every year we are busy.
As mothers, the years can tend to blur into a haze of milestones, chores and to-do lists.
I encourage mothers to set aside some time, even if they’re doing the dishes, and reflect on their year, on the weeks and months that shaped it.
these 5 resolutions to grow your motherhood will be an encouraging and perhaps challenging way to get to know the answers to these questions.
How were you really?
how did you feel?
how did you speak?
were as patient as you wanted?
did you instruct?
were you kind?
did you create a comforting home?
did you start conversations?
did you listen?
I think we all ask ourselves these questions at some point, and many of us aren’t quite sure how to change the answers if we don’t like them.
I made these resolutions myself some years ago, and every year I think back on how much I have grown using these very habits in my life.
why should you set goals in your motherhood?
Motherhood, like any other important vocation, requires dedication, consistency self-honesty and growth.
while a little growth happens as we raise our children without too much effort from us, I believe that motherhood should be seen as a career as much as motherhood needs your attention in order to continue the growth over time until you are better than you when you started.
I believe this is one of the great advantages of having a large family.
when you have lots of children your ability to grow yourself increases, and your motherhood becomes finely tuned.
not perfect, no mother is, but better, the challenges make you take action.
the two things you are going to need to truly grow your motherhood is self-awareness and self-honesty.
these things are a skill in themselves.
And even if you think of yourself as a fairly honest and able person when it comes to self-assessment you still may be a little ways off when it comes to your mothering skills.
And I am not talking about how well dinners are prepped and how organised your kid’s sock drawers are.
I am talking about your ability to listen, to be available, to smile, to be patient, to be kind and to discipline.
I am talking of those skills and habits that create the atmosphere in your home, that create the memories, and your own words and demeanour that shape the speech and actions of your children.
with these 5 resolutions, you can become better, but also, the difficulty you have in putting these resolutions into place will tell you a lot about yourself as a mother.
is it nice?
is it neccasary?
1. TIME BLOCK YOUR DISTRACTIONS
we all have distractions in our day and they aren’t all bad.
even cleaning your home can be a distraction from motherhood if it overwhelms you every day, and becomes stressful and all-consuming.
you need to have time in your day when you are doing things, yes, but mentally you are present and available to your children.
Read this post on how to create an effective block schedule
read this post on how to set healthy behaviour boundaries in children to help you know how much time you really need to do this each day.
from a hobby to jobs that need to get done to enjoying some downtime with a tv show.
these aren’t bad.
but they can become bad in your motherhood if they are at the wrong timezone in your day.
thus, a distraction from being what you need to be for your kids.
if you suffer from having distractions in your day, especially when it comes to raising your kids, you need to be honest with the idea and get on top of the distractions you have.
If you are distracted you will fail at all other motherhood goals you set for yourself.
- identify your distractions.
2. decide if you will keep it/them.
3. identify times in your day that need to be distraction-free.
4. place your distraction into less important timeslots.
5. find ways to keep yourself accountable.
2. Choose action over reaction
once you have identified your distractions and created some kind of system in. your mind, in which you can know which times of day are distraction-free, you can make your next resolution or habit.
choosing action over reaction towards your kids.
reacting looks like, yelling, being short, angry and letting yourself have the reaction you feel toward the actions/actions, your children are giving you.
this is usually our normal go-to. we as humans are feelers, we desire to feel good and obviously dislike feeling bad.
when we do feel bad, we often look to the quickest and most painless fix possible
this can be yelling from across the room as we are busy, it can be leaving the area, or simply becoming angry and letting your house know you are not taking anyone off the bad behaviour from your children after hours of being patient and trying to tolerate it.
this is reacting.
what you want to choose instead is action.
the first time, every time.
hard yes, rewarding? much more.
action will actually affect the behaviour of your children in the long term, but reacting will not.
discipline, instruction and encouragement are actively instruction taking steps.
read this post for more on how to discipline
choosing action is no easy choice, especially if you are distracted, tired or busy.
this is why first, you do the best you can to remove distractions and make yourself available in time blocks for the training and encouragement of your children.
- discipline. to stop a behaviour with the same action each time. to be calm and thorough and not change the standard of behaviour expected if the child reacts to discipline badly.
- instruction. often used with discipline, instruction is the concise choice of words we use to elaborate our discipline. is not warnings, or chances to behave. the instruction is the reason we carry out the discipline in order for the instruction to be taken seriously and adapted as a behaviour in the home.
- encouragement. to encourage as a mother is to encourage after discipline and instruction, with kind words, (true, not flattery) as well as encouraging your children to work together, to see things from others’ point of view, to share, to help each other and to speak kindly to each other.
