3 New Year’s resolutions for real moms
By Aimee Heckel
Some people say you have two chances to have a good parent-child relationship. First, with your parents, and second, with your own kids. If the first one doesn’t turn out exactly (or even a little bit) the way you’d like, then funnel your energy into the second.
Not only that, you have dozens of new chances for that second chance. Every year is an opportunity to step back, think about your job as a mom and press the reset button, if you want to. Maybe your kid had a rough year. Maybe you had a rough year. Maybe 2013 was an overall rough year and should be erased from the history books, can someone please invent a magic time eraser?
No? OK, well then if you can’t change what’s past, funnel your energy into the future, right?
Here are our three New Year’s resolutions for real moms like us — moms who try desperately hard but still totally mess up all the time, have no idea what we’re doing but keep pushing forward with an open heart, and who hope that our irrational, unconditional, hopeless, joyful, beautiful love for our family will somehow negate all of our inevitable mistakes.
1. Be here now.
Cut back on the multitasking. Put your phone away when you play with your kids. Do not over-document every moment of their lives and forget to experience it yourself. Yes, the dishes need to be put away, but it’s truly not going to break the dishes’ hearts if you ignore them for another hour while you sit down to color with somelittleone else. Someone who happens to have a sweet, fragile heart that needs warmed, not ignored.
2. Ask more questions.
You don’t know the answer to everything. And if you spend more time listening and asking questions, and less time trying to solve your kids’ problems, you might be amazed by how much they innately know.
Asking them questions teaches them the most important lesson of all: to try their gut. Because some day, they will encounter a problem and you won’t be there to fix it. Help them feel comfortable with searching their own hearts and minds for the solution, and to have the confidence to follow through with their solution. The only way to do this is to shut up and open up the space for their little voices to rise up.
3. Slow down.
Just for one day, count how many times you tell your kids to hurry up. Come on. Walk faster. Brush your teeth now. Stop messing around.
Yes, focus is important, but so is exploration. Structure is good, but only if balanced by freedom and creativity. Find the balance between your adult-like expectations and your child’s natural playfulness, and see if you can’t stop to smell the roses a few more times a day. Your child has her whole life to rush around and be stressed out. And maybe she has something to teach you, too — like how to relax, dance through the hallways, indulge curiosity and enjoy the beautiful and magical world.
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