This past week, my social media feed was a buzz with the New Year goals and resolutions of my friends and family. Some were planning to eat healthier, exercise more, be more present, find better work/home balance, do yoga, travel more, etc.
And while I think that it is wonderful that the new year offers us the chance to reinvent ourselves and that we should always strive to be the best versions of ourselves, I also think that it is important to enjoy the journey and be satisfied with who I am every step along the way … Even when I am not the best version of myself.
This year, I vow to change absolutely nothing about me except the way I see and treat myself. This is my year to be kinder to myself … To show myself love and acceptance.
This is the year that I stop waging a war on myself in my own mind. I will not be paralyzed by the idea that I may not say something perfectly, or that people may not like me, or that my most comfortable shirt is not flattering. And, when those around me start putting themselves down, I will lift them up, rather than seeing it as an invitation to put myself down too.
I will finally tell that inner critic—the one who evokes mom guilt every time I try to show myself love—to shut the hell up. As an aside, this will also be the year that I call bullshit on the mom guilt. (I mean, seriously. If you even feel mom guilt, then you are a good freaking mom. Mom guilt can only be felt when we care about our children and their needs, wants, likes, etc. We feel mom guilt because we value our children and our status as their mom. So, let’s stop it.) Taking care of myself does not equate to not taking care of my children. Quite contrary; I take care of myself, so that I can take care of my children.
So, this is the year that I shout from the rooftops, that I am good enough.
Exactly as I am.
There will be good days. There will be challenging days. But I will no longer put my kids to bed only to replay and re-evaluate all the things that went wrong during the day. I will likely not start throwing Pinterest-worthy parties, or learn to hide kale in chicken nuggets, or sew my kids new clothes, or get my pre-baby body back, or cut down on screen time in my house. In fact, this will finally be the year that I accept that I may never do those things and stop wondering if I should.
My kids do not need the mom I can be, the mom I want to be, the mom I could be, or would be if….. They need the mom that I am today. And they need me to love me as they love me. And I need that too.
My kids need the imperfect mom who makes mistakes—big mistakes—because they, too, are imperfect. And they will make big mistakes. And that is okay. It is better than okay. It is human. It is necessary. It is growth.
And it is worthy of love and acceptance and all good things as it is.
And my kids need me to show them that they are more than their bad days. They are more than their flaws. They are more than their weaknesses. They are enough exactly as they are. And so am I.
So, to Hell with the traditional, status-quo, ‘be-a-better-mom-and-woman’ goals. To Hell with “new year, new me.”
Instead, cheers to the me that I am right now.
I am really looking forward to this year. I am going to be great. And, I am going to do great.
Exactly as I am.