Whole Parenting Family

7 Things I’ve Given up on as a Mom


Oh you know, typical mom confession time over here. It’s been a wonderful fall and I’m sure winter is peeking around the corner, waiting to dump a ton of snow on us so I’ve been taking stock of what’s worked and what hasn’t and how I can improve and all that stuff.

When I was out of town last weekend, I picked up a copy of Gretchen Rubin’s Happier at Home. I’ve already read the Happiness Project, which I loved, so I figured this one would be a jumpstart for my soon to be given up New Year’s Resolutions. But no! it really had such great ideas about improving areas of your home life. And it got me to thinking.

What have I given up on as a mom since having three kids? And am I ashamed? Many things. And nope.

Christy’s post about bloggers being just bloggers and missing that got me to thinking, I’d better share this #momfession because three or four people might identify.

1) Tidy house

When I just let it go and tidy after the kids are down for the night, or have them help me after we eat and before AA comes home, it’s so much easier. Otherwise I’m in a constant mental panic about each room we’ve trashed that day and how if I don’t get to it then someone else in the house is going to tidy it and be annoyed with me (intergenerational living first world problems). And I think my kids can’t play in chaos thusly it must be tidy for them to delve into their unstructured free play.

It’s not tidy. And sometimes when my friends come over with their kids, I’ve done them the courtesy of pre-messing it up for them. Slow clap & wink.

It will be tidy when I’m dead or the kids are all moved out and then it will be lonely. So setting that aside, I can focus on tidying when it’s possible and not worrying about it most of the time.

Or like the other day when I was getting through a little religion reading with SuperBoy and the tot just dumped out four games. FOUR games and I didn’t even blink. Looks good, son, just keep happy so I can read with your brother without you coming over here to really attempt to nurse in the most insistent and physical way possible (answer: only in the morning and night. NOT RIGHT NOW.)

2) My sons never wearing sports clothing

Traaaaaashy kids in their Twins shirts!! I always looked askance at their parents. Didn’t they have anything that wasn’t a major league sport in the back-covering department? And jerseys? Don’t even get me started.

SuperBoy wants to play baseball professionally. He practices pitching every single day of his existence, rain or shine. He plays imaginary games in his head with players and types of pitches and counts the strikes and balls and has it all going all day long. He also owns a copious amount of Twins apparel. So yeah, we don’t wear it to parties or church or nature center school in the afternoons a few days a week, but yes, he’s probably wearing it to your house and in my house. Constantly.

3) Second language emersion early

J’adore Francais and really thought I’d raise my kids comfortable with two languages. Turns out unless you’re a native speaker (not) or both parents are bilingual (no, also not) it’s a little low on the list of things for me to focus on with many small kids running around.

I’m bummed but do introduce little songs and phrases. And we have lots of Latin at our church and AA is fluent in that so maybe they’re getting a little bit of two other languages? Maybe.


4) Daily rhythm being the same on a daily basis

As soon as we have a pattern, something throws it off. We’re sick; we have visitors; someone is traveling; someone is teething. I had this idyllic vision of the same nurturing loving peaceful routine every day. What was I thinking?!

Yes, we have a basic framework and doing homeschooling + a few afternoons at the nature center for SuperBoy have given us more structure but yikes. Many days I’m just trying to let go of number 1 up there {untidy house} and read to the one kid while the other one colors with a permanent magic marker (why do I even own these?) on a pillow case. His initials. And then tries to claim the toddler did it.

5) Strict nap schedule

Even with two kids, I was pretty rigid about only being available between 11 and 1, and then not really because we prefer to eat our own food at home, so then maybe after afternoon naps, but then not really because I have to start making dinner and people are crabby and it’s rush hour and no thanks okay see you in ten years.

Now the almost 18 month old tot has one nap, it’s finally at the same time as the 3.5 year old so there you go!! Free mornings!!! Free afternoons!!! I will even skip them to come and see you if I like you!!

