As a mom it is so easy to become the mom with checklists and guilt trips. There are so many moms who try to live up to their instagram photos that the American Psychological Association has actually done studies determining which filter is the best evidence for good mental health. And have you noticed how social media, tv and movies are so ready to make fun of moms, to tell us that we’re not doing a good job, so let the house become a hornet’s nest of chaos and pop open the bottle of wine? That’s not ok. Moms, we’re not doing as badly as we think. A few days ago my mom friends and I were talking about how we feel like life is a pick 3 game. There are these 5 options but you only have the ability to be good at 3 of them, so pick your priorities:
-A Home that is clean,
-Honor roll kids (or early milestone meeting if they are not school age),
-Hygiene (for you and the kids), and
Life is about give and take. These may be all of the things we are expected to be good at as mothers, but there are kids doing kid things, husbands being husbands, pets being pets and only 24 hrs in a day. It is easy to go from being a confident queen bee of your home to a guilt ridden worker ant. As if that wasn’t enough, the new year is coming up and with it, new expectations, perhaps, and by February, new reasons to feel like you’re not making it. Perhaps you’ve already started making mental lists that sound like, “Next year my kids will be the honor roll kids and I will lose those 40 pounds of baby weight I gained three years ago.”
Take a step back from the chalkboard mama. Put down the lists.
This upcoming year, instead of making lists of the ways you will live up to the ideal of the Great American Mother, why not focus on finding your groove?
I once read that Pablo Picasso once said that, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” We won’t be all things to all people, and we often overlook our gifts in favor of someone else’s idea of a perfect mother. To put that pressure on ourselves, or to allow the world to put pressure like that on us is not loving. Not everyone makes it to this stage of life you know, and you should enjoy this stage. So in the spirit of enjoying life, I’m proposing finding new, freeing resolutions. Get rid of the task lists, the pressure for the perfect instagram photos, and the need to do more. The failure of not being the mom you want to be shouldn’t be something that overwhelms and depresses you. So instead of making lists of things I have to do or become, this is my list of new year’s resolutions, and I invite you to walk them out with me:
- Don’t rush. – Yes it is good to be at school or the doctor’s office on time, but that playdate you only half want to go to? Give yourself grace. The world won’t end if you are ten minutes late because your daughter put toothpaste all over the bathroom floor and your son had a blow out as you were walking out the door.
- Do what you’re good at. – If you’re not good at baking those 2 dozen cookies for the school fundraiser don’t. But if you’re good at interior design, volunteer to help set up the classroom with your kid’s teacher. Teachers actually spend a lot of time setting up their classroom, and if decor is your thing, maybe do that.
- Smile. – Not every day in this new year will be a bed of roses. But there is something good about each day, even if it’s just that our favorite song came on the radio twice.
- Ask for help. – What a strange resolution right? Much of the fabric of our American identity is about “pulling ourselves up from our bootstraps” but the reality is, we can all use some help sometimes.
These are my resolutions for a groovy, enjoyable new year, what are yours?