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  • Moms, Instead of New Year Resolutions, Try This 'Undo' List Because We Do Too Much Already

    Instead of what you're going to do, what will you cross off your list?
    by Dedet Reyes Panabi . Published Dec 30, 2018
  • Mom Unfiltered talks about the realities that moms don't post on social media, or, as we like to say here, these are the thoughts we all have in the bathroom.
    PHOTO BY iStock
    Every year, we make New Year’s resolutions about things we’re going to do. But you know what? Moms already do too much. We’re already doing our best — our problem is we never acknowledge what we’ve done, and what we never do for ourselves.

    What if we tackle 2019 with a completely different list: things we’re going to cross off our list, forever and ever, so we can protect our energy, sanity and time?

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    This is my “Undo” list, but I’m sure you have yours. Share in the comments about what YOU are officially going to drop from your schedule and your mental load. I would love to hear what you think!

    Stop micromanaging homework (and my child’s success)

    There’s only so much nagging I can do. (Seriously, sometimes I wish Spotify had a “Do Your Homework” podcast that I can play on repeat.) They either finish it, or they don’t. If they don’t, they fail the class and deal with the consequences. It’s called Life Lessons. It won’t show up in their report card, but it’ll form their backbone, grit, and character.

    Stop comparing

    This is my life, my kids, my job, my house… and my choice whether to submit it to someone else’s standards.

    I remember this quote I saw on Pinterest: “Everything I have now is something I used to want and desperately pray for.” Instead of comparing myself to other people, I can look at how I’ve grown and how far I’ve come. There’s a lot to be grateful for!

    Stop obsessing over the mess


    My kids don’t care. Neither does my husband. I have learned that Filipinos value family and good food, and everything else is a bonus. If all else fails, I can buy yellow light bulbs that hide dust and make me look 10 years younger.

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    Stop apologizing for everything

    It’s very Filipino to say sorry even for things that aren’t our fault. “Sorry, ito lang ang handa namin.” “Sorry, I can’t go to your party.” “Sorry, my house is a mess.” Even when I fight with my husband, I will say sorry also if I feel that this is entirely his fault.

    Sorry is like capitalizing sentences and the Oxford comma: I don’t really know why I’m doing this, but it’s the proper thing to do.

    This 2019, I will only say sorry when I really feel sorry. And to avoid that, I will just say yes when I mean yes, and I will say no when I mean no. I’ll also say thank you — the one and only phrase I rarely say, but means so much to me and the person I’m saying it to. Why do we say sorry more than we say thank you? Think about it.

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    Stop reacting and start asking, “So what?”

    Try it next time you feel angry, guilty, disappointed or defensive.

    So what if you don’t agree with my views on breastfeeding?

    So what if my kid doesn’t get into that school?

    So what if I gained 15 pounds?

    So what if I don’t earn as much as my friends?

    So what if my boss hated my presentation?

    Let our imagination play out the worst case scenarios of every phrase. If something happens, will it really affect my family or me? Is it really worth this negative energy? Is it even as bad as I think it is? I may be triggered over nothing, which just wastes my time and makes me look like an idiot.

    Start saying, “So what.” Let’s reserve our energy and emotions over something (or someone) that really deserves it.

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    Stop spending more time on Facebook friends than real friends


    It takes the same time to write a Facebook post (and count reactions from people I don’t really care about) than to message a real friend and ask, “How are you?”

    Those are the friends that matter. They  “get me” and know secrets I can never post. They’ve seen my ugly cries and drunken texts. They like me — no, love me — at my most unlikeable. (Tag these friends now because they’re worth more than gold.)

    Stop putting myself last

    I won’t think twice about buying something for my kids but feel guilty about splurging on myself. But it’s not really splurging — it’s part of being a good mom. These treats and “Me Time” are just as important as paying the electricity bill. I have to take care of the energy source, or everything is going to shut down if I do.

    So all the time, energy and emotions I saved from doing Resolutions # 1 to # 6 I am now officially going to give to myself. It’s Happiness Economics: I stop spending my life on things that don’t matter and invest it in where it can grow and bring value. If I’m happy, everyone else is happy. I become a better wife, mom, and person. And I have fewer wrinkles.


    What changes are you going to make this year? Share and inspire other moms on the comments below or send them on our Facebook Messenger and smartparenting2013@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you! There’s no perfect marriage, situation, or answer, but it helps to know we’re not alone!

    Dedet Reyes Panabi was editor-in-chief of a parenting magazine for seven years, then quit to work from home and spend quality time with family and Netflix. She now works from home as a digital communications and social media manager for a multinational. (Or has her son described it on Career Day, “My mom’s on Facebook the whole day.”)

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