Somewhere in between putting away the holiday decorations and sending the kids back to school, we find ourselves considering New Year’s resolutions. Maybe that Christmas sweater fit just a bit tighter this season. Perhaps you can’t list any accomplishments from the past year besides “kept the goldfish alive” or “ate vegetables bi-weekly.” Maybe that Instagram friend who has it all together just posted her list of resolutions, complete with long, clever hashtags.
Whatever spurred the thought, a new year can mean a fresh start. At least, that’s the way the world presents it. (Instagram counts as “the world,” right?) Instead, as a mom, “fresh” is probably the last word you’d choose to describe yourself. If you’re like me, it’ll take all your willpower to keep from crashing at 8 pm on New Year’s Eve.
How about this year, we acknowledge our communal feelings of inadequacy and come up with resolutions that make us feel better about our mom-selves, rather than worse? Let’s make a list that is doable, even on no sleep, even when we can’t muster the energy to find a pen and make a list.
So open up a can of black-eyed peas and check out these ideas for easy resolutions that a regular (i.e., non-super) mom can actually expect to keep past January.
1. Leave the house fully dressed.
Don’t let that recurring nightmare become reality. You know, the one where you’re in public and suddenly realize you forgot to wear clothes. Or am I the only one who has to physically glance down while driving to be sure I’m fully dressed every time I go out? Who else has had to swap their shirt around in a public restroom after realizing it’d been on inside out all day? Ok, last confession: I once had a friend point out in the middle of church that my baby’s onesie was on inside out. I mean, how is that even possible? So the next time you find yourself out in public, dressed appropriately, feel free to pat yourself on the back. You’re keeping a New Year’s Resolution. And you’re doing better than most of us.
2. Get somewhere on time.
All right, less than five minutes late… OK, ten minutes. This one is hard because my entire life is utterly disorganized right now. I try to mask the symptoms, but it’s hard when random items fall out of the van doors every time they’re opened. When I routinely show up places without essentials like diapers and baby’s other sock. Life would be so much easier if there weren’t that insane dash to find the missing shoe or car keys Every. Single. Time I leave the house. And yes, I’ve tried tricking myself by setting my clocks ahead. It doesn’t work.
3. Occasionally wear something that doesn’t involve Athleisure.
Somehow wearing clothing that suggests “I just finished exercising” makes us feel somewhat accomplished. Nobody likes a sloppy ponytail and old sneakers more than I do. But this year, why not raise the bar a bit and reserve the yoga pants for just around the house?
And if performing a Mister Rogers-like clothing change doesn’t exactly fit into your soccer mom schedule, you can always try yoga dress pants. Yes, these exist. I’m halfway between thinking this is a brilliant product, and wondering if it’s barely a step above the pajama jeans phase. Either way, it counts as another resolution!
4. Go on a date night that’s more enchanting than Netflix and Totinos.
Date nights don’t necessarily have to involve glitz, glamour, and a little black dress to count. But it’s a good idea to try and actually make it outside of the house. It can boost your enjoyment to leave the familiar behind and go for the fresh. What’s more, with a bit of creativity, and Rocket City Mom, your date doesn’t necessarily have to cost more than a night in! Check out this Date Night Guide for Busy Parents.
5. Order pictures of the kids.
I’m talking about glossy, tangible pictures. You know, the kind grandparents like to hold. In a smartphone world, printing out pictures can seem like wasted effort. But there’s something about being able to hang a couple on the wall, pass a few around, and tuck some into the baby book. Seeing framed pictures of your kids nicely dressed and behaving for 1/200th of a second can bring a glimpse of sanity to those tantrum-ridden moments. And let’s be honest – how often do you actually look at those pictures buried in that folder on your desktop? We like the easy-to-use Chatbook app to create gorgeous booklets of photos.
So instead of hunkering down and enduring this harried, kid-centric way of life, why not embrace it? The fact is, we’re all moms, and we’re all struggling with the same stuff — mostly, admitting that we’re all struggling with the same stuff! Yes, you are. Yes, she is. And yes, even that perfect Instagram mom is, too.
What’s the most absurd/unattainable New Year’s Resolution you’ve ever made?
Kelli Pavlovec writes as a hobby and as a career. She loves running in the rain, old British TV shows, reading fantastic literature, and all things nature. She’s taking a course on Fiction Writing this semester and hopes to finally write and publish some books which she’ll post at kellipav.com.