3 Things I Learned in the Year of 2020.


Reflecting on this past year, as I do every year, leaves me feeling slightly… defeated? Burned out? Mentally and emotionally drained? This has been an especially difficult year for so many people, including myself. But I do believe there are always some good memories intertwined throughout the bad days and important lessons learned. I am definitely looking forward to the New Year and a fresh start. But this has been a year that has changed our world and life as we knew it. And I think it’s important to acknowledge that.

Slow down and remind yourself of what’s really important.

Life really slowed down for us this year. My family and I were stuck at home for weeks due to the Covid-19 quarantine and even after restrictions were lifted, we stayed pretty close to home. The pandemic presented most of us with something we are all a little short on: time. Having so much extra time at home with my family helped me realize how significant the little moments are.

My son turned one at the start of this year and I have gotten to spend every day watching him grow and learn. There were fewer moments this year when we were so focused on going from one place to another. How many days do we have where we feel like we just go through the motions? Hurry up and get everything done so we can go to bed and do it all again tomorrow, right? Without that hurriedness, I felt like I noticed and remembered more little moments.

I remember the day my son brought me my flip-flop and said “shoe” for the first time. I was so proud of him! When he was introduced to Cars and Finding Nemo, his face lit up as his new favorite characters came alive on our TV. I can remember when Luca started going up to our dogs to kiss them and pet them “nice.” These little moments are the ones I want to remember. It’s so easy to get caught up in the things that don’t really matter. I am so grateful that life slowed down in 2020 so I could really savor this time with my family.

Invest in you.

As moms, it is way too easy to put our own hobbies and interests on the back burner. I think as mothers we are conditioned to give everything we have to our families. In return, we often end up being the last priority. It’s easy to feel like you’re losing yourself in the midst of motherhood. Since having my son I’ve had trouble identifying as something other than “Luca’s mom.” Being a mom is something that takes every ounce of yourself. And it’s the most beautiful, but draining job in the world.

I think it’s important that we use some of our precious free time to do something that inspires us, something that we are passionate about. What if we all spent just a little bit of time each day doing something that not only makes us feel rested and rejuvenated, but something that we enjoy and that leaves us feeling fulfilled? If we all invested a little bit of time into our own interests each day, I think it would make us better mothers, partners, and friends.

Writing is something I’ve become passionate about this year. When I work hard to write something honest and important, and other people can relate to my words, it reminds me that there is more to me than “just” being a mom. I like the person I am when I take the time to invest in things I’m passionate about. In a year that has thrown me curveball after curveball, writing has become therapeutic for me, and reading the words of others has helped me through some dark days. I aspire to be those words for someone else someday. Combining my passion for motherhood with writing, a passion I didn’t even know I had until just months ago, is one of the best things to happen to me this year.

Kindness Matters

The year 2020 hasn’t been kind to many of us. And in turn, acts of kindness have seemed few and far between. Our world has become a place where people are judged for the color of their skin, their occupation, or the way they vote. We live in a world where it has become acceptable to hide behind your computer and say things to people that you would never say to someone in person. Some days, it seems like the world is becoming crueler and more divided by the minute. Everyone doing their part to make the world a kinder place, matters. After all, we are creating the world that our children will grow up in.

One thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to agree with someone to respect them. It’s hard to do. Admittedly, I have found myself judging others for having different opinions than myself. I want to raise my son to have his own opinions and not apologize for them, but also respect other people who don’t agree with him. For that to happen, I must model that behavior.

I think there’s a part of all us mamas that fear having to raise our children in such an unkind world. A better world starts with all of us. It starts with me. There will be days when we are not the best version of ourselves. But if this year has made one thing painfully obvious, it’s that kindness AND respect are everything.

Bring on the New Year.

2020 has been one heck of a year. It has brought me many blessings, but also some of my hardest days. I believe every year presents us with life lessons that provide us the opportunity to become better, stronger people. I can only hope and pray that 2021 brings us all health and happiness, and brings our world some peace.




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Haley Pinciotti
Haley is a 29 year old wife, boy mama, and nurse. She resides in Toledo where she was born and raised, with her husband Gabe, their sweet son Luca (18 months), and crazy fur babies, Stanley and Gordie. On most days Haley would consider herself to be a sahm, but does work part time as a nurse as well. Truly, the best of both worlds. When she’s not chasing her toddler and dogs around (while repeatedly reheating her cold coffee) you can find her compulsively cleaning her house, scouring Pinterest for recipes and home improvement ideas, or buying things from Target that she doesn’t really need.


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