Resolving not to Resolve

Every year, 45% of American adults make one or more New Year’s resolutions. Only 8% of those people are successful in keeping their resolutions. The top resolutions probably won’t surprise you: weight loss, exercise and stopping to smoke. While most people break their New Year’s resolutions, it has been shown that making resolutions or goals (writing them down, telling someone, plastering them on Facebook, or blogging about them) will help you keep them.

Growing up, I would make resolutions. They were probably silly and I honestly don’t remember what they were, or if I kept any of them. In the past several years, I just haven’t made any. I figure, if I don’t make any, I won’t fail keeping them and end up in that 92%.

Recently, I read a blog (http://moneysavingmom.com/2012/01/10-weekly-goals-7.html) about keeping weekly goals. They are specific for that week and fit into categories.

Family/Mothering Goals

Personal Goals

Home Management Goals

Business Goals

I have started to make these weekly goals. I did great for the first two weeks of January, then we left for Orlando and it all went out the window. Time to get back on track. Under my personal goals, I split them into: Spiritual, Physical Activity and Me Time. I’ve also tried to keep my goals small. I tend to set big goals and there is no way I can accomplish 10 of them in one week.

I also added a monthly goal. January’s goal was to organize my organization. (Yes, a little crazy.) February’s goal (Well, there are two. I told you I’m not good at keeping them small.) is to take back our master bedroom (more on that later). The other goal is to get Fit in February. (Catchy, right?)

We’ll see how my resolutions . . . I mean goals are going six months down the line. For now, I’m taking the small steps and it’s working, fun and exciting.

I’m Someone’s Future

Recently, our family of six drove from Virginia to Orlando, Florida. My husband was attending a conference and we couldn’t let him escape to sunshine without us. We stopped part way down for the night at a hotel. The next morning at breakfast, an older man and his wife were getting up to return to their room. He came over with a smile and told us that we had “a wholesome family. It’s nice to see.”

While spending a day in the Magic Kingdom, we took a little rest and enjoyed some delicious frozen pineapple-orange drinks. A couple at a nearby table came over and asked if he could take our picture for us. He and his wife loved watching us enjoy being a family, and our yummy drinks.

The next day, we took a trip to Clearwater Beach, on the gulf. We enjoyed an amazing seafood feast before heading back to the car to get our beach gear. We passed a young couple who had a one year old little boy. They were both smiling. The wife stopped me and told me that she had just told her husband that we were her future. (Her husband stopped smiling. Probably because he had recounted our family members and realized we had four children.) She said we looked like the family she wanted to have.

Most often, people comment on the size of our family. It’s as if having four children is an anomaly. We get the smiles at our cute children, but you can see the slightly negative thoughts rushing through their minds. But within just a few days, we got three amazing compliments.

The comments caught me off guard and made me realize that others are almost always watching. Someone notices when I am a little too cross with my children in the grocery store, or when I forget to brush someone’s hair, or when I forget to brush my hair. They also notice when we care for each other, love each other and have fun with each other. It is a good reminder for me and for my family to act as if someone is always watching. What kind of mom and wife to I want to represent? What kind of family to I want people to think we are? I want us to be a wholesome, loving family that enjoys each other’s company. I want to be someone’s future.

“Mom, you’re famous!” And other titles I’ve been given.

“Mom, you’re famous!” Emaline declared from the back seat of the van last week. What did I do to receive this title? I blew a bubble with my bubble gum. To Emaline, who can’t seem to grasp how to even try this amazing trick, it made me famous.

“Mom! You look like a movie star!” (Elise) “No. Mom, you look like a rock star!” (Emaline) Both of these titles came one morning as we were rushing to get everyone loaded into the van to get to school and work. I was wearing jeans, a t-shirt, my leather jacket and sunglasses.

What title would you give yourself as a mom or as a woman? Would it include the words famous, movie star or rock star? Would you call yourself the best mom ever or #1 mom? Or would your titles be less flashy, maybe even heavy with judgement, guilt or regret? Would you question your parenting decisions and wonder what you might have done differently, better, spent more time on or less time on?

We are too judgemental about our own parenting/mothering skills. We feel guilty about going to work and not going to work, what we make (or take-out) for dinner, the “quality” time we spent with our children, our housekeeping skills, our role as a wife, our time with God and time being alone (Do we have the right to want to spend time alone?). We look at other mothers and think they have it all figured out. Did you ever stop to think that they might be thinking the same thing about you?

Our children don’t need us or want us to be perfect, not that we could be. They want us. That’s it. They want us to be their mom, and that looks different for everyone. They want us to blow bubbles with our bubble gum and dress like rock stars. So, grab that leather jacket and buy some bubble gum. Be the famous mom you are meant to be!