You know there isn’t just one Supermom, right? We’re all supermoms in our own awesome spectacular pull up our boot straps way. That’s the first resolution, by the way. (thanks to my friend Cora for those words)
These aren’t about becoming perfect or finishing everything on your Pinterest board or having days where you don’t feel like you want to pull your hair out. These are about being real, about loving you, and honestly, are about living a life with joy. It’s a mantra, in a way. So here you go. Real.
1. I will remember that I am strong. In fact, this is the word that I personally chose this year. We are strong. Sometimes, oh my, yes, sometimes it is so easy to miss the strength that we have in the every day. So this year, choose just like me, to remember that strength. It has become the mantra of my day, truthfully. I am strong.
2. I will take moments of time for me without guilt. No more guilt for the reality that we, as moms, need to take moments to recharge, to grow, and to do the things that we love. There is no gold star and honors class for martyring and giving up on us in the midst of motherhood. Find one thing that you love and embrace it – learn new things, go out with friends, write, and instead of feeling guilt, feel joy in knowing that you are investing in you.
3. I will be kind to others remembering they, too, are in a journey. This times infinity. Please. You know that article about the mom on the iPhone? Well, it wasn’t my absolute favorite simply because there was the element of grace missing when we make presuppositions about what others are doing and add our opinion of worth and value. Do you know what matters? Grace. Give the other mom grace. Maybe she responded short or seems distracted or any of that – but sweet mom, she’s on a journey just like you and me. Grace matters.
4. I will not be afraid to fight, to speak, and to try. I lived with fear for 37.5 years of my six week shy of 40 years of life. In fact, this has been a year of setting free and learning to live without fear. And sometimes, sometimes the abundance of information, choices, and opportunity can actually create fear over making wrong choices. Listen. You are strong (see point one) and you are worth speaking up for your heart. You are worth it. And enough.
5. I will not be so hard on myself. No more, at least an intent of no more, going to bed at night and beating myself up over everything that wasn’t done. You too. Go to bed at night and start seeing every single awesome, amazing, boring, “just” a mom thing that you did and realize that those are the things that make you, well, you. Do you like it when your kids are hard on themselves? I think not. So no more for you either. No more seeing all the places you stumbled first – learn from that, get stronger, but ultimately see the awesome.
6. I will see comparison and competition for what they are – joy suckers. For real. Jealousy is an ugly thing. I know there will always be someone out there who does <insert anything> better than me. I also know that, and we don’t talk about this that often, that sometimes it’s easy to compare ourselves thinking well, at least I’m better than her. Both of these suck the joy and happiness right out of our lives. Then, instead of focusing on good and loving the mom in Target with us we’re stuck analyzing each other and making it a tally chart of expectations. Less less less comparison and competition – that’s the goal.
7. I will share my heart in this journey. And this means being real. It means admitting when we don’t have it all together and allowing tears to fall and having that friend that we know that we can call at 2:19 am when we’re just afraid or tired or dealing with anxiety. And speaking of anxiety – there is no shame in admitting that one deals with that either – none. Sharing our hearts with other honestly breaks down the perceived walls of perfection and makes us human. I mean truthfully, we’re all probably pretty deep down grateful for that mac and cheese in the cabinet but sometimes we don’t admit it. Being real means celebrating us.
8. I will expect no sleep, messy rooms, and kids who don’t want to change their clothes. Motherhood becomes even more hair pulling out exasperating when we create a direct correlation between the state of our home, the mood of our kids, and the number of minutes that we’re blessed to sleep in a row with motherhood success. Motherhood is messy. There will be spills, puke, kids fighting over Minecraft, pjs worn with rain boots midday, cars without gas when we’re late, and so on. Expecting it as part of normal diffuses the potential exasperation.
9. I will smile again. I really don’t have other words that will make this more important than this – my nine year old told me – it is good to see you smile again, mom. That was all it took to make me realize that this mattered. Work with me to find that smile again.
10. I will do my best. Not perfect. Not what I think everyone else is doing. Not what I think others think I should be doing. But my best. In that moment. When we work to do our best that is what matters. We’ll stumble. You’ll stumble. You’ll fall and trip and cry in the shower. But do your best and hold your head high knowing that you, yes you, are an amazing addition to this life. Oftentimes doing our best means breathing deep, folding laundry, reading books, and going to bed with a house that doesn’t belong on Pinterest, but rather is just normal.
11. I will know that there will be days when I want to quit. This goes along with eight. Let’s just put it on the table – you’ll want to quit. I know it. Some of the most viral posts I have are regarding this very thing (read Dear Mom Who Feels Like She Wants to Quit). But, here’s the truth – YOU DON’T QUIT. You know why I know this? Because your track record for success at making through every day (even if you barely did and you had to call that friend and you ate all the ice cream and you counted to one million) is 100%. Don’t forget that.
