By Melissa Stefanec
For the past few years, I’ve dedicated my January column to “Mommy’s resolutions.” I wasn’t always one for New Year’s resolutions, but being a parent changed my views on the matter. When I became a role model to two of my favorite people in the world, I started putting more emphasis on self-betterment.
Most of my past resolutions centered on being a better mother. However, going the distance for their kids isn’t something most moms have trouble with. If anything, most moms fail to go the extra mile for themselves.
There are lots of ways I can be a better mom, but trying to be a better Melissa is just as important. Being a better me means being a better and happier mom. So, this year, the resolutions are just for me. Focusing on my mental and physical health will make me a better parent. It’s that simple.
So, whether the tasks (or results) are big or small, here is a list of my resolutions. Maybe by sharing my resolutions I will encourage other parents to take care of themselves in 2020.
1. Plan (way) ahead for date nights with the hubby
My relationship with my partner is the most important relationship in my kids’ lives. Date nights don’t have to be fancy. It could be as easy as making our favorite snack, opening a bottle of wine and listening to one of our favorite albums. 2020 deserves more couple time.
2. Plan (way) ahead for time with friends
My friends are some of the most important people in my life. Sometimes, we are good about getting out together. Other times, we are not. I resolve to ask for more of my friends’ time. I hope they don’t mind.
3. Spend less time on social media
I’m pretty good about this, but I know I could do better. I’m going set a timer and give myself 15 minutes once a day. Life is too valuable to give to a newsfeed.
4. Unsubscribe to three mass emails per day
I actually do this one every year, but it’s a good one. Less time on junk mail means more time in bubble baths.
5. Read at least six books in 2020
This may seem like a low bar to a lot of folks, but for a busy mom, it actually seems achievable. I’m a happier, quicker witted and more empathetic person when I read. It’s too important to skip.
6. Exercise in the morning, even if it’s in my own living room
I’m actually good about making it to the gym in the evenings, but people like to schedule events during that time. Whether it’s a chorus concert, Lego club or a work event, my evening calendar tends to fill up. No one schedules last-minute meetings or school clubs at 6 a.m.
7. Take a couple of vacation days for me
In 2019 I took a mini vacation with two of my dearest friends. We didn’t bring the kids. We didn’t bring our partners. It was amazing. It was everything we needed. 2020 needs another mom-cation.
8. Buy less stuff
It’s not just the time of year that has my thinking about this; I’m becoming very anti-stuff. Stuff makes for unpacking, storing, cleaning, organizing and other labor-intensive activities. Less stuff means less labor.
9. Listen to my body
I’m pretty good about going to the doctor, but I’m not so good at stopping when my brain says, “enough.” I’m also not good about resting when I’m worn out or coming down with a cold. I drive myself into the ground. It’s not fun for anyone. I need to stop. So, I need to start listening to my body more and then carry on to resolution No. 10.
10. Schedule down time
I have a calendar where I maintain a schedule. I get reminders about those events. When my calendar starts to fill up and stress me out, I need to put time on it where I can do nothing. It will be rewarding to get an event reminder for “have a glass of wine and sit on your duff while petting the cat.”