10 Things Moms Should Stop Doing

10 Things Moms Should Stop Doing | Nurturedmama.net

Are you tired of the lists of things you should be doing better, larger, or more of in your life?  I’ve got you covered. Here are 10 things you can stop doing right now.


Saying “I should…” about anything.

If your hear yourself saying a sentence that begins with the words, “I should…” I’m betting you don’t really want to do that thing. You feel obligated to, or you think someone else wants you to do it. If you hear yourself saying, “I should…” stop and decide if that is something you really need to do. When I do things that started with “I should…” I almost always end up resenting them.

If you say, “I should really do the laundry,” when your kids are begging you to come play, go play instead. The laundry will still be there in an hour. If you say, “I should really join this committee at my son’s school,” consider what else you might do with that time that would better feed your heart instead.


Eating off your kid’s plate.

In our house, the kid eats the same food the adults do, so at least I’m not tempted by butter pasta leftovers. But even when your kids aren’t eating high-carb foods, finishing off the leftovers before you wash the plastic plate isn’t doing your body any good.

Load up your own plate with the food that your body craves and needs, and in the proportions that are right for you. Leave their plate alone, even if you have to throw a bit of food away after the meal.


Shorting yourself on sleep.

It is so tempting for me, every single night, to stay up into the wee hours. I have always been a night owl, and I get a second wind between 10 and 11. But when I stay up late I always regret it the next day. Always.

Not enough sleep has been shown, over and over again, to lead to weight and health problems, memory issues, and can even cause depression. Not to mention, as sleep-deprived parents the world over know, lack of sleep leads to bad moods, short tempers, and generally bad days.

If your only “me” time is when your kids are asleep then use it efficiently. Carve out an extra half hour here or there for a project, but try to get within an hour of your needed shut-eye every night.


Using any of those parenting labels for yourself or anyone else.

Are you a helicopter parent? A tiger mom? A slacker dad? No, you are not.

Personally, I can pass through all of those styles and more in a single day. You are more than a label, and using those simplistic descriptions minimizes the complexity of humans parenting humans.


Believing anyone else has all the answers.

In a culture where everyone loves to give advice (even me), it is easy to believe that means somebody else must have the answers to your every problem.

Probably not. They might have the answers to the problems they had, but your issues are likely to be slightly different. Your kid is different than their kid, the way they communicate with their partner is different than what happens in your house, and they almost certainly manage their budget differently. And just because they have a great way to sort their email doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you.

That doesn’t mean you can’t look for ideas in what others – experts or not – are doing, but take responsibility for solving your own individual struggles. Not only will the custom fit work best, you will feel the awesome accomplishment of working it out on your own.


Putting off your dreams.

Some seasons of life, especially the ones that involves babies and small children, feel like go-go-go from pillow to pillow, with nothing left over for dreaming with, let alone taking steps towards making dreams happen.

But don’t make the mistake of turning away from your dreams entirely. You might wake up one day when your kids are grown and moved out and find your dreaming muscles are all atrophied and useless.

Make your steps realistic to the season of life you are living in now, but keep making steps.


Holding on to toxic relationships.

I don’t have a lot of time or energy to spare (see the note on dreams, above!). I don’t have anything left over to pour into relationships that leave me feeling drained, hurt, or negated.

If you have people in your life who make you feel that way, wish them well and let them go. If those relationships are family, you may not be able to walk away entirely, but create a buffer so they don’t impact your life so much.

Instead, surround yourself with people who will hold you up, believe in you, and show up with a latte just when you really need one.


Waiting for that supermom award.

Are you waiting around for someone (your partner, your parent, your child) to recognize how hard you are working, what an amazing job you are doing, or what a great parent you are?

Stop waiting. It is a bummer of a fact, but awards are not given for mothering. Even when you have those spectacularly awesome days when not only are the kids fed and alive at the end, but happy and clean as well.

Stop waiting for the award. You will only feel disappointed.


Trying to live up to Pinterest.

I love Pinterest, but I know not everybody does. I love it because I don’t follow boards that have beautiful, themed kids birthday parties, gorgeous spotless homes, or kid-free luxury vacations.

Instead, I follow people who are making crafts with their kids, cooking food in their crockpots, and making handmade shaving cream and lotion bars. In other words, doing the things I do already and would like to do more of.

There are so many beautiful, inspiring and shiny things on Pinterest that may not fit in the life you have right now. It can be a resource to help pull you toward doing more of things that inspire you, but don’t let it bury you in the feeling that your life is not enough.


Judging yourself.

We all have bad days. But don’t fall into the sinkhole of telling yourself you are a bad parent, not patient enough, not enough generally.

Yesterday I had to bodily force my daughter into her car seat while she screamed in my ear. It was not a shining moment. But it was brought on by her needing a snack and a nap and me being on a schedule. It was unfortunate and I’ll try to avoid that situation in the future, but it doesn’t make me a bad parent.

Cut yourself some slack. Forgive yourself for mistakes and bad decisions. Then move on.

