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Seven Guilt-Free Resolutions for Busy Moms

Let’s make 2013 a guilt-free, brand new year. Whatever mothering blunders you feel you made in 2012, leave them in the past, and give yourself a fresh, clean slate.  Here are seven, easy, guilt-free resolutions that will bring hope, health and happiness to you and your family:

1. Hug your husband.  When your children see you hug your husband, they feel loved, confident, and blessed. Not only is it good for the two of you, but it will make your children’s world.  An uplifting hug brings a smile to their face and warmth to their hearts.  Displays of affection in front of your children are not only healthy, they are needed. They might be jealous because they want to be hugged too. Then a group hug is in order. Let them know how valuable they are to you; how much you love and treasure them. Children want to feel like they belong, so let them be included. Not only does it strengthen your relationship, but it helps them feel secure and it’s free! In a world where divorce and strife are rampant, your children need to know that their home is safe, solid and rooted. Disagreements are inevitable. When children see their parents talk through a disagreement, come to a resolution, forgive and hug at the end, it makes their world feel safe, whole and intact.

2. Observe office hours with your computer and phone. This is a guilt-free boundary setting exercise that will give you more free time to be more creative and available to yourself, your husband and your children who need your presence.  Instead of watching your emails drift in one by one, download your emails manually, so you have more control of when your emails arrive in your inbox. YOU can decide when you will download and respond. Using a kitchen timer for internet research, browsing and Facebook time also gives busy moms the time they need on the computer, but without it taking their whole day. This frees a busy mom to have time for creative activities, reading books and taking bubble baths, the little things that help us keep our sanity. It can help moms feel grounded and give that “mini-vacation” feeling that is so desperately needed in this season of life.

3. Eat dinner at the table. Many families have forgotten how to sit around the family meal table and communicate with each other. Sitting together as a family one meal each day does not have to be complicated. It can be fun! You don’t have to spend a lot of time cooking. Use the crock pot for stews and soups for the winter, and serve with a simple salad and fresh bread.  Play classical music in the background, and enjoy each other’s company. Ask questions like, “What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?”  Listen without distraction with good eye contact and laugh with each other. It is good for the soul, and the tummy, and will build a solid foundation in the hearts of your children. Letting your children set the table and clean up afterwards gives them a sense of purpose and helps them feel needed. It may not look perfect, but perfect doesn’t exist anyways.

4. Go for walks. A short, seven minute walk with your children can help build relationship skills that will last a lifetime. While you are walking, ask questions like, “What did you learn today at school? What is your favorite animal and why? What is your favorite poem?” Talk to them about the meaning of their name. Skip with them. Bring a piece of sidewalk chalk and make a hopscotch diagram on the sidewalk. The possibilities are endless, even with a limited amount of time. You can memories each day.

5. Watch the sun rise. Your mothering may feel more patient, present, and imaginative when you take the time to breathe in the fresh air and watch the miracle and handiwork of nature each day as the sun rises.  It only takes three minutes to watch the sun rise. Take those few moments to breathe, to think, to sit in silence, and afterwards have your coffee or tea with a meaningful book and give thanks for your blessings great and small. This short amount of time puts you in a frame of mind that allows you to conquer the challenges of the day in peace. As the unfolds, it is an anchor that keeps you balanced and grounded.

6. Take a Five Minute Play Break. Toss water balloons. Catch minnows, tadpoles or little creatures in a jar. Visit your local park on a sunny day. Create a chalk drawing in the driveway. Throw a football. Color. Or just snuggle and tell them a story. The play break serves as a love anchor for your children’s day as they explore their world and circle back to you for companionship and support. This is not wasted time, mommy. Never underestimate the lap of a loving mother.

7.  De-clutter. I cannot think of a better way to start your year than to unload the “stuffitis”. Taking the time to organize your home will improve the quality of your life as a mother. It lowers stress, increases patience and makes life seem more manageable. Clutter can cause you feel tired, keep you living in the past, cause you to put your life on hold, add confusion and stress to your life, cause disharmony within your family system, induce a feeling of shame and guilt and enhance the chances of depression. Simplifying your life by asking for help from a non-judgmental, organizationally gifted friend to help you go through room-by-room to put life in order is one of the kindest gifts you can give yourself. The beautiful thing , you can use your gifts to bless them back in a meaningful way, which creates community and beautiful friendships.

Here is to a peaceful, non-cluttered, playful, loving and active 2013 free of guilt and shame, full of memories and fun. And remember, when you fall off the wagon, and we always do… just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again!

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