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: Yvette Manes
City and state: Tampa, Florida
How old are your kids?: 16 years old and 14 years old
It's good for my kids to know that sometimes they need to be patient with what they need from me because I have a personal goal I'm trying to attain — it's not always about them.
What resolution do you think you're supposed to make? Why do you feel this way?: I feel like I'm supposed to go on a diet. Because I've gained some weight this past year, my clothes are starting to feel tighter, and I worry that people have started to notice.
What's your actual resolution this year, and why?: To worry less about dieting and the number on the scale, and instead make the time to exercise. Oh! And to buy clothes that fit comfortably, even if it means going up a size.
What's the one resolution you won't make again?: Joining a gym. When you join a gym at the beginning of the year, it is a recipe for failure. The gyms are crowded and it's frustrating to get your workout in when you are waiting for machines. Canceling a gym membership is a nightmare unto itself. Save your gym fees and buy a treadmill, an elliptical machine, or a weight set. Communities and rec centers often have inexpensive Zumba or yoga classes. You can even YouTube these kids of classes and do the work in the comfort in your own home.
What's one thing in your life you want to change but don't feel like you can?: Time for a social life. It's hard to work and be the primary caregiver, especially when your spouse has an unpredictable schedule. My kids are older, so I don't need to find babysitters. But their own schedules and social lives keep me constantly on the go. If the opportunity for me to hang out with friends or go on a date with my husband arises, I'm often too drained, choosing instead to stay home, or eat takeout with my husband in front of the TV.
What's one thing you did or didn't do last year that you forgive yourself for?: I forgive myself for giving up on my exercise routine. I was walking/jogging close to five miles per day several times per week, but slowly gave it up when I moved from freelance to staff writing. I've finally figured out a way to balance my home and work responsibilities can now start to re-incorporate fitness into my routine.
Do you tell your kids your resolution? Why or why not?: Yes, because I feel that it is important to set goals and be held accountable. Also, it's good for my kids to know that sometimes they need to be patient with what they need from me because I have a personal goal I'm trying to attain — it's not always about them. Moms need to focus on themselves, too.
What specifically do you want for your kids this year?: Health, happiness, and self-confidence. With those three things, they can achieve any goal they set.