On Monday, I revisited the resolutions I made at the beginning of the year when I resolved to spend smarter. The year 2016 was focused on finances as it was the main goal for our family to purchase a home. We succeeded in that goal this May, and I have been so grateful every day since then to have a place of our own. While spending smarter will always to be important, we have set the habits that make smart financial choices easier to do in our everyday life. So in this upcoming year, I will be turning my focus to intentionality in other areas of importance. To promote a more intentional life, I will do the following:
Be More Present in Parenthood
I struggle a lot to really be present around James and Emma. I get distracted by chores or something on my phone, and I pay attention to everything that isn’t as important as what’s right in front of me. I know that every moment I have with them is precious, and I don’t want to catch myself getting frustrated with them because they’re in the way of my cleaning, writing, eating, Instagramming, etc. To allow myself to be successful in this goal, I will go back to the days of keeping my phone away when the kids are awake (except for taking photos/videos). I will also be eating more meals with them; I often try to eat before or after they do, and it’s so much easier and more enjoyable to just eat together. The most difficult habit to break will be doing chores when they want my attention. I’m going to try to keep a better schedule of completing larger chores while they are asleep or setting them up in their room with an activity. I may also recruit my husband to help me with bedtime prep so we can both relax together once the kids are in bed, instead of me rushing off to the kitchen/laundry room to finish something.
Date My Husband
Ryan and I are coming up on five years of marriage and almost eight years in a relationship. Our lives revolve around the kids and the house and the budget and the dogs. We don’t have many opportunities to give each other our undivided attention. And when we do, we’re often at a loss as to what to talk about. Besides scheduling more date nights together, I’ll be working to change some of the behaviors I’ve developed that have lent our relationship to become more business than pleasure. One of the things I’ve already been working to do is to change my perception that when Ryan is coming home from work, it is to relieve me of my parenting duties. He is trying to unwind from the work day which doesn’t mean he’s always going to immediate jump into “Dad mode”. Creating this expectation along with any other expectation without taking the time to express it to him, is setting us up for failure.
Encourage Creativity to Flourish
I have learned in this past year that when I give myself the opportunity to be creative, to learn something new, to read something truly emboldening, or to share my experience, I feel truly alive. The moment after I hit publish on a blog post or I finish reading a wonderful work of non-fiction, I am at one of my highest points. Being a stay-at-home-mom brings the challenge of fueling creativity and passion outside of a profession. So I’m vowing to set myself up to allow for my creativity to flourish. I can’t be the best version of myself for my loved ones if I’m not always giving myself time to learn and grow. So I’m going to buckle down and stay more focused on my writing. 6-8 hours a week will be my goal in hopes that I can produce 2-3 regular blog posts/week. I will also be either starting online classes at the local community college or teaching myself how to code; I’m more excited about the later…..going back to school doesn’t sound to fun and creative, but I know I’ll enjoy it once I start
I’ve always wanted to be someone who volunteers on a regular basis. But I honestly think finding 3-4 spare hours/week when I don’t have the kids would be difficult. Therefore, I’m going to start seeking out a few organizations that I feel are worth donating to. We’re not religious, so we don’t tithe, but I like the idea of eventually being able to give away 5-10% of our monthly income to worthy causes. Right now I’m thinking about WLRH, Alabama Public Television, SNAP Spay/Neuter Action Project, Free2Be LGBTQ Resource Center & Free2Be Safe Anti-Violence Project, and the Land Trust of North Alabama
Have you already started thinking about your focus for the upcoming year? I would love for you to share your resolutions with me. Thanks for reading!