Before we go setting ourselves up with unrealistic goals weâ€™ll forget by monthâ€™s (weekâ€™s?) end, letâ€™s set up something that will create a lifetime of treasures. A few themes I tend to revisit annually include:
I will set aside my smart-whatever. Maybe itâ€™s during dinner, perhaps your phone is there at stop-lights, or after a long day you just want to chill to some Bejeweled (or whatever game is hot these daysâ€¦). Commit to putting your phone, laptop, or tablet down. Use the time to connect with whoever is present, even if that just means some quiet time alone with you.
I will use kind words. We all have different parenting styles, and even within the â€śwhatever is the trendy styleâ€ť kind of parent there are many nuances. Maybe you never raise your voice and rarely use the word â€śno.â€ť Perhaps youâ€™re parenting has gotten a little intense lately. Wherever you are in your parenting style or journey, however assertive or passive, and no matter your discipline perspective, we can all use a little kind in our lives. I mean this not only in how we speak to our children, but also how we speak about them whether they are present or not, and how we speak to our own self or partner or mother about parenting decisions. Let kindness reign supreme in two thousand seventeen.
I will keep perspective. Itâ€™s not that those grandmas in the store are wrong when they say â€ścherish every momentâ€ť nor is the mama wrong when she says she struggles to find any joy some days. I bet there is truth to both. Instead of shutting the other one down completely, I will, nod, give a half-smile, and learn about myself or them through the comments they make. Perhaps a little more connection is what we all need, and I have an opportunity to ask a follow up question that can either shut them down or open them up.
I will take care of myself. Maybe itâ€™s eating one less sweet (or one more!) per day or week. Similarly, more water and/or less other liquid drug of choice (caffeine, alcohol, sugar, etc.). Perhaps itâ€™s starting to work out or finding quiet time to relax. Some of us need to focus a little more on our budget. It could be stepping up your yoga pants to real-deal jeans. Iâ€™m sure we all could do something along the lines of all the above. Pick something. Put a reason to it. Set reasonable expectations, and find accountability in friends, your partner, or even an online group.
I will do something that is not for specifically for the kids. Inventory your time and interests. What has fallen away since you first had children? What were your passions? Where did your time, money, and effort go? Reinvest yourself or invest yourself in something new.
I will dole out more grace. I know itâ€™s fun sometimes to thrive on snarky. It is one of my mindâ€™s instant reflexes sometimes. I think grace can build more relationships and understanding though. I donâ€™t want to tear down someone or something else to justify myself. I can be me without pulling down on them. Grace and more grace. To myself, to othersâ€¦ grace.
Lynette is a mom of three children from 10 months to age five. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.