In 2016, I embarked on The Ultimate Mom Challenge. The goal was to try to be the best mom I could be, taking on different characteristics I could work on each month. It was a year of trial and error, big wins and a few flubs. It was a year of miracles, highs and lows, extreme challenges and life-changing revelations. 2016 was most certainly a year to remember.
I want to say I came out victorious in my Ultimate Mom Challenge. Not because I achieved any pre-defined metrics, not because I can now call myself the “ultimate mom,” and certainly not because I’m any better of a mom than anyone else. But I succeeded in my challenge because 1) I finished it (I’m pretty amazed with myself for completing all 12 months!), 2) I grew as a person and a mother, and 3) I finished it. Seriously, a year is a long time to commit to something!
My Favorite Month (of the Challenge)
Obviously my favorite month of 2016 was April, when I gave birth to my second son. However, this post is about the challenge, so I just wanted to make that clear. If you followed my Challenge, each month was a different theme and a characteristic I was working on personally. My favorite month of the Challenge was also my most successful month – July – when I focused on being a FIT mom. I was three months postpartum and I finally gave myself permission to exercise. I started a 30-day fitness routine at home and worked my butt off, quite literally. By the end of the month, I was in amazing shape and has a semi-defined six pack going on. Results make all the difference!
My Least Favorite Month
I never liked February much anyway, so I suppose this is pretty fitting. February I worked to be a THRIFTY mom. I created a family budget, I stuck to a strict budget for groceries, and I essentially moped for a month. I spend a lot of money, it turns out. And I hate being reminded of it, whether it’s from a budget, credit card bills or my own blog. So yeah, February sucked. And I hate to say it, but I did not stick with the budgeting either. It was really stressful, it was hard to manage, and my husband didn’t support me on it. Why? Because my husband is very entrepreneurial minded and believes you can spend what ever you want each month, you just have to find a way to earn even more. Truthfully, I thought he was insane until I started my own business later in the year, but now I see his point. Anyway, that’s a different topic for a different day.
The Month That Changed Me The Most
May and November were big for me, as far as change goes. May was my HIPPIE mom month, where I tried to be more environmentally-conscience. I finally pulled my head out of the sand and realized the importance of going green, and the preciousness of this planet for my children, and our collective future. I started doing things like line drying clothes, using chemical free cleaners, avoiding plastic anything and buying more used items instead of new. These are all things I continue to do today, so it obviously had an impact over me.
November was my month as a YES mom, where I would say “yes” to anything within reason. I wound up picking up running again (I haven’t run in over a year), going to events I did not really want to go to (but wound up having a good time or learning something new), and the mother of all YES’s, committing to a public speaking opportunity. This is huge, you guys. I have called in sick, lied to peoples’ faces, and snuck out of buildings to avoid speaking in public in the past. But I said YES, and guess what… I did it! I didn’t come down with the flu that morning. I actually got up and presented to a group of people on healthy living in the new year. It was so empowering to do something that has left me paralyzed in fear for so long. I felt like a new person. I still do!
2016 will go down in the books as one of the greatest years of my life. Between the new baby, the Ultimate Mom Challenge, and way too many blessings to count, I feel the happiest, most confident, strongest, most beautiful I’ve ever been. If this is what the ultimate mom is supposed to feel like? Mission Accomplished.