With the new year arriving, we often find ourselves reflecting on our past year and planning for what's next to come.
Personally, I believe this is going to be one of the most productive and foundation forming years of my life- but today we are going to take a quick look at the five specific "mommy-lutions" I set out for the new year.
Of course, it's not all roses and sunshine as I'll also be sharing some insight on how implementing these things actually went.
1. Go To Sleep Child!
This is officially month three of me and Nylah being settled into a place of our own, and there have been some struggles but overall it feels great to have a place to call ours.
The different living situations we found ourselves in throughout the year made it incredibly hard to implement a routine.
Yet even now on our own time I have let routine completely escape us.
Nylah has had no official bedtime for a while. She would just go to sleep when I did- which sometimes meant one-o-clock in the morning.
In 2018, I'm not into that at all.
For one, it's not healthy for her.
She needs stability and that includes going to sleep and waking up around the same time daily unless its very special circumstances.
Secondly, getting her to go to sleep at a specific time grants me some alone time. I could do things like, read interrupted. Or, I could watch a really bad episode of something without realizing she was looking at the screen while someone was having their head chopped off.
8:30 seemed to be a reasonable time, so that was what I set her bedtime to be. This gave me as late as 6:30 to get her dinner and 7:30 to get her bathed and in pajamas.
Now, while this was the mommy-lution I stuck to the most of them all, Nylah still had another plan of action.
There is only so much I can do in a studio apartment guys.
While Nylah was fed, bathed, and in bed lights off at 8:30...that didn't stop her from staring at me and playing with her own shadow until at least 10:30.
The only way this bedtime thing is going to work is if I fake pump being asleep with her in our small space- or just accept an early bedtime for myself- which quite frankly would not be the worst thing in the world!
2. What Tablet?
This has been the killer.
I have spent the past three years mom-ing to prepare myself for the level of "tune-out" that this required, but I already noticed how much better it made just about everything.
I essentially, cut out the tablet. Not one hundred percent, but there is a maximum of thirty minutes per day (if any time at all) and absolutely no watching it while eating.
My kid was by far one of the slowest eaters in the world and while she is still fighting for a solid spot at the front of the line the difference of not having the tablet at the table has increased the speed of eating significantly.
The only con is it forces me to be relatively fair ....which means I can't be on my phone or computer either.
So we spend our mornings and evenings sitting at our table with me asking her how she is feeling and her subsequently rolling her eyes back and asking where her tablet is.
We will make it through this.
The few times she has had the tablet this week I set a timer and explained to her that when the phone rings, tablet time is over.
This definitely made it easier to take it away from her because it makes the phone more of the villain than me! There is no greater mom hack than being able to blame anyone or anything else for something.
Nylah has never played, colored, or painted more! The past seven days have been full of creativity, whining, and expressions! I attribute it all to taking that zombiefying tablet away from her!
Will I bust it out when I absolutely need her to leave me the hell alone for a significant amount of time? Um, DUH.
For right now, though managing what she is consuming regularly is important to me and I want her to be performing creatively at her highest capability!
3. Let's Go Outside!
Nylah loves going outside and playing with her bike.
In 2018 we will be utilizing more of our yard space to cultivate our own garden, so we will be outside all of the time.
However, walks and bike rides around the block make her even more excited.
We only made it outside once in these first seven days of the year (for a bike ride that is, we are by no means shelled up in the house), but we will try more walks this week.
Once I'm able to manage my time more effectively, maybe every morning we could do something like take a walk around the block!
I just have to stay conscious of the clock and not allow time to continuously escaping me!
4. Mindful Momming.
You can make anything an addiction.
Food, drugs, sex, alcohol...you name just about anything worth living for like that (lol) and too much of it becomes problematic.
That is why one of my biggest resolutions this year is to be as mindful as possible throughout anything I'm doing to ensure that I'm not overdoing it.
I struggle with my weight, even as a vegan. I make poor nutritional choices but for years I have been a binge eater.
I can eat and eat and eat until it hurts. I'm usually zoned out while doing it and unless I can learn how to get it under control I will never be able to reach the weight loss goals I desire.
So how can I do this? Mindful eating!
Every time I've eaten this week I've taken care to notate how I'm feeling throughout. I've avoided distractions like my phone or computer while eating so I can focus on how I feel, what the food tastes like, and when I naturally feel satisfied so I don't overstuff myself.
The same technique has applied to drinking alcohol and now that I am drinking slowly, paying attention to what the wine tastes like, and how it makes me feel at a slower rate...I find myself feeling fine after one or two glasses.
That's HUGE for me as previously I would make it a habit to finish every bottle of wine I started.
In 2018 I believe that I can apply mindfulness to everything I do in my life which will end up resulting in maintaining balance in all areas for me.
5. Claim 2018 Mama!
I had a goal to create and hang my vision board by the end of the first week of January.
So the first three days of the year while Nylah stared at the wall after 8:30, I watched season 4 of Black Mirrors on Netflix in a corner and clipped out relevant pieces of photographs and words.
I was making sure they aligned with what I had written out in my journal right before that- every single thing I was going to accomplish this year.
Magazine pictures can only be so specific, so I believe it's important to set intent on paper through journaling first and that's what I did.
In the areas I felt it be more important, I took colorful paper and wrote that shit out too and pasted it on.
This is my year because I am going to be so goal-oriented, specific and direct with my intentions that there is no way the universe isn't going to give me what I need.
Within days of my vision board going up above my desk in my little sanctuary my life has stabilized in ways I can not even describe.
In the first week of January 2018, the universe has reaffirmed my purpose, set me up for success, and basically told me "bitch you 'bout to do it this year."
I'm nervous, but I'm excited. This year is going to be a game changer for me, along with anyone else who truly speaks it into their existence.
I'd love to hear back from you guys about how your first week of 2018 has gone in the comments below.
Also to help us out, share a thought about what you would like to see from She Really Had A Baby by shooting an e-mail over to firstname.lastname@example.org.