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A New Year Resolution: Becoming a Present Mother

A new year brings all kind of promise. It is, after all, a clean slate. It’s a new time period to try something new, to start over. I always love this time of year, because it really allows me to reflect. I can reflect on what I’ve done and what I want to keep the same or to change.

A New Year Resolution: Becoming a Present Mother

When I was considering how 2017 went, there was a lot that I wanted to keep the same. I wanted to keep going on my career goals, keep my hobbies the same, and keep working on my writing

What I want more of or to change, was pretty significant as well. I realize that I have a tendency to get so caught up in the what ifs and the what’s nexts of life, that I do a disservice to myself and my family by not living in the moment. I’m a planner, so living in the moment is not something that comes naturally to me.

My therapist once asked me what I wanted my boys to remember of me. What I said is that I hope that they remember me as loving, kind, and fun. Notice I didn’t say that I wanted them to remember me always having everything planned. I don’t want them to remember me for being super organized and always questioning what comes next.

I want them to remember our spontaneous trips to Target for a random movie or treat. Our impromptu games and wrestling matches. I want them to remember that I was willing to put down the phone or look away from the TV for a hug or a story. The random dance parties in the living room while we laugh hysterically.

A New Year's Resolution: Becoming a Present Mother

So this year, I’m going to focus on being more in the moment. I’m going to stop planning so much and work on letting life happen on it’s own.

What happens when a toddler and a preschooler are free to just be themselves and let me in on the ride? No lists. No plans 24/7. This means letting messes happen and watching the cause and effect of decisions, instead of just trying to prevent or change them.

Part of becoming a more present mother is also going to mean unplugging more. It is so easy for me to get caught up in social media or the news. While it’s a great way to escape from your world for a short time, I can no longer let it be the sole way I try to relax. I can’t let myself get so engulfed in what I’m reading or responding to that I miss the funny things my kids say when they are playing with each other. Or make my family feel like they are competing with my phone for attention.

Instead, I need to find ways to unwind that can occur while being present in my own life. Whether this is attempting to go yoga while two small boys crawl all over me, or maybe knowing that a book is going to take me twice as long to finish as it used to.

The control freak part of me is a little anxious to see where this journey is going to take me. The flip side of that is that I am so excited to see what being more present is going to do to the relationship I have with my family. I can only hope that it will deepen the bonds I have with my husband and sons and will allow us to create some amazing memories along the way.

I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store!

What are some of your goals for the new year?
What do you do to be a present parent?

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