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7 New Year's Resolutions for Moms

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With each new year comes a fresh new start. And while I would love to be the mom who whips up healthy and nutritious meals from scratch every night or the trendiest mom on the playground…it’s just not going to happen. So this year, my resolution is to get real…to tune out all of the noise and nonsense in the world and instead make resolutions that will save my sanity (even when my boys accidentally rip open my down comforter while making a fort).

I’ve thought long and hard about these resolutions and have realized that they aren’t just specific to me, but to every single mom out there who has ever doubted herself or felt the pang of the dreaded “Mommy Guilt” that our generation is blessed enough to deal with. So here is my holiday gift to you, dear exhausted mama. You’re welcome.

Make time for yourself every day
Yep, that’s right, EVERY SINGLE DAY. Now I’m not saying that this is going to be a very long period of time, but don’t feel ashamed if you take an extended trip to Target without the kids, veg out in front of “The Bachelor” or any other reality tv show that makes you feel better about your life, hide in the bathroom with your phone…just steal a few moments to yourself. Not only do you need it, but you deserve it. Need some ideas on how to relax? Here ya go!

This past holiday season, I wrapped every single gift for my family and friends (I’m talking about BOTH Christmas and Hannukah, here!). Only when I got to the last present did I realize that I should have asked my husband, who was sitting on the couch, to help me. Why did it take me so long to ask for help? Maybe it was a mix between my husband’s poor wrapping skills and the fact that I was so overtired that I wasn’t thinking straight, but I vow to not make that mistake again the next time the holidays roll around. This year I will be delegating all types of tasks, from paying babysitters to watch my kids so I can write uninterrupted to utilizing meal prep delivery services so I can spend less time in the kitchen. The expense will be so worth it when I am a happier and more relaxed mom and wife.

Ditch the guilt.
Thanks to social media, it is possible for moms to feel guilty about every single thing about motherhood. I mean, did you take adorable weekly photos when you were pregnant? Breast or bottle feed? Organic or conventional food? Private lessons or public classes from the local park district? Screen time or no screen time? THE BATTLES ARE ENDLESS. So when you start feeling guilty based on what the perfect mom down the street is doing, repeat after me: “Everything is going to be fine.” Because you know what? It is.

Stop judging.
This one is a HARD one. Seriously. Especially thanks to Facebook groups for moms that are supposed to be supportive communities that end up being a place to roast moms for their parental choices. What works for you and your family is great. What works for other families is great for them as well. You are no better or worse than any other mom….because deep down, none of us really know what we are doing. Seriously. So when given the chance to jump down someone’s throat…step back. Ask questions. Listen. Learn.

Get your groove back.
I’m not going to lie…I was in pretty good shape before i had kids. But then I gave birth to two huge bowling balls who wrecked havoc on my body (and mind). Oh, and did I mention that they want my attention 24/7? Well, they do (one is currently sitting on my lap as I type this) so I haven’t been to the salon in months and my gym membership expired YEARS ago. But this year I have decided that I am going to get my groove back. I’m going to incorporate some fitness into my life (slow and steady wins the race, dear mamas!) thanks to a local gym with childcare and a hair salon that is open while my kids are in school. I’m never going to look the same as I did before I had kids, but I know that I can feel stronger and more energized if I take some time for me. And I don’t think my husband will mind, either! Need some help getting back on the fitness train? Then check out these different programs that cater to moms.

Cut people out.
This might come off as mean, but here’s the thing…there are two types of people in your life: people who add to it and those who take away from it. The people who add to it bring joy, support, and tons of other resources that moms need. But those negative people who take away your time, prey on your weaknesses, and don’t support you just have to go. Maybe things changed once you became a mom. Maybe this person hasn’t grown up since high school and you are finally figuring that out now that you are older and wiser. Whatever the case may be, cut the cord. You will be so much happier. It will be a bit awkward at first and you might mourn the friendship you once had, but it is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I guarantee it.

Play more.
Seriously. Build crazy Lego structures, paint along side your kids, bust out your best moves and have an impromptu dance party in the kitchen. Just play. My favorite book for inspiration? Chicago mom Meredith Sinclair’s “Well Played.”

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Amanda Simkin, a lifelong Chicagoan, created her blog to share how she celebrates motherhood in Chicago. She offers “insider’s guides” for both well-known and off-the-beaten-path family-friendly gems. Her fans include Red Tricycle Chicago and Chicago Parent Magazine.

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