Perhaps you’ve never heard of a don’t-do’s-list.
While to-do’s list has its place, and I don’t mean the kind where you write something on the to-list just so you can cross it off (anyone else?), but in the way that it is intended to be used.
My personal belief is that a don’t dos list, triumphs a to-do’s list. Your don’t dos list serves as your go-to-list when you’re trying to make a quick decision or feel out of sorts. As a recovering people pleaser, I tend to say yes to a lot of things, only to regret it later…. Because I don’t like to let people down.
I want to be seen as capable, and likeable.
Over time, I’ve realized that it is okay for people to not like you.
Not everyone will, and trying to please everywhere will leave you exhausted and burned out. So, I started writing out a guideline for myself, which eventually became a list of activities I no longer engage in. I hope it’ll inspire you to write out your own don’t-do’s-list:
Without further ado here they are:
1. I don’t bake. If there’s a school bake sale, I’ll pick up something from the store. If there’s a birthday, I’ll buy the cake or cupcakes. I have friends who truly enjoy baking and decorating, while I on the other hand, simply enjoy the devouring aspect of beautifully crafted baked goods. I simply don’t bake– with the exception of cookies during holidays.
2. I don’t garden. I enjoy being out in our little garden, but I don’t “garden garden”… as in I don’t actually understand the art behind how to actually grow something from a seed, and have no desire to expand my knowledge on gardening.. So, I buy the plants that the kids enjoy picking from– we have raspberries, blueberries, lettuce, some mint leaves (for my favorite dishes), and lavender plants.
BUT I don’t google how to garden, and don’t particularly enjoy conversations surrounding gardening…so I’m a novice gardener with no desire whatsoever of becoming a true garderner.
3. I don’t volunteer in the classroom or on the PTA. For a season, I was on the PTA at our son’s school when he was younger, and volunteered weekly in our daughter’s classroom, but seasons have changed for us, and between working part-time and running this blog, it leaves little time, if any, for volunteering.
And I’m okay with that.
I used to feel guilty that I never had an opportunity to volunteer in our youngest daughter’s classroom, but I’ve come to terms with that.
She’ll be happier with a mom who’s present and able to play games with her after school than a mom who’s stretched too thin, and short tempered at home. I do volunteer for classroom parties, because I love them, but that’s about as committed as I am when it comes to volunteering in our children’s schools.
It also leave me feeling especially grateful for the moms who are on the PTA, and volunteering in our children’s classroom– saints I tell you! Saints!
4. I don’t meet people for coffee. Sometimes, someone will ask to meet me for coffee to pick my brain, go over their latest business endeavor (aka try to get me to join their MLM company), discuss a potential partnership in ministry, or to glean insight from me about running an online business, and I always say no.
It’s not because I want to withhold information. It’s simply because my time is limited– as is yours.
You can only say yes to the things and people who matter the most to you. Whenever possible, I try to meet someone via zoom or skype, reserving coffee dates for my closest friends.
5. I don’t join local Moms Group. While I was a stay-at-home-mom, I joined a MOPS group for a season. Now, I work both outside the home, and at home, and in this particular season, joining a MOPS group just don’t work for us, and that is A-OKAY.
Our church offers moms groups, and for a while I felt a bit isolated and guilty by not being apart of a group. But over time, I realized there was just no way I could swing being apart of a group that meets in the evening, having worked all day, after school activities, and pick-ups.
I’m usually exhausted come dinner now, and it would be challenging for us to coordinate care for our son. Instead, I pour into the women who are already in my life, both in person and on-line.
6. I don’t want to be a social media influencer. I don’t want to influence anyone. I want to encourage you, and add value to your life. I’m not here to convince you that I’m cool (which side note: I’m much cooler on the internet than I am in person), and know everything there is to know about parenting with special needs because I don’’t. I don’t care about any of that.
Honest to goodness.
If you land on my page, and take away ONE thing that helps you simplify motherhood, or lessen your load somehow, I’ve done my job. If you decide that you do want to hang around and be apart of my tribe, I’m over-the-moon to have you! If not, that is A-OKAY.
