Every year, I start January off with this thought: In the new year, I will try not to lose my cool as much, especially with my kids. I will try to spend more time with my family and my friends. I will take time for me.
And every year, it’s the same thought at the end of December. … “Egad, I didn’t do so well.” Yet, there’s always hope for the next year.
We asked local moms whom we’ve written about in the last couple of years about their hopes for their families in the new year. What will they be working on? Then maybe we can work on that, too. Here are the responses we got back:
Jen Hatmaker, Christian author and inspirational speaker
I have so many hopes for 2020 as a mom, but a handful top the list.
Out of five children, which is a real number and the actual amount of offspring we manage, one son is graduating from college (goodbye, Texas Tech Tuition Account), another son is graduating from high school, and a daughter is graduating from middle school.
I hope, and I mean this sincerely, that the oldest graduate and really all these people get jobs and acquire “salaries” and move into their own homes where they (checks notes) pay their own bills.
Is this too much to ask, universe?
We’ve done our time. We’d like to see a return on our investment of 73,684 soccer/football/basketball games, 932 elementary school programs, 3,924 awards ceremonies, 5 recorder concerts (deliver us, Jesus), 104,822 adolescent meltdowns, and somewhere around 45 million hours around the homework table.
Frankly, I deserve emancipation from being in middle school since 2008.
So in summation, I hope these children become productive, responsible citizens of the United States of America and don’t move home.
Happy 2020, moms. Chins up.
Kat Kronenberg, author of “Big Love”
“YES!” My word and my go-to for the decade ahead. My son just got a sweet puppy, and he is showing me how!
When he turns a corner too fast and slams into the wall, gets stuck under a towel and can’t find his way out or gets in trouble for an indoor bathroom break, he always chooses “YES!” He’s still ready and willing to try again with a wag in his tail. He’s even prepared to love, to play and to enjoy his day. I choose his “YES!”
No matter what happens, I am ready, too — the puppy gets this miracle called life.
Susan Dickson, theater teacher at Grisham Middle School and co-wrangler of the Grisham elves who donate to a Season for Caring family each year
As a working mom who works days, nights and weekends, I always want more time with my daughter, Miranda.
She is named for the character in William Shakespeare's “The Tempest.” “O, a cherubim thou wast that did preserve me.”
She is the angel who saves me. Whether we are running errands together or laughing as we watch improv or baking shows, she makes me smile. Miranda is my joy.
I aim to find those moments in our busy schedules creating more memories to hold dear.
When I was very ill after an accident this fall, I realized that none of us know how much time we have. I am always thinking ahead about what needs to be done for work. However, my goal is to remember to find moments and make as many memories as I can with my beautiful, caring, creative and kind daughter.
Moments, memories and joy.
Maruxa Murphy, founder of Perky Perky coffee company and co-founder of Austin Moms Network
I’m dedicating 2020 to being present. Being present with my company, Perky Perky, to grow and expand it with an incredible team. Creating more intentional presence with my family to cultivate depth in our relationships with each other, and enjoying the little moments with friends and family. I’ve realized over the last couple of years that what matters most to me is spending quality time with those I love, because our time is short.
Dedicating 2020 to being present gives me the opportunity to enjoy the little things daily and bring gratitude for all that is in our lives.
Felicia Jackson, CEO of CPR Wrap Inc., which is a template overlay with all the instructions for doing CPR
My goal and hope for 2020 is to commit to self-care and weight loss! I have been blaming my weight on the birth of my son ... he's 19 years old.
Kristin Goodman, art teacher at Grisham Middle School and co-wrangler of the Grisham elves who donate to a Season for Caring family each year
My hope for the new year is that I can better model grace so that my kids (students and at home) have a strong example of what it means to live with empathy.
There is so much stress and conflict in our lives, from our too-busy daily routines to the sad and scary stories we learn about in the news. It can be easy to react with judgment or blame when things get hard or go wrong. I truly believe that most people are doing their best, even if it doesn’t always look the way we think it should.
Modeling grace includes granting some to myself, especially when the mom/teacher guilt sets in!
Marjorie Mulanax, executive director of Hospice Austin
My word for next year is “believe.” I am always struck by the power of this word. It reminds me to have a more positive, trusting outlook. In our easy-to-be-cynical world, it’s a good word to remember — to believe in ourselves, in others, in organizations and in the beauty of life. Our myopic way of looking at the world too often ignores the beauty and good that is all around us, if we will only open our eyes and believe.