CHOOSE YOUR SPEECH
Being aware of your speech is crucial in motherhood.
how you speak in your home is how your children will speak to each other and to you.
constant yelling, being short, being impatient, huffing and not wanting to listen will rub off on your children
Two things that usually cause this.
Distraction and lack of patience with the behaviour of your children.
in order to actually be able to keep up the speech patterns in order for your children and family to adopt them you need to be in the long term removing distractions and fixing behaviour.
3. Committing to listening
to be able to listen is crucial as a mother.
listening to others makes them feel heard, important and respected.
listening also teaches you a lot of what you need to know about your children.
from the early years of garbled conversations to the teenage years of active listening to their problems, feelings and experiences.
listening is one of the most crucial parts of parenting.
listening is a skill.
these 5 new year’s resolutions to grow your motherhood aren’t all easy pen-to-paper resolutions to make your feel like a new start is exciting, they are feet on the ground, work to be done kind of resolutions.
one can act like one is listening and for a time it may work, until the one taking and confiding realises, and then you have just cut off a major connection point between mother and child.
now, don’t freak out and think that because listening is so crucial that you MUST listen every time a child comes to you.
no, there are boundaries you can put into place because we aren’t robots, we need time to recharge, in order to give 100%
the post on how to teach healthy behaviour boundaries in children is a post that can help you understand how to get this lifestyle from your children
Listening to your children play, and how they interact with each other is also an important part of your mothering.
you need to be aware of the tones, the words and the actions that create the relationships between your children.
bad behaviour should be corrected through action, and if you notice your children aren’t talking to each other with respectful tones and a lot of yelling and impatience, it could be a reflection of how you talk to them.
4. Read to your kids before bed.
Reading to your kids is an important part of motherhood.
Reading to them before bed is just a good habit any mother can have.
As part of a mother’s new year’s resolution if this isn’t already a part of your routine it should be.
5 reasons to read to your kids before bed.
- it helps your children relax and have a night of better quality sleep.
- it encourages quiet time before bed rather than chaos or screens right before bed.
- it reaches your, children, to listen, and to think of what they are listening to.
- you can start many conversations by reading books.
- it is a good habit to impart to our children as they get older, and feel that reading can be a relaxing and meaningful pastime.
reading to your children can take place at any time of the day.
Reading to them before bed is a way to end our day in control, to be able to talk to your children, and have a quiet moment with them even if the day was hectic and stressful.
Reading to your children at night takes a level of discipline that will benefit you as a mother.
this structured reading time doesn’t have to be long. 10 minutes is fine.
You do not need to read to your children individually. reading to them as a group is best.
You will find yourself some days, reading to them with the dishes in the sink and tired feet.
you will read to them with sore eyes and aching back.
but, if you don’t and you allow the day to take over, and you do not pause and take the time to stop and spend a few minutes with your children without the chaos before bed.
Then your days will drift together in an endless haze of things to get done.
as a mother, you need to be able to set aside time, to create time with your children, and learn to put aside other things.
this is a skill and one you will be forever grateful for.
5. Get up before your kids.
this is said often, by many.
but it is nonetheless true.
getting up before your children is crucial to getting ahead of them, and the day in your mind.
you don’t have to be up for hours and accomplish a lot.
30 minutes is enough.
try and make use of the quiet in a way that best suits your mind.
a quiet coffee, starting breakfast or getting your exercise in.
whatever is enough to get your brain ready for the day in a positive way.
feeling like you have to be up in order to start the day’s to-do list early, and not giving yourself time to be mentally ready for the day and the conversations you will have, the instruction you will give, the listening you will do on top of the to-do list will leave you feeling overwhelmed and easily defeated.
the morning time should be a time to get yourself ready mentally.
This can be accomplished with a physical task, but the idea of just getting tasks done shouldn’t be your aim.
being up before your children is a privilege and one that you can’t always give yourself.
when you have a stressful period of life, morning sickness, a new baby or an illness, and you can’t rise before your children, be prepared for less patience during the day, and to feel a lack of control compared to when you can wake before your kids.
I currently have an 11-week-old, and after almost 4 months of not waking before my kids, of the 5 new year resolutions to grow my motherhood this is the resolution I am most keen to restart this year.
I am low on patience, I am feeling out of control and just the physicality of not having enough time in the day to get the basic tasks done and spend time with my children.
starting is always the hardest, setting that alarm for early in the morning can seem like something that surely can not pay off.
but it does.
and so if you can, I encourage you to set that alarm and begin waking 30 minutes earlier.
these 5 resolutions are ones I practice myself, and ones that I have come to use, as my life changes, with new babies, busy schools years, and just the movement of life, we can become complacent with simple habits that can grow us as mothers in the right direction.
taking the time to remake these resolutions every year, and coming to create better ways of achieving them long-term is something that all mothers should invest their time and effort into.