We’re almost upon a new year—and, moms, we need to talk. When we think of New Year’s resolutions, we list things like losing the baby weight, eating healthier, or at least stop eating Cheetos while binging "Pretty Little Liars." Reading a book. But what if we made some real resolutions? Ones that will enrich our lives and maybe even take back the person we used to be, before kids and stubborn belly fat got in the way?
Here are eight things we all need to stop doing in 2018:
1. Apologizing all the damn time.
Why do we, as women, apologize so much? The other day, my husband and I were at a restaurant and we found a hair in one of our dishes. And I walked up to the counter and said, “Sorry, I actually found a hair in this.” Why? Why the need to apologize? I'm not the one that put the hair there! Saying you’re sorry is cool. But there is a time and place, you know? Learn the difference and stand up for yourself.
2. Saying yes to everything.
We’re so bad at this, aren’t we? Staying up until 2 a.m. putting together Pinterest-worthy reindeer-inspired all-natural applesauce cups for a classroom of 25—because shoot, you felt that pressure to say yes because that’s what all the other parents were doing in the pickup line. You don’t even like Pinterest projects. Start saying no to that shit. Your children will survive their upbringing, even if they can’t be in three different sports or have that cell phone all the other kids have. If you really don’t want to agree to something, speak up. Your time, energy and money are valuable, too.
3. Putting your kids first.
So many of us confuse this with how much we love our children. We will go to the ends of the earth for them, but that love isn’t the same as placing your children above everything else. It doesn’t mean they aren’t a priority, but they shouldn’t be on the pedestal above your marriage or your own happiness. This year, resolve to put your spouse or partner first, and your kids second. It’s good for them to not always think they’re the center of the universe, amiright?
Life runs so much smoother when we can delegate things.
4. Putting yourself last.
As someone who loves to read more than anything in the world, it pains me when other women say to me, “Oh I love reading. But with the kids and my husband, I don’t have time anymore.” Then, of course, I think I’m a total jerk who ignores her kid in favor of "Outlander." (See #3.) Here’s the thing: Even when the work isn’t done (because it’s never going to be done), it’s still OK to sit back and read that book for awhile. It’s OK to do something just for you and in fact, you should be doing something for yourself every day. Repeat after me: You are a mom, not a martyr.
5. Letting the kids hang out in the bathroom with you while you poop.
This is your time, dammit. Shut the door and lock it. Then read #4 again.
6. Defining the quality of our life by social media.
Social media is great for moms. Sometimes, that’s the only way we can socialize during the days when we’re at work or at home with the kids. But the very thing we think is fulfilling us can also be our downfall. Chatting with a friend on Messenger is great, but it can’t replace face-to-face time over a cup of coffee. This year, commit to rekindling those friendships in real life, or go outside your comfort zone and find some other mom friends in your area to connect with. I know, I know: I’m probably one of the few who actually enjoys talking on the phone. Sheesh.
7. Thinking you’re the only one that can do it.
How many times have we heard from our friends “I know my husband can do the laundry (or dishes, or take the kid to the birthday party), but it’s just easier if I do it"? Stop trying to do it all. Enlist your spouse or partner to help or teach them how (if they really are clueless). Find a babysitter or fellow mom friend you trust. Order takeout. Life runs so much smoother when we can delegate things.
How you parent. How clean—or messy—your house is compared to your friend’s. Wondering if you’re stacking up to how you think you should be, based on those around you, who are so obviously doing it better than you. When I see moms with four kids who always have their makeup done, hair that is actually styled and they're showing up on time, I start wondering: What’s wrong with me that I can’t do that with my one kid? Here’s what you can focus on: You’re a damn good mom. Most of us are hot messes anyway. Some just cover it up better than others.