7. I don’t recommend products or services I’ve never used. One of the interesting things that has happened as I’ve gained more traffic and eyes on my business is the inquiries for collaborations.
I want to help you simplify Autism mom life, so if it’s not something that’s going to add value, it’s going to take up space in your home or take time away from your family, and waste your resources.
So, that means that I’ve turned down opportunities from a baby wipe company, diaper company, and jewelry company (I don’t wear a ton of jewelry– it’s just not something I enjoy adorning myself in). Earning your trust is far more important to me than earning hundreds of dollars from brands that I don’t value.
Some business savvy people may argue that I’m literally throwing money away– probably the same people who think I give way too much away ‘fo free…
Or, maybe I’m just an idiot, and winging all of this, who knows?
All I know is that, recommending something I don’t personally use isn’t in alignment with my values and who I am.
8. I don’t compare myself to other people. Learning how to be happy for other people’s successes and celebrating with them is a good thing. Being inspired by someone you look up to, whether it’s the way they parent, or growing a business is also a good thing.
Envying others isn’t.
Which is why I usually don’t spend much time scrolling on social media, because I’m not immune to envy.
My friend that has a house on a lake?
I had to unfollow her for a period of time, because seeing stories of morning runs around her beautiful neighborhood and waking up to the view of the water upon awakening caused me to be overwhelmed with envy.
Nevermind that I’m not a runner, and am not inclined to take it up anytime soon, but it was too easy for me to slip into the comparison trap.
And that my friends is never a good thing.
Because when I’m not scrolling through her stories, or checking out her newsfeed, I understand her heart. I know how hard she worked to get to where she is. Being a venture capitalist is not for the faint of heart. I know she worked her booty off to get there, and she gives of her time, energy, and resources generously. And I’m incredibly proud of her.
9. I don’t allow other people’s opinions dictate how I choose to do life. I’m still very susceptible to being affected by other people’s opinions, and I’m sure you are as well– to one degree or another.
But I don’t allow it to dictate how I choose to do life. The only people whose opinion truly matters to me are:
A. God’s opinion of me. Am I living in a way that reflects His calling for my life? Am I honoring Him, and stewarding my time, talent, and treasures well?
B. Second to Jesus’s opinion of me, is my opinion of me. Am I living in alignment with my true self? Am I following through with my commitments to myself? Am I honoring my goals, dreams, and passion? Or am I simply going through the motions? Did I show up, fully?
C. Third is my husband’s opinion of me. We are a team. We make decisions together, and do life together, period.
D. My children’s opinion of me. Whatever I choose to do directly affects my kids. I want them to grow up to see that you can honor God, love your husband well, be a present mom, and still follow your dreams and passion. And you don’t allow others to tell you what you can and cannot do– ever.
E. My council. This consist of my closest friends. I trust these girls wholeheartedly with everything– prayers, dreams, parenting, work, and the intricacies of running a business. Because I trust them to tell me the truth and know they love me deeply.
F. You. My tribe. Anyone reading this, and cheering me on. You. Sending me DM’s, and virtual hugs. Family, #IRL friends, or virtual friends. You supporting my dreams, and this blog. Your opinion matters to me.
10. I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not. I’m not a childhood development expert. I’m not a psychologist, neurologist, or anyone with a title ending in “ist.”
I’m just me.
Mom to three not so tiny kids, two whom happens to be on the Autism Spectrum. Married to a hunky guy who happened to fall for me– the messy, imperfect, weird sense of humor me.
I don’t know everything there is to know about raising children with special needs, self-care/mindfulness, faith, simple-living, and marriage after kids. I’m just doing life the best way I know how, and hoping that it encourages you along on your own motherhood journey.
Now, it’s your turn. What’s on your Don’t Do’s List? Can’t decide what to keep or what to get rid off from your ever growing plate of responsibility. Snag your FREE guide to Making Better Decisions below.
Always rootin’ for you!