BY: Mandy Lee
Here I sit the morning of New Year’s Eve contemplating resolutions of improving my health, mind, body, and parenting. The first thing that came to mind was not yelling so much at my son, but he literally just hit me in the back of the head with a nerf bullet while chasing the dog, resulting in my coffee spilling all over my lap. That resolution didn’t last a minute, but in my defense, we are on day twelve of Christmas break, and my nerves are shot. I can’t be the only one, right?
Working parents who are making it through the holidays, with family in town, and then trying to get back on a schedule while the kids are home all day, You guys know what I’m talking about. I am not going to lie, yesterday when I realized that school doesn’t start for another five days, my anxiety raised, and I shed a tear.
All jokes aside, I love being a mother, but I must find humor in the chaos. I am lucky enough to have friends and family I can share my “Mommy Mishaps” with who make me feel normal, and we can laugh and cry together. In 2022, instead of making a list of all ways I can change based on mom guilting, body shaming, and self-loathing, I will start the new year with gratitude and self-love.
These goals I set for myself in 2022 may be as hard as keeping those typical resolutions like losing twenty pounds, unplugging from social media, or running a 5k. I wanted to share with you to put them out in the world. If I can express one thing, I will take in to 2022; it is to put the guilt aside and simply cut myself a break.
Start the morning with gratitude.
Before my feet hit the ground, I want to start my day with a reminder of gratitude. I can tell you one thing; I know of January 5, my reminder will be kids going back to school. In reality, we have countless things to be grateful for, like our health, our home, food in the fridge, a roof over our head, a car to drive, shoes on our feet, and coats in the closet. I can go on and on, and when I am reminded of these things, my day starts off better than waking up dreading the day’s activities.
One saying that has always helped me is, “I get to.” I get to go to work today; I get to drive my kids to soccer practice; I get to make my family dinner; I get to put the kids in the bath and tuck them into bed. I think of all the parents struggling that don’t get this privilege. It’s only with God’s grace that I get to do all those things, which leaves me with a full and thankful heart.
Daily affirmations in the mirror.
I started this with my son a while back, and I love it. We stand in front of the mirror, and we say three positive things about each other, and then ourselves.
It usually goes something like this:
ME: You are smart, you are kind, you are funny
Him: You love me, you make good cookies, you yell loud
Me: I am strong, I am worthy, I am brave
Him: I am good at Roblox, I run fast, you love me
I mean, he isn’t wrong, and I always get such a kick out of what comes out of that kid’s mouth. We need to be reminded of what people love about us and what we love about ourselves.
Put away the scale and move my body
Like most women, I can get obsessed with the number on the scale, but this year it’s not going to be about the number, but about how I feel. I am a gym member and have friends I meet there, and we help hold each other accountable, but sometimes life gets in the way of making it to the gym or working out. When I can’t make it, I try things like walking the dog, chasing my son around, or dancing. There are also some great YouTube exercise classes you can watch for free. Exercise is essential for my mental health, so even if it is just ten minutes a day, I need to do something to get my blood flowing.
I will not concentrate on how “I THINK” my body looks in the mirror or that number on the scale, but how I feel. Eating healthier meals and moving my body always make my brain and body feel better.
Breath, Apologize, Breath, Be Accountable
I wanted to start the year off by not yelling so much at my kid when I started writing this. Well, I am not a saint, and sometimes I lose it. Unfortunately, it happens more than I like, and I want to get better at reacting out of frustration. If that means locking myself in my room and taking a minute to breathe, then maybe that is something I will start doing, sending myself to my room.
Whatever it takes to calm myself down. For me, that sometimes means getting on my knees and asking God for patience, tolerance, and guidance. My favorite coffee mug says, “Lord, put your arm around my shoulder and hand over my mouth.” I find it hilarious because it is true in every aspect of life. Sometimes the world can do without my opinions or quick reactions.
So, I will practice the “PAUSE” and breathe. When the inevitable happens, and I raise my voice and speak in anger, I will be accountable, apologize without blame, and show me the same grace I wish to show others.
So, new year, new me, new mom?
New year… Yes
New me… I will be ok with the old me while trying to be the best version of myself every day.
New mom… I will breathe, practice patience and tolerance, and show my family grace.
At the end of the day, I will reflect and see not only the things I wished I could change but every moment I wouldn’t, and again every morning I will begin my day with gratitude.
Wishing all of you a happy and healthy 2022!