Carnival of Natural Mothering • New Year's Resolutions

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Welcome to the December 2013 Carnival of Natural Mothering! 

This article is a part of the Carnival of Natural Mothering hosted by GrowingSlower, Every Breath I Take, I Thought I Knew Mama, African Babies Don't Cry, and Adventures of Captain Destructo. This month's topic is Natural New Year's Resolutions. Be sure to check out all of the participants' posts through the links at the bottom of this page.

It's early December and I would normally be panicked, racing around each day, trying to plan out our holiday season. I would wake up with a list scrolling through my head, 'order this gift before it's too late, find the perfect ornament (We give each other special ornaments on Christmas Eve each year.), make a handmade ornament with Evie, etc.' There's a quiet, but persistent worry that affects me this time of year. I think social media has made this harder. Pinterest can be a really great resource for tradition ideas, gift ideas, etc. but ten minutes of scrolling through your Christmas board can leave you overwhelmed with a page full of holiday decorations to make/hang and holiday tradition ideas and recipes to try and crafts to make with your kid. It's all just too much! I've found that when I approach a special event or a holiday with high expectations and a to-do list a mile long, I have a really hard time enjoying myself and focusing on what matters. The expectations that I set for myself are usually unrealistic, but it doesn't stop me from being disappointed in myself when I'm not able to do it all. Maybe I'm the only one that can't control my urge to try to be awesome all the time, but I've had this problem since I was a kid - I was (and still am) Monica.

Because of the impending move, we've decided to take it easy with the gifts, which we really always do so it's nothing new, but I've also decided to take it easy on myself, this month and next year. It's kind of an oxymoronic thing that I'm usually the one stressing myself out. I'm vowing not to make any lists or plan each day out from now until Christmas - we're only doing what we want to and can each day and that's going to be enough. A lot of our time is going to be spent packing and cleaning and selling things this month, so when we can fit Christmas celebrations and traditions in I'm sure they'll be welcomed and appreciated. I've bought Evie a few things through out the year, but beyond that she'll just be opening gifts that family members send and that's really what I enjoy about presents anyway, watching her open and enjoy them. Last night we all sat down with milkshakes and popcorn, cozy blankets, and Home Alone. Evie has really never watched a movie from beginning to end as intently as she watched this. She cuddled up to Alex and I, munching on her popcorn and talking to us about what she was watching, and I was filled with joy. This is what is important about Christmas - time together, not crafts or presents or food or decorations or traditions.

That can apply to our life year round, not just the holidays. Time together is what is important about life, not jobs or schedules or money or a clean home or being perfect. I'm extremely goal-oriented, so I wake up each day embracing the potential to clear my to-do list, but spending time with my two best friends is way more important. So my only goal for 2014 is to put the phone away, put the computer down, let the house be messy for a bit, let projects go unfinished, and just focus on spending time with this little girl who needs me and exploring the city with her. When Alex told me we were moving three months sooner than we expected, I panicked a bit. How were we going to survive? This was not the way that I wanted this to happen! We had a plan! But I'm slowly realizing that it may have been a blessing in disguise. We will have each other, and only each other, and just like it did when it was just Alex and I in a tiny apartment in Birmingham our first year of marriage, it will bring us closer together. Last year, I made a pretty detailed list of the things that I wanted to accomplish in 2013, and as hard as I tried I couldn't get it all done. There just weren't enough hours in the day. While this isn't technically a 'natural' New Years' resolution, I do think that just as a more natural life can bring you peace and health, so can simpler goals.

A bit off topic, but how cute is this Home Alone sweatshirt for a toddler?

How about you? Do you make New Year's Resolutions? Did you accomplish the goals you set for this year? What goals have you set for yourself for 2014?

Bloggers, visit GrowingSlower to sign up to write for next month's carnival.


  1. Great resolution! I feel so "behind" this year as well...but we have done some things to eliminate the stress of the holidays and that is definitely helping me. For decorations I have one garland, lights, a candle, and a homemade pennant up. :)

    1. We haven't had the chance to put anything up and it's breaking my heart a little. I just love Christmas. My husband keeps telling me it isn't a big deal not celebrate it this year, but it just feels weird.



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