A photo project from back before I got into the bad habit of not making enough time for myself.
By Alicia Barnes, liciabobesha.com
While I’m doing a whole lot right in my life, I’m not perfect. I struggle all the time. I’m not always the example I’d like to be for my child. There are some things I have completely under control like fostering learning and security, but others, especially ones involving loving myself, I still have a ways to go. Here are my top 7 mommy bad habits I need to break for my own and my family’s sake.
1. Complaining about my flaws in front of my kids.
I hate my teeth. My feet are too big. I poke at my tummy. My body is too boyish. I delete photos of myself and point out my flaws all the time. When I don’t know something my husband does (and he knows a lot) I tell my kid I hope he’s smart like his daddy. I know I’m setting a bad example of self love, but it’s so hard to stop. I heard a proverb that the way you speak to your kids becomes their inner voice, so I at least try to build him up even when I struggle to build myself.
2. Spending too much time on Facebook and email
Even without a smartphone I spend too much time on Facebook and talking to my friends on gchat. I live in a town away from all my family. I have only one super close friend in town. The result has been I spend a lot of time online because I’m lonely, and I like to chat with my friends far away. I love keeping up with their lives through photos and Facebook posts and tweets. Sometimes this gets out of control. I’ve read books aloud while scrolling through my feed. It’s not that I want to always give my son my undivided attention as he has to learn to occupy himself at times, but I can tell the balance is off right now. I need to work on developing more relationships in town, and modeling how to make in person friendships. I also know I’ll be a better mother if I’m happier, and I’ll be happier if I make some changes.
3. Getting to bed too late
It happened again tonight. I got dinner ready too late. He ate too slow. We tried to do some chores in the meantime, getting him bathed too late, and he went to sleep too late. Now I’m up too late having my toddler-free time. I have got to get back on a better dinner schedule so bedtime is happening earlier for everyone.
4. Finishing my son’s plate
I hate seeing food go to waste and sometimes it doesn’t seem worth putting away or composting, so I just eat it. The problem is I just ate my own food and am not actually hungry. I’m just eating because it’s there and that’s a terrible reason to add unnecessary calories.
5. Ignoring housekeeping duties
My baby is two and my house is so disordered my broom is dusty. Ok, I might exaggerate a little, but I totally use being a busy working outside the home mom as an excuse to not spend enough time cleaning. I hate cleaning and will take advantage of any chance I get to avoid it be it spending time at the gym, reading a book, checking Facebook, or taking my son to the park.
6. Being too lazy about my appearance
My current go to hairstyle is best described as schoolmarm. I gave up make up years ago due to not trusting the origins of the products. I always hated how my liquid liner stung my eyes and began to consider what I was exposing my skin and eyes to. Then I gave up heels when I figured out they messed with my running and distorted my feet too much. Then I had a baby and even when I was thin again, most of my clothes no longer fit the same, so I just gave up and mostly went for shapeless, modest momwear. I’ve totally embraced the screw it, I’m a mom and don’t have to be attractive to go to the grocery store or park look. It would be fine if I looked in the mirror and liked what I saw. I don’t. I hate being frumpy. I know I could be happier if I went back to picking clothes because I liked how they looked, not how they hid my midsection.
7. Having my life revolve around my child
Besides workout, I don’t really do anything without my child. I do go to book club once a month for a couple of hours without him. I rarely close the door to the bathroom. We cosleep. My husband is a PhD student and gone in the lab every day, so I spend a lot of one-on-one time with my kid, and he’s become my life. He is the refuge from a job I don’t love in a town that I pretty much loathe. Once I had him, I lost the incentive to try to do meaningful things for myself. It’s much easier to focus on him and make him happy, but I matter too. I know I need to work on doing more things without my child, but babysitters are expensive and I can’t think of what I’d do here. I just keep hoping that we’ll move somewhere where I’ll have more options for a social life and this won’t be an issue anymore.
So those are my current big issues. I can’t say I’m working on them as actively as I should be, but acknowledging is a starting point.
Do you have any bad habits you need to break? Advice to help me break mine?
Alicia lives in a small college town that often challenges her resolve to live as simply and as stress-free as possible. When she’s not working, rereading the same children’s books, cooking, or wondering how crunchy she’s become, she’s busy updating her site, liciabobesha.com. You can follow her on facebook.