January is a month filled with resolutions. On the first day of the month, as each of us wave goodbye to the previous year, we make way for all the things we plan to do once we have a fresh slate. We ask ourselves, What will I do better this year? How will I do better? What do I want to change about myself? About my behaviors? How can I improve? Resolutions made by women by and large get a bad rap. At face value, it's so easy to assume they'll all be the same: I'm going to lose weight!; I'm going to wake up earlier!; I'll travel! but if you take a look deeper, you'll notice just how raw and real resolutions made by women — especially moms — are. They're complex, multi-layered, and they're also incredibly honest.
Mothers aren't just making resolutions for themselves. They're constantly factoring in how the things they do and say and believe will shape and influence their children. Though moms are faced with these types of decisions day in and day out, the new year provides an opportunity to look at the year as a whole and to consider all the things they plan to change and improve on. For 2017, Romper spoke to 31 different moms all over the country in an effort to highlight just how diverse, bold, and exciting their resolutions are.
Name: Bethany Brill
Age: 31 years old
City and state: Los Angeles, California
Occupation: Hair & Makeup Artist
How many kids do you have?: A 1-year-old girl named Zara
What resolution do you think you're supposed to make? Why do you feel this way?: I feel like most resolutions deal mostly with the outward appearance like lose weight or make more money. They are quantifiable and it makes you feel good to be able to see and touch and feel the result of your effort. As moms, we know how hard it can be to put effort into something (challenging) all day and not see a direct quantifiable result to all your efforts, like cleaning up the kitchen 15 times when no one is watching only to have it destroyed in five minutes by curious and sticky little fingers.
What's your actual resolution this year, and why?: My actual resolutions are to buy less stuff, pay attention to where my things are made, to be more conscious about which companies I support with my money, to begin to save for retirement (boring), and to feel really good in my own skin. I've made amends with the fact that I'll probably never have a cute, tight little stomach again, but that doesn't mean I can't feel super hot regularly.
What's the one resolution you won't make again?: I've never really been a resolution person — I think it's more just being conscious of the direction I want to head in. I have always been goal-oriented so for me January 1 feels more like a fresh start than anything else. I sort of take stock of my life every time my birthday rolls around in November, so this is a continuation of that thought process.
We rush around and don't know how to just sit still without our phones to distract us. Going phone-less and "entertainment-less" one day a week has helped us to breath and just "be." It's done wonders for our marriage and our time quality time with Zara.
What's one thing in your life you want to change but don't feel like you can?: So the only thing I had really been struggling with is that last 10 pounds! I was breastfeeding up until the last few days and man, I don't know if it was hormonal or what but my body just wouldn't shed the weight. It was so frustrating that my body was holding on to that weight and although I love how healthy foods make me feel, I really wanted tangible evidence that what I was doing was worth the effort. I'm so proud to have breastfed Zara for 15 months, but I am so looking forward to having my body back to myself for a little while. I've never enjoyed keeping my bra on all day more than right now!
What's one thing you did or didn't do last year that you forgive yourself for?: Last year was tough in a lot of ways: I was over-busy and sleep deprived and I think that came out in the form of my being short with my husband. I definitely talked to him in tones that I am not proud of and it's something I'm working on. He is so kind even when I am not, so it feels extra bad when I am harsh to him. We've been finding ways to free our life of hurry. We rush around and don't know how to just sit still without our phones to distract us. Going phone-less and "entertainment-less" one day a week has helped us to breath and just "be." It's done wonders for our marriage and our time quality time with Zara.
Do you tell your kids your resolution? Why or why not?: Zara is too young to understand what a resolution is yet but in the future I definitely plan to include her. Things like eating healthy and being kind is just as important for a kid. I do think that much more knowledge is "caught" rather than taught and is another reason why following through with your goals is so important as a mom. Kids notice everything — good and bad!
What specifically do you want for your kids this year?: So what I want for Zara most is that she feels safe and loved. I think as long as those needs are fulfilled, you're doing really well already. I of course want her to be healthy and sweet and well balanced and social and learn how to share and not hit or bite other kids at Sunday School, but safe and loved is what I care most about.