Every year, you resolve to lose weight… exercise… stop smoking… get organized. But the truth is, it can be exhausting trying to be something you’re not. What if you put all that effort into qualifying for Mom of the Year instead? Here are three attainable mom-solutions for your new year!
1. Stop buying overpriced children’s clothing.
Have you ever seen an ensemble that was entirely picked out by a child? Nothing matches, their shirt may be on backwards, and they may have thrown in a Halloween accessory for good measure. Kids obviously don’t care about the latest styles when it comes to what they wear, so why should you? Especially if being fashion-conscious involves spending hard-earned cash on clothes they will grow out of sooner rather than later.
You could be tucking that money away into a college fund or saving it for those unpredictable, but always wildly expensive, emergencies that WILL happen—like a trip to the ER to remove a Lego piece lodged in a little nostril. This year, resolve to shop second hand on a site like VarageSale, where you can find great quality clothes for the tiny creative dressers in your life…at a fraction of the cost. And hey, you can get a bonus resolution accomplished by recycling!
2. Encourage healthy habits at home.
Every once in a while, those moments come along when you stop what you are doing and simply drink in the beauty of your child. The smooth, round apples of his cheeks. That sparkle in her wide eyes. The energy that seems to create a glow around him. Immeasurable gratitude that your child is healthy and happy wells up inside of you. You want to protect that, nurture it.
Resolving to feed your child healthier foods and encourage active play is key to making sure these moments last a lifetime, even when the convenience of fast food and more screen time might better fit your busy schedule. And leading a healthy lifestyle yourself is not only the best way to teach your children healthy habits, but will also help ensure that you—the person who is always able to recognize that special beauty inside of them—will be around to watch them grow into vibrant adults. It’s not just about weight or body image, it’s about giving you and your child a chance to create as many memories together as possible.
3. Spend less time with your smartphone, and more time with your kids.
No one likes feeling left out of the loop, and social media makes it easy to stay connected. But would you rather miss your friend’s status update about her surprise trip to Italy…or miss your son sneaking over to give his new baby sister a kiss on the head? Would you rather take to Facebook to vent about your daughter’s bad attitude… or take her out to lunch and discover that problems at school are the reason for her sour mood?
The need to be “plugged in” all the time, often to simply have a lifeline to other adults, can rob mothers of these moments of real life connection with their children. It is not always intentional, but it’s easy to be lured into spending your time on something that doesn’t involve cutting food into tiny pieces or acting out movie scenes again and again and again. But maybe this year, resolve to close your laptop, put away your phone and simply be present for your children. Even during mind-numbing marathons of Candyland. Before you know it, they’ll have social media accounts of their own. And when you start asking them to put down their phones and spend a little time with you, they’ll be a lot more willing if they remember you doing the same for them.
New Year’s resolutions are tough to keep. But they’re much easier when it comes to those little people you adore. And finding small ways to commit to being a better mom will help that relationship grow stronger as the years roll on. Admit it, being a superstar for your kids beats fitting into a pair of size 4 jeans any day. Here’s to more great parenting in the year to come!