8 Things Good Moms Do That Screw It, I'm Not Doing Anymore

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mom taking selfie with daughter

There are lots of things that good moms do. They dry tears. They give advice. They provide educational television. They know their kids’ favorite characters and the plots of their favorite shows. Mama is always there when they fall down, fight with a sibling, or want a book read.

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Mamas rock that way. But there are some things I’m sick of. Some things are futile. Some things good moms do that, f*** it, I’m not doing anymore.

Here are 8 things good moms do that I'm not doing anymore:

1. No more wiping faces

I’m tired of chasing toddlers, pinning them down, and swiping a wet cloth over their faces while I sing a song to try to make it all more fun, or at least keep them from mauling me. No more. They can wipe their own faces.

I’m going to hand them a wipe, tell them to do it, and stand over them while they swipe around their mouths. They won’t do a great job. I don’t really care. It’s better than nothing, and I didn’t have to do it myself.

2. No more real cooking

If my kids want gourmet food, they can learn to cook it themselves or wait for their father to come home (he’s the real cook in the family, anyway). My efforts end up either burnt or uneaten.

So lunch will mean PB&J, instant mac and cheese, instant chicken nuggets, instant fried rice, and instant everything else, plus a side of microwaved veggies. And yes, hippies, I know you think microwaves will kill us all. It’s BS and anyway, I don’t really care.

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3. No more folding clothes

Do you know what takes forever? Folding tiny f***ing shirts. Do you know what turns into an instantly messy mound of fabric? A drawer is full of tiny shirts. My kids churn up their drawers like it’s a damn hobby, and the hours of hard work I put into folding are totally gone. Kaput. Wasted.

So from now on, I will sort clothes. I will put clothes in clothes baskets. They can then sit in front of drawers, and if one of my kids gets a wild hair up his butt to fold, that’s on him.

4. No more TV obsessing

I started out as the mom whose kid was never going to watch TV, ever. Then I got hyperemesis with my second pregnancy, and my husband put on Yo Gabba Gabba! The floodgates had opened.

Baby #3 screams for Scooby-Doo. They all watch things like Wild Kratts and Dino Dan and The Goonies. I’m not fighting it anymore. If my husband wants to put it on for them, I’m not fighting about it. I’m over the TV battles.

5. No more board games

I always tell my husband that they call them “bored” games for a reason. I consider an hour in hell comparable to an hour in Candyland, and I'm truly sorry my mother decided they were old enough for Sorry!

I know games like this are supposed to teach turn-taking, motor skills, counting, and fair play. I don’t freaking care. They can learn those things somewhere else. The same goes for Memory, Go Fish, and usually Uno, though I can sometimes be conned into that one.

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6. No more picking up Legos

We keep all the Legos in the dining room, where my great-grandmother’s gorgeous cherry dining room table has become a glorified Lego table. There are many, many, many Legos. The baby gets in the Lego room, plays with them for a few minutes, then finds his entertainment in throwing them everywhere. The other kids drop Legos.

They do not pick them up. Then they carry their creations into other rooms, where they break into Lego shards and pepper the ground like land mines. Everyone relies on good ol’ Mom to pick them up. And good ol’ Mom is done.

I’m done sweeping up the Legos in the dining room, and I’m done leaning over, scooping up, and putting away all the Legos I find elsewhere. They can pick up their own Legos when they run out of building pieces.

7. No picking up plastic dinosaurs

The entire Mesozoic era lives in an enormous planter in the playroom. The dinosaurs found each other, knew each other (Biblically), and popped out more plastic dinosaurs. My children love to play with plastic dinosaurs. They line them up. They create elaborate dinosaur scenes. They leave these things on the floor in situ.

And then Mama comes and picks them up so she doesn’t kill herself tripping on them. No more. They can pick up their own dinos, or I’m throwing them and all their dino children in the Great Trash Can in the Kitchen.    

8. No more arbitrating fights

With three boys, someone’s always fighting in my house. I don’t mean arguing, either. I mean full-on tickling, rolling on the floor, banshee screaming, kicking type fighting. I always tell them, “If you play like that, someone is going to end up crying.”

They ignore me. Somebody ends up crying. And Mama’s supposed to untangle who’s at fault and who’s the innocent party. From now on, everyone’s going into separate rooms until the screaming stops, then they can come out and get cuddles.

So there you have it. I’m done. I love being a mama, and love being a stay-at-home mama even more. But I’m sick of the futile tasks of motherhood.

So I’m not doing them. The kids can do it themselves or it won’t get done. And I’m OK with that.

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Alissa Scully is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom. She got her degree in English and spends much of her time teaching freshmen, political activism, and media work.