A Mother’s New Year’s Resolution
I’ve always been the type of person that rolls their eyes in response to the standard, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” question. I can’t help it. In fact, if I’m being completely honest with you, you can probably expect that eye roll to be accompanied with a heavy sigh and gritted teeth as well. I’ve never really made resolutions. (Gasp! I know! Don’t judge me yet!) Listen… I’m a concrete, black and white, type of thinker and if I want to make a change in my life, I don’t need the beginning of a calendar year to jumpstart something new. I’ve never really understood these dramatic declarations of mastering new hobbies, quitting bad habits, losing weight, spending less, or exercising more, all because of a simple numeric change in our calendar year. If you want to set a goal, make an improvement, or make a change… then do it. You are in change of you! You call the shots! Not a calendar.
With that said, something in my mindset has shifted over the past few days… For some unknown reason, I can’t stop thinking about this whole new year’s ‘question’ that has become so popular and prevalent in our society. What is your new year’s resolution? Is there something you need to change? Is there something in your life that you could improve? Do you have unmet aspirations perhaps not yet realized? What can you do to better yourself?
When I think about those questions, my concrete mindset shifts to taking a step back and defining who I am… I need to declare that before I can resolve to change, aspire, or suggest who I want to better become.
So who am I?
I am a mother.
I am a stay-at-home parent.
I am the world to three sweet toddler tornadoes who demand every ounce of my being throughout every single day.
I am so many things to so many other people but as I reflect on the direct definition of who I am… I consider my defining trait without any hesitation to be MOM.
So who or what can I improve or better aspire to become? Well… perhaps prioritizing motherhood to such a high level is unfair. Perhaps it’s unfair to my husband. Perhaps it’s unfair to my friends and family. Perhaps it’s unfair to MY SELF.
If we allow motherhood to consume and exhaust all of who we are, then what is left for everyone and everything else? When was the last time you spent quality time with your spouse? On any given night, do you finally get the kids to bed and resolve to watching tv in silence and/or going to bed yourself without even asking how your husband’s day was? What about your friends and family? When was the last time you called your sibling or went out to dinner with your friends? Most importantly… can you recall the last time you did something solely for yourself? Have you recently made any time for that thing you’ve always said you wanted to do? For me, it’s to run a marathon. Read more books. Even that cliché goal of ‘exercising more’… it’s something I don’t make time for because it’s never my priority.
My priority is my family and there is nothing wrong with pouring my heart and soul into my children. They are, in fact, my world! However, I find myself overlooking and sometimes forgetting who came before them. It’s a beautiful thing to be so fiercely wanted and adored by the very beings we brought into this crazy world… But those sweet little people can leave me pouring from an empty cup. They love with such fierce intensity, demanding all my affection, attention, and time, that by the end of day, I have nothing left for all those other things I strive to be.
My children are my WORLD but my world needs balance.
So this year I’m making a resolution.
A commitment to finding balance. I want to restructure my priorities and improve upon all those other things that define who I am. I want to give myself permission to call myself more than a mother, NOT because I don’t love what motherhood has given me… Motherhood consumes me, in the most exhausting and rejuvenating way possible! It is the hardest thing I have EVER loved! It is a privilege and no doubt, my greatest accomplishment. But I want to accomplish more. My family and friends need more. I deserve more.
So here’s to a fresh start, a new beginning, and a year of calling myself not only a devoted mother, but also, a loving wife, a consistent reader, and a committed runner.
Happy New Year, friends!