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Are you a young momma who has set some goals or new years resolutions for the new year? I know I am. There’s just something about the beginning of January that beckons me to change, to improve, to make this year better than the last.
But then, what happens?
I am fairly certain that January is the absolute WORST month for moms to make resolutions. Here are a few reasons why January is hard for moms:
January brings illness.
I was talking to a reader this morning who has sick kids. Like throwing up, croup, and more throwing up kids. Now, I don’t know if this momma has made any resolutions or not, but I’d venture to guess that, even if she did, they are the furthest thing from her mind.
Flu season is real and so is strep season and cold season and croup season and every other illness-that-loves-to-target-young-children season.
January brings darkness.
SAD is a real thing. And even for those of us who are not clinically diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, darkness is a motivation-killer.
January brings cold and inclement weather.
Snow days anyone? A few winters ago, my friend who lives in Boston had her kids home almost the entire month of January because of snow days.
Cold and snow mean no school, no preschool, no moms groups…heck, sometimes even ChickFilA and the YMCA are closed if they have no power.
So, January brings not-being-able-to-go-anywhere and being-stuck-in-the-house-for-days-on-end.
It’s really hard to get your zumba on when you’ve been up all night with kids throwing up and you are facing a clock that is already moving to slow and you are wondering how you are going to entertain these kids who are way too sick to go to school (but apparently not too sick to fight, argue, make messes, run around naked, and jump off the back of the couch).
It’s really hard to eat healthy when it’s freezing cold outside and all you want is warm bread and hot cocoa.
It’s really hard to invest in community and relationships like you so desperately promised yourself you would when all your groups get cancelled or you can’t go out because your kids are sick.
It’s really hard to be motivated when you look in the mirror at your tired eyes and mom hair and wonder if this all is life is about and if motherhood will ever get easier.
Mommas, I struggle with this every. daggone. January. I even wrote a hate letter to January a few years ago. So I get it.
Let me give you a few tips:
Embrace the suck and just get through.
Maybe now isn’t the time to conquer all of the goals and do all of the things. Maybe, instead, now is the time to focus solely on survival.
Lean in. Breathe in. Be present.
If you are drinking your 4th cup of coffee, drink it more slowly. If you are wrapped around a sick baby on the couch watching your 3,089th episode of Netflix this month, hold that baby a little closer and breathe in the love you share. Focus on making those beautiful little moments happen.
Utilize the bathtub for entertainment.
I swear, my kids live in the bathtub. Throw them in the tub and they are so much more content to play. And they can’t make too much of a mess (unless they poop or vomit). And they can’t go anywhere. Add bubbles. Add food coloring. Add kitchen utensils or non-bath toys. Then sit there on the bathroom floor, browse Facebook, and enjoy the moment of peace (ish).
Don’t feel guilty for screen time.
Yeah, screen time is the devil and kids need to be outside. We get it. But it’s frickin’ January. They can spend all summer outside. But right now, it’s too cold, too wet, too snowy – and they are too sick and too whiny. Sometime’s a momma’s got to do what a momma’s got to do. And that means Netflix.
If you live in the south, or if there is a warm spell, try to go outside.
Yeah, I know what I just said. But, there is a time and a place for both. If you can stand going outside, at all, then do it. Even just for 15 minutes. It could turn your whole day around.
Take a shower. Take two.
I’ll be honest. I wear pajamas at home. I drink too much coffee. My house is often a disaster. I don’t make my bed. And I eat too many carbs. Sometimes, I don’t brush my teeth until four in the afternoon. But if there’s one thing I ALWAYS do AT LEAST once a day – if not twice – is take a shower.
Showers are my happy place. My sanity. My refresher. My fill-up-my-cup-er. My no-one-is-touching-me-isn’t-this-blissful moment. A shower ALWAYS makes me feel better.
Turn on some happy music.
Contrary to what your children might think, you do NOT have to listen to the Frozen soundtrack all January long. Turn on some music that YOU enjoy. Need some ideas for awesome music that will make you happy but is still safe for your kids? Check out my favorite Mommy Music Playlist!
Write down your goals and resolutions.
Regardless of how difficult January is, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t make goals or resolutions. Write down the things you want to improve. See if there’s a way you can break your goals down into minute mini-goals that you CAN accomplish.
So, if your goal is eating healthy and losing weight, maybe in January you just need to focus on drinking more water.
If your goal is to be more present with your kids, maybe you need to set a goal to read to them for five minutes every day.
You can always revisit your goals as the year progresses, as the weather warms, and as your kids are healthier in the spring.
Find your tribe.
Do you have some mommy friends you can vent to on the hard days? If not, you need one! Maybe you need to start a Facebook chat for yourself and one or two of your friends so you can check in with each other throughout the day. If you are a young momma in need of encouragement, I’d love for you to join MY tribe of Millennial Moms on Facebook. Each day we have discussion questions about how we are doing, and at the very least, I think you will find that you are NOT alone.
Look for beauty in the little things.
Maybe it’s your favorite mug. Maybe it’s a graphic mom tee you love to wear. Maybe it’s a song you need to get up and dance to. Try to find one thing every day that you can truly enjoy.
What are your best tips to get through the winter while sticking to your resolutions?