How to Make Reasonable New Year’s Resolutions as a New Parent

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profile picture of Mercedes R. Donis
March 2, 2017
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Image: Jecamean / The Bump

It’s hardly shocking that some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions are also the most commonly broken.

Personally, I’ve always treated my resolutions as projects to undertake.  So “exercising” meant adopting a specific regimen and losing X number of pounds, “eating healthy” meant learning certain recipes or incorporating a new ingredient, and “more crafts” became “finish wedding scrapbook before babies are born.” I believed that seeing my resolutions this way is helpful as they are specific, measurable (and sometimes rewardable!) goals.  As logical as it sounds, midway through the year or sooner, my steam would run out , leaving me with an assortment of half-finished projects that I guiltily pushed aside until next New Year’s.  This year, as a new mom to three-month old twins I’m reconsidering what my resoultions will mean to me.

I did my research while I was pregnant.  I read tons of parenting books, from attachment parenting to Ferberizing to making your own baby food.  I learned that _ as a new mom, there will always be a new project to tackle, and there will always be someone who seems to do it all _.  The idea inspires and scares me at the same time, but this year, instead of focusing on certain projects, I know I have to look at things in a new way.  Not only do I not have extra time and energy to waste on half-baked projects, but I am setting an example for my babies, no matter how young they are at the moment.  So this year, my Pinterest boards with hundreds of inspiring ideas may have to wait.  I must choose my endeavors wisely; I may only try one or two of the projects.  This year, I resolve to follow through with my ideas and undertakings.

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Of course, if my pregnancy and the first three months of mothering twins have taught me anything (and I think they’ve taught me a lot!), it’s that flexibility is the key to feeling successful and maintaining sanity.  I want to follow through with what I set out to do, but I won’t be guilted into continuing something that doesn’t work for my family and me.  So another resolution I will make is to allow myself the freedom of flexibility, whether it’s discarding a DIY project for the nursery, or adjusting my plans to breastfeed for a one year minimum.

I may not have an easy checklist of resolutions this year—it’s more about an outlook, an approach to life that started when my twins were born.  Although they may seem like opposites, this year I will strive to find the balance between flexibility and follow-through.

How will you make your resolutions this year?

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