What else would you like to quit doing?


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7 Responses to 10 Things Moms Should Stop Doing

  1. niki November 25, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    So, I need to wake every morning at 3:30 am to assist one of the kids and most of the time I can fall back to sleep. well, some of the time anyway. And some of the time, I end up laying in bed the rest of the night with all the “I Should’s” and “Should I’s” running through my head. (Not very conducive to sleep.)
    I should be calling the kids Dr’s for checkups, I should be doing my yoga, Should I be vaccinating my kids. Why am I not but, i should be controlling their electronic time, I should stop eating crap, I should stop feeing my kids crap, I should be doing more schoolwork with them everyday, I should read more text on paper and read less text on a screen, I should paint/draw more and search online for yet more inspiration less.. I should, should I, I should, should I … and so it goes until I’ve wasted the rest of my night feeling like a failure.
    Often to calm the “Should’s” I visit Instagram and Pinterest and favorite blogs to distract myself… (when I “should’ be meditating instead of distracting)

    I spend a LOT of time on Instragram and Pinterest and reading the same ole blogs I’ve been attached to for eons, in the name of inspiration (read: distraction) of course. my art corner is getting dusty, my kickass new camera is pleading to be touched, my pencils and sketchbooks have dust bunny pets of their own and my Photoshop skills are waning do to all of my “Collecting Inspiration” time.
    Not to mention my books stacks are going unread, my healthy recipes are going uncooked and my stress and back muscles are fighting to gain the title of most twisted.

    Back again to last night, as I lay there at 3:35 am unable to sleep and the “should’s’ creeping ever closer, I went into my old routine… Instagram, Pinterest, blogs… but I was bored and unsatisfied (and still feeling guilty)

    I decided to spend some time on your blog instead of the ones that were boring me and this post struck a chord. WHy am I wasting SO much time on things that are SO unfulfilling? Why am I wasting so much time on something that is causing me so much GUILT?


    Don’t I want more time to love and art and cook and create and connect?
    Yes but, all this inspiration gathering (and distracting) is getting in the way, and at the same time, weighing me down.

    Your blog post helped me to get to the place of cutting out some of my bad habits right there in the middle of the night. I logged onto Pinterest and killed most of my boards. Then deleted most of my pins. Instead of inspiring, what all my pins were doing was reminding me of the unpainted paintings/undrawn drawings/undecorated hallways, uncooked recipes… I often have great ideas but, they fall by the wayside because of all my idea searching.
    Then I logged onto my Instagram account and whacked my “following” in half. Deciding individually whether each account was beneficial to me or not. For the most part, I only kept family and a few dear friends, and just a few others who’s posts and art really do inspire me to create and to love and to live and to be.

    Theeeennnn… I deleted Pinterest and Instagram off of my phone.
    They are great places to be but, not ALL the time.

    If I want them, they will be here on my computer.
    not on my phone for me to check with every pee, every walk across the street, every lull in conversation…

    Thank’s to your post, I spent my night awake eliminating some of my crutches.
    Today, I didn’t get any books read, I didn’t get my yoga done and I ate something I was allergic to but, I didn’t numb out my mind and time with mindless visuals.
    I listened to my favorite stations (NPR rocks!) I listened to my favorite people and I created a little more space to just be.

    Thanks sweet girl for your wisdom and insight.
    niki recently posted…Self Portrait Project: 4.5My Profile

  2. Melissa September 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    Great points and well written! Thanks for sharing these great insights for Moms that do to much in their lives. Great job!

  3. Audra J. September 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    Great advice! I’m not a mum, but some of this rings true for me anyway. Not to mention I have a sister-in-law, a brother, and a beautiful nephew. Said Sis-in-law would love this article. Definitely want to share it with her!

  4. Helen September 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi, great post as always!
    I misread one of your points above on first scan – the one about replacing “I should” with “I would love to”. Your point’s a (very valid) one about seeking fulfilment by doing things you love not things you feel a dull sense of obligation over. But the way I read it – and this sometimes works for me – was as a suggestion to alter your own state of mind by thinking more positively about the things that truly are obligations. I’ve a certain level of household tasks that need to be covered, and it helps me to think about how much I will love the outcome, so not “I would love to wash up” but “I would love a kitchen full of clean pots” – gets me to the same place, but more happily.
    Bit of a tangent there, but there’s plenty else to think about from the post too – thank you.
    Helen recently posted…LossMy Profile

    • Doña September 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

      You know, I was thinking about that spin on that point after I finished writing this post. It is a really good point. Sometimes there is a “should” that you really do have to do. And recasting it so that you can find the love in it is an awesome way to motivate yourself! Thanks for sharing your “mis-read!”

    • Meg September 24, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

      That is such a great idea Helen. I currently have a sink full of dishes calling my name and I soooo don’t feel like dealing to them … but on the other hand, I love it when my kitchen is neat and tidy … thinking of that is already making the dishes seem less of a chore!
      Meg recently posted…10 ways to share your expertise with your email newsletter subscribersMy Profile


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