The Mommy New Year's Resolution

Why one mother's New Year's resolution includes taking care of her needs, one day at a time.

Betty’s New Year, New You Series

The Mommy Resolution You Need to Make

Putting yourself back on the list

-Michelle Miller,

Betty’s New Year, New You Series is dedicated to making 2009 your best year ever. Find more articles in the series below.

overworked motherThink about what you’ve done so far this morning.

Did you make sure you got your children up this morning? Did you get them dressed? Fed them a nutritious breakfast? Did you make sure their teeth were brushed? Did you find something fun for them to do, making sure they’re entertained and happy?

On school days, do you pack the lunches, get out the boots and mittens and hats and coats? Do you make sure that all the homework was done, permission slips signed, and paperwork dealt with in the backpack?

Before they go to bed tonight, will you read to them? Play with them? Make sure they’ve eaten a well-balanced diet, as much as a struggle as that might be? Were baths taken, teeth brushed again, all loveys accounted for and tucked in? Will you help with homework? Will you cook a dinner you know they’ll like?

Now let’s think about what we’ve done for ourselves, shall we?

Huh. That was a short list, wasn’t it?

If we’re lucky, we took a shower. Hopefully, we got teeth brushed, and maybe we threw on a little makeup. I skipped breakfast because I didn’t have time. How about you?

When was the last time you read a grownup book for fun? Was the dinner something you relished, or was it something that you knew your kids would eat? Other than rushing from place to place playing the chauffeur and running errands, did you get anything done on your list of things you want to do?

I know I didn’t.

Then I look around the house, and I look at me. I’m frazzled, and I’m tired. And I can feel that I’m starting to get cranky. Raise your hand if you make a great parent when you’re tired, frazzled and cranky. Me neither.

I think I’m starting to find the solution, and I hope you’ll join with me. Today, I’m going to do something for myself. Maybe I’ll paint my nails. Maybe I’ll have a glass of wine and take a bath. Perhaps I’ll sit down when the wee ones are playing and read a chapter — just one — from a book I’ve been waiting awhile to read.

It doesn’t have to be a big thing, and it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive. The important thing is that I’ve done it for me. And I’ll feel happier and more relaxed afterwards. Then I can go back to tending the wee ones and running the household as I normally do. And I’m a better mom for having done so.

The New Year is here. It’s tradition to make a resolution, and I know what mine will be. Every day, I am going to do something for myself. Just one little thing. And more importantly, I will not feel guilty for doing so. I’m hoping that this is a resolution that will be far easier to keep than the more typical one of losing weight. I know it will definitely be more fun.

So who’s with me?

Michelle is your stereotypical mom who is overcommitted and understaffed. She spends most of her time keeping all her balls in the air and everyone in her family happy. This year, that’s going to include herself! Read more at her blog, Honest and Truly!

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