We'll give it to you straight: we are NOT setting lofty goals in 2021. In fact, quite the opposite. In 2021, we are chilling out, because everyone we know has been burning the candle at both ends since the coronavirus pandemic began, and while it's nice to have goals to work toward, it's not fair to demand even more from our already overworked selves. So in 2021 we're lowering expectations. In 2021 we are celebrating slowing down. In 2021, we are underachieving, and we're gonna love it.
We don't have to know you personally to know you've done the work of five people this year, mom. We bet you've been mama, personal chef, teacher, live-in maid, attentive spouse, and probably all that while working full-time. It's a story that's been reported on over and over again. And again, and again, and again.
Let's make our New Year's resolutions about self-acceptance. Let's make 2021's mantra "it's fine" and let's make this the year we give ourselves a break. Here's how we're going about it.
New Year's Resolution #1: I will not compare myself to other moms
Ahhhh, social media. Making it easy to feel bad about yourself in comparison to your peers since a certain Harvard dropout invented a website comparing the looks of women college students. Barf. Now, everyone and their sister is carefully curating their social media presence to look the cleanest, the most beautiful, the most happy, the most fulfilled, even when it's not real life - what the New York Times calls the "social media performance of parenthood." Well, we're not falling for it in 2021.
No one loves your kids the way you do. Someone's house is always going to be cleaner, someone's toddler is always going to eat more vegetables, someone's screen time is always going to be better managed, and none of that is a judgment on your ability or skill as a parent. In 2021 we will stand strong against the siren song of comparison and know that we are the moms our kids want and need, we are *their* best, and that's all that matters.
And speaking of being the best...
New Year's Resolution #2: *MY* best is good enough, and even *NOT* my best is good enough
No one is ALWAYS at their best, especially parents. No one is 100% awesome at their job 100% of the time, and 2020 really put parents through the wringer. We, especially moms, have been expected to do more, be more, and accomplish more than is truly humanly possible in a pandemic, and we feel like our kids are the ones suffering the consequences. In 2021, we're making peace with the fact that we're not superhumans.
You're exactly what they need.
In 2021, we're *not* aspiring to excellence. It's ok to cry sometimes. It's ok to phone it in sometimes. It's ok to eat popcorn for dinner. It's ok that they watched 2 movies in a row. It's ok that you gained weight. It's ok that you locked yourself in the bathroom and took a 45 minute shower just for some alone time. It's ok, it's ok, it's ok. If, in a single day, everyone ate, drank water, and stayed warm, you win. Do you feel like you only gave 20% effort today, because that's all you had to spare? Glorious. And good enough. You are good enough.
So, about that 45 minute shower...
New Year's Resolution #3: I will take Me Time and my family will DEAL WITH IT
In 2021 we're taking Me Time. In 2021 we are boldly declaring when we need help. In 2021 our kids will entertain themselves for 30 damn minutes. In 2021 we will take a lunch break and we will not feel bad about it. Because in 2021, we deserve the privacy, self care, and peace we were denied in 2020.
In 2021 we will take a walk and we will enjoy it. In 2021 we will read a book in the middle of the living room. In 2021 someone else is making dinner. In 2021 we will return to our hobby as best we can, even if it's only a few minutes a day. In 2021 we are taking ME TIME, as impossible as it seems, because we are worth it. We're not shouldering all the suffering alone in 2021.
And now that we're mentioning worthiness...
New Year's Resolution #4: I will accept my body
Did you gain weight during a year of quarantine? Maybe you've been struggling with your body since you had a baby? Maybe being constantly surrounded by kid food has manifested itself in a few extra pounds and some unwelcome heartburn. Maybe body image has been a lifelong struggle. Join the club! And be at peace. In 2021 we're accepting our bodies.
Now, we didn't say we're going to *love* our bodies, although that would be great and if you can make that leap, girl, do it. But for many of us, de-programming decades of body image just can't be done overnight, especially after a year rife with mental, physical, and emotional triggers. For those of us who can't cross the Rubicon entirely into Body Positivity, we're setting our feet firmly in Body Neutrality country.
Body Neutrality as a philosophy says, simply, your body is a body. And because it's a body, it's a good body. It can do things. Body Neutrality doesn't demand that you absolutely love every nook and cranny of your body, which for many people is a much more approachable and attainable way to move the needle on their negative body image. Unpacking body image is the work of a lifetime, and it's unreasonable to expect yourself to do it by sheer force of will. Where Body Positivity demands celebration, Body Neutrality just asks for peace, and peace is what we want in 2021.
And hey, maybe 2022 will be your year of Body Positivity! But it's ok to take it one step at a time. In 2021, we're accepting our bodies. They pick up babies, they take us from here to there, they give and receive love. Maybe they're fatter than they were before. Maybe they're creakier, maybe they're wrinklier. They are bodies. In 2021, we're not working so hard to self-criticize or self-affirm. We'll do it later. We're going to be ok with ourselves for now. It's ok to be just ok. And we don't have to be more than that.
So that's it. Those are our New Year's Resolutions and that's exactly how hard we're *not* working in 2021. How about you? Do you have any New Year's Resolutions? We'd love to hear them.
BooginHead is a small, independent, woman-owned business that makes the cutest pacifier clips, baby bibs, and even face masks. A portion of our monthly proceeds are donated to COVID-19 relief local and nationwide, and to the fight for a more just and equitable world. See our BooginHead Blog for details on that and our other philanthropic efforts! Happy 2021!