Photo by Kate Magee
I believe that every woman has a story to tell.
Regardless of the details of joy or sadness, there’s a story in her heart that is waiting to be heard. Some of us have the privilege of technology that help carry our stories across oceans with the click of the button. Others rely on oral traditions passed down through generations. Each story as precious as a baby held in it’s mother’s arms. Every woman has a story to tell.
A few weeks ago you sat next to me and dropped a heavy question in my lap, “Why do you watch all of these reality shows?”. I hurriedly changed the channel to something more family friendly, because I felt like I had been caught doing something wrong. You never got an answer to your question because I needed time to process it and provide an answer that your brain could understand.
My answer is simply, “My brain needs a break”.
Juggling motherhood, graduate school and every day life means that I have to stay organized. I’ve always been a fan of planners, but have struggled to find one that works for my life. In recent years there has been an explosion in the types of planners and trust me, I’ve tried them all! When I would buy a planner I would use it for a few months (maybe weeks!) before I would forget and it would wind up in the ever growing pile of planners. Then The Day Designer by Whitney English walked into my life. I kept seeing it across my social media feeds and headed over to the website.
Disclaimer: I am a member of the Netflix StreamTeam and this month’s post is all about ringing in the New Year!
As always, opinions in this post are 100% my own. Happy New Year!
Ringing in the New Year is definitely a family-affair, but there’s nothing wrong with getting the party started a little early. Netflix knows that sometimes parents need a little help getting the kids in bed so they’ve created a whole new set of New Year’s Eve countdowns that you can play at any time!
Kids can pick their favorite character or ring in the new year again and again with countdowns featuring Oona and Baba of Puffin Rock, Care Bears & Cousins, Inspector Gadget, the Project Mc2 girls, King Julien, or Mr. Peabody & Sherman and all their DreamWorks Animation friends.
So you don’t have to wait until midnight to ring in the New Year! According to a recent survey from Netflix, 9 is the new midnight for parents in the U.S., with nearly half of parents (48%) saying they’d ring in the new year by 9 p.m. I agree!
How are you ringing in the New Year?
There’s something powerful about writing out a vision for the New Year. At the top of my list for 2016 is self-care. As a single mom it’s so easy to get caught up in a long to-do list that includes everything and everyone but myself. I have to constantly remind myself that there are no awards for being busy and exhausted. Rest is worship. More importantly, it’s not self-ish to take care of ourselves. We will be better people and parents when we make time to take care of ourselves. So here are some things I think all single moms need to do in 2016. You will thank yourself.
- See the beauty in saying “no”. You can’t be all things to all people. And you can’t be everywhere all the time. Say “no” to things that drain your energy and time.
- Put away your phone. FOMO (fear of missing out) is real, y’all. But the world will keep spinning even if I don’t check my email or social media mentions every few minutes. I’ve decided to bring back my house phone and turn off my cell phone at night.
- Move it, move it. You don’t need a fancy gym membership or expensive workout clothes to exercise. YouTube has some great 20-30 minute exercise videos you can do while dinner is in the oven or before the kids are up. My favorite is Fitness Blender.
- Go to sleep. Conversations with my friends often revolve around how exhausted we are. I’ve come to realize that it’s an indication that we don’t utilize our time well. Just like we make sure our kids are in bed at a certain time, we have to hold ourselves to the same rules.
- Get a planner. Digital or paper, you need something to help you get your to-do list out of your head and into a schedule. I recently decided to purchase the Day Designer because I like that each day has its own page. I literally live one day at a time so this makes sense for me. It is pricey, but you can download a few sample pages to see if it’ll work for you before you purchase.
- Find your inner creative. Last year I decided to learn how to arm knit and made a scarf and a blanket. This year I plan to learn more about hand lettering. It’s a great way to turn your stress into something beautiful.
- Do something by yourself. Solo activities have always been a challenge for me because it meant I had to find a babysitter. However, now that I have a more flexible schedule I can take some time when my son is in school to do something fun by myself. Who knew I would find so much joy in going to Target…ALONE!
- Go on a date. I’ll be honest that this terrifies me, but it must be done. I’ve been single for a while and I think it’s time to see what is out there. If you have any ideas let me know!
- Get or renew your passport. Always good to have, never know when you’ll need it.
- Identify another source of income. You should always have multiple streams of income. The internet is full of ideas, check out my Pinterest board.
- Journal. Marshall’s and Target have amazing journals where you can brain dump and write your dreams. Write away!
- Read your Bible. Here are 25 scriptures you can memorize throughout the year.
- Stick to a budget. It’s simple, tell your money where to go. There may be times where you feel like you have more bills than money to pay them, but you can still take control of your financial situation.
- Run a 5K. There was a time when I didn’t see the value in running unless I was being chased. Now that I’ve participated in a 5K and a mud run I see the value.
- Plan a family vacation or staycation. Whether it’s money or getting time off from work, this is the year to start or continue traditions of vacations as a family. Research locations, figure out your budget and make it happen.
- Love your tribe. Be intentional about spending time with people who fill you up. It could be monthly dinners, sending cards or hanging out at the library. Surround yourself with those you love.
What are your plans to make 2016 the best year yet? Sign up for my mailing list and get this 2016 New Year Guide for Single Moms!