A Not-To-Do List for The New Mom

A list of things new moms should definitely not do.

A Not-To-Do List for The New Mom

The responsibilities are endless, once that baby joins the family. And, seemingly, it all doubles if you’re on to baby number two. While I’m sure your to-do lists are taking up all the memory on your phone, consider also what not to do -- and not in the “don’t do this or you’ll hurt your baby” way, but in the “give yourself a break today” way.

Here are 7 things you should not do as a new mom.

1. Don’t clean the bathroom if you have a free hour. Don’t do the dishes. Don’t answer work emails. I know, I know, it seems like that’s what that time is for; trust me, that will come. For now, those hours are for sipping tea and watching the Gilmore Girls revival.


2. Don’t deny yourself the cookie on a day when everything is making you cry. There is scientific evidence supporting an improved mood after consuming chocolate. Giving into the cravings is purely science.

3. Don’t try to keep the onesie drawer organized. For whatever reason, this drove me so bonkers, I sorted and folded the thing once a day. But onesies are floppy and tiny, and you use three or more a day. Just let it go and consider it a small first step into embracing the mess.

4. Don’t stay at home all day. Only another mother understands that feeling of satisfied accomplishment when you get everyone out the door, dressed and ready to go. So whether it’s just to walk around the block or go to your favorite local coffeeshop, that's a treat you’ve earned.

5. Don’t neglect your own essentials for the day. In 2017, we’re better at reminding ourselves and our girlfriends about self-care. But I’m not talking about a luxurious bath where you actually shave your legs. I’m saying, don’t forget to put sunscreen on your face. Don’t forget to grab a bottle of water. Brush your teeth, at least twice a day. Change your underwear. Roll on your favorite essential oil to feel calm and pretty at the same time.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff on days when you just can’t hack it. After a baby, the little things (and our emotional reactions to them) are heightened. If the baby’s socks don’t match, let it go. And I promise, the wipes are warm enough for the kid’s butt. Survival mode is not just an okay place, it’s a really normal spot to land as a new mom.

7. Don’t forget to pause. Love the toys scattered about, the lived-in rooms, the warm baby who only wants to be held. Those things can feel simultaneously frustrating, but the trick is to hold it all, to call it all good. And sometimes, all you need is to stop, take it in, breathe, and your perspective shifts.

We’ve all been there, and we all understand how overwhelming and isolating new motherhood can sometimes feel. Write down your NOT to-do list, and when you feel you’ve reached your limit, glance at it and remember that you are already doing enough.

Let us know what you're including on your list in the comments below.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Keep reading Show less

Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

Keep reading Show less
Work + Money