top 10 realistic resolutions for moms with little ones
With the start of 2019 comes the beginning of new resolutions. But let’s be real, how’s everyone doing with their past resolutions? Are you all drinking eight glasses of water a day and going for that morning run? Or are you like me (and countless others!) who start January with lofty expectations, only to see your resolutions start to fail by the time March break rolls around?
So, what makes a successful resolution? First of all, resolutions are, by definition, firm decisions. I prefer to set goals as they are a bit more forgiving. And it’s important to set yourself up for success in a kind way! Instead of saying “it’s my New Year’s resolution to eat more vegetables”, change it up and set a goal to try a new vegetarian meal every couple of weeks. Sounds more reasonable, right!? Okay, so let’s get down to business. Here are my top 10 realistic resolutions for moms with little ones.
Pack more snacks. Snacks do not have to be elaborate or fancy. Just remember to pack them! Stuff some homemade trailmix into your diaper bag, purse, jacket pocket, glove box… you get the picture. Pair a hungry mom with a cranky toddler, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster! And all those nursing mamas better up their snack game! In order to make enough breastmilk, (especially if you’re exclusively breastfeeding), you require about 650 calories per day extra! Breastfeeding is no joke ladies, so snack up!
Eat breakfast every day. Your day may start at 4:30 am (good morning, baby!), but you need fuel in the morning to start your day. A healthy breakfast containing protein can help control your appetite and cravings, which can lead to healthier snacking throughout the day. Great protein sources are: eggs, Greek yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, nuts and seeds, or tofu.
Brush your teeth when your kids do: When the kids are finally in bed, I find myself staying up later than necessary… working, cleaning, getting lost in the internet, snacking mindlessly... Because for many moms (me included) this is our only “me time”! The only thing is, those late-night snack calories add up QUICK, and often don’t contain a lot of nutrition. Try brushing your teeth earlier (even with your kids), or try a new selection of teas instead of those crackers or chips.
Allow treats occasionally – for yourself and your little one. A healthy lifestyle includes the occasional treat! Personally, I could not live without chocolate. It is my treat and it brings me joy. Try not to make certain foods “off limits”. Putting treats on a level playing field with other food makes them less sought after. Kids will obsess about treats less when they know they are allowed. If you’ve got little ones (under two), try Baby Gourmet’s Mushies (link) or their fruit and veggie purees (link) – these are naturally sweet and nutritious, but contain no added sugar (which is perfect for wee ones!).
Aim for ONE family meal per day. This can be a tough one for working parents. If one parent gets home later than the other, or if both parents are exhausted from working all day (or being with the kids all day), family meals suffer. The good news is that there are multiple meal opportunities per day. Start with one – breakfast, lunch or dinner, and if you add more in, BONUS!
Model healthy eating behaviour. If your kids see you eating vegetables, they (eventually) will too! Offer a variety of foods to your kids but try not to let your preferences sway their eating habits. For instance, if you find mushrooms to be gross, still offer them to your kids but keep your facial expression neutral!
Never go to bed with a dirty sink. This was advice I received from my mom, and does it ever make a difference to how your day starts! A clean kitchen in the morning is the best, and vice versa. I always aim to clean my sink of dirty dishes before heading to bed. Realistically, every pot and pan heads into the dishwasher, but you get my point.
Let it go. I’m not talking about the song we all know, and will now be stuck in our heads, or am I? Let go of being the perfect parent. We are all human, and we all make mistakes. It’s important to learn, move forward, and try not to compare ourselves to what we think we should be. Remember that social media portrays the highlight reel!
Do one thing per day that makes YOU happy. A happy parent is a good parent. If I learned anything in 2018 it is this. If your frustrated or unhappy in your life, chances are your kids can sense it. They are so intuitive and we often under estimate them because they’re little. The best thing you can do for your kids is to find something that makes you happy.
Soak up the moments. The saying “time flies” is a cliché, but absolutely true. Soak in all the moments of 2019, good and bad, be present, and live them and learn from them.
Happy New year!