New Year’s Resolutions for the Mother with Young Children

BY LAURA SIMON, a Regular Blogger with Triad Moms on Main

These years of mothering are hard. They’re amazing. They’re full of growth—for us, too—and not just the kids. Why do we go around setting impossible standards for ourselves, when getting through the day is enough to considerably strengthen and deepen our character?

Listen, we can all embrace guilt. Or, we can embrace the stage of life that we’re in. This year, my New Year’s resolutions reflect my decision to do the latter. I call them “New Year’s Resolutions for the Mother with Young Children.” Maybe you can relate:

  • At least once a week, I’ll wake up in a bed that isn’t mine. Or at least, I’ll be in that bed when the sun comes up, because waking up implies that sleep happened at some point. I know this sounds scandalous, but it isn’t. I’ll totally confess that I love watching my kids sleep. I love their snuggles and their sighs…and even their sleepy toots. I sleep very poorly with their various appendages sprawled all over me, but I’m embracing the stage. So be it.
  • I will eat more chocolate than I should. Or drink more coffee. Or consume more wine. Or all three. Whatever your guilty pleasure is, resolve to enjoy it. I mean, don’t go crazy here. We all feel better when we make good food choices, but I woke up one day and pretty much all of my pre-children life was gone. Curling up with a good book, enjoying a clean house for more than thirty seconds, having a conversation with a friend, sleeping, actually going out somewhere and relaxing…these little things that recharge me are impossible luxuries.
  • Whenever possible, I will stay in the shower longer than I should. Yes, hot water costs money. Yes, it’s hard on the skin this time of year. Yes, I’ve heard of the so-called benefits of taking cold showers. No, I don’t care. There are plenty of days where I don’t get to shower at all, so I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty enjoying it when I get one. And, it usually buys me just a little alone time. I mean, there’s always at least one visitor at some point, but no one actually insists on touching me while I’m in the shower.
  • I will get borderline obsessed with something that seems absolutely ridiculous to the rest of the world. For me, right now, it’s teeth. Actually, it’s been teeth for a long time. First, it was cutting teeth, and now I have one child simultaneously losing teeth and cutting new molars. Teeth impact so much: the way a child eats, the way a child behaves, the texture and consistency of the things that come out of said child’s body. Teeth are worthy of obsession.
  • And finally, I will continue doing things that would make my 22-year-old self weep. Things like saying, “You should totally trade your SUV for a minivan. I LOVE mine. It’s life-changing.” And venturing out into very public situations without a stitch of make-up. And texting my sister-in-law from the dressing room at TJ Maxx, because I have no idea what’s in style any more.

You see the benefit of a resolution list like this, right? It’s kind of like making a “to do” list and putting a few things at the top that I’ve already completed. The joy of checking off a box doesn’t hinge on when it was completed. The joy is in actually finishing something. I can keep these resolutions. These are things that I’m going to be doing anyway.

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