It’s the end of January, which means that all of us have probably well and truly ditched our New Year’s resolutions by now. If not – congratulations! But if so, don’t be disappointed with yourself – it’s well and truly normal. Luckily there are ways to change your life to make it what you want to be all year round.
Remember That Good Enough Is Good Enough
As a parent it’s so easy to keep beating yourself up. Before you have kids there are so many things that you’re certain you’ll never do – your kids won’t spend any time in front of a screen, they won’t have any plastic toys, they’ll be perfectly behaved and never have tantrums – but then real life happens and all your perfectly made plans completely dissolve! Remember that some days will be harder than others and all you can do is your best. You might compare yourself negatively to other mothers that you see but they’ve probably also experienced the horror of a full scale toddler meltdown in the vegetable aisle at the grocery store too. Things will get easier and your kids will turn out just fine so long as you keep loving and supporting them.
Stay Fit And Healthy
If you want to feel good about yourself then it’s important to feel as though your body’s working as well as it possibly can do. You might not have time to go the gym regularly or even attend any fitness classes, but you should make sure that you walk as much as possible and stay active. If you have any time to yourself then why don’t you try out a twenty minute yoga video at home? Yoga With Adriene is a great YouTube channel and will leave you feeling relaxed and happy. If possible, try to make all your food from scratch as this will ensure that there aren’t too many nasty additives – but of course this isn’t always possible in your busy everyday life so cut yourself some slack. Make sure that your portion sizes aren’t too big – everything in moderation is a good way to eat yourself healthy.
Make Sure Your Relationship Is Good
After you have kids it’s easy to neglect your relationship – you might feel sometimes as though you’re more like co-parents and teammates in the everlasting quest to make your kid actually wear pants, instead of the close and loving couple that you were before you reproduced. Make sure that you spend plenty of time together to rejuvenate your relationship – hire babysitters so you can go out on date nights as often as you can, and make sure that you make an effort to dress up and look good for them. Shallow? Maybe, but it feels good to know that you’re making an effort for each other. Keep communicating with each other and remember that marriage counselling can be great as a preventative measure to stop things getting bad in your relationship – it doesn’t just have to be to heal it! If you think talking to a therapist would help, absolutely go for it.
Update Your Home
If you’re frustrated with your life, chances are you’re also frustrated with your home, but luckily there are plenty of things you can do to change that. Add new pillows and rugs to your living room to create splashes of colour, and make sure that you have a cozy throw on the back of the couch to curl up underneath on any cold winter nights. Declutter your home by going around with three different bags – one of things to keep, one of things to donate, and another of things to throw away. Remember that everything in your home should be either useful or beautiful, and ditch all the many things that you don’t need to keep around. Check out a website like Idealist Magazine for tips.
Change Your Job
If you aren’t happy with your job then it’s time to do something about it. A lot of women won’t apply for jobs that they think they might not be qualified for – whereas men with the same qualifications will embellish them and big themselves up and get the job. Do your best to feel confident and keep telling yourself that you can do anything that you set your mind on. Take on as much responsibility as you can at work while remaining flexible so you have plenty of experience to put on your resume.
Get Financially Aware
If you’ve never been particularly financially savvy then now is the time to change that. No matter how happy your marriage is, don’t let your partner do everything – it’s a good idea to be as informed as you can about your family finances. If you ever come into some money, use it to pay off debt rather than splashing out – and remember that investing in property is almost always the best way to make use of a windfall. Keep talking to your bank to work out which accounts are best for you and be aware at all times of approximately how much you have in your account. If you have problems with over spending, get out cash every week and spend that instead of using your card.
Remember You’re Still Yourself
After you have kids it’s so easy to lose yourself in the everyday trials and tribulations of caring for them – and that’s a pretty good way to end up feeling depressed and empty, and to create a few problems for yourself as your children grow up and start to need you less. Make sure that you have your own hobbies that are unrelated to the home – go to the gym and keep fit, and make sure your partner pulls his weight with childcare. Don’t let him ‘babysit’ the kids – they’re his children too and being a good father means taking care of them, not ‘babysitting’ them. Make sure that you see your friends and that you have conversations about world events, culture, fashion, art. Being a more varied person with plenty of interests will make your kids love and respect you even more when they’re older.