Last Updated March 8th, 2019

Quit Playing “Perfect Mom.” Just Be Yourself

Quit Playing Perfect Mom. Just Be Yourself

The pressures on moms to be perfect is just amazing. It doesn’t matter what you do, someone will say you’re doing it disastrously wrong. Maybe that’s why it’s such a habit for many moms to gloss over the problems they deal with and try to show a public face of being a perfect mom who can calmly cope with anything life and her kids throw at her.

Even tantrums and finding time for a shower.

I’ll admit some days are easier than others to be a stay at home mom. Keeping my sanity the day after the baby had cut a tooth and was up all night back when my kids were little was challenging. Especially if my feet found the LEGOS on the floor too early in the morning.

Many things are easier now that my kids are older. They rarely get me up in the middle of the night, and we have a playroom in the garage where they can make a mess if they want.

On the other hand, their activities are more demanding. The older two do archery, and competitions take up much of the day when they happen. Most involve travel. The youngest does Destination Imagination, which can also be quite time consuming and requires travel.

And of course, the emotional drama can be significant at times.

I’ve often felt that parenting doesn’t really get easier as the kids get older. It’s more that the challenges change. There’s still that pressure to be a perfect mom, whether you’ve decided to continue being a stay at home mom as your kids get older or not.

That’s why you should remember these things when you feel as though you aren’t the mom you ought to be.

parenting love

There Are No Perfect Moms

It can be difficult to remember that there are no perfect moms sometimes. You may read all these blogs where moms show off these great ideas they have and the wonderful things they do with their families. And of course most people’s social media posts make their lives look pretty good too.

Odds are that things rarely work out so smoothly for you. Or them.

Real life is full of challenges. Some days are much more difficult than others. And most of it is things that no one is going to share online for the world to see.

Don’t compare your life with what you see others post. You don’t know what else they’re going through.

I’ve had plenty of good times and bad times that I haven’t said a word about online anywhere. I think that’s true of most people. Even people who post frequently throughout the day don’t post absolutely everything that happens in their lives.

You Don’t Need A Perfect House

Keeping a clean house with young children can range from difficult to impossible. Little kids are messy, exhausting, and time consuming.

Not exactly ideal conditions in which to keep a perfect house, although some parents can manage it.

That doesn’t mean that you have to keep up. There will be times that your house is a mess. Laundry piles up. Toys are everywhere. It’s just plain hard to keep up at times.

baby with toys

My own goal for keeping house has always been to keep it sanitary, safe, and comfortable.

Having older kids helps, of course. They’re generally less messy and more able to clean up the messes they do make, along with doing their shares of chores.

With younger kids, start them out helping you in age appropriate ways. Toddlers love to be helpful! They may slow down your work at first, but eventually kids become a real help around the house.

And of course, if you’re married or living with someone, expect them to help out. You both live there; you can both clean it up.

Don’t Stress About Different Parenting Styles

Have you ever talked to one of those parents who believes that their parenting style is the only way to go? It can be pretty annoying when they criticize all the things that you do differently.

The great thing about kids is that most of them will turn out just fine, so long as you don’t abuse them.

Breast or bottle doesn’t matter so much to babies as being well fed does. Occasional fast food isn’t going to make them fat. And there are advantages for your kids whether you stay at home or put them in daycare.

Remember to not sweat the small stuff. Lots of things can be called small stuff if you think far enough ahead.

Never, ever, feel bad for saying you need a break from your kids. You may have this goal of being the perfect stay at home mom who loves every minute, but you need your breaks. We all do. That’s why people who work outside the home get regular 15 minute breaks and a lunch break.

Breaks are a chance to clear your head and relax a little. They’re a bit harder to get for stay at home moms, but you can take breaks and you deserve them.

Get out a little in the evenings or weekends without the kids and without running errands. Read a book or play on your phone while your kids play with their toys. Do your own thing for just a little while.

Needing time for yourself doesn’t make you a bad mother. Taking time for yourself  can help you to be a better one, in fact.

Send The Kids Out To Play

As your kids get big enough, make sure you send them outside to play without you. There comes a time when it’s much better for them to play on their own without a parent watching them directly.

