7 Bad Habits Good Moms Should Quit
Everyone knows that being a mom is hard. However, what makes the job even harder is all the stress-relieving, self-indulgent activities you have to end before you even think about welcoming a bundle of joy into the world. Because moms spend so much time around little ones, you become their first and best role models for proper adult behavior — which means exhibiting less-than-desirable habits is the most golden of no-nos. If you are considering becoming a mom or just trying to be the best mom you can be, here are seven habits you absolutely must kick.
Retail therapy is certainly a fun way to work through your stress, but when your baby comes, you won’t be able to afford maxing your credit cards on new shoes and dresses, no matter how pretty they are. The average American middle class family spends more than $12,000 on just the first year of a baby’s life; depending on your area of residence and annual income, you are likely looking at a cumulative expenditure of more than $290,000 by the time your kid turns 18. If you continue to rack up debt due to overspending, you might not be able to feed, clothe, or educate your child, which are all hallmarks of bad parenting.
If you don’t get used to getting up early before your baby arrives, you are in for a rude awakening the first night you home after the hospital. For the first few years of their lives, children sleep irregularly at best, and when they are wide awake, you will be too. After your kid is able to sleep through the night, you will need to be up-and-at-‘em bright and early to make sure they are clothed, fed, and clean for day care or school. Even on weekends, you will probably open your eyes to your child running and jumping around your bedroom. There is no rest for the weary, especially for moms of younger children.
If you did the smart thing, you probably gave up nicotine during your pregnancy to prevent your child from potentially suffering from birth defects. However, there are myriad reasons you should try to quit for good to become a good parent. Mothers who smoke shouldn’t breastfeed, which severely limits early bonding time with your child. Plus, the more your child watches you smoke, the more likely he or she is to pick up the habit.
The best way to quit smoking is to use a smoking cessation device, but if you’ve tried to quit in the past, you may be frustrated with the ineffectiveness of gum and patches. E-cigarettes provide a comparable sensation to smoking, but you can slowly diminish the amount of nicotine you use until you don’t need any at all to get through the day, plus it will help you to avoid many of the nasty chemicals in regular cigarettes.
You may not be an alcoholic, but that doesn’t mean drinking alcohol in front of your child is a good idea. You serve as a role model for proper adult behavior and regularly overconsuming intoxicating beverages indicates to your child that getting drunk is A-OK. If you need a drink every now and again, you should make sure your kid isn’t around to watch.
Studies have shown that swearing offers a wealth of health benefits, from decreasing stress to actually diminishing the effects of pain. Still, there is a fine line between harmless swears and verbal harassment, and children new to the concept certainly don’t understand the difference. Your filthy mouth should be squeaky clean before your child comes, as kids start acquiring language years before they mumble their first comprehensible word.
Children are some of the most stubborn creatures on Earth, but an equally stubborn parent will never solve a problem youthful obstinacy creates. Holding onto your anger and using it against other people sets a bad example for your kids; they will likely develop the same behaviors, which will detriment their social lives as they age. Additionally, your grudges may impact your relationship with your children if they incur your wrath. It is best to practice mindfulness and empathy whenever you can.
No one can deny the pleasure and excitement that comes after getting away with a lie, no matter how small. However, lying to your kids about anything — even Santa Claus — erodes their trust in you, and forevermore they will question anything you tell them. No matter your reasons for any lie, the act is morally wrong, and it is egregious to teach your children such improper behavior.