My first and only child just turned 2, and I promised myself that I wouldn’t cry over it. How could I not, though? I mean, think about it: just two years ago I was holding a newborn. Now, I’m chasing after a running, talking, singing, demanding little person who has thoughts, ideas and opinions. She's becoming her own individual — and a fantastic one at that. She’s a budding genius, despite the few nights when I didn't read to her, or when I let the TV babysit her.
Yeah, I said it. The TV babysat my kid once or twice, and I’m not ashamed of it. Instead of harping on all of the things that I didn’t do last year, I’m giving myself a pat on the back. Also? I'm making a vow: this year, I will be a better mommy. Even though my daughter has turned out amazingly well thus far, I want to be better.
Easier said than done, of course. But if I didn’t want challenges in life, I would not have had a child. I think of mommyhood as being similar to marriage in that both need continuous improvement all the time. There is never a dull moment, no time for regrets. In order to have better results, I often have to sit down and change things or change my own reaction. That said, I’ve decided to take some of my biggest downfalls and figure out how to turn them around so that I can be a better mommy to my little one.
Here's the plan:
Instead of feeling guilty when I’m not with her ...
I will make the most of my time away from her. The working mom guilt will likely never end, but I can make my time away from her purposeful. What does that mean? That means choosing to work at jobs that I’m passionate about, only spending time with people I truly enjoy being with, and having experiences that can benefit my family and me. Working in jobs that I hate makes me miserable. In turn, I am a miserable parent and wife with a short fuse. That, you know, is no good for anyone.
In order to be a better mommy, I have to learn how to take care of myself.
Instead of adding items to my Toddler Activities Pinterest Board ...
I will actually DO these activities. This may not sound like a major resolution, but I spend far too much time gawking at what I can do with my girl and not enough, you know, doing these things that I gawk at. I imagine us covering our hands with washable paint or baking a fresh batch of gluten-free muffins in the kitchen. Sounds fun, right? It's pretty pointless if I haven’t done half of those projects. Time to make those pins realities.
Instead of buying her unnecessary amounts of clothes …
I will treat myself to a new things from time to time. I don't know if this is typical of most moms, but I've noticed I don’t buy things for myself as much as I used to. Pre-kid days, I had no problem dropping a pretty penny on new shoes, a dress here and there and all of the nail polishes and pretty beauty baubles I could find. Enter little girl, and now it’s as if I am forever trolling The Children’s Place website looking at cutesy items she doesn’t even need (just did that). I mean, the girl has more clothes than I’ve ever had, and I’m a bit envious of her shoe collection. While her clothes may be less expensive, it doesn't mean I shouldn't splurge on me once in awhile. In order to be a better mommy, I have to learn how to take care of myself.
I don’t expect these changes to happen overnight. And I’m sure I’ll make a lot of mistakes as I continue to trek through mommy hood. But hey, bumps in the road and learning how to maneuver around them add spice to life, right?