiest woman alive, with my semi-deflated belly, mesh underwear and swollen face and body- NOT!
I SO did not want to take the pictures, but it was my idea.
Even though, I knew that I looked horrible (I still don’t like those pictures of myself), I wanted the pictures. I wanted the memory. I wanted to capture that sliver of time, when my babies were 4, 20 months and 1 week old. We’re not having anymore children, so this was the last time that I’d ever hold my own, newborn baby. What was more important to me than my own body image, was the memories that I was making for my children. We’ll never have this day again, and even if I felt like a whale on that day, I took the darn pictures. This year, I challenge you to do the same.
6. Take Better Care of Yourself
But, don’t diet. This is something that I need to do myself, and a resolution that I have made. It’s not just to lose weight. It’s not to be skinny. It’s not to fit into my jeans better, but to prolong my life. To make my life, chasing toddlers and carrying babies around, easier.
I have 3 kiddos who rely on me and I need to make sure that I’m taking care of myself. This year, I’ll be drinking more water. Getting outside more. Stretching. Going for walks. I’m sure there will be weight loss with that, but that’s not the end game for me.
This year, I’m going to take better care of myself.
7. Start Saying, “No.”
No, you can’t come over today. No, I don’t think that’s a good idea. No, you can’t have that toy. No, I don’t care if Jessica has one.
No, I can’t volunteer for your event. No, I can’t bring a dish. No, I don’t want to meet you halfway. No, you’re not playing soccer this year. No, I’m not cooking dinner tonight. No, you’re not playing with Play-Doh.
No, I don’t want to try your weight loss product. No, I don’t want to host a party. No, I don’t want to have a quick chat about it.
No, I’m not throwing a big party. No, I’m not making homemade cookies. No, I’m not going.
Part of taking care of yourself is learning to say, “No.”
And saying no without an explanation, without guilt and without accepting shame.
Because sometimes, you simply don’t feel like it. Sometimes, you simply don’t want to and sometimes, okay, all the time, you HATE baking. And that’s okay. You don’t owe an explanation to everyone. So, in 2018, make a resolution to just start saying, “No.”
8. Set Goals for Yourself
What do you want to do in 2018? What is your plan? Do you want to further your career? Do you want to launch a business? Do you want to volunteer more? Set a goal. Write it down. Figure out the steps to make it happen- and do it! The keyword here, in this resolution, is YOU. Not, your kids. What do YOU want to do? How can YOU grow as a person this year? Set goals for YOUrself this year and get excited about it!
9. Invest in Your Marriage
Add this to the top of my priorities for 2018.
Does anyone else feel like 2017 came and went as quickly as the LuLaRoe fad?
What did you do to better your marriage? Did you read any books? Have any great talks? Better your communication skills or problem-solving strategies?
Did you spend much time together? How many dates did you go on? Did you take a weekend for yourselves?
Your marriage is the foundation for, not only your life, but for your children’s lives, too. Not only are you setting an example for them, but when you invest in your marriage, your investing in the quality of your kids’ lives, too. Trust me, they want mom and dad happy, and they’ll be over the moon to spend a weekend with grandma. Invest in your marriage, y’all. I know that I will be!
10. Find and Make Time for Mom Friends
I know this sounds easier said than done, but I spent the first few years of motherhood without any real mom friends. Sure, I had mom acquaintenances, and “friends” but not really *friends*.
Fast forward to February of 2017, and I found myself in a new state, with no friends or family in a 3 hour radius. I quickly found myself lonely and depressed. Yes, I love my kids. Yes, I love my husband. But, there is something to be said about a good friendship, especially with another mom who understands you. Someone who you can call and talk about baby poop with; someone you don’t have to clean your house for and someone who truly wants the best for you. Invest in those friendships. Join a mom’s group. Find a local Meetup group and if you can’t find one, start one! Put yourself out there! Find and make time for mom friends- and spend 2018 cultivating those relationships.
What would you add to this list?