23 Bad Habits Moms Can Break

bad habits

No mom is perfect—we here at iMOM will be the first to attest to that. We all have bad habits that need to be worked on. Recognizing our bad habits is the first step towards making a change. {Tweet This} We can’t change everything all at once. However, even making small changes can produce big results. Do any of these common trouble spots for moms sound familiar to you? Pick one you have a hard time with and commit to making a change. When you conquer one, move on to another. Here are 23 bad habits moms can break.

1. Telling your kids, “I’ll be right there” and then forgetting about it.

2. Looking at your phone when your child is trying to talk to you.

3. Doing all the work yourself because it’s easier than letting your kids do it themselves.

4. Saying yes to volunteer roles for which you don’t have time or a passion.

5. Not following through with consequences for your kids.

6. Repeating information to friends that are not yours to share.

7. Skipping quiet time or prayer time because you think you’re too busy.

8. Yelling, especially when you’re tired or frustrated.

9. Using sarcasm as a frequent method of communication.

10. Spending without a budget or a plan.

11. Fueling your day with caffeine instead of adequate sleep.

12. Jumping to conclusions before you’ve heard your child’s full story.

13. Routinely putting your kids first and your husband second.

14. Getting caught up in the extracurricular rat race rather than focusing on a few meaningful activities.

15. Not making time for friendships. Even moms need to laugh and be encouraged!

16. Failing to organize your home so that clean-up is easier.

17. Skipping that precious Pillow Talk time with your kids at night.

18. Caring more about your child’s outward actions than the condition of her heart.

19. Keeping up with the Joneses. And the Smiths. And the Clarks…

20. Letting the magazines and movies define beauty for yourself or your daughters.

21. Spending more time worrying about the challenges than celebrating the victories.

22. Trying to be your child’s friend instead of a parent.

23. Comparing your child to his siblings.

For inspiration on how to develop good habits, we have you covered. Also, here are 8 Signs Moms are Doing Great Without Even Realizing it.

What other habits are you working on?


  • JenniJo

    This is an awesome lists with simple little changes that I know I can do and they will make a big difference! Love it! I struggle with trying to distract my kids when all they really want/need is just 15 minutes of undivided attention. #16 is a struggle for sure!

    • Daily Struggle

      To Falling Short and God is Good – wow you are both very honest and I think your kids must love you and you’ve instilled honesty and good values into them – just by reading what you’ve said you’re doing a good job.

  • Laura

    Oh no! I got about 14 on the list that I need to work on. I must really be a bad mom :((

  • Sheila

    oh reality bites, 10 and 21. Got to get these two turned around

  • Michelle Donaghey

    Guilty of 3, 7 and at times, 10. Esp. during Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers and Pokemon’ cards popularity!

  • Falling Short

    Wow. When I see this, I am overwhelmed. No mom is perfect, of course. But how many bad habits can one person really try to break at a time? I stumble regularly in well over half of these. And I know my children and my relationship with them suffer for it. All of my bad habits need to be broken and I sense the urgency of the needed change. Lately, though, I find my baby steps in the right direction end up being wiped out by one bad day again. It is tiring. And I pray God protects my children and their hearts from my failures as a mom.

    • Melvin

      Falling short- I’m feeling the exact same! Too bad there’s not a list on how to break these bad habits!

    • Taylor

      Every one has bad days. Every one has off days. The most important thing is that you recognize your off days, be gentle and forgiving towards yourself, and remind yourself that every day, every minute every second is a brand new chance to start over. That’s one of the beautiful things about life. It’s okay for your kids to see you fall short. It shows them that if my parents can make a change so can I it takes time.

    • Nikki

      I’m in the same boat Falling Short. It’s so tough!

  • Erin

    Perfect reminders for all of us. No, 7, quiet time with God, should be our No. 1 focus. Otherwise, it will all fall apart. And even if it does all fall apart, at least He’s there to pick us up. Thanks for the great read!
    Erin | It All Matters Mom

  • God is good!

    Dear Falling Short- YOU’RE NOT ALONE! I feel inadequate DAILY. I also pray daily that God makes up for my mistakes and picks up for me where I fall short. I know that no parent is ever perfect, but I know that God IS. I can only pray that my children look back at their childhood and see me as I see my own parents, as heroes. I don’t remember every little mistake they ever made, and I make no effort to do so. I do think they could have been harder on me! I just hope that my kids don’t grow older and resent me for the mistakes I’ve made, and the mistakes I’m sure I will continue to make. Posts like this can be a little disheartening, especially if you’re like me- cringing at each one- thinking “Oh God, I do that TOO!” But you know what? I love my kids, and I’ll admit to them that I’m not perfect just as fast as I notice any mistake on this list. Life is a struggle, and there’s no end to a parent’s anxieties.

  • Dear Falling Short, first, we don’t think you are falling short! We can tell by your comments that you love your children deeply and that you’re trying very hard to be the mom you want to be. This list is really just to remind all of us of the little things we can do to make our lives easier/better, and our children’s as well. Children are very forgiving. When you feel like you mess up, you can give your children the great gift of showing what asking for forgiveness looks like. And, you give them the chance to give forgiveness. So please don’t let this list discourage you. If you really do want to break some of these habits, choose one a week… or even one a month. And remember, you are an awesome mom!

  • Little Mama

    I can definitely relate to a lot of these! Is there any advice on ways to break these habits?

  • Jessie

    Oh gosh, I relate to too many of these, sadly. I think the one most relevant now is 21, Spending more time worrying about the challenges than celebrating the victories. Admittedly I am the perfectionist type, but working on recovery. “What’s next” has always been my struggle, but thankfully my husband is quite the opposite. We are renovating our kitchen right now, he’s our contractor (by trade as well), so it’s been difficult to say the least. He’s remained strong and is great about reminding me to think positively and see the progress, even if it minor, and to remember how blessed we are – with or without a kitchen. A common joke after our morning talks is that he feels like we’re living the movie ’50 First Dates’; in which I admit he’s right, relax and find peace for a moment. Thanks for the post, it’s always a good reminder.

  • SherriLynn

    The fact that all of you moms took time to read this article is a good indicator of what a great mom each and everyone of you are! There are many people out there who never seek to better themselves through any means and the idea that becaure all of us fail at more than one of these does not make us bad moms, it makes us human and imperfect! Keep smiling through the struggles, its worth it!!

  • CRadWife

    I have trouble with the no yelling. My DS is very defiant and we have such a hard time with him listening… It’s hard when he’s telling you no over and over again to not yell. But I know that in the end it really doesn’t help, and only makes the situation worse, therefor I try very hard to not yell. What a great list to keep in mind… parenting is not easy and it really takes a village!

  • Jana Beukes

    I Can Relate to About 18 of these 🙁 . Thank you For Waking me UP!