Category Archives: New Year’s resolutions

The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Must-Do List For 2017

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Stay-at-home motherhood is relentless. It’s always moving. It’s never still. But it’s also static, unchanging, and monotonous. It’s “Groundhog Day” with occasional location changes.

I’m grateful for every minute I’ve spent with my kids over the last decade, but I’m wistful for the version of me that performed on stage, planned press conferences, helped launch a non-profit organization, and lobbied for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

I’m a person who likes to take risks, surprise people, and get s**t done, but I’m also the default parent who runs the dishwasher twice a day but never seems to empty the sink of dishes.

I take great pride in the little people I’m raising to be happy, healthy, and caring adults, but I sometimes feel the weight of an elephant on my chest. I love where I am, except when I don’t. In other words, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, but I sometimes want to run away…just so long as I’m back in time for the afternoon school pick-up.

If there’s a stay-at-home mom equivalent to a midlife crisis or the seven-year itch of marriage, I’m waist deep in it. It’s not necessarily a bad place. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m on the cusp of doing something great. I’m bursting at the seams to take risks, surprise people, and get s**t done again, which has resulted in me doing some unexpected, inspiring, and empowering things.

If you identify as a stay-at-home mom, default parent, or any person feeling stuck in the daily grind of parenthood (or life), I highly recommend you tackle these must dos in 2017. They’re not resolutions. They’re simple and bold actions that will remind you of your value, power, freedom, and potential.

Update your resume. I know you think there’s a huge gap since you last held a “real” job. You’re wrong. Did you plan a successful silent auction or bingo night at your kid’s school? Did you create a meme about poop that was shared on social media a quarter of a million times? Did you learn how to code to connect with your kid? Are you a leader for your daughter’s Girl Scouts troop or a coach for your kid’s Lego League or soccer team? Did you collect a billion Box Tops for Education? Your resume is ripe with relevant skills and qualifications, professional development, and community involvement, and discovering that the rift isn’t as wide as you imagined is an instant confidence and happiness booster.

Declare bankruptcy. The electronic kind. You know that nagging sensation you sometimes often always feel that something is preventing you from achieving your dreams? It’s your inbox. Get rid of it. Sort through as many recent emails as you can. Deal with or save what’s important and then screw the rest of the seven (or seventy) thousand of them. Choose “select all” and “delete” and I promise you’ll feel like anything is possible.

Time travel. I sucked at making baby books and I’m a firm believer that less is more, but I did save a few babyhood relics, namely my favorite board books. They have bite marks in the corners and some of the pages are warped from milk stains, but they’re intact.  Recently, I read I Love You, Stinky Face to my seven- and 10-year old boys. They thought I was bonkers, but a sweet look of peace and relaxation emerged on their faces after a few pages and I knew their hearts recognized the words and the sound of my voice as I read, “Mama, what if I were a big scary ape? Would you still love me then?” They remembered – we remembered – and I was reassured that this journey is worth the anguish, chaos, and sleep deprivation. Read your favorite baby books to your big kids. You’ll be glad you did.

Pick A Hill To Die On. It’s hard to feel a sense of accomplishment when every load of laundry I fold and clogged toilet I clear is followed immediately by another one. Whoever said a messy house is a happy house didn’t have kids. There isn’t a single surface in my house that isn’t marred by my children. Until now. The coffee table may have succumbed to Lego/Stickbot Village and the dining room table will be swathed in Christmas clutter until, well, probably next Christmas, but the kitchen table is all mine. No one leaves the house or goes to sleep unless my kitchen table is cleared and wiped down. It’s glorious to wake up to her clean, smooth surface every morning, and, yes, it’s the battle I’ve chosen and the hill on which I will proudly die. Pick your hill and don’t look back.

The force is strong in you, Mamas. Take on 2017 like The Boss you are. Happy New Year!

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Filed under advice, motherhood, New Year's resolutions, New Years, Stay-at-Home Mama, Uncategorized

Jumping The Shark

 

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Hey Mamas,

I’ve got a new piece up on the Today Parenting Team Community page about my parenting resolution for 2016. Not surprisingly, it includes a story about poop, because I’m a mom and, well, poop happens.

Here’s the link:

http://community.today.com/post/jumping-the-shark-in-2016

Thanks in advance for reading and voting it up!

What’s your parenting resolution for 2016? Tell all about here or on my Runaway Mama Facebook page.

Talk soon,

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It started with a whisper.

Earlier this year, I very quietly made a New Year’s Resolution.  The reason I did it quietly is because last year I made the mistake of doing it rather loudly.  I told you all that I was going to write a book, and even though I wrote my ass off all year long, I didn’t write The Book.  (I didn’t lose 10 pounds or run a marathon either.)

The truth is that I do want to write a book, but the daily practice of writing is a constant reminder that getting to the finish line is a journey with a lot of pit stops along the way.  (Someone always has to pee in my family.)

So, on this New Year’s Eve, I smartened up.  I whispered two words very, very quietly to myself.  I said them so softly and so faintly that if I wanted or needed to, I could deny ever hearing them.  Just in case.

I whispered: Get published.

Shh.

I whispered it once, and then I got to work, and I’m so excited to tell you scream from the rooftop:

I’M GOING TO BE PUBLISHED!

HOLY CRAP!

I DID IT!

I REALLY, REALLY DID IT!

AN ESSAY I WROTE

WILL. BE. PUBLISHED!!

If motherhood has taught me anything, it’s that a calm, purposeful whisper is way more effective than yelling.  (Seriously.  Kids are terrified of the whisper.)

Please stay tuned for more details and links and gratitude and some very loud “Holy craps!” in the near future, and thank you for all of your support!

To be continued… (!!!!!HOLY CRAP!!!!!)

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Filed under dreams, motherhood, New Year's resolutions, writing