If you are a mom, you will understand it when I say this: the New Year is a relief and a little scary! Congratulations, fellow mom, because we’ve survived the winter break, the kids are back in daycare or school, and we hope to get a moment to catch our breaths. It’s just a few weeks until Valentine’s Day, it’s time to work on income taxes, and to prepare for all the usual spring events — i.e. St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, spring break travel or staycation, etc. These are the New Year Challenges for us Busy Moms.
Right after the hectic spring come those months of summer when you’re constantly brainstorming how to keep the kids busy. It seems like there is never a moment to finish your to-do list, much less get ahead. January is an important month to slow down for a week or two and to find a balance between your rockstar mom duties and your personal needs.
The alternative — which might look like allowing yourself to gain more weight, go to bed too late, get up early, and feel rundown — during a personal post-holiday slump is not going to work!
Kids Grow Up While Moms Feel Older
At the same time as you’re reevaluating your life like many adults do in the new year (and it’s also a new decade), you recognize subtle changes in your kids. Six months of growth and development means that they look older, can do more things independently than last year, and communicate with more sophistication. They actually evolve into their adult personalities little by little. These changes feel like they sneak up on you. Suddenly, you look in the mirror and see more gray hairs and lines on your face. You ask yourself.
How did I go from a perky twenty-something or confident thirty-something to a forty-something finishing up raising kids and feeling frazzled?
Or, if you are younger than me, you feel stressed out, but your skin and hair look better. We all share these concerns at some point. Then, we have to inhale deeply, exhale, and realize this is the normal process called life. These New Year Challenges for Busy Moms are normal.
What’s Different for 2020
The human race has survived twenty years of the new millennium. This decade will become an important chapter of your children’s lives. It will be a chance to take care of yourself and model for your kids how to find a work-life balance. The biggest piece of advice I can offer busy moms reading this blog is to slow down!
Take time to go through your planner or to-do list and find things to cross off either by doing them quickly or by decreasing your commitments. Add more time for relaxation, exercise, medical/personal care appointments, and having fun with your kids. You could easily burn out with too many social activities, school/civic commitments, and doing favors for friends and family.
If you are co-parenting with another adult, then try to divide up the duties more evenly. Your child really needs you this year, so be available, maintain open communication, and ensure that interactions aren’t always when you’re feeling overworked, in a rush, or exhausted. This pattern will stress children out, too, which is not your intention.
Don’t Look Back!
If you know the expression, “Let go of the past,” then you know it’s important for having a good year. Nothing you did last year or before that will make this year easier or more successful. When you wake up each day, you have a new opportunity to be the best mom you can be. You can meet the kids’ needs as your time allows. Then, at night, think about how to do your best tomorrow. 2020 is a year for personal success and balance! May the force be with you as you own these New Year Challenges for Busy Moms.