12. I will create space in my world. For me this means getting rid of more things. Less, less, less. But it also means determining what things I need to make life more efficient and work better. Space, or that margin, is what makes us have more time. It’s what helps us when that three year old will not choose anything to wear – if we expect that we’re going to be dealing with irrational behavior over shirts and give ourselves a buffer then we created space. Don’t let this become an angst thing in your life – thinking you have to live with two shirts, one toy, and four dishes. Instead look at this like what do I need to do to let myself breathe again?
13. I will appreciate social media. I’m putting this out there. How many times do you go online and read about the dangers of social media? How many times do you read about how it’s taking away community? Well, I think that social media is fantastic. In fact, I love the community that has developed on the Finding Joy Facebook page. I love that we can connect, that you can connect, with women from all over the world. So no more angst about it – lets see the awesome that it adds to our lives. Because, well, truthfully, I don’t see it going away.
14. I will love my kids. Unconditionally. And part of loving them means making hard choices, saying no and saying yes, and learning to fight for ourselves. Part of loving them means letting them fall so that we can help them stand up again. Part of loving them means knowing that there are moments where Netflix is the answer and a shower is ours. Sometimes loving them is being strong even when we feel weak. Sometimes love looks messy. Wait. Love often is messy.
15. I will remember that I’m not perfect, just real, and that life is a gift. Could this just be our mantra for this year? It will be mine, I think. There is so much freedom in simply knowing that this journey wasn’t supposed to be on hyper drive and smooth every second. Our motherhood journey is as story, a path filled with bends and dips and moments when we think we can’t go on and yet we do. So remember with me this -> We are strong, happy, imperfect, real, and grateful for today. Honestly? I think that will change our lives.
What resolutions did you make for this year?
Here’s a cool graphic listing ten of the fifteen. I pinned it to my Motherhood Board and my Words to Live By Board.
This is good. I agree with all of these, especially about discovering and allowing oneself space. I know I’m reaching into that exact thing, creating and using space, for me. It helps me to be ‘better’, more present, more open, and gracious mom. Not just at home, but with others too. 🙂
I’m always stunned that you write and I feel like it comes from the depth of my soul. How is it possible that we share the exact same path, struggles, thoughts? So crazy! I’m so grateful for your gift. Thank you. Cheers to 2015!
I just wrote about this and decided not to have any resolutions. Instead, I’m following my eight-year old’s lead with a New Year’s Revolution: To let the lotus blossom in the shit. To take a break when I need one. To accept the things I cannot change. And to laugh–not to forget to laugh. Thanks for your list–I loved it.
You’re awesome. 🙂
So many good points. Extending grace. Love! Thank you so very much for sharing. Great pictures, too.
Your words . . . I don’t even know what to say. I read this on a bad day. I cried when I got to #7. That one is so hard for me! I probably have a touch of depression and anxiety, but I don’t need a doctor to tell me so. I’m a bit of a roller coaster– high highs and low lows. I NEED to be able to reach out to people. But I’m afraid to. I don’t want to be the “Debbie Downer” who always calls her friends in tears. I don’t want someone to see my bad days and not realize that I have good days too and want to fix me. I always feel like people just want to diagnose and drug me. Isn’t that what people want these days? The easy fix? Well, I don’t want drugs. I want to be me. Emotional, frazzled, stressed, lonely me. But I know I need to share with others. I need to give people a chance to help me. I know there are people who gladly would if I gave them the chance. Why is it so easy to tell EVERYONE on facebook that you’re having a bad day and so hard to reach out to just one person for help?
Anyway, thank you for that resolution. I need to try to be more real. I need to show people the real me and hope they accept it.
And once I finished pulling myself together and mopping up the tears from #7, I hit #11 and started all over. You’re right. The track record shows that I have, in fact, gotten through every day. That’s empowering, and I’m glad for that. I hope I can get to a point where I look forward to days, enjoy days, instead of just getting through them. I’m trying. I guess that’s all I can do.
Thank you for your words of encouragement. I’m so glad the days I take the time to read your blog.
I too read this on a bad day. I’m guilty of so many of these. Thank you for posting and helping me realize what I need to work on.
You inspired this post: http://sparetimecontinuum.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-real-me.html
As a homeschooling dad, I am grateful for your blog. Your resolutions are applicable to us as dads too, and I appreciate your candor. I so appreciate blogs where we can encourage one another as we put forth our best efforts to serve God and educate our children in a world that would tell us we’re crazy!
At this moment I am ready to do my breakfast, later than having my breakfast coming over again to read additional news.