6) Baby food puree

BabyLoves never ate it. Still doesn’t really like pouches (I mean, who doesn’t like pouches??). He was also a 10 pounder who started walking and running at 10 months. Maybe it’s just him, but I went from j’adore le purees to “here’s some of what we’re eating, please don’t choke too much.” He also had lots of teeth early and was predisposed to enjoy gnawing on things.

7) Pjs during the day

It’s parenting laziness at its worst. BUT if we’re home all day and have no visitors and the baby is still in his Hannah Andersson number (I know it’s getting a little short legged but I improvise with socks + baby leggings to make these 12-18 mothers keep on going through winter), I’m okay with that. In fact, it could almost pass for play clothing, right? I mean, look at his mullet, too??


Linking up with Kelly & the gang for 7 Quick Takes. Tell me your #momfessions, k??


  1. Kate on November 12, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    #2 and #7 cracked me up a bit, because my kids so rarely have clothes on at all! Today, for instance, my 5-year-old was home from school for all of 5 minutes before he stripped his uniform off (not to change, just to stay in his underwear). Later the 3-year-old decided her bed was a pool, so she needed to be in her “swimsuit” (underwear) to go “swimming.” Whatever! We’re not going anywhere!

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 15, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      I love it!!!

  2. Emily on November 13, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Hi Nell,
    I enjoy many of your posts. It seems like we have a number of things in common; we both like to sew, have a passion for the natural and organic, live in Minnesota (probably within 30 miles of eachother), SAH mom, have a have a 3yr old girl & a 18 month boy, Catholic, love good food, and there is probably more…. I make other crafts too (when I can find the time) and was wondering your thoughts on an Etsy shop. Have you had any trouble? How would i know if something is copyrighted? Do you have any thought to sales tax & other taxes? Are there any other selling sites you would recommend? Looking forward to your reply 😉
    Blessings, Emily

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 15, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      email me! I’d love to get together and chat! I love etsy 🙂 wholeparenting@gmail.com

  3. Ashley on November 13, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I’ve really got to figure out how to be better at #1. I convince myself that I’m less stressed when I tidy as we go, and sometimes that’s true, but I also sometimes do notice how anxious I get when I’m not able to tidy throughout the day. I need to find a way to let go a little, especially as our second is due in a few months and I know time is going to be even tighter.

  4. Francine on November 13, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Yes to number 6! I was all set to start making baby food purees again with #3 and she won’t have anything to do with them. Luckily, she’s the one who has gotten her teeth at a normal time, so she could actually chew her food. Also, my house is kind of a wreck and only two out of three kids got dressed today… the baby and I are still in the clothes we slept in.

  5. Christy on November 13, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Haha, I have given up on so much. I remember when I used to teach my babies sign language. But then I found out it was easier to just speak baby myself.

    Thanks for the link, I’m always glad to see your posts pop up on my feed! xx

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 14, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      Oh yeah–baby sign was huge for number one. Um. Not ever again.

  6. Amy @ Motherhood and Miscellany on November 14, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Hahaha! Yes and “me too!” to all of these (except #2, which I’d never really thought about having all girls). I remember I used to never go anywhere during my oldest morning or afternoon nap. It always perturbed me that all moms groups met at 10am, but really it wouldn’t much have mattered when they met because I was just like you described above. That went right out the window with #2.

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 15, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      HAHAHA yes!! And I stupidly clung to until number 3!!!

  7. Sarah on November 15, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    #2 made me laugh. My Mom always had a rule that we couldn’t wear sweatpants unless we were exercising or sick. I always cringed watching all the little boys running around in sweats/athletic pants or basketball shorts. It looked so sloppy – were jeans or cargos or some other form of “real” pants so hard? Then I potty trained my son. Suddenly we are the proud owners of half a dozen elastic-waist pants and shorts and I get it.

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 15, 2015 at 9:06 pm

      HAHAH yes. yes. yes!

  8. Laurel on November 17, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Yes to every single one of these. Twinning. 😉