The right age depends on a variety of factors, such as where they’re going to play, the overall safety of your neighborhood, and your child’s personality.

If you have too many doubts about the safety of this, I suggest you start reading sites such as Let Grow. In most areas, your kids will not be in as much danger as you may fear. The evening news may make you feel differently, but when you look at the facts, you’ll learn how rarely most problems happen.

girl on tree

Other parents in your area may be surprised when you first start letting your kids play out front on their own. I remember one time when my son decided to go for a run around the block when he was about nine or so. I had a neighbor knocking on my door almost immediately. He wanted to be sure I knew and was quite happy when I told him that it was routine.

Over time, my kids found the few other kids in the neighborhood, and started playing with them more, all because they went out on their own. They had more fun with the other kids than they would have had with me, and I got some peace and quiet. At least until everyone came running in demanding snacks.

If at all possible, let your kids walk themselves to and from school as well. That’s the biggest thing I miss about my old house was that it was an easy walk to school for the kids, while the current one is much farther. They still walk home sometimes, but only when I need them to, as it’s a pretty long walk.

Don’t Stress About Your Mistakes

And if you make a mistake with your kids, don’t be afraid to admit to it. We all make mistakes. You’re a better example for your children if they see that you can not only make mistakes but admit to them.

Forget perfection. Stop trying to be the mom who follows all the rules in whatever parenting style you prefer. Just do the best you can, be yourself and enjoy the ride.

There may be times that you yell. You might forget to bring your kids to that special events or to get a treat for their class. You could even lose track of time and be late picking the kids up from school when it’s too far for them to walk.

You’re not perfect. Don’t teach your kids to expect otherwise.

When you make a mistake, of course, apologize to them and try to do better, just as you’d expect your kids to do. That’s how they learn to do these things.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated April 26th, 2010

9 Stupid Home Business Mistakes Most of Us Make

Running a home business isn’t as easy as many people want to tell you. There’s a lot of work involved and you probably aren’t going to get rich. Honest. If it were that easy to get rich, I’d long since be there.

But the worst part is how many mistakes you’re going to make as a home business owner. It doesn’t matter how hard you try to figure it all out. You’re going to make mistakes. We all do.

1. Not wanting to spend any money.

So many people want to start a home business with no money at all. They’ve heard that you shouldn’t pay for a work at home job and apply that principle to their home business. Too bad things don’t work that way.

Well, that’s not entirely true. There are free ways to build a home business. They’re just going to take longer and you won’t have control over some of the parts of your business that you really should be maintaining control over, such as having your own website and domain name.

Home businesses are much cheaper to run than other sorts of businesses for the most part, but they’re still likely to cost you something. Domain name. Hosting. Pay per click advertising costs. Website design costs if you can’t do it yourself.

Plus many other places you can spend money and probably should as you build your business. As you start to earn more money you should plan on spending some money just for help with the little things that you don’t directly earn money from. You might be paying a bookkeeper, a virtual assistant, a website designer and so forth. You might start paying for more kinds of adverting to really get your business name out there and help it grow.

Done right these are investments in your business. Done wrong….

2. Spending too much money on your home business.

It’s at least as easy to spend too much as too little on your home business. Once you realize the power of hiring someone else to do the things that you don’t enjoy so much it can be easy to spend more than your business income can support.

Never spend more on your business than you can afford to. This amount will vary tremendously as your business grows and as the economy changes.

Everything you spend on your business is a risk. You may not get that money back. Your goal is to get that money back and then some, but there’s no guarantee that it will ever happen. Don’t risk more than you and your family can afford.

As I said above, a home business doesn’t have to cost much. If you’re only using free advertising methods such as article marketing, Twitter and so forth your only monthly cost may well be the cost of your hosting. Add in the annual cost of your domain name and that’s still pretty cheap.

3. Trying to be someone you’re not.

Maybe it’s a habit from working outside the home, but a lot of people try to act more formal than they should when they run a home business. They want to sound like a bigger company.

Sometimes it’s the personal touch that really wins out. And that’s where your home business ought to excel.

