Setting Unrealistic Resolutions as a Working Mom
Yesterday was a snow day here in New England. When I woke up to that white wonderland, I had three thoughts:
Oh good, I can write that New Year’s Resolution blog I’ve been dying to get done.
Oh God, I am stuck in a house with four dogs and a toddler who will undoubtedly be bored out of their mind by 10:00 a.m.
Thank God my husband is home to endure the torture with me. (I am an awful wife.)
As I sat there at 12:30 in the afternoon, I felt a tad accomplished. I was able to convince a wild 3-year-old to wash her hands after she attempted to use the potty but somehow peed on her stuffed bunny instead. (Mind you, not until after a battle that should be documented in history books.) I was able to trick my chihuahua into taking his medication. Yet another tribulation in my book of horrors. (I outsmarted the little monster with turkey sausage. Katie 1. Pepino 0.) I have watched Moana seven times consecutively without harming myself and I successfully made mac and cheese from a box. Look at me go!
2018, here you are. In all your glory. What will you have in store and what resolutions does one make? In this moment, I am thinking my resolution should be to learn the song that the giant crab sings in Moana as well as my daughter. It’s shocking, really, how that shiny crab can be so damn captivating. I know you are already singing the song in your head… resist the urge. Resist.
As a mother, wife, and wrangler of what seems like 65 dogs, I think my resolution in my personal life is to just keep my head above water. Maybe it should be laundry-related. Yes! My resolution is to not drown in laundry! Does that count? I can of course rely on the go-to resolutions that seem very popular. Lose 20 pounds. Exercise every day. Join a yoga class. Eat more kale. Hah! I am laughing too.
The movie Bad Moms has been playing on HBO lately. Although controversial to like it, I am not going to lie. I get some serious laugh-out-loud moments out of it. I’ve heard through the grapevine that I should be insulted by this movie as a working mom. Guess what? I am not. The only thing offensive about the movie is how the main character lives in this gorgeous four-bedroom craftsman in what I’m assuming is an upper-class California suburb, all while working a part-time gig at a coffee company. Kind of like these newly wed couples on House Hunters who have a 2.3-million-dollar budget and their occupations are butterfly catcher and paper snowflake maker.
"The only thing offensive about the movie is how the main character lives in this gorgeous four-bedroom craftsman in what I’m assuming is an upper-class California suburb, all while working a part-time gig at a coffee company." -Katie Ehlers on Bad Moms
Anyway, the basis of the Bad Moms movie is that moms aren’t perfect and that’s ok. The pressures that we as a society put on ourselves to be these Pinterest-perfect robots is insane. Listen, I am not saying it’s ok to just throw in the towel and actually be a bad mom. You have created these little lunatics and it’s your job to love them, care for them, and attempt to mold them into hopefully responsible, productive, and kind adults. I slid the “kind” in because there is just too much ugly in our world right now. So do me a favor and teach your kid to be nice. Polite would be awesome, too. But I’ll take what I can get.
My point is, you are not perfect. No one is. As a mom, whether it be stay-at-home or working-out-of-the-home, you have a lot on your plate. So set realistic resolutions for yourself. They can be selfish (in fact, I encourage at least one selfish resolution) and productive.
Here are my actual resolutions this year.
1. Be nicer to our dogs.
I love our dogs. We all do. They give us undying love and loyalty. Unfortunately, though, they sometimes take a seat on the back burner when our lives get crazy. They are, of course, loved and cared for. However, I want to devote more time to them. Each of them individually. I want to make a conscious effort to not get frustrated with them if they are looking for attention when I just want five seconds to myself. I will also make sure not to get angry with them if they have chewed something they shouldn’t have. As in all reality, if I had been paying more attention to them, they wouldn’t have went looking for something else to entertain them.
2. Write one or two blog posts every four weeks.
I enjoy writing so it’s not a chore to do so. It’s more of a challenge to just make myself dedicate 45 minutes to just sitting down and writing. It is my creative outlet and it really should be a personal and professional priority. (P.S. If you're a small business owner, you should consider making blogging your resolution, too! Read why in our 5 Small Business Marketing Resolutions For 2018.)
3. Drink more water.
I do believe that a healthier version of you will allow you to keep up with the craziness of what we call life. I completely understand that running five miles every day isn’t realistic for everyone. (Don’t listen to Jamie, she’s a freak of nature.) However, I DO believe that everyone can make healthier nutritional choices and add some sort of physical activity to their day. Baby steps work. I am not nearly as healthy, or active as my work-wife. However, I do have a relatively healthy diet, and workout pretty regularly. Water consumption is an issue for me, for whatever reason. So, that’s my baby step.
4. Do not overfill my plate!
I am notorious for trying to stuff 100 things into eight hours. It is stress-inducing and really not productive. I want to be more organized in my planning and have achievable to-do lists and itineraries.
5. Treat myself to one pedicure or massage at least once every 60 days (see … selfish!).
Listen, I am no professional resolution-setter or achiever. I am just someone who has learned from some mistakes and have taught myself to take care of me so that I can in turn take care of my family, too. If I burn myself out, I am not useful to anyone, personally or professionally.
It’s really very easy to let yourself be completely consumed and overwhelmed by a full workload, and then a toddler asking me why her purple Lego is in fact purple one hundred times over. I totally get it. Set achievable resolutions, so you don’t set yourself up to fail. At the end of the day, there is a real possibility that you just might not successfully end this year by sticking to your resolution(s) 100%. The world will not end. Your life will not shatter. But give it your best shot. You got this.
Ok working warriors, set those resolutions. Be realistic. Treat yo’self. In the words of the great Maui the demigod, “You’re Welcome” (in song form).