1. Be kind to each other.
Have you ever heard of the saying, “Be kind for you never know the battle someone is going through”? There’s a reason why it’s a popular quote. It’s true. Becoming a stay at home, although a job I absolutely love, came with a whole new set of loneliness. It was a battle I struggled with for a long time. Building new friendships was hard with a newborn in tow, and I craved adult time with girlfriends. Now that my baby isn’t so little any more, we’ve ventured out and I’ve found my new normal. I’ve finally learned how to make new friends in this season of my life, and it’s wonderful. We need each other! People need people. Want to know how to make new friends and build better relationships with the ones you have whether you’re a working mom or SAHM? Kindness. It’s amazing what being kind to one another can do. Kindness is spreading a little cheer wherever you go, sprinkling flower seeds into your world. You know what happens when you do that: Flowers are going to pop up everywhere.
So many of us stay in our own little corner, closed off to the outside world and choose to stay in our own little bubble. That’s fine if it works for you, but I’d like to think that we’re meant for more. We’re meant to lend a helping hand, to be a shoulder to lean on, to be an ear to listen, to be a friend to laugh with and cry with. We’re meant to be kind. The next time you’re all alone with your kid(s) at Chick-fil-A, take a risk and go the extra mile to extend a smile and a hello to that mom sitting all by her lonesome watching her toddlers play in the playground. She just might be the best friend you never had. Smile at the mom who is on the verge of tears in the grocery store because her toddler is having a catastrophic meltdown for all to see. You never know what that smile could do. I’m going to practice more kindness this year.
2. Be yourself.
There’s something very liberating about being comfortable in your own shoes. It took me a long while to get here, and I still have my days where I struggle with trying to be who I think others want me to be. But if I’m being honest, the easiest person to be is myself. Just me. And I’m pretty great; we all are in our own right. We all have our flaws, but we all have our strengths. We all bring different qualities to the table when it comes to this thing called life, and we all have something to offer this world. I don’t want to be a second rate version of someone else. I want to be the best version of myself. Don’t you? Which leads me to…
3. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
In today’s society, there is an over-saturation of people looking like they have it all together. Thanks, social media. (I even wrote about that subject here.) But the thing is: NO ONE has it all together. We’re each given this life of ours to be ours alone. I bet from the outside, our life looks pretty grand to other people. It’s so easy to want what others have, but have you ever thought that if you traded places with that “perfect” person’s life, you’d also get their flaws and problems, too? I don’t want to long for what others have. I don’t want to compare myself to crafty moms or funnier moms or smarter moms. I don’t want to compare my home to the newer homes down the street. I don’t want to compare my family to the Brady Bunch. I want to be thankful for what is mine. All of it. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. Because that is what God gave me. And He doesn’t mess up. Which also goes hand in hand with this…
4. Stop competing.
Since I’m focusing on being kinder, being a better version of myself, and ending the comparison trap, I definitely want to stop the competition trap, too. Have you heard of this thing called mom wars? It’s ridiculous. Most of it for me is an internal warfare, but I think I’ve had enough and am calling a truce. When did motherhood become a competition? We’re all in this together, sisters. We should applaud each other’s efforts instead of trying to “beat” one another. So no more comparing. No more competing. If we all make it, we all win.
5. Give yourself GRACE and give it to others.
And last but definitely not least, this year, I want to focus more on grace. Grace to me is forgiveness and compassion and hope all wrapped into one. It’s the gift that never gets old. When I mess up, I want to give myself grace that mistakes happen. Life happens. Every mistake I make is a chance for me to learn how to be better. Every heartache I go through is met with grace, reminding me that there is a rainbow after the storm. While I want to meet myself with all of the grace in the world, I also think we should extend the same gift to each other. We’re human. We mess up. Sometimes really big. But forgiveness, hope, and love are the things I want to resolve to give more to others. If I want grace, then I need to give it.
So these are my resolutions. These are the things that I want my life to consist of this year. And if you’re a one word kind of resolution person, then try this: BRAVE. Be brave. It’ll take bravery to be kind, to be yourself, to stop comparing, to stop competing, and to extend grace. But you can do it. I can do it. I want to see us be brave.