By Jordan Sapir
January is synonymous with self-improvement. It is relentlessly trendy to resolve to do what was missing in years past. By setting lofty goals and unrealistic expectations, we create a heavy burden. As a result, you’re inevitably knee deep in pudding, hiding out in your cave, searching for a torch to light the path. It’s time to resolve to never make New Year’s Resolutions. I decided, long ago, actually just after reading an interview with Ironman World Champion Kathleen Hughes, that the New Year is about adapting what you’ve learned the previous year and putting that knowledge to work. Kathleen speaks about Energy Givers vs. Energy Takers. I will use this logic to guide any Über Mom out there who is interested in making this year count.
Here’s our guide to making this YOUR year.
Take Control of Your Social Media
We know Lisa, the President of the PTA, has an immaculate Pinterest page and would never be seen out in public in PJs, or in the Über Moms case, actual functional workout gear. Let me tell you something, come closer: who gives a shit. So what? Look at her photos, say “That’s lovely,” or as my friends in the South say, “Bless her heart,” then move on. She is an Energy Taker.
When you expel energy on something that doesn’t change your life or your family’s lives one way or the other—leave it be. Don’t sit in the carpool lane at pickup and text the other moms about how annoying she is. Don’t make passive aggressive comments on her page to make a mockery of her. Do not pledge to destroy every hope she has of winning the vote on all snacks being gluten-free because her precious muffin has a gluten allergy. Just keep it moving. Do not engage. This is YOUR year and this year we are not engaging in social media negativity.
We are also not Following Energy Takers. Clean house like a private equity merger on the first day of work. Anyone who makes you cringe, makes you angry, annoyed or all of the above, either delete them from your social media or turn off notifications.
We are not trolling Energy Takers. We are vowing to make social media just that: informative and visually pleasing, by posting funny and silly posts. Pictures that make you happy, not other people jealous. We are sharing our positivity for our network to see. Oh, we are also not being an Energy Taker by whinging on our walls, either. In short, rather long windedly– stop adulting and have a laugh.
Who invented the “Like” Button, anyway? Wasn’t it much easier when people just scrolled aimlessly, unbeknownst to anyone else? Go back to the basics. Anyone who is in your inner circle, sees or speaks with you regularly, should not expect you to like each and every photo. I’ve had a few articles featured, and when trolls wrote in the comments about how inarticulate and evil I was, there’d always be the one comment, “I believe this author was raised in a loving home with good manners and morals.” Thanks, mom. No one will ever know it’s you. Don’t be the Facebook or Instagram mom. No one, and I mean no one, no matter how good their feed is, should expect you to like each and every single thing they’re doing. If you’re liking and responding to every photo and comment, you are wasting your precious time. Energy Taker.
Marie Kondo Your Life
Marie Kondo, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying,” said it best: “Follow your intuition and all will be well. Chose those things that spark joy when you touch them.”
If you are constantly in need of repairing a relationship, then it may be time to move on. I have friends who I absolutely love, but bicker with like siblings. Then there are those friends who just drain the life out of you. Chose wisely, because as moms we have such little leisure time. Invest in meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships.
While you’re at it, declutter your home. Ditch the added baggage and this year will be most definitely YOUR year.
Any one-sided relationship that is more take and less give, get rid of it. Be honest, open and tell them: look, you are totally draining me and causing me to drink at night. No, don’t say that! Even if it’s true. Do say, “I’m going to distance myself from you because I´d like to focus on my happiness.” We’ve stopped adulting and taking ourselves too seriously, but we are still adults.
Right. Book a babysitter in the calendar for a monthly date night or GNO. You need to get to know each other outside of the home, and that means taking off the pyjama pants and putting on your big girl panties.
Last year I walked away from several instances where I felt extremely guilty about how I handled altercations or over voicing my opinion. Have you ever met that old relative you barely knew, who doesn’t have a care in the world, and does what they want and says what they think? Life is too short for discretion. Gather your thoughts, try to be sensitive, sensible, but whatever you do, don’t be sweet. Be assertive and clear. This is how it is going to be, because it makes me happy. Period. No further discussions. You’ll walk away with no regrets. Women have been raised to smile and wave in the best of times and the worst of times. Don’t continue the tradition of the wallflower. Invoke your inner mama bear. Roar!
It’s Okay to Reinvent Yourself
Sometimes I feel like a retired rock star, living in the past. Yet, once a rock star, always a rock star. You’ve been places, Über Mom, you’ve had a sought-after career, traveled the world, and now you are choosing to stay at home with your kids, go back to work, work half-time, whatever – don’t feel the need to explain that to anyone. You are in the drivers’ seat of this automobile. Of course there are people jumping up and done in the back, screaming and driving you nuts, but don’t get detoured by motherhood. Motherhood is your role and not your legacy. You are more than a mother. You are whoever you want to be in whatever capacity. There it’s a chapter written where Motherhood is not the END. Reinvent yourself, speak about your former profession and continue to soul search, grow and learn. What would you tell your children to do?
The drive to succeed has to come from your heart, not from someone else’s expectations of you. This is YOUR year to shine.
Jordan Sapir, mother of two glitter-laden girls, 1 and 3, studied Journalism and International Political Science in NYC, a place she once called home. She can slaughter five languages fluently. She has worked in a newsroom or two, walked a catwalk or three, and is all for an impromptu adventure. Having traded in her Prada for pretzels, the founder of Über Moms lives in Munich, where she is a stay at home mom and studying to become a certified nutritionist. She is a mommy on a mission and wants to help fellow mothers raise healthy happy families, and beat a PR here and there.