As parents, being an awesome mom or dad to our kids is constantly at the forefront of our minds.
"How can I make this dance recital?" "How can I make them feel special on their birthday?" "How can I make memories with them in this stage of life?"
At the center of all these thoughts and questions rests the apex of them all: "How can I be a better parent?"
The New Year is here, and you've probably found yourself wondering how you can love your kids and be present even more in 2024. But staring down the new year with big expectations for your 2024 self can feel intimidating, whether you made resolutions for yourself or not.
And that's what we're tackling today: the balance, as a parent, between giving yourself grace and setting resolutions for 2024 - so you can be the best parent for your kids.
Let's dive in.
The Guilt-Driven Goal
Here's a question:
As you develop goals for yourself in 2024, do you craft them because you wish you did better last year? Or because you love yourself and your family and want to grow?
Often, it's a mix of both. Each year, I can easily look back at the year before and point out each of my shortcomings, all the areas I wish I did better in.
But - when creating your New Year's resolutions (effectively your motivational compass for the rest of the year) - it helps to begin from a guiltless place.
Look back at 2023. Yes, you made mistakes - but we all have. Look at each of those mistakes dead in the eyes and allow it to exist. Refuse to let a guilt-driven goal come from it. Simply look at it, allow yourself to feel the mistake, and leave it where it was - whether it be January a year ago or December 2023.
Guilt might feel like a justified reaction, but at the end of the day, it's just another hurdle to being the amazing parent you are. The best parents make mistakes. Let that sink in.
SO - your year does not have to be another repeat of resolutions made, failed, and guilt abounding yet again. 2024 can be different! And you can incorporate mindful, real, grace-giving resolutions into your parenting journey with the guilt attached. I promise, it's possible;)
The Grace-Driven Goal
Unlike the guilt-driven goal, the grace-driven goal allows room for error. It can actually be accomplished (and that's the point of any of this right?). It's realistic - but once accomplished, worthy of pride. And as a parent, it's the kind of resolution that can guide your parenting journey without throwing you off the tracks.
The biggest detail about these goals? They start from a place of loving yourself.
Setting resolutions shouldn't be punishment for past mistakes. They should be a form of self-care - because you love yourself and your family, you want to grow.
And when your perspective shifts, resolutions suddenly sound exciting!
Think about it: when you set that resolution to work out every day and failed too many times to count, how did it make you feel? Frustration at yourself and dread for each new day you had to hit the gym?
But let's say you begin from a place of appreciating your body and wanting to take care of it. Your 2024 resolution becomes "improving fitness and take care of my body every day." One day, you might push yourself in the gym. Another, you might listen to your body and take a light swim instead. Another day, let's say you're sick or overwhelmed with stress - you take a rest day and stretch before bed. On each of these days, you still hit your goal. Because within that goal there is grace.
Crafting Your Resolution
So now that we've got that all smoothed out - it's time to set the tone for 2024 with a resolution or two. But first - a reminder:
Mama - you are the best parent for your children.
Mistakes and all. Messy hair, Adam Sandler outfit, haven't-showered-in-a-week mama - you are the perfect mom for your kids just the way you are.
Being a mom is no easy job, and you do it so well. You love your kids, and when that's the heart posture you start from, everything else will sort itself out.
So don't just give yourself grace, but be proud of yourself for a second. You've given up a lot of sleep and energy and alone time for your family and it hasn't gone unseen. You are an amazing mom! You always have been and you will be in 2024, no matter what goes wrong. So as you build your 2024 New Year's Resolutions, build them from that identity: a wonderful mama (that's you!)
New Year's Resolutions for Parents
Okay - so we're finally at the part you've waited for: the resolutions.
How do you incorporate them into your parenting journey?
Here are a few tips:
1. Make Resolutions as a Team
Hoping to nail down a few resolutions for 2024? Enlist your teammate to brainstorm together! Your husband knows you better than anyone else, and you can both encourage one another toward realistic goals in the new year. It's also helpful having a built-in accountability partner so help you stay on track.
2. Involve the Kids
Involving the kids in a family resolution can bring a lot of fun to a goal. As your kids are little, keep the goal simple. As they grow, you can help keep each other accountable (with grace). Make sure to start the conversation using growth language instead of pointing fingers or shaming anyone in your family for not "carrying their weight." And when your kids hit their goal each day, make sure they know how proud you are of them! Here are a few family-friendly resolution ideas for 2024:
1. Talk about what you are thankful for before bed every night
2. Wash hands after using the restroom every time
3. Brush teeth twice a day
4. Have family dinner at least twice a week
5. Do something kind every day
3. Ask Yourself "Who Do I Admire?"
If you're having trouble thinking of resolutions for yourself, think of the people in your life you admire. How do they live their lives? What do they do differently? This can a good starting point in finding the right resolution for you.
4. Shut Down Comparison
Be careful though - admiration is different than comparison. Make sure the people you admire are a source of inspiration, not of guilt. Comparing yourself to another mama who's doing "better" than you not only robs you of making your own progress, but it also disrespects the accomplishments of the other. Celebrate the people you admire and use them as inspiration, not jealousy.
5. Include the Details in Your Goal
Every goal needs details - it's the only way to accomplish them. What sounds better, "doing better working out" or "working out 4 times a week for at least 30 minutes"? Adding details to your goal will give you the roadmap to meeting it.
6. Adjust as Needed
Life changes! And a year is a long time. If stuff happens throughout the year, it's okay to adjust your goal to fit your season of life. There's no shame in pivoting.
7. What Motivates You?
Pay attention to what motivates you - and be careful to avoid unhealthy motivations. For instance, an unhealthy motivation of mine is "I want to impress people" (essentially people-pleasing). When I feel that motivation, I try to pause and reroute to a better motivation, like "I love making people feel loved" or "I love the feeling of taking care of myself."
8. Steer Away from Reward Regret
When you hit a goal or have a good day, there's no problem with rewarding yourself. Buuut - be intentional about your rewards and don't choose rewards that are contrary to your goal. For instance, if your goal is to eat healthier, don't make your reward a quart of ice cream. If your goal is to work out, don't make your reward a week of rest days. Rest from pursuing your goal should be separate from rewarding yourself for accomplishing your goal.
9. How Will You Celebrate?
At the end of 2024, how will you celebrate? A huge piece of New Year's Resolutions people forget is celebrating once they're accomplished! It's not wrong to want a celebration to look forward to. So as you craft your goal for 2024, think of a really fun way to celebrate when you accomplish it, whether it be a party, a date night out, a spa day, or a fun trip - celebrate! You deserve to:)
Here's to 2024...
We have a whole new year ahead of us - and personally, I can't wait! You're already a rockstar mama, don't forget that;) Here's to a new year of goals, growing, and celebrating!
Before you go, check out a few of our favorite winter baby products, perfect for life with your little love!
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