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The Only New Year’s Resolution for Moms

I have to say, I’m generally pretty opposed to New Year’s resolutions – I think they tend to be too drastic and set you up for failure. But for moms, I think this one is an exception.

It’s not even so much a resolution as it is a promise for the year. For me, it’s mandatory this year – and I’m betting a lot of you mamas will agree.

The Only New Year’s Resolution Moms Need

BALANCE.

A woman balancing in the ocean – not necessarily the kind of "balance" moms need for their new year's resolutions!

(No, not that kind of balance – though that doesn’t look too bad either…)

As moms, we have a tendency to want to do all the things for all the people all the time. We’re trained to think that’s what we’re supposed to do.

We don’t need help! We’re the mom! We’re the one who helps!

(Did anyone else just get Walter White “I am the one who knocks” vibes? I kind of like it.)

This past year, I let my life get way out of balance. I way overcommitted myself across the board, and basically never said no to anyone, ever.

(Except my toddlers, who I still said no to 574,829 times per day.)

By the end of the year, I officially had four “part-time” jobs.

Four.

One at a PR agency, one as a freelance social media consultant, one managing my Etsy party printables shop, and one running this blog right here.

And the worst part of it all is, I love all four jobs – in different ways, and for different reasons. Each one provides me a unique creative outlet, and fulfills a different need in my life.

My biggest problem is that I want to do all the things.

I want to be a writer and grow my community, be a leader at my “day job,” run my own business, get into the best shape, be a crafty Pinterest mom, be a thoughtful friend, cook inventive and healthy meals for my family, volunteer at church, advocate for my fellow infertility warriors… I could go on and on.

But there’s truly not enough time in the day to do all these things, so what’s the first thing to take a hit?

My family.

They’re the easiest part of the list to put on the backburner and push off to tomorrow.

But they’re also the one and only thing on the list that can’t wait until tomorrow. Every moment missed is a moment you don’t get back.

I hate saying that. I hate those blog posts that are just designed to make you feel guilty about your momming skills, and make you feel like you’re not doing enough.

Moms, let’s stop telling ourselves we’re not enough.

This tired mom needs this new year's resolution for moms more than anyone!

That’s not what this is. Because I know that we’re all just doing our best.

Even though I haven’t been there for my kids as much as I would’ve liked this past year, I’ve been doing my best.

Even though I haven’t been fully present and in-the-moment with them, I’ve been doing my best.

Even though I’ve been on my phone too much, relied too much on screen time, and fed them too many meals out of the microwave, I’ve been doing my best.

We are enough, we’re just out of balance, mamas.

So this year, I’m going to find it.

Find balance between what I want to do and what I should do.

What I should do and what I need to do.

What I need to do and what I can do.

What I can do and what’s mine to do (a favorite quote of mine from Enneagram master Suzanne Stabile).

How Can Moms Actually Find Balance?

I know, easier said than done, right? I actually have a plan for this, though.

Here’s how:

1. Write down all your priorities.

All the things you want to be doing, need to be doing, should be doing. Write them all down, in whatever order they come to you.

What are the things weighing on you? What are the things you wish you could do? What are the things filling up your head space?

Think big picture: your career, your family, your spirituality, your health, a hobby, a project, cooking, time with friends, time alone, etc.

My list looked like this:

A great new years resolution for moms is BALANCE. Jotting down priorities for the year in a notebook is an easy step towards finding balance for moms.

2. Choose your favorites.

And you can’t choose them all. It’s going to be hard! If it were easy, you wouldn’t feel the need to make this your commitment for the year.

Think about which ones give you joy and make you feel fulfilled.

You’re choosing the things that are going to get your primary energy and focus for the year, not an all-inclusive list of the things you’ll be doing.

So, don’t worry about all the external factors.

“My career has to be one of them, because my family needs my income.”

No, it doesn’t. If your job isn’t one of your top priorities, that doesn’t mean you’re going to quit (unless you want to, and are able to!). It just means you’re not going to focus your energy on growing and developing it this year.

