As a first time mom, my motto used to be “Do all the things.” I thought I had to have a spotless house; keep track of every diaper change, bottle feeding, color of poo, etc.; be the perfect wife; have scheduled, daily me-time; say “yes” to all my engagements; and so on.
Very quickly, I got overwhelmed and burnt out! Soon, my motto became “TRY all the things, prioritize, and take time for you.” From there, I came up with my 10 Mommin’ Commandments to help me not overdo it, take time for me, and make time for what is most important.
The 10 Commandments of Mommin’
1. God first. Then family. Put nothing else before these two.
It’s so easy to get distracted by the daily routine and forget to nurture our relationships with the most important people — God and our family.
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2. Have a set time of evening to unplug and be present with your family!
I know how easy it can be to just sit on the couch and veg-out on social media until bedtime, but that isn’t healthy for you as an individual or for your relationships with your family. One night before bed, I looked up from my phone and realized my husband and I had probably said 10 words to each other in 24 hours! We try to turn off our phones by the time Joshua is in bed — around 7:30 — and just be together.
3. Speak life. Be slow to anger.
These may be two separate ideas, but I included them together because, to me, they go hand-in-hand.
When I get angry — and boy can I get hot-headed — I start speaking all kinds of ugliness into those who have agitated me.
God is definitely working on me to be slower to anger, but I continue to pray everyday that when my children frustrate me that I will not speak any “death” into their lives.
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4. Always set aside quality time for family.
This may seem like commandment #2 (unplugging and being present with your family in the evenings) but it’s entirely different. This is planning a time to spend with your family building your relationships.
This could look like a monthly family outing, a weekly game night, or going for a walk together after school and work. Whatever you choose, intentional time needs to be set aside to grow stronger as a family.
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5. Teach your children to honor their parents, but also respect your children as people. Show them the love you expect to receive.
Don’t get me wrong; children and adults are not equals. Children should be taught to respect and obey their elders, but that does not mean treating a child like they are insignificant or unimportant. Sometimes children can be much more wiser than adults and should be included from family decisions and conversations as much as possible.
6. Do not kill a child’s dreams.
Tell your children they can do anything! Even if their current dream is something totally imaginative, impossible, or little income. They’re kids! Their dreams will change a million times before they decide! The point is that they believe there is no limit to what they can do as long as they are determined enough.
What could we achieve if we dreamed like a child?
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7. Always be honest to your children.
It’s so easy to lie to our kids to avoid awkward conversations, but kids tend to remember and catch you in that lie eventually.
If they ask you something that you can’t answer fully for one
reason or another — like “Where do babies come from?” — don’t lie, but tell them what you can tell them for their age.
If we expect our kids to be 100% truthful to us, we should give them a model to follow.
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8. Do not steal time from yourself. Set aside time for some quality “me-time.”
Make time for yourself or you will burn out!
Hand the kiddos off to dad and go read a book. Trade off with another mom to watch the circus while you go get a mani-pedi. Drop them off at vacation Bible school in the summer and window shop at your favorite store! Whatever you need to do to rejuvenate yourself, do it! Listen to your body trying to tell you to slow down and chill out — I’m preaching to the choir, Mama!
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9. Always own up to your mistakes. Teach your kids that no one is perfect and we should be humble.
When I taught high schoolers, I had issues with the students ganging up against the teachers and tattling to the principal about tests being too hard, giving too much work, not having enough time to do an assignment, etc.
The majority of the time, it was the students fault for not listening, waiting until last minute to get their work done, etc.
I finally got fed up with this and had a talk with the students. I told them that they wanted to be treated as adults but wouldn’t own up to their own mistakes. I told them this is on of the most important qualities of growing up and that they won’t be taken seriously by their parents or teachers until they started owning up to their mistakes.
I never had a problem with them pointing fingers at their teachers again.
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10. Don’t compare your children to their siblings or to other people’s children.
One of the most harmful things you could say to a child is “Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister/cousin/etc.” Just like you have your shortcomings, so does your child, but they also have areas they shine! They may be struggling with everything right now, but eventually their calling will be revealed and speaking encouragement into them will give them hope and courage to find their gift!
I hope my “commandments” spoke life into you today! What’s a personal commandment, rule, motto, or mantra you have for yourself as a mama? Comment below! I would love to hear from you!