5 Resolutions All Moms Need to Make For 2018

You want to know something? I’m not one of those people who makes a list of resolutions every year. I never vow to go to the gym 4-5 times per week, cut out gluten from my diet, or spend at least every other Sunday with family.

I just never believed in the idea of coming up with a list of things to feel guilty about if I wasn’t able to see it through. There is nothing more disappointing than a resolution that only makes it a couple of weeks before fizzling out.

I like to think of the new year, and the whole “resolutions” thing, as a time to reflect on myself as a person. What am I proud of this year? What do I need to change? I take a long, hard look at myself and try to figure out where there’s room for improvement. It takes the pressure out of resolutions, and allows me to meditate on myself, my growth, my personal journey.

My resolutions are always pretty vague and abstract. They’re small tweaks and adjustments I want to make in my life, mostly in the way I live my life, and I treat them as daily reminders. I don’t need to be perfect, I just need to know that these are the things that I would benefit from. These are the things that will get me closer to my “authentic” me. My true, uninhibited self.

So here it goes, Mamas… My list of resolutions for 2018. I do believe that although these are personal adjustments, they apply to all of us – as moms, we are so accustomed to taking care of everyone that we should take the time to focus on ourselves and not lose sight of who we are not just as moms, but as women, first and foremost.

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Little obstacles arise every single day, and they sometimes get the best of me. These “inconveniences” can be as silly as an overstuffed freezer that keeps collapsing when I open the door, or the fact that I haven’t done groceries in two weeks and have started running out of meal ideas.

This year, let’s learn to prioritize – put those “small things” on the back burner, and focus on what’s important. We will be welcoming a new addition into our family in a matter of weeks, and this is something I need to remember: I do not need to handle it all.Some things can wait. They will, whether I like it or not, and that’s okay. I can choose to be overwhelmed by this, or simply let it go. Choose option B. 

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I’ve been in many situations this year where I witnessed things that didn’t sit right with me. Many times I chose to stay quiet, and, all of the times I did, it made me physically unwell to keep this negativity inside of me. In 2018, I choose to voice my feelings, sometimes without filter. I choose to be that friend who will tell you what you need to hear (although you might not want to), and that person who doesn’t just nod if something feels wrong. I am a true believer that strong emotions should be released, not held on to.

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I’m a control freak – I like to be on top of my life, my household, my day to day activities. This makes it difficult sometimes to ask for help. What I’ve realized is that it is essential for my happiness, my sanity, to let my husband, and our families, take over sometimes. Besides, it is crucial for my husband to have his own tasks to “control” at home – this not only makes him feel present and accomplished, but also gives me some much needed breaks throughout the day. Breaks that I don’t realize I need until… aah. 

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I have no problem saying I’m a people pleaser. I’m proud of the fact that I always make the effort to be pleasant, no matter my mood, no matter how tough of a day I’ve been having. Why? Because people who don’t are my pet peeve. I am uncomfortable around those who switch moods like outfits. It’s not difficult to put on a smile and not make people feel like they did something to upset you.

However, I do think that putting on this “happy face” can sometimes become a burden. Feeling the need to attend every birthday party, every event, or play date you’re invited to, despite how you’re feeling, can take a toll on you emotionally and physically. I put my pregnant self through many things this year that, deep down, I knew I should’ve just politely declined. In 2018, I vow to do the things that truly make me happy.

Don’t feel obligated to put everyone else before yourself because you “have” to. You don’t. It’s okay to say no when you don’t want to do something – your family and friends will understand.

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Finally, whether it’s to speak my mind or allow myself to be quirky, I just want to be me. I want to stop worrying about what people think (because, really, who cares?) and leave every situation feeling like I was 100% myself. I want to always be myself, unapologetically. I’m sure this is, and will remain, a work in progress for most of us. But this is the direction I want to work towards: to live a brave, confident, and genuine life, always.

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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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