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: Kali Robinson
City and state: Portland, Oregon
Occupation: Release Manager
How old are your kids?: 6 months old
Some days, I hate, hate, hate it and resent the fact that my life revolves around a machine, that every decision to leave the house requires a plan about when and where to pump. But I want to give my son the nutritional and immune-boosting benefits of breast milk. I made a promise to him that I would. I made a promise to myself. So this year, I will keep pumping.
What resolution do you think you're supposed to make? Why do you feel this way?: Lose weight. Because I'm a woman and I live in America. That's the message. Not exercise or eat right, just get skinnier.
What's your actual resolution this year, and why?: Keep pumping. Every day. Wake up and pump. Go to work and pump. Eat dinner and pump. Get ready for bed and pump. Every day. I will stuff my breasts into the machine that extracts milk like a dairy cow. I knew that breastfeeding was a a full-time job, but I expected to be snuggled with my baby boy, not at a table strapped to a vacuum cleaner. It would be so easy to quit. I have low milk supply, so I only produce half the milk my son needs anyway. Some days I convince myself that for a low-milk mama with a tongue-tied tot, this is breastfeeding. This is who we are and that's beautiful and perfect. And some days, I hate, hate, hate it and resent the fact that my life revolves around a machine, that every decision to leave the house requires a plan about when and where to pump. But I want to give my son the nutritional and immune-boosting benefits of breast milk. I made a promise to him that I would. I made a promise to myself. So this year, I will keep pumping.
What's the one resolution you won't make again?: I hope I never have to make this year's resolution again!
What's one thing in your life you want to change but don't feel like you can?: That Donald Trump is President of the United States of America.
What's one thing you did or didn't do last year that you forgive yourself for?: I forgive myself for every chocolate chip cookie, every scoop of ice cream, every piece of Halloween candy, every celebratory sugar bagel (aka, donut), every bite that In The Moment Kali needed to feel better even though she knew Future Kali would have a stomach ache.
Do you tell your kids your resolution? Why or why not?: Yes, this year my resolution is all about my son, so I tell him every day. Every time I pump, I tell him that I will always work hard to do what is best for him, that I want him to healthy and satisfied, and that I love him. Together, we are learning to love his robot twin that gets the milk out. When he is older, there will be many conversations about resolutions. It's an important family tradition for my husband and I, one we will pass on to our son. The new year, birthdays, anniversaries — these are the holidays that really count in our family. They are a chance to look back on the last 365 days and celebrate the successes, say thank you for the good times, say goodbye to the bad times, and plan the awesome adventures for the next year.
What specifically do you want for your kids this year?: I want my son to grow, feel loved, play, be healthy, and drink lots of milk.