Sometimes the end of the year comes and I feel like I’ve concurred the world-other years it feels like I’ve been in a constant doggy paddle, barely keeping my head above water. Since becoming a mom I’ve noticed my usual wildly ambitious resolutions have kicked the bucket. If I’m being real-and I am, sometimes it’s a struggle just to get through each day with my headstrong toddler. I remember pre-mom me sitting down each year and making these carefully thought out, life changing resolutions. Some years I achieved all the goals I set, other years my resolutions came and went with the stroke of midnight. Since becoming a mom I honestly can’t say I’ve achieved one traditional resolution. But I can say, honestly, I’ve achieved more-and grown more as a person the past three years as a mother than ever before.
When my son was a baby I found myself making resolutions that were unachievable, or just not the reality of what I wanted my life to look like that year in the moment. Things change so fast when kids are young. Even month to month my life was different, our goals were constantly shifting. It’s hard to find your footing when the terrain is continually shifting. But that’s not a sign of not achieving goals, or not moving forward year to year. Looking back on those years I wish I’d been able to recognize the amazing growth and beauty in them. If I could go back I would celebrate the fact that I was still standing after everything around me had shifted. If motherhood has taught me nothing else it has taught me to recognize the difficulty and importance of ‘the little things’.
Motherhood is filled with a never ending to-do list filled with daily tasks and goals. Just when you’ve found your stride your child will grow, and you will be learning everything all over again. This can make it so hard to appreciate the things you’ve achieved over long periods of time. Throughout any given year I can point out times I’ve excelled as a mother, and times that I’ve failed. Motherhood is filled with ups and downs, it’s rarely as easy as setting a goal-and then achieving that goal. But I refuse to feel like a failure at the end of the year because ‘all I’ve done’ is keep my family alive and thriving-and relatively presentable to the public. I repeat, this year I kept my entire family alive and thriving, and you know what? That’s enough! It’s enough to do what I do every day as a mother. It’s enough the days I get up and pulled together, then execute a day full of play dates and domestic duties like some sort of mom/wife super hero. But more importantly it’s also enough the days I’m exhausted and stay in my pj’s all day, letting my son have a little extra iPad time so I can have an hour to myself to shower or cruise Facebook.
I am the mother of a three year old boy. He is amazing, smart, energetic, stubborn, and so exhausting in every way. I love seeing him grow each day but I’m not gonna lie, I’m tired. I’m tired at the end of the day, hell I’m tired at the beginning of the day! After a night spent convincing a toddler it’s still bedtime, 8am comes real fast. I’m done pretending what I do day to day isn’t an achievement. It is. So, here’s my list of the things you should be proud of achieving this year if you are a mom:
-Your kid lights up when you enter the room-before you start beating yourself up, last year this wouldn’t of been something I achieved. It took my son a while to get that I was coming back when I dropped him somewhere. He knew how to hold a grudge-I didn’t get a warm welcome upon arrival till he was at least 2. If your kid smiles when you enter a room-you are winning!
-You actually got a family photo this year-I won’t even go as far to say you were all smiling, or even looking. But if you got your entire family in one frame this year give yourself a pat on the back. A photographer recently caught a photo of my husband, myself, my two dogs, and my toddler all looking at the camera. I’m still convinced she’s some sort of wizard!
-Your kid ate something new-no not something healthy and new. Just getting your kid to try something new is an achievement in my book. It took my son a good year to try ice cream. Yup, the creamy sugary deliciousness of ice cream was greeted with screaming and crying for a year. I counted it as s serious win when he finally realized how delicious it was.
-You slept through the night-just once. Just once this year you went to bed at night, and didn’t wake up till the morning. Never in my life did I think this would be something worth celebrating at the end of the year-welcoming to parenting. Sorry to tell you this if I’m shattering some motherhood ideal, turns out the sleep issues don’t end with babies. My toddler has me up 2, sometimes 3 times a night-I’ll celebrate any amount of nights a mother slept through the night in any given year. Even if it was just one.
-You had something of your own this year-maybe you read a book, took a girls weekend, or just showered alone. If you had a moment for yourself this year celebrate it. One of my goals each year since I became a mother is to find time for me.
No none of these are going to make an awesome compilation video at the end of the year but you are still killing it. Life shifts, goals change. In the season of life in which your family is young, and growing each day can be a struggle. There are so many needs, and often time too little time to achieve them all. I know I feel like I’m failing in some way at least once a day. So, when things like the New Year roll around and force me to look back on my year as a whole, I tend to see my lack of amazing before and after footage as failure. When in reality, my day to day is a before and after. My son changes in weeks not years. My life evolves hour to hour, not month to month. This season of motherhood, of running a young growing household; this season will be one I miss most as I age and grow into times that may allow for grandiose new years resolutions once again. For now, I’m trying to celebrate the little things, the day to day, because all those little moments-all those days, that’s exactly what makes up a year.
Please share and comment if this touched you. You never know who needs to hear that the little things are enough!