Wednesday, March 9, 2011

5 Habits Mom Should Ditch

If you're walking around today with a black spot on your forehead, you already know it's Ash Wednesday, a Christian tradition that kicks off the first day of Lent. During this time, many give up a vice, treat or habit, opting to take a spin a self-discipline - like a religious New Year's resolution. I once tried to give up sarcasm for Lent, something that came so close to killing me, I swear I saw someone raise those paddles to bring me back. 

Okay, before you click away thinking this post is of a religious nature (because no one wants to read about that here), my point is that I think there's something to the whole 'trying to better our selves' movement. So what better time to challenge you to give up those negative mom behaviors, at least for the next 40 days (plus Sundays)?

 5 Habits All Moms Should Give Up... For Good        
  • Judgment Yeah, yeah, she works too much... she stays at home eating Bon Bons... she yells all the time... she doesn't discipline her kids... Seriously - STOP. Unless your child is so saintly, you've seen his image in a grilled cheese sandwich, you are not perfect either. Besides, if you notice, judgment is spelled pretty close to "Judge Me," something that is ultimately guaranteed to come back and bite you in the butt.
  • Comparing Kids Whether it's between your own kids or you're constantly competing with someone else's, not only will it drive you crazy, you'll raise a kid who's constantly watching his back. No one's self worth needs to hinge on whether they're more successful athletically, academically or even physically than someone else. Embrace your child's unique gifts, let go of whoever you thought your kid would be and appreciate who your child actually is.
  • Being a Martyr I get it, your kids come first...blah, blah, blah. But does that seriously mean we should sacrifice our own health and well being, so we can give 100 percent to everyone but ourselves? I remember, when my kids were babies, feeling like the more exhausted I was  -- my body physically aching - the better I was at being a mom that day. Take a class, see your girlfriend, go on a date night or just take a walk, but please, please, please don't play that whole good-moms-give-up-everything game. Not only is it untrue, it actually teaches your kids that only their needs are important. Do you really want to subject your family (and the rest of the world) to that?
  • Projecting You hate roller coasters, are terrified of dogs and don't love the great outdoors (you'd rather stick needles in your eyes than go camping)... that's fine. But don't decide how your child feels, just because you do. In fact, his/her livelihood could be doing something you absolutely hate. Your child is not you. Your child is not you. Click your heels together and say it with me.
  • Beatings Calm down, I'm not talking about the kids here. I'm talking about that emotional beating many of us subject ourselves to every day with negative self talk and impossible expectations. You didn't exercise, had an extra cookie, were impatient with the kids or forgot to do one of the 10,000 tasks on your to-do list... so what?! If you wouldn't say it to your BFF, don't say it to yourself. Don't you deserve the same kindness and respect?
Whether you're giving up chocolate, wine or yelling... I wish you the strongest of will power. But if you can improve in one of these lifelong problem areas, even if just for the next several weeks, days or hours... you will be contributing to something much, much bigger - a peaceful, happy family.
Outside of that, I think I'm going to give up giving things up.

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