4 things you do NOT have to do this January

You know January is well and truly here when everything on your newsfeed makes you feel inadequate. A week-and-a-half in and some of us are already starting to feel like we failed at 2021. It’s important to remind yourself that the post-Christmas rush to change every bad habit you’ve ever had, can leave you feeling inadequate and insecure.

To avoid these feelings this January, here is a brief reminder that you do not have to:

Lose weight

This should go without saying, mums. Now more than ever, you do not need to ‘be strict’ or ‘be good’. Now is the time to simply be. To get up and survive the day, be it putting clean socks on little feet or replying to emails before your kid takes their place in your lap while you work from home. Becoming a smaller or lighter version of yourself can be a toxic goal and leave you feeling down. Try not to fall into these toxic patterns, especially at this challenging time.

Be productive

If you are a naturally productive person, you do you. However, if the mere mention of ‘getting stuff done’ makes you want to curl up and hibernate for this whole darned month, it's time to shift the conversation to something more palatable. You do not need to paint your whole house and build a shed. You do, however, need to wash your hair or your toddler from time to time. Focus on the little things and move past feelings of inadequacy.

Cook new and exciting meals

Cooking at all is a win. If you make any homemade meals AT ALL during the month of January you can pat yourself on the back. If you serve up ready-made meals or frozen bits you are also a winner. If you opt for takeaway that’s great too… it's BEYOND time we stopped putting pressure on ourselves to add ‘head chef’ to our CVs along with everything else. Unless cooking brings you calm or joy, its time to turn the pressure down to make meals from scratch.

Change yourself

Unless your new year's resolution is to love yourself more, it's time to move away from plans to change yourself. The world has taught us all that if we are not fit, inspiring, productive, creative, a get-up-and-goer, a nature-lover or a saviour of some sort, that we are not enough. This is not true. You are enough. At this difficult time, do what you can to get through the day, to smile and breathe. Your mind is tired from the last year and could do with a rest.

With her daughter Evie as her muse, Anna writes about mumhood and all its intersections from mental health to movies, social issues to pop culture. Anna lives in Dublin with her daughter, partner, three younger sisters and parents. She is a dreadful cook, a fair guitar player and thinks caffeine should be given as a yearly vaccine to parents - courtesy of the HSE.

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