12 Things I’m Saying “No” to for a Happier 2020

12 Things I’m Saying “No” to for a Happier 2020

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How many times have you heard that the secret to thriving as a mom is to prioritize what’s important to you and let the rest go?  I’ve said this many times myself – and I believe it.

But saying it is one thing. Putting it into action is another. Admitting that you’re letting certain balls fall to the ground is a difficult thing to do, especially when it seems like everyone around you is excelling in areas where you’re barely surviving.

As I gave some thought to setting goals and resolutions for 2020, I realized that I don’t need to add more to my plate. I’m willing to bet that you don’t either. So instead of contributing to the relentless pressure to do all.of.the.things, I decided to make a list of all the things I’m saying no to. Here are 12 things I’m not doing in 2020:

  1. I’m not striving to get my “pre-baby body” back.  My pre-baby body hasn’t existed since I got pregnant with my first child 8 years ago.  It’s not coming back – and I’m ok with that.
  2. Similarly, I’m not embarking on an ambitious exercise program.  My goal is simply to fit in some form of movement 3x a week. This is the bare minimum – heck, it’s less than the bare minimum – but frankly it’s an improvement for me, and all I have capacity for right now.
  3. I’m not overhauling my diet.  I’ll try to choose a bit more green and a bit less beige, but cheese and carbs are with me for life.
  4. I’m not trying to climb the corporate ladder.  Right now, hanging on to the corporate ladder is the only goal.
  5. I’m not apologizing for sick kids. With three children, I will miss work on occasion to care for sick kids.  The fact that I feel guilty about this is a reflection of our skewed priorities as a society, not my lack of commitment to work.
  6. I’m not making a home-cooked meal every night.  Breakfast for dinner, Annie’s macaroni and cheese, refrigerator restaurant, and take-out are unabashedly part of our meal plan.
  7. I’m not packing lunches. I prepare maybe 30% of our children’s lunches.  My husband – who’s very much an equal partner in the work/family/home juggle – does the rest.
  8. I’m not vacuuming.  Except for rare occasions, the biweekly vacuuming our cleaning service does is good enough.  
  9. In a similar vein, I’m not picking up after my children.  Because there’s truth behind the phrase “short term pain for long term gain”.
  10. I’m not getting involved at my children’s school. I’ll volunteer when my schedule permits, and do my best to attend can’t-miss events, but being a regular fixture at their school is simply not realistic.
  11. I’m not over-committing.  Two birthday parties, three children’s activities, and a social event does not make for a fun weekend for any of us.  Downtime is important.
  12. I’m not going to say that I’m fine when I’m not.  The truth is I limped to the end of 2019 physically, emotionally, and mentally burned out.  My priorities were out of whack, my patience was short, and my health was suffering. But if you asked, I would have told you I was ok. Saying we’re fine when we’re not does all of us an incredible disservice.

As we head into 2020, I don’t want to do more.  I want to take a step back, set boundaries, and remind myself what’s most important. Here’s to a happier and healthier 2020!  

What are you saying “no” to in 2020?

We can't do it all - but that hasn't stopped us from trying.  Here are 12 things I'm going to stop doing for a happier year.
We can't do it all - but that hasn't stopped us from trying.  Here are 12 things I'm going to stop doing for a happier year.

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