You’ll still go to work, do your job to the best of your abilities, and be a great employee! But maybe you won’t volunteer to pick up that extra project, or go to every networking event, or lead that new company initiative. And that’s okay.

“Well, I can’t not choose cooking, because my family has to eat.”

Again, you’re still going to provide meals for your family. But maybe they don’t need to be home-cooked every night. Or maybe they don’t need to be as elaborate. Or maybe your husband/partner can pick up some of the cooking responsibilities, so it’s not all on you.

Don’t worry, we’re going to get to what to do with the remainder of the list next, so for now – just focus on your top 3 – 5 favorites.

A great new years resolution for moms is BALANCE. Jotting down priorities for the year in a notebook is an easy step towards finding balance for moms.

3. Cross out anything you can let go of.

Maybe there’s nothing on your list you can truly release from your life, but hopefully there’s at least one or two.

It’ll probably be really easy to choose the things you wish you didn’t have to do, so start there. Take a good, hard look at them, and try to come up with other solutions.

If you hate cleaning your house every week, maybe see if you can squeeze a housekeeper into the budget. Or maybe it’s time to start a family chore chart so you don’t have to do it all?

If carving out time to go to the gym gives you angst, then stop doing it! Cancel that membership, and put exercise on the backburner for this year.

Maybe it’s not something you hate doing, but just something you know doesn’t need to be done. Maybe it’s a project you can put on hold until next year, or something that’s become more of a routine than an actual necessity.

Whatever it is you’re letting go of, you’ll get back to it – I promise. This just may not be the season for it.

4. Delegate, lessen, or minimize everything else.

Whatever’s left on the list, think about how you can minimize its place in your life (or at least, your headspace).

For example, for me: meal planning always stresses me out, every single week. I always leave it to the last minute, and I’m left agonizing over meals that my picky 4-year-old, dairy-intolerant 1.5-year-old, and finicky husband will all actually eat.

So to simplify, I’m using the eMeals app to minimize the amount of time and energy I have to put into that task.

{eMeals provides you TONS of recipes to choose from each week. When you select your meals, it compiles the grocery list and sends it to your grocery pick-up service of choice, so it’s truly no effort at all! There’s a two-week free trial – I highly recommend it, if meal planning is one that you’d like to simplify on your list.}

So, after this step, you should have a pretty balanced list of what you’re going to focus on, what you’re going to cut out, and what you’re going to minimize:

A great new years resolution for moms is BALANCE. Jotting down priorities for the year in a notebook is an easy step towards finding balance for moms.

5. Live by your list.

Once you’re happy with your list, actually live by it. Say no to the things that aren’t on it.

My mantra for this New Year’s resolution as a mom is:

If it isn’t a “hell yes,” it’s a “no.”

You don’t have to go to every birthday party that shows up in your mailbox. You don’t have to volunteer for every event at your kids’ preschool or church. You don’t have to take your toddler to every library story time.

So Moms, let’s make a resolution for Balance this year.

Mom life ain’t easy, ladies. I’m four years in, and I still feel like I’m adjusting to all the new priorities and demands.

We don’t have to do it all. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we can start to reclaim our sanity.

And there’s no better time than the new year to do just that.

I know I need accountability on this, so it you’re making the commitment for BALANCE this year – let me know in the comments, and let’s do this together!

The one EASY New Year's Resolution for moms is BALANCE. And when you follow these steps, it's actually attainable this year.
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Bella

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

What a lovely read, Thanks for sharing this post. Balance is so key these days.

Christa

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

Yes to this! I am SO BAD at saying no or minimizing my to-do list. I need to stop and find balance. Just this week, I decided to take the hour my son naps as “lazy” time doing a craft or reading rather than trying to take advantage of nap time to cook or clean. It’s only been a few days, but it’s making such a big difference.

Nicole

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

Ahhh this is so perfect! I have been talking about these exact things for weeks. I just told my husband yesterday prioritizing is necessary, but I have to pick a focus (favorite) too or I wind up doing nothing!

Monica

Monday 6th of January 2020

What an encouraging read! I love how you break it down into applicable steps to find that balance.