Brooke Shannon, founder of Wait Until 8th, an organization that encourages families to wait to give their children a smartphone until eighth grade
Professional goal: In 2020, I would love to write a handbook for families to learn together how to use technology safely and moderately.
Personal goal: Carve out more free time in the calendar for our family to relax and be together.
Andra Liemandt of the band the Mrs. and the founder of the Kindness Campaign, which encourages kids to be enough and not bully others
In 2020, I'm thinking about changing my story from “I have always wanted to _____” to “I am going to _____.”
I'm not big on resolutions, but I am big on giving myself — and giving others — permission to expand.
Often, we carry around a story in our heads about who we are, what's allowed, what's “on brand” — and these beliefs can unfortunately box us in. But we can actually bring a lot more joy into our lives by changing that story and allowing our self-image to evolve.
So I'm going to encourage everyone around me — my friends, my daughters and myself — to try just one or two new things this year. Want to try ballet? Do it. Want to take a poetry class? Do it. As Lizzo says, “boss up and change your life,” and that sounds like excellent advice to me for 2020.
Kristin Schell, founder of the Turquoise Table, which encourages people to put a turquoise-colored table on their front lawn to encourage conversation with their neighbors
Our Turquoise Table community is focusing on the theme Take Good Care. What does it mean to take good care of ourselves, our families, our neighbors? I’ll be writing about it more in January. Hope you’ll join us.
Jennifer Pugh, founder of Petite Pantry, which is like a little free library for food
My resolution for 2020 is to NOT make a resolution. I do this each year because it reminds me to find happiness in the present moment and go with the flow, fully seeing and appreciating all that is placed in front of me.
Kathy Terry, co-founder of P. Terry’s Burger Stand and Taco Ranch, and founder of inLieu app to allow people to donate in honor of their friends in lieu of hostess gifts, thank you gifts, birthday gifts, etc.
My word for 2019 was “access” because I realized how important our access is to our success and how we are all born with or given different levels of access. So my word for 2020 is “awareness.”
I’ve realized that in order for any change to happen, we have to be aware of the need, but also become aware of our role in all of this.
I want to become more aware of where I spend my time, whom I spend it with and where I spend my money and what I am purchasing and consuming.
The hope is to be more conscious, which will result in making decisions with purpose.
Amy Richardson-Golia, founder and CEO of June & January children’s clothing line
One of my major goals for the new year is having 30 minutes of family exercise twice per week. The plan is for Walking Wednesdays, where we head to the park a few blocks away and get some fresh air and playground time before bed.
We'll also do Scooting Sundays where we take the kids down to the San Gabriel Trail along the river. For some reason, when we make new routines with alliteration, my kids get really into it, and they will remind ME about it!
Kelli Kelley, founder of Hand to Hold, which supports families with children who have been in the neonatal intensive care unit
I am so excited for 2020! Hand to Hold will be celebrating our 10th anniversary in May with a huge gala.
We have had the honor and privilege of serving so many NICU families over the past 10 years. It just feels like a major milestone for me personally and professionally.
After the party, I hope to catch my breath and have the opportunity to truly reflect on the tireless efforts of my staff, board, volunteers and donors who make our work possible! Until then, I am in full party planning mode!
Lisa Knapp, founder of Austin 20, which helps girls who have been sex trafficked start over
What I have learned this year:
Judges need continuing education.
Commitment, money, compassion and a little fearless crazy save lives.
One of my favorite quotes:
“The world is changed by your actions, not by your opinion” (a variation of the Paulo Coelho quote). I love this because I’m so sick of listening to people talk that don’t do (expletive).
“To whom much is given, much is required.” Amen. (Luke 12:48)
Bonnie Kuhl, founder of Archer and Olive journals
My goals for the new year:
Wake up early for a moment to myself each day.
Work outside more.
Learn to delegate.
Jessica Slade, founder of Breakthrough Central Texas, which helps kids become the first college graduates in their families
Before my mother died 20 years ago, and before I had children myself, she wrote me a letter about being a parent. In it, she said, “I've always felt sorry for people who had very definite ideas about who their children should be. It's much more fun to discover who they are.”
In 2020, I want to continue to discover what makes my children — and the other people I love — who they are, and to practice that with curiosity, humility and gratitude.
My dear friend Melissa Skidmore has the best intention I’ve heard for 2020: “Clean that (expletive) up!” Applies to messy rooms, divorce proceedings that are dragging, bad habits, unclear priorities, etc. Said more politely: “Make room.”