2018 has been an incredibly empowering year for me. In January, we welcomed our first child, Leo Gem, into the world and with her came so many “firsts”. First labor, bringing her home, breastfeeding, smiles, coos, expressions, laughs, solids, crawls, words, holidays, family photos, trips, trains, planes, automobiles – you name it and it was a first. It also came with many “mosts.” Having her was the most life-changing experience, which came with the most love I have ever experienced, the most new challenges and the most personal growth when it came to separating my heart from my ego.
It was a tremendous year for me in all areas of my life except for one – my career. I made the choice to take a major step back so that I could be fully present with my child for her first year earth-side. And while it certainly didn’t happen without a few personal meltdowns (who am I if not a hard working “girl boss?”), I ultimately was able to find peace, contentment, and to embrace motherhood wholeheartedly. I have no regrets, love it more than anything and am so grateful I have a flexible career that allowed for this chance.
I went back to look at my 2018 mom goals which were written while Leo was in my belly and it was so great to have that to reflect on. I set five specific goals and I’m proud to report I achieved them all – go me! I thought it would be fun to sit down, write and share a list of 2019 mom goals too, so here it goes:
1. Continue being as present with Leo as possible – keep the phone away, the time meaningful and the bond strong.
2. Figure out preschools. Seems a little wild that it’s actually time to look into this, but here in LA it’s how it goes.
3. Don’t give into her desire and interest for screens. Hold firm and do not let her play with them, watch shows and more importantly, don’t ever get lazy and hand her a screen to buy yourself time.
4. Help Leo continue to develop playtime on her own. Encourage her to play alone with her toys, to color, be creative and imaginative, to be content with downtime and boredom. This is a life skill she will forever have.
5. Get her sleep under control. She doesn’t sleep through the night and I would like for this to change ASAP.
6. She’s inching toward finger foods and feeding herself. By early next year, I’d like for her to be feeding self-sufficient. I hope to inspire her to be a good eater and vow to get creative in the kitchen to make it fun, beautiful and joyous. Also, eat at least one meal a day together as a family – most likely breakfast since bedtime is around 630-7.
7. Continue traveling with her even though it got infinitely harder around 7 months. You only regret the things you don’t do.
8. Get more comfortable leaving her. People are usually surprised to learn that I don’t have a nanny. When she was younger, we had a babysitter a few hours a week, and when she turned nine months old I finally committed to having a lovely woman two days a week for half days. She helps with Leo but mostly helps me with groceries, errands and house obligations because I’m home MOST of the time she’s here but I need to change this. I need to get more comfortable leaving her so that I can get back to doing me a little bit more.
9. Before Leo was part of our lives, meditation was a huge part of mine – a priority I never missed. I did Transcendental Meditation (TM) 2x a day for 20 minutes at a time, and it was all sorts of life-changing 🙌🏻🙏🏻. Particularly for the debilitating PTSD that began after my husband’s near-death experience. Lately, that PTSD has started creeping up and manifesting in motherhood, and I’m determined to free myself, and our family, from it. The constant checking that Leo’s alive, helicoptering over her every mobile move, obsessing over everything that goes in, on and around her body, not allowing anyone else to care for her, etc. are all likely normal new-mom fears, but the level of worry I experience can not be. And I really don’t want my baggage holding my daughter back in any way. In 2019 I really need time to stop, breathe, and trust in the way I learned through my practice to begin with. Going back to the luxury of twice a day doesn’t feel like an option right now, but once should be doable, right?
10. Last but not least, career! Besides the blog which I’ll always maintain as of now (I love it so much!), our family is opening up a new shop next year which is going to be a very exciting business for us (more to come on that!). Allow yourself the chance to lean into this business without having mom guilt but maintain work boundaries so that you aren’t compromising the amount of mom time you and Leo both need.