The start of this new year really feels like a clean slate, especially if you’re a parent. After spending so much of 2020 taking care of others (read: your kids), 2021 is promising to bring the opportunity for self-care; a chance to do the things you want to do and be the kind of human you want to be. Whether you’re making big resolutions or nuanced intentions, the most important part is that they’re focused on you.
Focusing on yourself might feel a little strange after putting your own needs on the back burner for so long. But if there’s anything we learned in 2020, it’s that we can overcome any challenge thrown our way. And this year, we’re going even harder. We here at bloom have some big goals for 2021, and we can’t wait to take you on the journey with us.
As we ease into this new circle around the sun, we encourage you to start small. Focus on intentions: small things we can do in our daily lives that will yield big results. From saying yes to yourself, to indulging your creativity, to putting the phone down and living in the moment -- these intentions are sure to inspire.
We’ve asked some real parents to share their honest 2021 intentions. Here’s 12 intentions you can start right now.
1. Some days, I feel burned out, taking care of everything and everyone around me but myself. So this year, I decided to plan doing things for myself more often! Like going out for a walk by myself, or having dinner with a good friend, or watching the sunset with my husband and our baby Shams (if she allows us). It’s so important to take care of yourself as a parent when you are offering so much love, care and support to everyone around you.
-Samah, mom of 6-month-old (pictured in the fresco white)
2. My intention is to continue teaching myself how to draw. My plan is to pack my journal and supplies when we go to the playground or park. I find that being interested in drawing helps me stay more present. I notice nature more; the shapes and colors that surround me are easy to ignore in the busy-ness of parenthood.
-Liz, mom of 4-year-old and 7-year-old
3. I feel pretty thrown by all the change in 2020, from becoming a mom of now two, to an uprooted career, to just that higher level of pandemic-fueled daily anxiety. Amid all the chaos, I’d like to get back in touch with what it is that makes my heart sing. Isn’t it sad -=- I don’t know what that is! I intend to carve out alone time this year, big time, to find my passions again.
-Ana, mom of 2.5-year-old and 1-year-old (pictured in the alma papa crib in beach house grey)
4. My 2021 intention is to say yes to myself more. I think about myself last (if ever at all) and at the end of the day I find I say no or don’t do things that feel like they might inconvenience my family in even the smallest of ways. This year I hope to find more reasons and time to do things just for me.
-Mandy, mom of 4-year-old and 7-year-old @curatedplayspaces
5. Last year really changed us. Parenting has entered a new era, never seen by generations before us. But for new and seasoned parents, times like these make us more resilient. And that resilience is something we’re carrying into 2021.
-Mark, dad of 4-year-old and 2-month-old (pictured in the alma mini+ crib in natural)
6. My goal for 2021 is to let go of certain expectations. As a new parent, there were a million things that I expected to go differently and was often disappointed when things didn’t work out how I thought they would. I’ve only been a parent for two months but one thing I’ve learned is that it’s important to be more flexible and open to things taking a different route. I’m not naturally someone who “goes with the flow” but for my own mental health, which goes hand in hand with the happiness of my family, I need to better embrace the unpredictably of parenthood; it’s a wild ride full of unexpected twists that you can only truly handle if you open yourself up to new paths.
-Sajda, mom of 2-month-old (pictured in the coco go bouncer)
7. It might be silly and small, but in 2020 I learned to lower my expectations (and then lower them a bit more), and my intention is to get up and take care of myself before I start taking care of my kids. I feel so much better if I’ve brushed my teeth and washed my face before I deal with everyone else. If I’ve also “gotten dressed” AKA changed into clean sweatpants, and made a coffee for myself, even better!
-Julie, mom of 4-year-old and 6-year-old
8. I’m a spontaneous person who usually goes with the flow. But working at the hospital during a pandemic has made life really hectic (to say the least), so there’s not much room for deciding on the fly anymore. In 2021, I intend to be more disciplined with planning and time management — so that I can leave the stress of work behind and so that my family can have my undivided energy and presence. Hopefully with a few adventures planned throughout the year.
- Teddy, dad of 3-year-old and 6-year-old (pictured in the alma papa toddler bed in white in the top image)
9. Mine is to be more aware of and responsive to my own needs. I think in this time of COVID with very few (if any) "breaks" from parenting it really is important to find respite from caregiving and time away from my kids to recharge/reset. Ultimately, I'll probably end up a better parent after addressing my own needs and caring for myself a bit.
-Emily, mom of 10-month-old and 3-year-old
10. In 2021, I want to stop scrolling when I’m alone with my children. Last year, I spent so much time doom-scrolling to keep up with the world as it crashed around me. It felt important and necessary to know what was going on. But my girls are still so little and I worry they noticed how detached I was to the present. So this year, I really want to focus on spending time doing things with them when we’re together: drawing, playing, exploring. I want to give them my full attention -- at least until their dad gets home.
-Hanna, mom of 2-year-old and 3-year-old (pictured in the fresco noir)
11. During the pandemic, I was so focused on sustaining and caring for my own family and our household; as we start to see the light in 2021, my goal is to do more for my community. I’m craving connection to other parents, business owners and yes, even strangers! This year feels like we need all hands on deck in a way we never have before so I’m going to make it my goal to support our local businesses, shop local (and reduce my Amazon habit!), and volunteer at our school and for organizations that help our community.
-Jessica, mom of 7-year-old and 9-year-old
12. Whew, we made it! For me 2021 is about small rituals that help ground me each day. Moving my body, even for just 20 minutes, on most mornings is an important one in starting my days positively. The other is ending my day with some journaling. I found so many of my days were such a blur in 2020. I'm hoping this will help me reflect on both the good and the bad in a more meaningful way. Lastly, the biggest lesson from 2020 is that our minds can change on any given day. We should all release any self-judgement if our intentions don't work out.
-Kaity, mom of 9-year-old and 3-year-old (pictured in the alma papa crib in white)
13. After a year of multi-tasking, homeschooling and feeling like I was drowning in work without enough time or childcare, I am focusing on myself as much as possible. I am working out for fun (who am I!?), meditating (also omg), going to bed early when I need to, taking walks alone, and doing anything I need to help keep me happy and healthy. I used to think of all of this as selfish, but I've learned (at the age of 37!) that I have to be the happy one to set the tone for everyone else.
-Megan, mom of 2-year-old and 9-year-old @artbymegan
14. I’m the queen of self-doubt and negative thoughts — did I do this right? Should I have said this or that? Am I good enough of a mom? Am I good enough at my job? As a partner? As a friend? I do believe that reflecting and questioning oneself can be constructive and an essential part of growth; but in 2020, all these uncertainties became evermore intrusive and held me back from giving my whole to whatever I did or aspired to do. So this year, I want to release some of the pressure I put on myself and remind myself that yes, even on bad days or when I’m feeling down, I am enough — as a mom, as a partner, as an employee, as a friend, as a human. I am enough.
- Charlene, mom of 3-year-old and 6-year-old (pictured in the bloom x lewis stingray sheets)