Let’s face it, no matter how wonderful our parents were, we always want to be better when we have our own kids. We look at the past and say; I will be different. When I have kids, I won’t…

But then, we make the same mistakes we hoped to avoid, or we make all new ones.

So, here it is…

The 10 Biggest Mistakes I’ve Made as a Mom.

It’s real… it’s unedited… it’s the unvarnished truth because we’ve all been there.

#1 – The Yelling

No matter how often I tell myself I won’t raise my voice again, it eventually happens. Either I’m overstressed, or the kiddos have pushed me to the limits. Either way, every time it happens, I can’t help but feel like a terrible mom.

The only thing I can do is resolve to do better each and every day and model the type of mom I want to be for my kids, the type of mom I want them to remember, and the type of mom I want them to one day be for their own kids. And, in the meantime, I’ll try to give myself a little grace too.

#2- The Repeating

I would love to be the type of mom who can say things once, and her kids not only do what they’re supposed to but do it with a smile, but the truth is that more often than not, I end up repeating myself two, three, or even four times before anything gets done. By the time it’s over, I’m stressed, frustrated, and aggravated, and then I see #1!

To beat this problem, I’m working more on allowing my girls to experience the consequences of their actions (or inactions). So, if they don’t pick up their toys like they were asked, they now lose them for 24 hours rather than me telling them repeatedly to pick them up until I feel crazy. I’ll let you know how it works… Pray for me.

#3 – The Sleep Mistakes

With my oldest, my husband and I were very deliberate in her sleep training, and she slept through the night when she was 18 months (we brought her home from South Korea right before she turned one).

When our second daughter was born, we let many things slip, including sleep arrangements. And, yes, you guessed it… she slept with us. She’s now four, and we’ve finally gotten her back into her own bed for the whole night. If I could do it over, I would, and maybe we would all be better rested.

#4 – The Food Issues

Once again, this is a first versus second child thing for me.

My oldest daughter has always been a great eater. She not only isn’t picky, she’ll also try pretty much anything. I can still remember her eating escargot and mussels when she was just two, and still eats them.

On the other hand, my youngest started out well but slowly decided she didn’t like anything, and I made the mistake of letting it happen. Not only did I not make her try more foods, I let the foods she ate daily dwindle down to an embarrassingly small variety.

We’re down to chicken (in any form from grilled to nuggets), fruits (strawberries, grapes, apples, bananas, and peaches mainly), fish sticks (yes, I know they aren’t healthy), waffles, pancakes, peanut butter, cereals, oatmeal, and just a few other items.

Luckily, I realize this is something I do have a level of control over and can start changing. We’ve set a new rule: the little munchkin must try one bite of new food daily. It’s come with some tears along the way, but as long as we stand strong, it seems to be working.

If you have any ideas on how to help with this, I’d love to hear them.

#5 – The No’s

I always wanted to be a smiling, happy, and fun mom. I’ve found that I’ve become the “No” mommy. I say “no” more often than “yes, ” which I want to change.

So, I’ve decided instead of saying, “No, you can’t do…” I will try saying, “Yes, you can do that if…” or “You can do this instead…”.

#6 – Family Mealtime Fails

I love old TV shows like Father Knows Best, where everyone sits around the dinner table and talks about their day as a family.

For us, the reality is much different. More often than not, we eat in front of the television instead of at the dinner table, and often not even at the same time. It’s easier, but I know it’s not my goal.

So, we’ve decided to start small. We have to eat at the dinner table together three times a week, no matter what. It will take some work to fit it in between school work, martial arts for my oldest, and all of the thousand other commitments, but I know it can be done.

#7 – Too Much Helping

Unlike with #3 and #4, this is a mistake I made with my oldest rather than youngest…

We helped her too much! Way too much!

From getting her dressed, making her bed, cutting her food, and wiping her little tooshie. My husband and I did everything for her, and it shows. She still asks for help to do even the small things, and she’s nine.

With our youngest, we didn’t have as much time, which gave her much more independence. Now, at just four, she does much more for herself than her sister does.

With that in mind, we are trying to show instead of do for our older daughter now, and hopefully, over time, she will become more independent too.

#8 – Not Enough Reading

Although I taught both of my daughters to read at the age of four, I’ve failed at spending enough time reading TO them. I always intend to do more, but by the end of the day, I’m tired and ready to relax, and it’s so easy to turn on the television instead.

From now on, I plan to read at least one small book daily with my youngest and let my oldest read a chapter.

If you’re looking for an easy way to teach your kiddo to read, I highly recommend The Reading Lesson: Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Easy Lessons. I used it for both of my daughters, and it offers simple, step-by-step instruction that takes only a few minutes daily to help your child start reading fast.

#9 – Too Many Choices

Children need to learn to make choices, but I often give my girls too many, especially regarding food. I think, in many ways, this makes them appreciate the things they have less, and I worry that they won’t learn gratefulness.

We’ve started limiting the choices we give to two. It’s hard to stick with because the kiddos are so used to unlimited numbers, but we are improving.

#10 – Guilt

And, here’s the biggie…

Mommy guilt. I feel guilty about every mistake I’ve made as a mom that I’ve talked about here and so much more. I know that I don’t give myself enough grace.

I will always make mistakes, but I love my kids and would do anything for them. That means that no matter what, I’m a good mom. So, I will try to do a little better each day and not beat myself up when I fail.

We all make mistakes as parents. Being a mom is the hardest, full-time plus job in the world, so no matter what fails you think you’ve had, give yourself some grace. You’re a great mom as long as you keep trying and loving your kids!

If you’re looking for a little more happiness and motivation, check out these posts too:

If you’re looking for a little more happiness and motivation, check out these posts too:

What to Do When Life Throws You a Curveball – How to Deal With Things that Don’t Turn Out Like You Expect

10 Ways to Get Motivated when You’re Tired, Frustrated and Ready to Give Up

The 28 Most Important Things My Kids Taught Me

Three Crazy Simple Tools for Dealing with Depression and Anxiety – What I Learned from the Mom Conference

And as always, I wish you a strong family, optimal health, and smart incomes.

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