Real Resolutions: Danielle C. On Putting Herself First, Especially As A Mom
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: Danielle Campoamor
City and state: New York City, New York
I still matter, and there's no "reward" for putting yourself at the bottom of your priority list. Next year I really and truly want to focus on doing things for myself, and only myself. I know that I'll be a better mom, a better partner, a better coworker, and a better friend if I do. Most importantly, I know I'll feel better about myself.
How old are your kids?: 2 years old
What resolutions do you think you're supposed to make? Why do you feel this way?: I'm sure something that has to do with "work/life" balance is what most people expect a working mother to choose as a resolution. I'm constantly being asked how I "do it all," but rarely was that question posed to my partner when he had a job and was a father. In fact, even though he is now a full-time student, people don't ask him how he balances school and fatherhood. While it could be me projecting, I feel like people asking me that question comes with this hidden assumption that one aspect of my life must be lacking because I chose to be a working mom. Either I'm slipping at my job, or I'm failing my son.
What is your actual resolution this year, and why?: To take better care of myself. Very rarely do I say, "no," whether it's for my job, my family, my partner, or my friends. I still matter, and there's no "reward" for putting yourself at the bottom of your priority list. Next year I really and truly want to focus on doing things for myself, and only myself. I know that I'll be a better mom, a better partner, a better coworker, and a better friend if I do. Most importantly, I know I'll feel better about myself in general.
What's one resolution you won't make again?: To lose weight. That was my first "mom resolution" and I so severely regret it. I had a 4-month-old son, was breastfeeding exclusively, and my body was still recovering from labor and delivery. I was working, I was adjusting to my new life as a mom, and I was still being a supportive friend and partner. I had so many other things to worry about than a number on a scale. Lesson learned.
What's one thing in your life you want to change but don't feel like you can?: I'd like to change this feeling of worthlessness that I just can't seem to kick. I'm never completely convinced I'm "enough," especially as a mom, and that lingering feeling can be debilitating. Still, I'm not sure what I can do to completely eradicate that feeling from my life. I have a supportive partner, great friends, an understanding job, but I still feel like I'm lacking something other mothers just innately have within themselves. It's frustrating.
What's one thing you did or didn't do last year that you forgive yourself for?: Sometimes I feel like I didn't spend enough time with my son, even though I spent at least half the year working from home so that I could care for him. The mom guilt is real, and it seems like no matter what you do, you're "failing." I know that missing out on certain outings with his father — because I was under deadlines, or skipping a playdate because I had work —are moments I can't take back. However, I know my choices were necessary, even if they were ones I simply wanted to make in the moment.
Do you tell your kids your resolution? Why or why not?: I definitely won't be telling my kid my resolution this year, just because he's a 2-year-old toddler and has no idea what a resolution is.
What specifically do you want for your kids this year?: Every year I want the same for my son: to be happy, healthy, and thriving. However, this year in particular, I want him to truly experience things that most children his age don't get the chance to experience. We've moved to a new city, and that has given us a unique opportunity to expose our son to new cultures and environments. I would love to travel more with him so that he can see and learn and experience more than he did the previous year.