We all keep running lists in our heads and on our fridges and bathroom mirrors so we don’t forget the most important, the most crucial of daily tasks. You know which ones I mean—the ones you can’t live without. Buy milk for cereal in the morning. Send extra diapers to daycare. File your taxes. Put on a bra before you leave the house. Some days/weeks/years the list seems longer and longer until it feels impossible, the monster lurking under the bed, waiting to keep you up at night. You don’t need that kind of pressure. So, in the name of sleep and sanity, here’s a list, compiled by myself and a few fellow Her View From Home writers, to set you free. These are 31 items NOT to do so you can cut yourself some slack while still getting that rush from another mission accomplished.

  1. Guilt-trip yourself over pre-packaged snacks and meals on the go. We all get busy. Oreos and Goldfish are not the end of the world.
  1. Vacuum daily (or weekly in our house).
  1. Google medical symptoms. Calling your actual doctor will provide you with a lot fewer worst case scenarios than Doctor Google! Or WebMD!
  1. Make Pinterest-worthy photo albums for kids beyond #1, because after that you’re lucky if you remember to take a Christmas picture.
  1. De-clutter. It’s impossible until age 18 and then you can just send it all with them when you send them packing.
  1. Write thank you notes for your kid’s birthday presents from immediate family. They know you’re grateful. Let that be enough.
  1. Buy kids shoes with laces. Velcro and slip-on for the win!
  1. Let your Amazon Prime membership expire…you will never have to leave the house again if you don’t want to.
  1. Spring clean until you’re good and ready.
  1. Carefully pre-plan/coordinate kid clothes. Something is going to get dirty, pulled off, or lost before you make it to the end of the day anyway.
  1. Over decorate the nursery. It’s going to get pooped and puked on and then baby-proofed to the nines, so why bother?
  1. Iron…unless absolutely necessary.
  1. Buy anything new that could also be found at a consignment sale.
  1. Pick up your kids’ toys, because they can do it!
  1. Cook meals for EVERY family who has a new baby (i.e. You don’t have to do everything and take-out exists for reason.)
  1. Over-do birthday parties: kids just want to play, eat, and make a mess. You provide the cake. They’ll provide the mess.
  1. Let your kids think their house is a democracy where they get the majority vote.
  1. Try to parent other people’s children. To each their own. As long as you protect yours, let the rest go.
  1. Buy brand-label clothing for kids under 12, because they don’t care if they’re wearing Crew Kids.
  1. Compare your kids to other kids.
  1. Compare your parenting ability to other parents. Our families are not mirror images of each other and they shouldn’t be!
  1. Make negative comments about your body in front of your children. Or in front of anyone else, or yourself for that matter.
  1. Feel guilty for needing a mommy time-out.
  1. Over-volunteer at your kid’s school. You don’t have to run the PTA, host a bake sale and drive carpool to every sporting event.
  1. Argue with kids about their clothing choices. If it’s clean and the kid is fully clothed, that’s good enough.
  1. Let anyone else criticize your parenting style. That is between you, your spouse, and God.
  1. Wear real clothes with real buttons and zippers and iron-only material if you’d don’t want to.
  1. Host Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July or any other event until your kids are able to wash, clothe, and feed themselves.
  1. Invest in any “real” shoes for newborns (I mean, where are they going to go?)
  1. Leave the house without an extra change of clothes…and diapers…and wipes…and coffee.
  1. Skip your personal time. You need to take care of you too! It’s good to get out of the house without your kids every now and then and remember who you are outside of “mommy.”


Now go get busy. You’ve got a lot NOT to do today.

Jamie Sumner

Jamie Sumner is the author of the middle-grade novel, Roll with It. Her second and third middle-grade novels with Atheneum Books for Young Readers will be coming out in 2020 and 2021. She is also the author of the nonfiction book on motherhood, Unboundand the forthcoming bookEat, Sleep, Save the Worldfor parents of children with special needs. She is also mom to a son with cerebral palsy and she writes and speaks about disability in literature. She loves stories that celebrate the grit and beauty in all kids. She and her family live in Nashville, Tennessee. Connect with her at Jamie-Sumner.com