My husband and I normally enjoy setting our New Year’s resolutions. It’s part of the smug self narrative that we excel at when we’re happy – resolutions to just add to the awesomeness of our lives. So when we’re both doing regular exercise, we resolve to take it up a step and get 6-packs. When the finances are good, we resolve to save more and buy a house (never happened. Not ever).
This year, the man is frustratingly chipper and full of energy. He’s doing an easy job in a company he loves, so has plenty of mental capacity for dreams and hobbies and plans. He’s been pushing me for resolutions for weeks, and I tried, I really did. But creating resolutions today feels like just adding extra tasks in block capitals to an already impossible list.
The blogs I love are doing much better than me at this. Brummymummyof2 has a lovely, practical list of things to make a mum’s life easier, not a list of things you’ll feel guilty about ignoring: http://www.brummymummyof2.co.uk/2015/12/new-years-resolutions-for-mum-aged-38.html?m=1. The unmumsy mum has gone for just one, which I definitely approve of. http://theunmumsymum.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/resolution-schmesolution.html?m=1 And I’ve seen this lovely reminder to reflect and be grateful: http://momastery.com/blog/2016/01/01/best-new-years-ever/
So what am I going to do? I like the idea of just a single, simple resolution. And for me, unfortunately, I keep coming back to the pretentious sounding finding myself. I don’t need to resolve to be a better mother, because striving to be the best for my little man is now written into my DNA. But in re-writing my DNA, becoming a mother has meant that I don’t really understand myself any more. I don’t know what makes me happy, or whole, or where my place in the world outside the nursery is. I don’t know how to be a good wife, colleague, human being, friend, at the same time as trying to be the best mother.
I don’t know what finding myself means. I have a feeling I might dig out some self-help books. And then pull myself together and just go out and get drunk with friends more. Write more. Find a job I love (or just like. Like would do). Reflect a bit and accept that this life is mine; and embrace what really is amazing about it.