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Guest Post: New Years Resolutions
I don’t usually do New Year’s resolutions, they often end up being promises I make to myself that I fail at, and that feels like a fairly negative start to the year. I’m trying to think of a way to turn this around and make sure it’s a more of a positive thing.
I’m going to turn 40 in 2017 and it continues to amaze me how my priorities change as I get older. Obviously I could promise that I’m going to stop eating entire packs of biscuits and that I’ll start going to the gym so that my jeans are less snug, but I know these are completely unrealistic goals that I will never meet.
I could decide to be more organised, I could buy a diary and actually write things in it so that I don’t double book myself and miss appointments. My 3 year old might actually make every hospital appointment on time and without a last minute panic as I realise at 9am that he has an appointment across the city at 9.30am. Again, in reality I know that this is an unrealistic achievement, as really this is just who I am, I’m always going to be the slightly disorganised mother.
Instead my resolution is going to be a more general one about positivity and allowing myself a little mental break now and again. The past few years have changed me, life events are bound to change us and the way we think. Having had 3 children with no issues, I then lost a baby due to Edward Syndrome, and during my next pregnancy my baby was diagnosed with a brain condition. My son is doing so much better than we expected him to, however it has taken its toll, the world no longer feels safe and I worry a lot, about everything.
Being a good parent often involves being a little bit selfish, you need to look after yourself if you are going to be able to look after everyone else. Therefore my New Year’s resolution is not going to be about bettering myself, I’m not going to try and change myself physically, after all taking care of yourself should also involve liking yourself as you are. Instead I am going to give myself the gift of some positivity.
My resolutions are going to be as follows:
Make time for myself
Home schooling 4 small boys doesn’t allow a lot of time on my own. I love being with them, but sometimes a peaceful coffee is good for my own mental health.
Turn off the news
This feels controversial in my own head, from my teenage years I read the broadsheets and listened to radio 4 (I had an English teacher who insisted upon it). I loved keeping up with what was going on in the world, now I feel overwhelmed by it and it adds to my worry. I can know what’s going on with the world without listening to the news several times a day.
I’m going to listen to music loudly in the kitchen and dance around with my children. Music is a wonderful thing and dancing is basically exercise, so it must release loads of endorphins!
I love my phone, I use it to take photos of my gorgeous kids, I share them on Instagram and it acts like a diary of my days. It’s a fantastic way for me to keep these memories and I often look back through them. However it’s also too easy for me to get lost scrolling through other people’s photos, which may add a little pressure on myself and switches me off to what is happening right in front of me.
Real life over Internet life
I’m going to see my friends more, social media can connect us to many people, but it can also cut us off. It can feel like we are keeping up with our friend’s lives, but in reality we’re seeing less of them. Social media cannot replace actually seeing friends, there’s nothing quite like a big hug and an hour putting the world to rights.
I’m already outside often, I love being outdoors and go to the woods several days a week with my boys. However there are days that I struggle and I just want to stay in my pyjamas and hide from the world. These are the days that I need to make an effort, the ones where I need to get outside. I’m going to push myself to get out at least once every day, even if it’s just to the park to hug a tree.
So, there are my resolutions, less about being self critical and more about self-care. How could you use the New Year to take better care of yourself? I’d love to hear your ideas.
Motherscuffer is a mother of 5 and home educator, her son has a brain condition and she shares her family's adventures on instagram.