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New Year Resolutions That Work for Mums

Family celebrating new years eve together

As we step into a new year, many of us are drawn to the idea of making resolutions. For mums, however, the typical resolutions often revolve around losing weight, adhering to strict diets, or conforming to societal standards of beauty. This year, let's shift our focus to resolutions that genuinely contribute to emotional well-being and self-care. As a psychotherapist specialising in postnatal support, I understand the unique challenges mothers face.

8 New Year Resolutions That Work For Mums

Here are eight resolutions that are simple, achievable, and designed to nurture your emotional health without adding unnecessary pressure.


1. Prioritise Self-Compassion:

Instead of setting unrealistic expectations, resolve to practice self-compassion. Motherhood is a journey filled with ups and downs, and it's essential to treat yourself with kindness. Whenever you find yourself struggling or feeling overwhelmed, remind yourself that it's okay not to be perfect and anyone would be overwhelmed with everything you have going on. There is nothing wrong with you, you do not need fixing, perhaps something about your situation needs adjusting.

Embracing self-compassion isn’t easy. It’s something that takes practice and often involves us overhauling well entrenched habits of beating ourselves up. One approach to ease yourself in could be to start each day with a mantra of ‘If I feel overwhelmed, it’s ok, this is hard’ or ending each day with refection such as ‘When xyz happened and I criticised myself, what could I have said to myself that would have been kinder?’.


2. Embrace Mindful Moments:

Person leaning on a tree feeling sun on their face

Incorporate mindfulness into your routine by dedicating a few moments each day to focus on the present. It could be as simple as savouring your morning coffee or taking a walk and pausing to watch the how the wind makes the trees sway and listen to the rustling noise that it creates. Mindfulness doesn’t have to be about closing your eyes and doing deep breathing (though this can also be beneficial), simply listening to your little one’s giggle when they’re on the swing or feeling the sun on your face, brings you into the present. Being more present like this can reduce stress as it takes the mind away from worries and has proven benefits for mental well-being.


3. Nurture Connections:

Foster meaningful connections with other mothers or friends who understand the challenges of parenthood. Making friends can feel harder as adults, we have the distraction of what our child needs while trying to have a conversation and it’s not like we can just run up to another mum and say ‘you’re it’ and have a friendship made. So, next time you’re at a baby/toddler group and you’re sat next to that other mum who you find quite easy to chat to, reach out. You could say it feels like a long time between sessions, do they fancy meeting for a coffee before the next one. Chances are, they’ll also jump at the chance, because who doesn’t want another mum in their corner.  



4. Celebrate Small Wins:

Instead of fixating on the big picture, celebrate the small victories in your daily life. Maybe you go through an evening of cluster feeding or you got out of the house with your newborn. Perhaps you had an uninterrupted bath while someone cared for your children. Or maybe the wins are about letting something slide; looking at the mess in the kitchen and sitting and having a cup of tea instead of tidying. Whatever a win looks like to you, celebrating these achievements fosters a positive mindset. You are your own best friend, cheering yourself on everyday.


5. Set Realistic Boundaries:

Establishing boundaries is crucial for maintaining a healthy balance between motherhood and self-care. Learn to say no when necessary and communicate your needs to those around you. Setting realistic boundaries helps prevent burnout and promotes a sense of control. Again, this doesn’t always come easy if we’ve been brought up to please others but it can be done. Take some time to sit down and consider what you really need and want that would make a difference to you daily life. Don’t want you mother-in-law calling in unannounced every day? Make that a boundary (even if you need to enlist the help of your partner to do that). Need your partner to come home and take the baby for bedtime? Have that chat with them, state your need, remember you’ve been working hard too.


6. Create a Self-Care Toolkit:

Self care toolkit: image of fruit, a book and tea

I don’t know about you but whenever I used to get some ‘me time’ I’d just freeze in a state of indecision. What do I do? How do I make the most of this time? Do I want to clean the house or do I want to read a book? What book would I read? And by the time I made a decision, too much time will have passed, and I’d end up doing a job around the house rather than anything for me.

A great way round this is to develop a personalised self-care toolkit filled with things that bring you joy and relaxation. It could be a physical box with a good book in, your favourite tea and some bubble bath for example or it could be a jar with ideas written on folded bits of paper…go for a walk, read a book, call a friend, sit down and watch your favourite show…and when you feel that wave of indecision pick one at random and take that as your activity. It means you have accessible options, even if it’s just for 15 minutes on a busy day.


7. Practice Gratitude:

Cultivate a gratitude practice by reflecting on the positive aspects of your life. Consider keeping a gratitude journal where you jot down three things you're grateful for each day. This doesn’t mean you ignore the hard stuff, your emotions around this are valid. It just means you’re not forgetting the good stuff. It can pause our mind, shift our focus, and even if it’s small, give a moment of appreciation.


8. Seek Professional Support:

Of course, as a postnatal counsellor, who has been through therapy for my own  struggles, I would say this is the ultimate self-care. If you find yourself struggling with the emotional challenges of motherhood, consider seeking the support of a professional. Whether through individual therapy or support groups, investing in yourself like this is a powerful resolution that can positively impact your overall well-being for the long term.

As we embark on this new year, let's redefine resolutions for mums. Instead of succumbing to societal pressures, prioritise new year resolutions that work for mums, that nourish your emotional health and reinforce self-care. Remember, these resolutions are not about perfection but about creating a foundation for a more fulfilling and balanced life. Embrace the journey of motherhood with kindness, mindfulness, and a commitment to your own well-being.


I'd love to hear what resolutions work for you!

Claire Judd Postnatal Counsellor in Harrogate and Online

Postnatal Counselling in Harrogate & Online

Claire Judd is a fully qualified counsellor in Harrogate, working with postnatal mums. If you’re struggling, get in touch for a free 15 min call to find out how we can work together.

Follow @therapy.for.mums on Instagram for information, tips and advice.

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