10 Resolutions Every Mother Should Make

It’s officially that time of year again… You know, the few days when yoga pants might actually be used for yoga and your family is subjected to trying new – gasp, green! – things at dinner time. But instead of vowing once again to start working out or going on some crazy cleanse, here are five resolutions every mother really should be making. And sticking to.

1. Look for the moments. There are days that are going to suck: The kids overslept, the dog got sick, the homework from the night before never got done, they left their lunches lined up on the kitchen counter… But even on those most annoying days, there are highlights: The few extra minutes you got to spend with the kids over breakfast, the way they looked walking down the hall together or the look on your son’s face when he spotted you back at school dropping off that forgotten lunch. As long as we get a few of those moments in a day? Consider it a win. Because there are very few perfect days as a parent.

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2. Master the art of saying no. This was my resolution last year and I’m happy to report that I succeeded in keeping one for the first time in my life. The first few weeks were the hardest, but I’m now a total pro. Sometimes, I can even say no without apologizing for it! Repeat after me: No, I can’t volunteer then. No, I can’t drive so and so across town. No, I won’t be able to bake those last minute brownies. No, no, no. (I’m sorry.) But, no. You can do it!

3. Nix the fat talk. In front of our children and to ourselves. Don’t diet, eat healthy for life. Don’t make a fuss about going to the gym, move more with the kids. Remember that their future relationships with their bodies stem from us. (Note to self: Practice what you preach.)

4. Spend one on one time with each child. With three kids, it’s not always easy, but every time I spend alone time with just one of them, I’m grateful for the time spent. It’s amazing how much less annoying a child can be without competing with his or her siblings for attention. Take the time where you can get it — sick days, a trip to the grocery store, etc. The outing doesn’t have to be significant to make it special.

5. Stop competing with other mothers. Their made from scratch baked goods don’t make your store bought brownies any less delicious, and they certainly don’t make you a worse mother. Use those perfect to your advantage – they make trustworthy carpoolers, great dinner hosts and ideal chaperones. Plus, once you get to know them, they really aren’t perfect, anyway.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Is a little dirt on the rug really worth losing your shit over? No. Does it really matter if your son wears the same three t-shirts day after day after day? No. Are you ever going to see the bottom of the laundry basket? No. Save the worry for things that really matter.

7. Stay in the picture. We got in the picture last year, thanks to Allison Slater Tate. This year, let’s stay in it.

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8. Do something with those pictures. I was at a blogging conference once and someone asked what the best camera was for taking shots of kids. The photographer (whose name I can’t remember, dammit,) responded with: “Whatever camera you have on you.” Perfect answer! Digital photography allows us to capture so many more quality shots than ever before, the only problem is many of them never end up getting printed. What’s the point of that?

9. Laugh more. At the kids, at our spouses, and at ourselves. Laughing is far better than crying, after all, and the lines are worth it.

10. Step up the skin care routine. See above.

About the writer


What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Welcome to Scary Mommy!


Cal 2 years ago

The majority of these resolutions could also apply to most people, mommy or not. However, these are essential pointers to keep in mind as a mother, whether that woman is a novice or a “I have 3 kids and counting,” expert. My favorites are not sweating the small stuff and laugh more. Who would refuse a bit more laughter in their life?

Jasbir @jasbeeray 2 years ago

Laughed out loud wjen I read ‘the look on your child’s face when he realised you forgooten his lunch box

Claudine 2 years ago

All of these are so true!

Allie 2 years ago

I love all of theses, especially the not sweating the small stuff.

Frankie Laursen 2 years ago

Thanks to ScaryMommy.com I’ve gotten better at many of these.

The only thing I would add is to Create (paint, draw, write, take non-family photos, dance). Writing my blog has been great therapy for me and has made me a better parent.

Thank you, and Happy New Year!

Vickie Scheffers 2 years ago

Where's the LOVE button when you need it?

Patricia Parks 2 years ago

I agree! Thanks for sharing. As a grandma I enjoy every moment! I feel
blessed being a Grandma!

Jaime 2 years ago

Getting in the picture is hard! lol not because I’m self-conscious (I am, but still…) but because I seem to be the only one who wants to take pictures ever! How do I get my husband to take up the camera and not sound super corny? I have plenty of time, my munchkin is just 9 mo, but I want her to have pictures of the two of us like I have of myself and my Mom. :) I will make this a resolution for 2014 for sure!

Callie Y. 2 years ago

# 1 This couldn’t be truer. Some days bedtime cuddles and lullabies are the saving graces for bad days. Sometimes just taking one kid with me for weekend errands is the moment that saves the day, which brings me to;

# 4 I butt heads with our oldest (3.5yo) frequently. Before his brother cane along he was the center if everyone’s attention. Now, he definitely does things to get more attention and it drives me insane. However, that one on one time helps me appreciate my funny, quirky, clever little boy for who he is.

lynn @ Maven of Savin’ 2 years ago

LOVE it Jill – great goals and I may even be able to pull them off!

Kristen Mae at Abandoning Pretense 2 years ago

These are great. Especially the one about us mommies not competing with one another! So hard, but so worth the effort. Trying to keep up is a waste of energy anyway. =)

Ashlee 2 years ago

Do something with those pictures is what I need to do! I’m working on compiling 2013 pictures so I can burn a CD each year with pictures.

Ramona Woods Cash 2 years ago

I love all of these…So TRUE!

Marnie Sloan Brodersen 2 years ago

I was just thinking about the one on one time…going for that this year for sure!

Lynn 2 years ago

Finally getting in the picture was one of the best decisions I ever made. Who cares what my nose looks like, what my thighs look like? I think one day my daughters will want to know what I looked like, playing with them, holding them, loving them.

Jessica 2 years ago

This is fantastic! I love #1 and #4, look for the moments and spend 1:1 time with each kid. So very true. I have a clingy/whiny toddler (who is easily frustrated because she is learning to talk!) and a preschooler who wants more attention. They are both ANGELS when I spend alone time with them. I will make more effort to do this when I can. My husband and I often fall into the habit of one of us takes the two kids while the other cleans/cooks/etc. Which is fine when we really need to accomplish something, but I know the kids would love more one on one time.

Kate (Shakespeare’s Mom) 2 years ago

YES. Thank you! I needed this today.

Pam 2 years ago

Perfect. I love them all.

Mandy 2 years ago


Barbara Mastroddi-Lackey 2 years ago

I'm all for these — espeially #3. I'm not perfect and don't strive to be, although I have resolved to eat a little more healthfully and will exercise more. Just spare me, please, from those who prattle on incessantly about it!!!

Herchel S 2 years ago

Yes! These are what I will be focusing on. Too many people lose sight of what is important. When I am old and my kids are looking back at their childhood, do I want them to remember my complaining about their messes or making messes with them?

Shelley 2 years ago

Great mommy resolutions. Happy New Year!!

Anne Birdsong Giberson 2 years ago

Perfect resolutions, every one of them. And I'd like to add one more: to make time for ourselves! Goes perfectly with the :just say no" resolution. Happy New Year, Jill!

Alison 2 years ago

Yes, yes, yes, to all of these.


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