Ditching carbs and getting a good wine buzz are secondary to my New Year’s resolution list. Achieving total happiness is at the top of my chart for the New Year and it’s a happy resolution worth repeating!
Historically, the New Year has always presented me with an array of emotions that vary between being filled with an abundance of gratitude and/or remorse based on my specific accomplishments or let-downs.
Actually, it’s also always been quite confusing trying to tally the wins and losses of the year before.
To be honest, I usually lose track of my resolutions halfway through January, start new goals in March and then jump ship right after Thanksgiving. Before you know it, another year has come and gone and I find myself making new promises to myself that I know I won’t keep.
So what do you meme it’s almost time to ring in another New Year?
But seriously, that’s me in a nutshell and I’m willing to bet that at least half of you mothers reading this are doing your best to hold back your, “Me too” smile because a piece of you feels vulnerable for accepting the raunchy, memeingful truth above.
In addition to the predictable personal New Year’s resolutions of, “I promise to make financial gains, exercise for 30 minutes a day – 3 days a week, eat right and have more energy,” we mothers must also make a fresh list of ways in which we will positively shape the lives of our young ones. We live in a culture where we are encouraged to set those strategic “perfect parent” goals (i.e. always reading before bed, making sure their teeth are brushed twice daily, taking advanced placement courses in middle school, etc. etc.) that will inevitably mold our children into the inspirational visionaries of our future that we know they will soon become.
Please allow me to share with you the back story snippet of how I came to choose my New Year’s resolution for 2019: This past summer, my daughters received a birthday party invitation from a friend who we’ll call Amelia. The front of that invitation said, “Please join us to celebrate Amelia turning 2. Let your presence be your present! No gifts please.”
Between that birthday party invitation and the countless, “How to be a Happy Mom” articles I’ve read, I’ve realized that happiness to me is making sure I am always present. That I don’t miss out. I was reminded for the thousandth time that if we took away all the material things, all we would have left are our memories – and I want to be there in every.single.moment. These are the days I’ll never get back.
Here’s what I know to be true. Those “perfect parent” goals (while lovely and ambitious) not only derail us from our own unique goals but also cause us to often lose ourselves trying to out-parent the picture perfect parent on Facebook or Instagram. When we are lost as individuals, we can not expect our children to follow in our footsteps and still find their way. Our children need happy mothers, not perfect mothers. I’ve read about it. You’ve most likely already read about it and we can all probably agree that being happy all the time is easier said than done.
So without further ado, here’s the start of my New Year, Happy Resolution list:
- I won’t get angry when my girls refuse to sit pretty for that perfect family photo.
- I will enjoy a messy house.
- I won’t turn down a date night with my husband.
- I will spend my extra dollars on new adventures with my family.
- I won’t compare myself to other mothers.
- I will have more dance parties in my pajamas.
- I won’t stop asking for help when I need it.
- I will believe each and every day that I am enough.
- I won’t let social media take me away from spending time with my family.
- I will let my presence be my greatest gift I can give every day of the New Year and for many years ahead.
It may have taken me a couple years to figure it out, but I know now that giving up chocolate, pizza, or wine and vowing to spend more time at the gym instead of with my children isn’t what my happiness looks like at all. In fact, those are all things that have set me up to feel like a failure in years past.
This year, I am enough, as I am. I vow to make choices that will keep me present, in the moment, with a smile on my face each and every day. To me, this resolution is one worth repeating. What will the New Year have in store for you?