Family life

5 realistic resolutions for stay-at-home moms

Less guilt, more fun and three more ways that stay-at-home moms can have a great new year.

snowball

Gillian and Isaac have some fun in the snow with mom. Photo: Jennifer Pinarski

This blog post was originally published on December 30, 2013.

Follow along as Jennifer Pinarski shares her experiences about giving up her big city job and lifestyle to live in rural Ontario with her husband, while staying home to raise their two young children.

Update your resume
Returning to work may be not be a top priority, but an updated resume — or, at the very least, a LinkedIn profile — should be on your list of resolutions. When my husband lost his job, I found myself scrambling to reconnect with old references and fill in the gaps on my résumé. You never know when you might need it, and the exercise is a great way to see where your skill-set stands in the current job market.

Read more: 6 things no one tells moms about going back to work >

Just say no
As stay-at-home moms, we’re often the first to volunteer at schools or wherever else our kids need us. Volunteering is great but, unfortunately, if you’re like me, you can feel burnt out when you agree to take on more projects than you should. Psychology Today’s recent article “The Power of No” said it best — saying no can set you free. Step back and look at where your skills are most needed and take a pass on opportunities where you know there will be plenty of other helping hands already. For me, this means less in-classroom time so I can focus on the baking I do for the school’s breakfast program.

Give up the mom guilt
When I didn’t work, I felt guilty about not earning an income. When I started working part-time, I felt bad about that, too. I feel bad that my pants are too small, I yell at husband too much and that both kid’s baby scrapbooks aren’t completed. Guaranteed, you’ve got something that is making you feel bad about yourself. Perhaps letting go of the guilt entirely might be easier said than done. At a mimimim, figure out if your mom guilt is serving any useful purpose. If not, shrug it off (or promise me you’ll at least try to).

Invest in yourself
When was the last time you took a course to learn a new skill, made a contribution to your own RRSP or even just spent time meditating or exercising? Time or money spent on just you isn’t selfish — it’s money well spent. I shamefully admit I haven’t done any of those things in at least six months and vow to make them all happen in 2014 (and I won’t feel guilty if they don’t all happen at the same time).

Have more fun
When was the last time you had a snowball fight, cannonball contest or let your kids tickle you until you peed your pants? I’ve admitted here that having fun and playing with my kids isn’t something that I’m always good at (or sometimes even like doing at all), but over the winter break I’ve been trying much harder to laugh and have fun with them. It means that I clean my house even less than I already do, but the payoff is priceless.

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Tweet me @jenpinarski.