Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Learning from my First Year as a Mother: New Years Resolutions

Every year, no matter what particular new year day we like to pick to ritualize, we find ourselves reflecting on the past and planning for the new start that will come in the next year. Usually, I'll admit, that time for me is in the fall. There is something about the start of the school year (even when you aren't in school), that makes me consider the year as being new, but this year the fall was too busy for my usual reflection and with a new baby on the horizon in 2013, I find myself thinking about these things on actual, regular new year's day.

When I think about the last year, however, I see a lot that was good and a lot that was not so good. All in all, it was a pretty normal year. In the context of the great scheme of my life, I've realized since my son was born that I am in the midst of what will be called the best years of my life. I will likely never be happier than I am right now as a stay at home mom with my child (one day soon, children) with me every day and even with all the hardship, I know that I will always look at these times fondly and will likely wish myself back in them once they are past. In other words, as bad as some days are, I know deep down that it doesn't get better than this. That said, I do seem to remember a lot more of the harder times of my first year experience as a mom of an infant and those memories drive me to reconsider what my second "first year" as a mom will look like, so this year I have resolved not so much to do anything differently, but to try to think of things differently.

This year I resolve:

1. To go to bed early and not look at the clock at night no matter how many times my baby or my three year old wakes me up.

2. To remember that there will be plenty of time to clean the house when both children are over a year old.

3. To accept that I may not be the best mom I can be all the time, but I can keep trying to do the best I can.

4. To not worry so much.

5. To just say how much I love my family whenever I am in doubt of what else to do. Even when my child is in meltdown mode and screaming the opposite, it can't help to remind him that I love him, right? Even when my new baby is screaming and inconsolable, s/he needs to hear that I love him/her regardless, right? I'm sure my husband could use that more than my crazy, sleep deprived crying fits I had last time . . .

6. To let go of any expectations I have of myself or my children to be anything than who they are in the moment. Sure, we are not perfect and sure we will not measure up to others from time to time, but we are who we are and we can love and be loved where we are.

7. To have fun for at least five minutes every day

8. To remember that a year only lasts twelve months, no more and no less. If it seems to be going slow, it's still only twelve months; if it's flying by, it's because it's only twelve months!

9. To forgive myself.

10. To perservere and breathe.

Thanks for reading,


Kristin Blank said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Shawna, I just read your post from March 2011 about your advocating no-cry sleep for your baby and wondered how your 3-year-old sleeps now. My 21-month-old still needs to be rocked to sleep and co-sleeps half the night. Sometimes I fall into the "I'm not training him to sleep trap". After reading you're post, I feel less worried and was just wondering how your now-older toddler sleeps

Kristin Blank said... [Reply to comment]

Sorry about the "you're" when I meant your, yikes.

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