A new year is fast approaching, and if you’re like most moms (including myself), you’ve got a few things you’d like to change as soon as that sparkly ball drops in Times Square. I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to do differently as a mom, and I’ve found that before I can really make mom-changes, I have to make life-changes. With that in mind, here are five New Year’s resolutions for moms that every mom should make.
1. Spend more time reading the Bible. See, this is one of those life-changes. Yes, I do my devotions, but I don’t spend enough time studying God’s word. And I truly believe that the only way to make sure I am speaking the right words to my kiddos is to have His word ingrained in my heart and my mind. So I’m upping my scripture intake this year. Even if it’s only an extra 10 minutes a day, I know it will make a huge difference.
2. Unplug at the dinner table. This is going to be a really hard one, but I’ve noticed this year especially how often I give my kids the “just a second” while I finish something up on my phone. My phone is permanently attached to me; I will shamefacedly admit that when I realize I don’t have it, I get JUST A LITTLE (read: a whole, whole lot) panicky. But guess what? Most of the time if I let a phone call, text or Facebook status wait 30 minutes, it’s not going to have lifelong consequences. On the other hand, if I spend 30 minutes at the table staring at my phone instead of into my kids’ precious faces, well … that probably will have lifelong consequences. So I’m changing that behavior this year, for good.
3. If you’re married, spend more time investing in your spouse. Life gets busy. Kids and work get your attention all. day. long. Don’t forget about the man you married, because the absolute best thing you can do for your kids is love him and love him well. Need a place to start? Try giving up these three things or putting these three ways not to hate your husband into practice—it will make all the difference, and a very happy married New Year. If you’re not married, spend more time investing in someone who encourages you in your faith. Maybe this is your best friend, mentor, sister, mom, a co-worker—whoever you “do life” with who wants what’s best for you. Nurture that relationship and use it to practice building up the one who builds you up in return.
4. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Yeah, yeah, I know, easier said than done. Trust me, my inner mom-ologue can be rather harsh at times. But at the end of the day, dangit, my kids are fed, clothed, clean and LOVED. Supermom doesn’t live here, but a good mom does. The dining room table is covered in stuff and the bathroom looks like a linens truck crashed into an oil slick and then dumped its cargo, but the kids? The kids are happy, because they got played with and loved on. And if you blew it today? You WILL do better tomorrow. Ask forgiveness and move on, mama. You’re doing an AWESOME job, and this year? Is the year you need to cut yourself some SLACK.
5. Make a plan for the kids to help you with chores at home. This goes hand-in-hand with #4. Wanna spend more quality time with your kids? Have them help you with the housework. Even 3-year-olds can pick up toys or throw away trash, and big kids can do so much more. This past year I started having my big kids simply load and unload the dishwasher each day and it has made a huge difference in my day. When you have a whole family making a mess and just one person cleaning it up, it doesn’t work very well. Assign responsibilities and work together to get them accomplished. Assign consequences for unfinished work and stick to it. All this will result in you having more time to have FUN together—you’ll see! Need ideas? Check out this list of age-appropriate chores to get you started.
It’s my prayer that you have a wonderful year, Mamas! Making—and keeping—these five resolutions is a sure way to get it off to a great start. But if you find yourself slipping and having a rough time … well, just see #4, take a breath and start over again. God’s grace is never-ending and it is always on the table.