A New Year Of Balance

With the start of a new year comes the pledge of resolutions. Working closely with a group of moms, I was intrigued by the comments from my co- worker, a mother of two, about her fresh outlook for 2012.

“I want to spend my time on what’s meaningful and important to my family and myself, instead of making unnecessary busy work. I used to spend time putting together outfits for the kids that were cute and matched before I went out of town, but after a while, I realized that that was just not a good use of my time, and that I’d rather have a bike ride or family dinner with them.”

It got me thinking about New Year’s resolutions. As moms ring in the New Year, resolutions are shared and compared. They are usually of similar themes – exercise more, eat less, quit this or that, save more, spend less – and most of these promises will not last through February, let alone the next year. However, when resolutions are dropped, abandoned or not committed to, they result in guilt and self-loathing.



New Year’s resolutions, while good in theory, can be counterproductive. Instead of inspiring moms, resolutions may lead to them feeling negative and believe they are “not their best” self.

This past year, our Moms Human Experience Center discovered that moms are critical judges of each other as well as the biggest source of support. This sense of reassurance swelled as resolution season arrived. There has been a spike in chatter across global communities of moms welcoming the New Year with a new mindset—it’s okay to be “less than perfect.” 2012 is shaping up to be the year of acceptance among moms. They are seeking a release from the guilt and aiming to simplify.

Instead of pledging to lose weight or hit the gym more, moms are hoping to balance their life and promise to be better—internally and externally. Identifying what is truly important and what is not—that is the focus of 2012. As a result, they are discovering ways to integrate health and wellness into their daily ritual as well as carve out time for their family. More moms are on the hunt for family-friendly recipes so they can cook together and for fitness routines that can be done as a family.

Often, beauty and motherhood are considered separate and even incompatible. Beauty can seem indulgent and time consuming. In 2012, expect a shift -- moms are looking for time to spend on themselves. One mom from the U.S. stated her New Year’s resolution is to “be more vain” and shift her focus back to her style, beauty and fashion, something that had been neglected since taking on the role of mom.

Finally, moms are realizing that, to be a better mother, they need to take time off from being a mom—a “mom-cation.” The online mom community is the biggest support system for time-off from parenting. They all agree that a breather from kids, spouses and professional responsibility is vital to maintain balance. It is making time beyond the role of mom to explore their aspirations, from reading books to taking up a hobby.

As 2012 progresses, keep eyes and ears peeled on moms for more talk of resolutions and time for themselves. Look for moms to expand beyond their traditional definition and embrace a “less than perfect,” more realistic mentality—it’s better for the families and better for the moms.

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