We can all agree that 2020 was a beast to get through in a year personally, and it impacted our families with added stressors as moms. I had some hits and misses from last year. I’m an under forty divorced mom of four that has lived through 9-11, Katrina, 2 economic crashes, and a global pandemic. I failed to mention the Milli Vanilli scandal! What a story to tell my future grandkids right? I’m not really into resolutions because I usually quit in a few weeks. I do however believe in the power of recentering in living a purpose filled life personally along with applying that intentional attitude towards parenting. I’m not dwelling on all that went wrong from years back, rather I’m looking forward with gratitude mixed with optimism in taking 6 positive attributes into the New Year.
Here are the top 6 things I’m taking into the New Year with the hopes of many of them lasting for years to come.
- Embracing Down Time: We have been trained and programmed to always be on the go, always doing something, and thinking rest is equivalent to lazy. I won’t lie, it was challenging when everything went into shutdowns and early curfews while worldwide we cope through a pandemic. It allowed me in part to share more casual, attentive, and precious down time with my kiddos without having the looming pressures I get from working face to face in energy.
- Be Creative As I Want To Be: I will admit to being one of those artsy people who’s mind runs with ideas throughout the day. I sometimes let my anxiety and procrastination get the best of my creative genius in sitting on my ideas. I stepped out of the box more in dabbling into DIY home improvement projects, painting, creating content for my blog, and whatever suited me in really enjoying it. Two of my daughters joined me on my creative fix in maxing out several sketchbooks themselves, and my oldest daughter actually started creating beats.
- No Comparing: It hit me a lot harder than I imagined when my failed marriage begin to unravel in going through the process of divorce. I wasn’t just hurt, but I felt shame in being someone who shared my family proudly often in conversation and social media. All of my friends are in long-term marriages. Many of the mom influencers I follow as well appear happily married in picture perfect bliss. Here I was already having a blended family to start with, but now a double divorcee. I begin to shutdown personally while later in doing the same in producing content in not feeling able to measure up at a point. My divorce finalized in May of the pandemic after a two year separation. I’m in a better head space in being happy for those who are genuinely happy married moms juggling family while also walking unashamed in my untruth with lessons learned in lovingly my kiddos fiercely in my new mom role.
- Making The Little Things Count More: There was no denying how many lives were lost to COVID-19 as it swept through our communities and homes. COVID hit us as a family when my 7 year old was the sole individual in our home that tested positive after a check up in getting everyone tested. I saw the numbers rise on the news of those infected, but it’s different when your child is in the number with many kids having lost their lives. I will admit that my children occasionally work my patience as a mom, but I wouldn’t know what do if something happened to anyone of them. I again enjoyed our down time together, yet I’m happy that we’re all here together. I embrace those little moments of them pulling weeds to give to me as flowers, showing me their drawings, asking for advice in dealing with their peers, cooking together, and seeing their silly dance moves even more than ever.
- Celebrate Your People: I can definitely say following going through a divorce as a mom you learn your people. Some family members and close friends stepped up show me they were there in being supportive, not inflicting judgments, and providing encouragement. I am so grateful those individuals in my life who stood by me in such a difficult time, and their presence were pronounced more than ever in the last few years. I can also say in being a writer and speaker I learned my organic audience of those who support my ventures without distancing themselves because of changes in my personal life, politics, or other. I found myself actually having more engagements following my separation pre- pandemic and throughout the pandemic virtually. Insecurity and lack of self- acceptance will play with your mind in making you think about the negative people who you encountered in life, and the Red Hen stage will make you focus on those who don’t openly support you. It’s more beneficial for us to train our thoughts to focus on those who are there, never wavered, and celebrate them for being in our lives.
- Give Myself More Credit: I am one of those people who internalizes everything. I am working on breaking internalizing behaviors as a mom and in other areas of my life because it aggravates the mind, drains the spirit, and diminishes hope. It comes along with unrealistic comparisons, self-doubt, and the perfectionism mindset. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I no longer beat myself up when things don’t work out as planned, and I release what’s out of my control. I take a day by day approach with giving myself grace in knowing that if I gave my all in doing the best I can I did good.
Bonus* Live Life With Adventure, Laughter, and Humor: My kids and I discovered a new walking trail that had a beautiful waterfall along with other adventures at a nature site by the Augusta Canal and Savannah River. It became our afternoon stroll after virtual learning, me disinfecting the home after a long day of cleaning, and a place to laugh as we walked. It’s now one of our favorite places locally to visit. I find myself after learning a lesson from a minor setback in discovering a little humor to knock the blow. I enjoy laughing more with friends in conversation instead of venting and complaining. I feel refueled following a nice walk in nature, having a good laugh, and finding humor in moments that once would make me crumble. At this point what feels good and is healthy for the mind, body, and spirit I just go with it.
Taking these jewels with me for the years ahead. Life’s a blessing. Sending my love. Happy New Year!