I will start with a disclaimer.
This list of bad mom habits is not to make any mom feel bad about themselves. Because no matter how much we try, we will still make mistakes and experience setbacks in our parenting journey.
The purpose of this article is to help moms see where they can improve and end suffering for the sake of our own physical and mental health.
Because let’s face it. Parenting is always going to be a tough journey and we don’t want to make it tougher by clinging on to these bad habits. And as we grow, as a parent and as a human, we need to know where we lack and improve upon it.
So let’s see what the most common bad mom habits are.
1. NOT TAKING CARE OF YOUR HEALTH
The reason most moms do not prioritize their health is that they either don’t have the time or energy. If you get one hour free every day, would you want to relax on the couch or move your body to exercise and sweat?
I don’t know about you, but I prefer the couch!
But I love the idea of having a fit body too. So I try to squeeze in some sort of exercise whenever I can. It’s usually 20 minutes of stretching or yoga, but I call it a win if I can achieve that.
But you know what? If you are tired most of the time, having a quick sweat session can give you an instant boost in energy.
And eat food that nourishes you. We take so much care in preparing healthy food for kids and make sure they get all the protein, carbs, and fat. But do we make sure we get them too?
I have seen stay-at-home moms spending all their day cooking, cleaning, and looking after others and at the end of the day, they don’t get the time to do anything for themselves.
Another thing moms tend to do is taking the kids to the doctor the moment they are sick but postpone their own medical needs to “someday”.
If you have these bad habits, do make changes in your life by allotting time for yourselves every single day. Because your health is as important as the rest of the family.
2. NOT ORGANIZING YOUR LIFE
I know that not all mothers are super organized and in fact, some people like it messy.
After becoming a mom, what I realized is if I want to stay sane and have some time for myself, I need to plan my days.
So I started making routines for myself and kids. I set up certain systems for doing laundry and cleaning so that they don’t pile up later to cause overwhelm for me.
When I was a disorganized mom, I was always frustrated because there was always more work to do. Not now though. Meal planning and other systems save my life and I am a happier mom.
- Effective habits and routines to have if you work from home
- How to become an organized mom (14 tips you’ll wish you knew sooner!)
3. TALKING NEGATIVELY
I teach my kids about growth mindset and the power of positive thinking. And always catch them when they say they can’t do something and offer encouragement.
But as a human, I have my own fears. I have not yet conquered some of my fears like fear of water, fear of a thunderstorm, fear of public speaking, etc.
It’s important that you don’t project your own insecurities and fears onto kids. Your kids look up to you and learn from how you interpret the world. If you are always worried and tend to avoid difficult situations, your child can pick that up from you.
But that doesn’t mean you should always act perfect. They need to know about your struggles and they should also see how you cope with them and act resiliently.
And another thing is a lack of self-love and acceptance.
We may not love all our body parts equally well, it’s human nature. We have our weaknesses. But refrain from expressing the insecurities about your body or other weaknesses in front of kids.
And also, don’t tell others how you don’t like your child’s hair or how obese he is. Kids overhear such things and this causes a lot of psychological damage that they will carry on throughout their lives.
And also, one bad habit I would like to ditch is complaining. Don’t we tell kids to be grateful when they complain about lack?
But then we complain about the traffic, the weather, our boss, etc. in front of them. And that’s something to think about.
- How to raise a grateful child instead of a complaining one
- 20 things parents should never say to kids
- 7 practical ways to build resilience in kids
4. LIVING ONLY FOR KIDS
Another bad habit of moms is forgetting their individuality once the little ones come into their world. Sure, they need us a lot in the initial years. And later too, if not that much.
But is a mom’s life meant only to raise kids? Who would you be when the kids leave your nest?
You were a complete person before becoming a mom. And that person needs lots of love and attention now too.
No matter how hard it may seem to achieve your goals along with raising kids, please do not bury your dreams for the sake of your family. Especially, in today’s world, when a lot of things are easier for us than it was a decade ago.
Hang onto your dreams and always remember to hold an identity other than that of a mother high on your list.
And also, new trends show how the parents whose life focus is entirely on raising kids, tend to overdo and overprotect them from every obstacle and raise dependent adults as a result.
5. COMPARISON GAME
A lot of our insecurities come from comparison with others. We doubt ourselves and wonder if we are doing enough as a mom because we are always looking at how others are raising their kids.
It’s good to know about different parenting styles and what we should do or shouldn’t, as a parent. But it shouldn’t go overboard and make you suffer because it might not always be affordable or easy for you to do what others do.
This is one reason I have started feeling an aversion towards social media now. It’s hard not to compare your life with the strangers you see there if you are checking in daily.
I would say take what you need and leave what you don’t. To avoid the comparisons, define what works for your family and what doesn’t. So you can be at peace with yourself and stay confident irrespective of what others do.
And stop comparing your kids with others too. It always does more harm than good.
6. WORRYING TOO MUCH
I am so guilty of this bad habit. Sometimes I can be obsessed with my children’s well-being and I tend to micromanage some of their habits.
One reason is that I suffer from anxiety. But recently, I started thinking about how it can impact their freedom and sense of individuality. And how it shouldn’t affect their desires and the opportunities to learn from mistakes.
I have made mistakes in my life and have had unproductive habits over the years.
For example, I was a child who would stay glued to the TV screen 24×7 during vacation time or during weekends.
Since my mom didn’t set any limits on my screen time, I was free to watch how much ever I wanted (although she complained of too much TV).
But I watch zero TV today because I stopped it when I realized it didn’t add any value to my life. And I am trying to do the same with cell phone use.
