From ditching the guilt trip to putting unrealistic expectations in check, here are four resolutions from a recovering workaholic mom to balance career, family and sanity in the new year.
New year, new rules
Everyone loves the clean slate that comes with the start of a new year. While it's tempting to ring in yet another new year with promises of weight loss, getting more organized, or tackling some career milestone, this year it's all about my family!
Say goodbye to guilt trips
If I had a dollar for every minute I wasted on guilt, I’d be a very rich woman. I feel guilty if I’m in my home office working too long, instead of cutting myself some slack for creating my business around virtual offices and flexible hours, so I can spend more time with my kids. Some days I feel guilty for being too tired for a trip to the park with my kids, when I should be reveling in the snuggling that’s happening on the couch instead. What I’ve learned is that guilt is an enormous emotional drain and typically a complete waste of precious time. This year, I’m resolving to spend less time beating myself up with guilt trips and more time giving myself a little credit for finding a way to fit everything in.
Value my time
I have this pattern of overcommitting at work and spending way more time going above and beyond on projects than was probably ever expected. Of course, that's immediately followed by a guilt trip because I feel like I should have been spending those extra hours with my kids. What I wish I’d have realized sooner in my career is that my time has real value. It’s not just a never-ending to do list that has no boundaries — it’s an actual ticking clock of real time that belongs to me and I have a say in how I spend it. This year, I'm resolving to place more value on my time. All of that overcommitting used to just seem like an extra 30 minutes here, 40 minutes there… but I’ve realized now that those minutes add up to hours that I can never get back.
Make marriage a priority
Before we had kids, I was very conscientious of my husband’s needs and all of the little things I did that made him adore me. I’d give him physical attention, make his lunch for work, have dinner ready when he got home… all while maintaining my career and even finding time for pedicures and hair appointments and all the little things that make a newlywed wife look so put-together. Then, I gave birth to two beautiful boys who, frankly, completely own me. Now, I shower my kids with loads of affection, I go out of my way to show them how much I adore them and I downright obsess over their happiness. By the time I've tackled a long day of work and spent whatever energy I had left on my kids, my husband is lucky to get leftovers for dinner, a quick kiss before bed and let’s just say I spend more time in yoga pants than I do keeping up appearances. This year, I’m resolving to bump my marriage up higher on the priority totem pole!
Be good enough
Moms have a crazy way of outdoing themselves, even one-upping each other on the super-mom scale. It's no longer just about balancing work and home... it's about balancing work, being domestic goddesses, baking from scratch, crafting something spectacular and whatever else we think we have to live up to because Pinterest and Etsy remind us that somehow other moms are doing it, so we should be super human, too. This year I'm resolving to be satisfied with good enough. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to focusing on my family, I want to be awesome. But if that means just being good enough at everything else so I have time to accomplish that — so be it!
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