Infant - Childbirth
Author: TLN

7 Real-Mom Resolutions for the New Year

New year, fresh start! Here are some of our hopes and plans for 2020

The new year is here! Whether you’re tossing confetti and toasting with champagne or cozying up on the couch and sipping some tea, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating a fresh start. Let’s kick off this new decade with some major mom-related resolutions! Of course, not everything will go perfectly. We’ll have crazy days, sleepless nights and plenty of setbacks. But with a positive mindset and a strong support system, anything is possible, right? Here are some of our New Year’s resolutions and how we plan to make them happen.

#1 Make “me time” a priority.

As moms, we sacrifice our sleep, time, body and so much more for our families. But if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of others. This year, we promise to carve out time for our favorite activities. (And we are not going to consider taking care of basic needs—like eating, sleeping and showering—as “me time,” those are non-negotiable.) Whether it’s five minutes or a whole afternoon, that time to reconnect with ourselves is happening.

Make it happen: Escape to a yoga class, sink into a warm bath or grab coffee with a friend, even if you need to hire a sitter or swap time with another mom. Daily, weekly, monthly, whatever you choose—write it in your calendar like an important appointment (because it is important!).

#2 Say “no” more often.

It’s all too easy to say yes to every opportunity, event or favor. And when we do that, our calendars fill up. That “white space” we need to rest and regroup disappears, and then what started as something fun or fulfilling becomes a total drag. This year, we will be more discerning with our time and energy. We will set boundaries. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we will. 

Make it happen: “No” is a complete sentence. Before you say yes or sign up for something, weigh that decision carefully against your priorities. Protect that white space in your calendar or on your to-do list and reserve it exclusively for downtime. As Brene Brown says, “choose discomfort over resentment.”  That means you’ll be happier if you say “no,” even if it is uncomfortable in the moment.

#3 Be present.

Real talk: We won’t enjoy every second of motherhood (thanks for the tip, random stranger in the Target check-out line). It’s just not possible! But whoever said “the days are long but the years are short” is right. Instead of ruminating on the past or getting anxious about the future or totally checking out because we’re just plain exhausted. This year, we will look for those little moments of joy that anchor us in the present.

Make it happen: Put down your phone (except to maybe snap a quick photo of a precious moment) and step away from the screens. Set aside an official technology-free time or space if that’s helpful. Take a breath, look around and pause to savor this time a little longer—even when it doesn’t always feel so magical.  

#4 Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Every mom needs a village. If you’re feeling alone or overwhelmed, the new year is a perfect time to tap into the power of a support system.  It’s scary to put ourselves out there. It’s hard to admit we need help. But we are not weak in doing so—it’s actually a sign of strength and courage. None of us can go through life on our own, especially as a mom. And remember, people want to help. People want to connect. Let them in.

Make it happen: Start by bringing to mind all of the people who are on your side: family, friends, neighbors, local moms’ groups, babysitters, partners, colleagues, doctors, therapists and so many others. Step out of your comfort zone. Reach out to one person, then another.

#5 Advocate for yourself.

We advocate for our babies, whether it’s at the pediatrician, at daycare or our mother-in-law’s house. So why is it so tough to stand up for what we need (and deserve)? This year, if we need answers or a clean, private place to pump or a break, we will speak up. We will not ignore our needs and we will not apologize unnecessarily.

Make it happen: When you feel uncomfortable or unsure, do a gut check and find the root of the issue. What do you need right now? Who do you need to talk to? If you’re nervous to speak up, think about what you’d tell a friend to do in your situation. Encourage yourself in the same way.

#6 Move your body.

The quintessential resolution: more exercise. We often feel like our days are already too full (and we’re just plain tired), so working out kind of feels like an impossible task. But when we do it, those endorphins are incredible. We feel strong and capable and on fire. And talk about stress relief! This year, we’re committing to purposefully moving our bodies. We will sweat more often—and smile more often too.

Make it happen: What works best for you? Sneak in short sessions at home (anything from YouTube yoga to kitchen dance parties). Sign up for a weekly fitness class or enlist the help of a personal trainer. Or strap the baby in the stroller and step outside into fresh air. Find a way of moving that feels good—that you actually look forward to—and make it a habit by choosing a specific time for it.

#7 Achieve your breastfeeding goals.

We are each on a unique breastfeeding journey, and as a part of that, we each have our own goals. Maybe it’s exclusively breastfeeding, or giving one bottle of breast milk a day. Maybe it’s breastfeeding for six weeks or six months or one year. This year, we will move toward our goal, taking it one day (or one nursing/pumping session) at a time. And if things change, if that goal just isn’t going to happen, we promise to give ourselves grace and focus on all the wonderful things we give our little ones.

Make it happen: Round up the supplies and support you need to achieve your goal. If you’re expecting, create a breastfeeding plan and talk to your doctor about your post-delivery wishes. Select a breast pump (take our quiz to zero in on your best match), and connect with a board-certified breastfeeding expert via The Lactation Network. Be prepared for your workdays with a pumping schedule and a stocked pump bag.

How will you own your role as a mom in 2020? We’d love to hear what you have planned for the coming year. Remember that whole asking-for-help resolution? Contact our team at The Lactation Network and tell us how we can help make your New Year’s resolutions a reality.