So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

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   

Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s

In: Health, Humor
Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s www.herviewfromhome.com

Do you remember that day in the fifth grade when the boys and girls were separated for the “Sexuality and Development” talk? Some nice old lady health teacher came into your room and gave you some straight talk about how the next few years were going to go for you. It was awkward and shocking and you knew your childhood would never be the same. When you hit your mid-thirties, there should be some kind of Part Two to that conversation. All the ladies need to be rounded up, lead into a dimly lit classroom that smells vaguely of pencil...

Keep Reading

How to Stay Married For (at Least) 10 Years

In: Humor, Relationships
How to Stay Married For (at Least) 10 years www.herviewfromhome.com

In July, my husband and I celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary. We got married back in 2008 following my college graduation. I was only 22 at the time and him? Well, he was all good-looking at the prime age of 30. There were may vocal skeptics who chimed in, unasked of course, to share with us their belief that we would “never last” and that it would “never work”. To them, I say, “You were wrong! Na-na, na-na, boo-boo!” Just kidding, of course; I don’t talk like that. I am a respectable mother, not a four-year-old child and thank goodness...

Keep Reading

How to Put Your Children to Bed in 46 Easy Steps

In: Humor, Kids
How to Put Your Children to Bed in 46 Easy Steps www.herviewfromhome.com

It was time. It had to happen. We’d had a good run at pouring our children into bed at 11:30 p.m., sweaty, sticky, and exhausted from their head to their toes.  But bedtime had to get back to its (somewhat) regularly scheduled program.  When we had one kid, bedtime was a breeze.  Each night, we had a 10 step process. And the steps were simple. And very, very routine. 1. Toys away at 7:10 p.m. 2. Up the stairs at 7:15 p.m. 3. Change into pajamas 4. Brush teeth 5. Read two books 6. Say prayers 7. Light off 8....

Keep Reading

Welcome to the Dreaded Man Cold Season

In: Health, Humor
Welcome to the Dreaded Man Cold Season www.herviewfromhome.com

Your husband has a mere headache, but he automatically now believes that he is going to be a chronic sufferer of cluster migraines. Or, maybe he got a small splinter, but he now believes that he is, without probability, going to end up with a staph infection. And, well, that cough of his (cough, cough) is going to have him laid up in bed for the next two days because he is just feeling so terrible. Sound familiar? It is all too familiar to me. What am I talking about? How men are babies when they get sick. Yes, I said it. I...

Keep Reading

Wanted: Imperfect Friends

In: Humor, Relationships
Wanted: Imperfect Friends www.herviewfromhome.com

Is anyone else as sick of the facade as I am?  Because on social media, everyone seems to have their crap together. But I sure don’t.  Scrolling through my feeds leaves me feeling inadequate and lonely, desperately lonely.  I know social media is only the high points. I know there is always more going on behind the scenes that I don’t know about. But at the end of the day, I just feel like there’s no one who would want to be friends with little, imperfect, insignificant, me.  So, I’m placing an ad.  Wanted: Imperfect Friends A kind, but quirky,...

Keep Reading

51 Reasons a Mom Might Be Late

In: Humor, Motherhood
51 Reasons a Mom Might Be Late www.herviewfromhome.com

I’ve got a question for all you moms out there: Have you ever been late? Yeah, me neither. Just kidding! We’ve all been there. We have an appointment, a meeting, an event, or just a playdate, and we want to be on time. In fact, it often looks and feels like we’re going to be on time. We’ve planned ahead. We have everything in order, and we are ready to head out the door. But then, without fail, the inevitable happens. Actually, it seems that a good number of inevitables happen. And we’re running late, again. Being on time is...

Keep Reading

5 Ways Boy Moms Always Ruin Our Fun

In: Humor, Kids
5 Ways Boy Moms Always Ruin Our Fun www.herviewfromhome.com

We know Mom loves us, don’t worry about that . . . but sometimes it seems like she’s just making up a whole pile of rules to ruin our fun. For instance, we’ll be in the middle of a huge independent project and she’ll come along, usually shriek, and be like, “You can’t use water guns to fill up the bathtub! And why are you shooting water into the toilet? Ewwwwww.” And just like that, we have to pack it all up and return to a clean orderly activity. A controlled activity. A zero fun activity. We’re not even sure...

Keep Reading

Should Grandparents Get Paid to Babysit?

In: Humor, Journal
Should Grandparents Get Paid to Babysit? www.herviewfromhome.com

While swaying in side-by-side hammocks, my daughter paid me the ultimate compliment: “It gives me enormous peace of mind while I’m working, to know you’re watching my son and that he’s in the most capable hands.” Then 10 seconds later while I was still orbiting in happy mode, she insulted me by offering to PAY me for this glorious privilege. We engaged in a little tit for tat tug of war with no clear winner. And the debate rages on, at least in our household. How about yours? To pay or not to pay the loving grandparents who bless us...

Keep Reading

Kids Today Will Never Know the Joy of a 90s Summer

In: Humor

So you want a good old fashioned 90s summer, huh? I don’t blame you. The 90s rocked! (Literally, thanks to Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder.) I’m not going to lie—I take slight offense to the use of “old fashioned” and “90s” in the same sentence, as I’m pretty sure the 90s were like 10 years ago, but I’ll still help you out. If you’re really doing this though, you’ll need to ditch some of your modern conveniences, like your phone. I know, I know, but it’s a requirement. You may bring a beeper or clunky flip-phone, but no internet allowed...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, This Is Not An Uber

In: Humor, Kids
Dear Kids, This Is Not An Uber www.herviewfromhome.com

Paid automotive transportation is pretty simple. You hop in the backseat of a cab, share the address where you are going and aren’t required to speak any longer until you arrive at your destination and pay the driver. The same primary rules apply to taking an Uber or Lyft.  The unwritten rules have been in place for some time. Your trade-off for taking paid transportation is a ride in the backseat, where you don’t have control over the music, the temperature of the car, the route the driver takes or how fast the trip takes, not even the amount of...

Keep Reading