New Year’s Eve hits different when you’re a mom. We may not be able to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve to party and watch the ball drop, but we are serious about keeping our New Year’s resolutions. Here are five new mom resolutions for the new year—and clutch advice to help you stick to those goals.
1. Be Present
Spending hours scrolling mindlessly through your social media is so last year. Be more present with the tiny people who need you and adore you. Put down your phone and play peekaboo, blow raspberries, talk and coo to your baby, and play games with the older kids. You will catch all sorts of firsts and milestones, as well as smiles and giggles.
Worried the electronic force is too strong? Allow yourself phone check-in points throughout the day, but only after you've spent quality time with your little one(s). Set a timer for each scrolling session to keep yourself from getting sucked into the Internet too deep. Also, make use of your phone's do-not-disturb feature to silence notifications so you won't get distracted.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough rest (is that even a thing?) is crucial for physical and mental health, especially when you're a new mom. But how? And when? Sleep when the baby sleeps, we're told. Easy to say but tough to do.
As the primary life source for a tiny human, the idea of getting 8 hours of sleep every night probably sounds like a crazy dream. (If you slept long enough to have dreams, that is.) When babies are little, it's important to go for quality over quantity. Create a space that's conducive to rest, just as you've done for your baby: Invest in blackout curtains; keep your room a comfortable temperature (60-67 is optimal); spritz sheets with lavender linen spray; and, most importantly, make your phone off-limits at least two hours before bedtime. Use that phone-free time to wind down—brew a cup of caffeine-free tea, catch up on a favorite book, or soak in the tub.
3. Leave the House Alone
It’s easy to turn into a mama kangaroo and keep that little one attached to you 24/7. But absence can make your mother’s heart grow fonder—and give you a chance to feel like a human again, even if it’s only for a couple of hours. One night a month (or whatever schedule works for your life), plan to slip on something pretty, head out with your partner or friends, and linger over dinner and drinks.
Book a sitter for a standing Saturday night once a month for the rest of the year. Or take turns with your partner so you can each go out with friends. Scheduling in advance will help you stick to your resolution, especially on those nights when you feel like crawling into your pajamas and collapsing onto the couch. (Don’t worry: You can do that all the other nights of the month.)
4. Shower Every Day
You know that amazing just-stepped-out-of-the-shower feeling of clean? The one you felt a few days ago? How amazing would life be if you could experience the renewing power of a hot shower every single day? (Answer: Pretty darn amazing.
Make your baby part of the act by pulling a bouncy seat into the bathroom or laying out a cushy baby blanket on the floor with a few toys. If baby starts to fuss, sing your baby's favorite songs to keep your little one entertained and scrub on.
5. Treat Yourself Right
Self-care. We hear it all the time for good reason: You need to love yourself well so you can love those around you well, including your tiny human. If you're going to keep one resolution this year, make it this one.
Expand your definition of self-care. Sure, it can mean indulging in candle-lit bubble baths and chocolate, but real self-care includes opting for carrot sticks instead of potato chips, going to sleep instead of staying up too late watching TV, or doing that 20-minute workout when you’d so much rather chill with a cup of coffee. Those are the little changes that will help you be the best mom and the best you all year long.