So, the conclusion is, like I have had the ability to decide what’s good for me, I trust my kids would have it too.
I provide the guidelines and try to be their safety net when they make mistakes. It’s hard not to cross the line, but it is what we need to do.
One of my goals this year is to become a more relaxed mom by letting go of the need to control everything.
- 10 warning signs that you may be a helicopter parent (and how it affects kids)
- How to stop being a helicopter parent (10 effective tips)
7. NOT TAKING REST AND ASKING FOR HELP
If you are like me and you hate asking for help, you are in trouble. I am fiercely independent and never like to trouble anyone with my problems no matter how trivial they are.
For the same reason, I try to do it all on my own. What I learned is, it can be too overwhelming sometimes. And you can never take a break and have time to relax. It makes me an angry and grumpy mom.
So, if possible, delegate some of your housework at least a few times a week or hire a babysitter if that’s what you need help with. If you have friends and family living nearby, you can seek help from them too.
8. NOT SLEEPING ON TIME
Many moms depend on lots of caffeine to function properly and maintain their sanity. But it can never replace good sleep, does it?
Poor sleep habits like scrolling on the phone way past your bedtime or binge-watching Netflix can affect your sleep cycles. It makes you a tired and angry mom the next day.
So, try to schedule your bedtime in a way that you get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Find out the reason for your lack of sleep and fix it. If the overuse of phone is a problem, fix a time when you will put away your phone every night. Getting a real alarm clock is also a good solution so that you can keep the phone out of your bedroom.
9. JUDGING OTHER PARENTS
I think every parent thinks their parenting style is the right one. Or at least the parents who judge other parents think like that.
It’s another bad mom habit we need to break. Because all parents do what they think is right for their kids. Or they use the parenting techniques they were raised upon. Until they find……something better.
Until they realize some of their ways affect kids in a negative way.
This can happen if people are interested to learn about parenting and take the effort to educate themselves. Well, how many do that?
I am sure you do because you are reading a parenting article now. That doesn’t mean we can judge others who don’t know the same things as we do.
I now know more about parenting than I knew five years ago. We are all constantly learning and improving. But that doesn’t mean I am a perfect parent. Nobody is.
And we must respect the fact that different parents have different styles and they believe in it consciously or subconsciously as we believe in our style.
And also, we all have our bad days when we like to close an eye towards bad behavior from kids maybe because we have something bigger going on in our life.
And it’s also easy to shame other moms when their child has not achieved certain milestones. It’s human nature to compare but remember we are not perfect parents and we don’t know what others are going through.
And remember all kids are not the same and their abilities are different too.
10. LIVING IN FEAR
As much as we judge others, we live with the fear of being judged too. We worry about what others think of our parenting style and we worry about how others view our kids’ behaviors.
When we become moms, we often get a lot of unsolicited advice too. Whatever your parenting style is, remember you know your child best and you know what works for you and not.
If you decide to give up breastfeeding or do homeschooling, do it confidently because you get to decide how you live. People are going to judge you anyway.
11. NOT FOCUSING ON YOUR MARRIAGE
We think our marriage is strengthened when we become parents. Because now we have a bond with our spouse that is unbreakable. They are now the father/mother of your child.
But studies show that children drastically affect many marriages – often negatively.
Because after having kids, we don’t get the same amount of time, space, or privacy as we had before kids. Less time and energy for romance, added pressure on finances, different parenting styles, etc. can make you struggle to maintain your relationship smoothly.
In order to survive and sail smoothly, we need to put in conscious work and effort to reconnect with each other on a daily basis. And also, always put your spouse first before kids. Because ultimately kids need a stable environment in which they see their parents loving each other.
If you put your own needs in the backburner and always tend to the needs of kids first, your marriage will suffer and then it badly affects everyone.
12. NOT SPENDING QUALITY TIME WITH KIDS
This bad habit affects the relationship with kids. I know for many people there is not enough time in our days to spend quality time with kids. But what’s the point of raising kids if we can’t take time off to connect with them, right?
And remember, we always make time for what our priorities are, no matter how busy we are.
13. SHOPPING ONLY FOR OTHERS
This is part of putting others in front of our own needs. Instead of using all your money for your family, moms need to splurge money for their own needs and desires too.
Getting a Mani/Pedi done, or getting a monthly spa massage shouldn’t be luxuries but something you need to do to treat yourself like a queen.
It’s part of valuing your worthiness and loving your life. So if you have a strong wish to do something for yourself but hesitate to take money out from the family budget, remind yourself that you are always worth it.
14. LYING TO KIDS
Sometimes to manipulate kids into doing something we want, or to escape nagging, parents tell white lies to kids.
Studies show that when kids who were lied to by parents lie more when they become adults.
If kids catch you lying repeatedly, it can erode their trust in you. Eventually, they will have trouble trusting people. If you want to raise kids who are honest and value integrity, stop telling lies.
It can seem easier to give false promises (I will take you to the park today) to escape a tantrum at the moment. But never ever give such promises if you can’t keep them.
15. TALKING NEGATIVELY ABOUT PEOPLE KIDS LOVE
Sure life is not always rainbows and unicorns and you might not be having a good relationship with your family.
But if they are close family members (like your ex or their parents) and people your kids love so much, refrain from talking about the things they did to you and create hatred in kids’ minds.
Let kids love them unconditionally without having to know about the problems between adults.
So, these are 15 common bad habits that moms have. What more would you add to the list? Please comment below!
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- 4 types of parenting styles and their effects on child development
- What every daughter needs from her mom
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