How to Be a Better Mom in 2016

Naturally, the first week of a new year is a time where a lot of people look at their lives and set goals they want to meet. For all the “New Year, New You” articles you’ll find out there, you’ll probably find just as many saying that the resolve brought on by New Year’s resolutions only lasts a week, at best.

What I’ll say is this — as a mom (especially if you have little babies who still wake you up all night), you probably didn’t stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year and you may not actually know that it’s now January of 2016. So, I’ll start by saying — Hi, Happy New Year! It’s 2016! Let’s be better moms this year than we were last year!

That being said, here are some 2016 goals I’m setting for myself that I plan to focus on this year:

Healthy Mommy, Healthy Babies

Birthing and raising babies can suck you into a sort of cyclone of selflessness. You are thrust into a 24-hour caretaking position for this angelic, soft, chubby cuddle bear and the thought of doing anything for yourself besides SLEEP is laughable.

When you get out of your old routine and spend all your time caring for your children, it’s easy to let the healthy eating go. You’re tired. You’re hungry. You really want that cookie. A donut would make everything better. I understand. We all understand. It’s hard. But, making healthy food choices is so beneficial to you and your family.

When I’m eating unhealthy and not taking care of myself, I’m a worse mom. For sure. I’m slower. I’m tired. I feel gross. When I’m taking care of my body, I have energy and I’m happier and so much better at playing the same fairy scenario ten thousand times or helping my five-year-old practice dribbling for basketball.

In 2016, let’s make an effort to make better choices with food and exercise, so we have more energy and strength to be the horsey again. And again. And again.

Slow Down

As SmartMoms, it’s easy to get swept up in all these good intentions. We want our children to be nurtured and have fun and eat healthy foods, and get enough social time. All of these #momgoals can be overwhelming and I don’t know about you, but I find that when I overwhelm myself with tasks “for the family,” my home feels chaotic and tense.

This year, let’s sip hot chocolate with our older kids and ask them about what they want to be when they grow up. Ask them to tell you their dreams in detail. Hold your baby out in front of you and try to make her copy your facial expressions. If you get too caught up in making sure your baseboards are clean, you’re going to miss out on the magic of childhood that passes so quickly. Slow down.

Give Your Phone a Spot

We have become so phone-dependent, it’s almost not even worth suggesting we look at our phones less this year. They go everywhere with us, as we humans are pretty much constantly connected. I will say, stare at the freckle on your son’s cheek instead of your Facebook Feed. But, in a day’s time, you’ll probably do a lot of both.

So, my suggestion is to give your phone a spot. In 2016, most of us don’t have house phones anymore. We use our cell for everything. Sometimes I wonder what my 5-year-old would do in an emergency. She knows how to dial 911, but what if she couldn’t’ find my phone? What if my phone was dead?

In 2016, I want my phone to have a spot — a dish — where it can be plugged in, charging, where my kids know to find it. Having my phone in a designated spot will naturally help me look at it less and become fully immersed in the puzzle we are doing or the block tower we are building.

Any mom will tell you, mothering a tiny human is just as spectacular as it is hard. There’s the cliché of the mom on the couch with the TV on, eating Bon Bons (whatever Bons Bons are?) And, I’m sure there are scores of moms out there who have adopted that mothering…style. But, if you’re reading this article, you’re a SmartMom and while you could take the road of Bon Bons and TV as a babysitter, you are trying your best to do this mothering thing WELL.

Doing motherhood well is an all-encompassing, thrilling, exhausting, heartwarming, never-ending, rewarding CHALLENGE. And, we could all improve at it. Living a healthier lifestyle, slowing down, and looking at your phone less is a good place to start!

Get more great advice and meet other moms. Download the SmartMom app today.

Originally published at smartmom.co on January 4, 2016.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.