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: Stephanie Baroni-Cook
City and state: Pulsbo, Washington
Occupation: Writer and photographer
How old are your kids?: 3 years old and 9 months old
What resolution do you think you're supposed to make? Why do you feel this way?: I feel like I am supposed to make the typical resolution about losing the baby weight. I'm not sure if it's because I think I should because I want to, or because it's expected of me — or maybe it's a little bit of both.
What's your actual resolution this year, and why?: My resolution is to set goals: marriage goals, parenting goals, financial goals, friendship goals, and yeah, healthy-lifestyle goals. I don't want to focus on just one thing; I want to improve in many areas of my life and integrate them all together.
What's the one resolution you won't make again?: To lose a specific amount of weight. For much of my life, I've always associated weight loss with feeling better about myself, but I realize that has literally never worked for me. It's never "good enough," and I always find myself still feeling this void. Instead, I want to resolve to feel better about myself, and that isn't necessarily defined by a number. It could be forcing myself to do more "me time" stuff, like reading a book, taking a bath, or even getting a mani/pedi without a kid in tow. I want to lift my personal spirit and do things that give me peace and calm and make me feel rejuvenated.
One day when they are ready I will teach my girls the importance of setting attainable goals. I want to help them flesh out their dreams and desires and make small goals towards them so they can see that big dreams are made of small goals they've attained.
What's one thing in your life you want to change but don't feel like you can?: Doing more things without the kids. It's very hard to do anything by myself, not because I don't want to, but it's because of the season of life I'm in with parenting. My 9-month-old daughter won't take a bottle so I can't leave her for a long period of time, but I know that won't last forever.
What is one thing you did or didn't do last year that you forgive yourself for?: I forgive myself for not being able to jump back into the active healthy lifestyle I had before I had the baby (and during my pregnancy). I felt so much pressure after I had her to continue on with it, but I just couldn't do it after I had her. I tried, and I couldn't keep up with it with two kids. I felt so guilty about it for awhile but I had to realize that I just couldn't at that time in my life with a newborn.
Do you tell your kids your resolution? Why or why not?: Not right now because they aren't old enough to understand, but one day when they are ready I will teach my girls the importance of setting attainable goals. I want to help them flesh out their dreams and desires and make small goals towards them so they can see that big dreams are made of small goals they've attained.
What specifically do you want for your kids this year?: I want them to make friends in out new city and to have as much fun as possible while they're still young!