The packages have been opened, and the kids are playing with their toys. Now it’s time for the Christmas letdown.
As much as I enjoy Christmas, I have to say that the days after the big event have always been some of my favorites. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is a time for visiting friends and family and enjoying time with my kids.
It’s also time for everyone to start talking about their New Year’s resolutions.
Everyone but me.
Once again I’ve decided to take advantage of the Mommy Exemption from making a New Year’s resolution.
Allow me to explain the Mommy Exemption. It’s my rule that says any person who’s required to change herself on an hourly basis to keep up with growing children in a constantly changing world is already making enough resolutions.
Do you find yourself saying things such as, “No, I don’t think it’s a good idea to write your homework backwards,” or “For the love of all that is good and holy in the world, I don’t care that you brushed your teeth yesterday. You still have to brush them today?”
Are you making daily resolutions such as, today I will not snap at my teenager after telling him 10 times that dinner is ready, he walks in the kitchen and says without a hint of irony, “Oh, are we having dinner now?”
If you answered yes, you qualify for the exemption. I first started using my Mommy Exemption in 2011, and each year since I have happily taken it. This year will be no exception.
I love being a mother. It’s changed me in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. I’m a stronger, more confident woman. I’ve tackled problems as big as advocating for my special needs daughter and as small as figuring out that if I make silly noises while cutting my youngest child’s fingernails, he won’t get freaked out.
It’s taken me many, many, years and enough money spent on therapy to buy a small house, but I like who I am. Are there things I’m still working on? Of course.
But I don’t need the calendar to remind me of that, I only need look in the mirror.
Sadly, yet again Santa didn’t bring me the GPS device I wanted so badly to locate the body I had before my kids. (I actually would have settled for the body I had before my third and final baby.) So, I guess I need to finally accept the hard truth that I’m on my own.
I also have come to the difficult conclusion that no elf is going to put my name on top of my to-do list. I’m going to have to do that one by myself.
The problem is the big yearly resolutions have never worked for me. The grand pronouncements of all the ways I’m going to change my life only leave me feeling more frustrated. It’s my actions that always speak louder than my words.
By taking the exemption once again this year, I’m allowing myself the freedom to change when I’m ready to and not when I flip my calendar.
So bring on the articles and posts about all the wonderful things we moms should resolve to do in the New Year. I’m taking a page out of my kids’ book and not listening. I may even put my hands on my ears and scream it at the top of my lungs just for the fun of it!
This piece was first published on the Dishwasher on 1/1/11 under the title, The Mommy Exemption. It has been changed from the original.