It’s a new year and a lot of things have changed since 2013! Your cozy party of two is now a party of three, and resolutions to drink less and splurge on a designer handbag might not necessarily ring true anymore. This year Empress Avenue and Pink Pearl PR are focusing on resolutions for the new mom and for families – though, don’t forget to focus on yourself, too! What are your resolutions for 2014?
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Friends and families understand it’s an exciting and challenging new time for you, and won’t expect you to have “everything” together. Instead of bringing baby items, ask if they can help tidy up, bring a meal, or be an extra set of arms so you can take a shower and a nap.
- Create small, daily routines. Even if you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of individual, sometimes it helps to make small routines to make your life easier. If you wake up before the baby, take a shower, have some breakfast, and do some stretches before you start the day. Throw in a load of laundry during nap time, or take a nap yourself. Tag team the nightly routine with your significant other so that you can relax a little before bed.
- Plan regular date nights. It’s so important to schedule some time alone with your significant other. Hire a babysitter or enlist the help of family and friends, and grab dinner and a movie – away from the house. Remember why you fell in love in the first place!
- Find some like minded mom friends. You won’t believe how much you’ll come to rely on a support network of like-minded women. Try a mom and tot drop-in at your local community centre or a mom and baby fitness class.
- Scout those sales like they’re nobody’s business. Let’s face it: baby items are expensive. Sign up for mailing lists from your favourite stores to find out when they’re going on sale. Plan ahead and buy larger sizes while they’re cheap, too.
- Nap. If you’re able to, do it. There aren’t many opportunities in life where you can take a mid-afternoon siesta, and maternity leave is as good a time as any. The dishes can wait. Mama, you’ve earned it.
- Eat. Once you’ve woken up, make sure you get in a meal. Running after a little one can really take a lot out of you, so it’s important to remember to keep up your nutrition.
- Hold your baby. It won’t be long before they’re up and running. You’ll really miss that time when all they want is to be held, so take advantage of it while you can.
- Take some time for yourself. Moms are wonder women, there’s no doubt about it. So much of your energy is focused on pleasing this amazing creature who is blossoming before your eyes and learning so much each and every day. But remember to take a moment for yourself. Whether it’s a quick mani-pedi, or brunch with the girls, you’ll come home energized and refreshed, ready to play for the rest of the day.
- Get outside. It’s easy to sit in and relax on the weekends, but how about making a resolution to breathe in some fresh air more often? A trip to the playground, a family walk after dinner, or a monthly hike are all easily achievable.
- Give back to the community. From volunteering at the local animal shelter or soup kitchen, to donating to other children or families in need, teaching your children about social responsibility goes a long way in enhancing their social, emotional and intellectual development.
- Cook together. Families that cook and eat together tend to have healthier eating habits and children who are more interested in trying new flavours. A shared family meal also gives an opportunity to slow down and communicate openly with one another. It’s also been shown that kids who eat with their families are at lower risk of developing poor eating habits, weight problems or alcohol or substance dependencies later in life.
- Grow a garden. As well as cooking together, how about trying to grow your own fruits and vegetables? Kids are more likely to try something they’ve grown themselves, and it’s immensely rewarding to see something that started off as a tiny seed grow into something you can eat!
- Open a savings account. You may already have one, but here’s a challenge to help you put some money away for a rainy day (or a great end of year trip to the beach!). After the first week of the year, put away a dollar. After week two, put away two dollars. (week three, three dollars and so on) By the end of the year you’ll have saved $1378.00!
- Live in the moment. We spend so much time trying to document our lives with pictures and social media. Put the smartphones and cameras away for a while and just learn to really experience the moment as its happening – you can’t get that time back.
- Plan a family trip. Whether it’s the long-awaited Disneyland trip, or even an overnight camping trip, resolve to spend a little family time together in a new environment.
- Start a new tradition. Family Day and Christmas are great times to think of new traditions for your family. It can be something small, like picking your Christmas tree together, or something as extravagant as an annual ski trip. These are memories your family will cherish for a lifetime.
- Unschedule. In this day and age, we’re so used to trying to make the most of our days by scheduling as many activities as possible in a day. Find some time to do nothing – that is, to have an unstructured hour or two to do something together as a family. Play hide and seek, colour together, or camp out in the backyard.
- Take off your makeup before bed. We’re all guilty of it. At the end of the day, all you want to do is get in your pajamas and snuggle up in bed. This year we’re resolving to take those few extra minutes to remove our makeup before our head hits the pillow. Not only will our pillowcases be saved from those hard-to-clean makeup smudges, but you’ll also prevent clogged pores and premature aging of the skin.
- Drink more water. Water is one of the easiest ways to improve your health, though it’s something that’s easy to overlook. Staying hydrated is important to rid your body of toxins, energizing your muscles and to prevent dehydration. It also makes your skin look amazing! If you struggle to drink enough in a day, try infusing your water with citrus slices, mint, or fruit.
- Join a fitness class. Exercising more is a noble New Year’s Resolution, though one that’s easy to break once we lose motivation come the end of January.
- Bring healthy lunches to work. Your body – not your wallet – will be pounds lighter; it just makes sense!
- Update your signature style. Trade in your old coat or favourite heels for something refreshing and new. You’ll feel like a new woman! (we might head to the store right now!)
- Experiment with a new look. Stuck in the same old hair and makeup routine? Try out a new hairstyle or change up your usual eyeshadow shades (YouTube is a godsend for learning new makeup tricks!).
- Schedule some social time. Between work and our families, finding time to spend with friends can sometimes fall to the back burner. A regular social date with friends will do wonders for your well being and happiness.
- Eat a proper breakfast. No, coffee is not a meal! Start the day off right with a healthy protein and fruit or veg. It’ll kick start your metabolism so you burn more calories throughout the day, as well as keep you alert and ready to face the day. Make some protein smoothies the night before if you’re pressed for time in the morning.
- Get a bra fitting. Another year, another year older, and some things just aren’t what they used to be! When was the last time you were properly fitted for a bra? Get to a lingerie store and find out what you should be wearing.
- Don’t forget to indulge. There’s nothing wrong with a mid-week glass of wine, taking a long soak in the tub with the door locked, or yes, even splurging on that designer bag you’ve been coveting (should your budget allow it!). Happiness is infectious, so let yourself live a little!
- Step outside of your comfort zone. Always wanted to try surfing? Or backpacking across Europe? Maybe it’s time for a promotion at work? Whatever it is, resolve for 2014 to be Your ‘Yes’ Year.