Who to kiss at midnight? For many 20-somethings on New Year’s Eve, this is the biggest dilemma. As a single mom, I generally choose to kiss my sleeping daughter's forehead at midnight, so figuring out who to kiss at midnight on New Year's Eve is one 20-something struggle that I don't have to deal with. Being a single parent is a sometimes lonely business but it’s got some good company perks: All the snuggles belong to me, and I have a built-in excuse for avoiding exhausting social obligations like going out on New Year's Eve anytime I want (which is even better since I totally could go out anytime I want — hello, babysitters — but my friends don't really get that so I can always decline sans judgment). But one hurdle of jumping into a New Year that single moms are not exempt from? Resolutions. In fact, single moms might be the people who make the biggest, most impossible vows to do things differently in the coming year, and honestly, I think we need to revisit how we're approaching this whole game.
So, what does a single mom choose for a New Year’s resolution? Since our lives tend to revolve around our kids and the things they need most, perhaps we can set New Year’s resolutions aside as something that belongs to us alone. Maybe, just maybe, we single parents of beautiful babies, cuddle-able children, and terrific teens can take a brief moment in the New Year and choose to change something that we want changed. These might seem like the type of resolutions that anyone can make, regardless of whether they're a single mom, or a mom at all, but these are resolutions that would both be particularly rewarding for single moms and might be more challenging to achieve (since, frankly, finding extra time for anything is a bit of a nightmare when you're flying solo on the parenting gig).
In the past, I’ve taken my mother’s approach and set an attainable goal. Her standard is to quit smoking. Since my mother has never smoked a day in her life, she asserts that "quitting smoking" is one goal she can reasonably achieve. That might sound silly, but I get it: Give yourself every possible opportunity to start the year with a win. This year, I’m going for a slightly more challenging list of goals, but still keeping things within the realm of total attainability. Here's what I'm aiming for (and I think all single moms would be well-served to join me):
Try Something New
Whether it’s a new type of yoga or a different route to work, it’s healthy to stretch the brain by trying something you haven’t tried before. Plus, this resolution is absolutely vague enough to be kept with very little effort: “Oh, this salsa has kale in it?” Resolution met.
Take A Class
It doesn’t matter if it’s an online course or a casual gathering in the park but make a point to learn something. Going to a class can be a way of meeting new people, stretching yourself, and demonstrating the importance of continuing education for your littles (this is really helpful when telling them they have to go to school). If the idea of formal education sends chills through your happy little mom veins, consider the fact that there are actual classes for things like "weaving" or "eyebrow shaping" or "rolling a joint" — it's not all sitting through lectures and writing essays to meet this resolution.
Read A Book
Not a book you’re reading to your children. Not a book assigned at work or school. Pick a book you’re interested in and take the time to read it. You may be amazed how good it feels to take hold of that experience and remind yourself that a different world is only a page away.
Only Go On Dates Because You Want To
Maybe I’m the only single mom in the history of the world to deal with this little struggle but I doubt it. Frequently, I find myself going on dates because I think it’s what I’m supposed to do or because my friends encourage me to do so — not because I actually want to be dating. I might rather be at home reading that book I'm reading, or working on stuff from that class I'm taking, or getting ahead on stuff from work, or just being by myself. But inevitably, I find myself going on dates because I think I should. And the dates themselves can go well for a while and there’s often a follow-up date even when I’m not actually interested. This isn’t because the other person isn’t interesting or enticing; I simply don’t want to be out on a date. So, if you’re like me, this resolution might be a good one to move up the list. Regardless of what other people or say or do, your dating life is up to you!
Download The TETRIS App And Win The Hell Out Of It
This resolution won’t change your life and it certainly won’t make you a better person. But it will accomplish two very important things: 1. You will be able to show your children exactly how annoying they are when they remain glued to their tablet and oblivious to the outside world, and 2. It will give you immense pleasure to win that game. Be aware the house may not be standing when you finally pull your eyes away from the perfectly constructed pieces, but honestly sometimes the best resolutions that single moms can make are the little ones that force us to pull our brains away from the many, many tasks that perpetually live on our to-do lists, and have some win and enjoy a win.
Images: Jazmin Quaynor/Unsplash; Giphy(5)