Isn’t it refreshing, to start a new year with what feels like a clean slate? As we turn yet another page in our calendars, we are given the ability to reflect upon the events of the previous year and evaluate our reactions to these situations, to determine if, in the new year, there are changes we are willing to make.
I personally have never been a fan of this philosophy. I honestly believe that if there is anything within our lives that is need of change, that we should actively work to make those changes immediately, rather than wait until the start of a new year to do so. Yet, for me and I’m sure many others like me, it is so easy to become complacent, to accept our routine, even if it is flawed, and continue to make the same mistakes.
This year, I will be a better mother.
I would not consider this a resolution. I dislike the idea of resolutions, the very term, because it implies that this goal is ultimately something I am going to become bored with and give up on in a matter of days or months. Rather, I would consider this a life change. A necessity.
I would not consider myself a bad mother by any means. I love my children so deeply that I can feel the literal ache of my heart when they are upset, or sick. My children, while at times undeniably exhausting, also give me life. My children are my purpose. But there are days, engulfed in the mom guilt, that I find myself questioning my ability to parent, doubting if I am raising them correctly. There are days when I wonder if they will look back on their childhoods and say to themselves,
“I really wish she would have done this differently.”
So I vow, not only to myself, but to my children as well, to slow down. To wait. Dishes, laundry and housework can wait. These days, which may seem to be filled with the same routine, will soon turn in to years that can never be regained, moments sealed in time with our children that could possibly be missed if we don’t stop to experience them.
I vow to stop wishing away their childhoods for another moment of rest, for peace and quiet. I want to truly embrace every moment, to realize that these children that I have the blessing of raising are soon going to become adults, who will no longer need the constant, undivided attention of their mother. I will relish each snuggle, breathe in freshly bathed hair and nurse bodies back to health when they are sick. I will offer them guidance, encouragement and faith, teaching my children that forgiveness, while not always warranted, can sometimes be necessary.
I will teach my children to know the value of love, and love them so strongly that they will never have to question how much their presences mean in my life.
This year, and every year, I hope to be a better mother. One moment, one hour, one day at a time. I am working on a better me, which will make me a better mother..and I plan to stick with it.