As the end of the year quickly approaches, I reflect on what 2018 meant to my family and me. Ups and downs. Blessings and learned lessons. Accomplishments and unexpected events. Everything! And suddenly I realize that the moments I got to enjoy my family are the ones that fill my heart with gratefulness and happiness. It is not the material stuff, the professional achievements or disappointments, nor the tangible things. Besides health, provision, peace, purpose and many other blessings I attribute to God’s love, it is the intangible gift of getting to be with my family throughout the year that really makes me feel that 2018 has been amazing.
Having said this, I want to share some thoughts that come to my mind as I start outlining what next year could look like. Some of the goals I want to set for myself from a motherhood perspective, as this is an area of my life that truly and proudly defines me. I love the woman I have become thanks to motherhood. I love what having little ones has done to me as a wife, professional, daughter, and friend. And I am sure there is a lot of room for me to grow and get better at raising my children and being the mom they need to become happy, healthy, successful adults… no pressure, right? Well, here are my mom resolutions for 2019.
Love myself… more
It is so easy to be loving and kind to my husband and children and to many others. But when it comes to myself, that harshness to recriminate my own mistakes has been one of my worst enemies. So one of my main personal goals is to let go completely of that mom guilt I broke up with several months ago, and be patient with myself. Understand that motherhood is a work in progress. A constant learning process. A sequence of moments where sometimes I will not have the best reaction, but I can stop, identify what I did wrong, and quickly move on knowing that I will work on it. From a bigger perspective, I want to remind myself that I am definitely getting better at being a mom every single day! So next year I am committing to exercise more kindness and love towards myself.
More “me time”
The importance of recharging is huge. It goes hand in hand with self-love and care. A mom that invests in herself, taking care of her body, soul and mind, is a happy mom. And a happy mom translates into a happy family. Therefore, I am committing to spending more time doing the things that help me decompress and recharge. I am making arrangements in my daily hectic schedule to spend more time with God, getting to know Him, leaving in His hands all my worries and letting Him fill me with peace as He speaks to my heart bringing direction and clarity whenever I need it. I want to read more books, date myself and go out for a cup of my favorite hot coffee and sit down to drink it, get closer to my favorite mom friends (because we lift each other up and it feels great), and spend more time outdoors to breathe fresh air.
More dates with the father of my children
Something that makes me really happy is hanging out with my husband. As parents of two little ones it has not been easy to set aside enough time to be together without them. We have gotten really good at working as a team to organize our lives and nail this parenting thing together. And we are enjoying it so much! But I want to invest myself more in the father of my children, who is first and foremost the love of my life. When we are closer, the kids feel it and I can see how our happiness as a couple affects them positively. So yes, another 2019 mom resolution is to date my children’s superpapai (super dad) more often and plan a nice getaway and make it happen!
Quality 1:1 time
With a 17-month old daughter and a 3-year old son, I feel like my husband and I have taken a while to adjust to having two children and haven’t really figured out a way to enjoy them separately on a frequent basis. Every now and then I get to take one of them to the pediatrician and then out for lunch and when I do it, it is so wonderful! I come back home happy and with new insights into my child’s personality, desires, and behaviors. My heart really craves 1:1 time with each one of my babies, so I am going to make it happen next year and will encourage my husband to do the same!
This year we experienced stressful moments when our pediatrician told us that our 3-year old son was not growing at the pace he should. He was born at the 33rd percentile and is now below the 13th. The natural pattern is for a child’s growth to be consistent, so the drop in the percentile really got us worried. Besides blaming myself (talking about the need to be kind to myself, right?) I started comparing him with every single 3-year old human being on earth. The process of finding out the root of this issue became even more stressful because I was indeed seeing my baby boy smaller than everyone else. The point is that comparisons are harmful in this context. We are in the process of determining if the cause is genetic or hormonal and we need to rest in the fact that God is in control. With His help, we will do whatever is needed to help him grow healthy. So another mom resolution of mine is to stop comparing my children to others.
Less screen time
I am not talking about the children. I am talking about me. I am working on spending less time on my phone and being more present with my family. And this is incredibly hard given that I am a blogger and I want to build a career out of it. Sometimes I want to document it all! But the truth is that my family and I crave less online experiences and more offline, real-life quality time. Mom’s undivided attention is a must!
Create more, consume less
My fellow MMB contributor Ann recently wrote an article about the importance of consuming less and making space to create. If you know me, you know that I am a passionate writer and that what moves my heart is to create content that encourages and inspires moms and families. So, another mom-resolution for next year is to plan my days with more space to create. If with my stories I can help one mom find a practical solution to a challenge, overcome depression or guilt, or even smile and be thankful, that is it! That is the reason why I write and I will make sure I do more of that next year.