Don’t pretend to be a big company. Don’t pretend to have a bunch of employees. Represent yourself as who you are, whether you’re a blogger with just a few subscribers or you’re already having a ton of success with your business.

Running your business from home has become more common in recent years as technology makes it easier. Many companies are used to dealing with people who are working from home. While you don’t want the kids to interfere with phone calls or anything, most will understand the occasional interruption.

In online businesses such as blogging it’s particularly important to be seen as a real person. Have fun with it. Delight in your business and show that it’s a pleasure to you to do whatever it is you do. Share some of the challenges you face as appropriate. Just be real and admit that what you do isn’t all daisies and unicorns.

If someone wants more professional, they probably want a bigger company. Why ruin your fun and delight in what you do to please people who won’t want to do business with you anyhow?

4. Trusting too much.

It would be nice to be able to trust everyone online. It really would. For that matter it would be nice to be able to trust everyone in the real world. You know that’s just not going to happen.

If contracts are appropriate, get a contract signed. It’s not a guarantee that everything will work out as stated in the contract, but at least you’ll have something if you need to take things to court.

If someone’s telling you that x is a great way to earn money, grab that salt shaker. You’re probably going to need it. There are amazing numbers of people out there willing to say that their way is the next great way to earn money from home, and most of them aren’t precisely honest. To put it mildly.

5. Failing to make your business valuable to others.

Your business had better to valuable to you. Otherwise why bother? But if no one else sees value in what you’re offering, why would they bother coming to you?

6. Failing to change with the times.

Keeping up with the times is tough. Believe me I know. There’s always a new way to do different parts of a business, but deciding which changes are worthwhile is not easy.

Just think back a few years ago before Twitter came on the scene. If you use it now, you may know how great it can be for driving interested traffic to a site. It’s great for networking with people who may be potential customers of your business or may be able to help you grow your business. It’s quite the tool.

It wasn’t so many years ago that Twitter didn’t exist. Now it has helped many people to communicate about their business better, form joint ventures and do a lot more. If you aren’t using it, you are quite possibly missing out.

There are many other ways that your business may be needing to change and grow. Doing things the same way you did last year isn’t the best way to grow in many cases.

The great part about an online business is that there are so many ways to test these changes. You can quickly track what’s working and what isn’t. There’s less guesswork and more data available to you if you care to use it.

7. Ignoring your intuition.

You started your home business because you believed in yourself. You trusted that you would be able to make things work. Why ignore that as you run your business?

If someone is trying to sell you information on a way to grow your business and it just doesn’t sound right, your intuition is probably informing you quite well. If you think a particular client or customer is likely to be trouble, don’t be surprised if it happens if you take their order anyhow.

Your intuition won’t always be right, of course, but if something in you says things aren’t going quite right you should probably pay attention.

8. Trying to be everything to everyone.

So many people have no idea who their target market is with their home business. They may have even been told that everyone they meet is a potential customer.

Liars!

Every product, every service has a target market. If you want to succeed in your business you need to figure out who they are and how to reach them.

If you’re in network marketing, forget the old bit of trying to sell all the time to family and friends. That’s a great way to alienate people if you take it too far.

Instead focus on who is really likely to like what you’re offering. Do some research on who spends money on what you have to offer. Look at what other people in your industry are doing. Think hard about what it is you’re doing and what you’re offering.

Having a focus with your business doesn’t mean you’ll be selling less. You’ll probably sell more when you have a focus because what you’re doing is really speaking to the people who are targeted.

9. Stressing over mistakes made in the past.

You’re going to make mistakes in your business. We all do. But you need to get over that.

Don’t stress over the mistakes you make. Learn from them. Figure out what went wrong and what you should do to make it go right next time.

Sometimes this will mean making some big changes. Other times it will just be a small thing. But if you obsess over the fact that *gasp* something went wrong, you’re not focusing on the solution. You’re going to waste your time thinking about things that aren’t going to help your business grow.

You aren’t going to get everything right at first. You aren’t going to get everything right ever. But if you are aware of the mistakes you make and keep working on improving your business, they don’t have to be a huge problem.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.