Mommy Culture » The Mommy Culture Blog

Masthead header

10 things you should stop doing to yourself

I came across a great post from Marc and Angel Hack Life about 30 things to stop doing to yourself. From time to time, many of us reflect on our lives and vow to transform the way we think and act but end up falling behind on our goals. I think their list is a great reminder to stop taking our precious life for granted and work on improving it in order to enjoy it to the fullest.

Here are 10 that I feel would be a great starting point for anyone.

1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.                        .

4. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

5. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

6. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

7. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

8. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

9. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.

10. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.

Happy reinventing yourself!


Image source:



Ready, set…Trick or Treat!

As we’re days away from Halloween, an occasion just about every child in North America gets excited about, here are some ground rules to play by to stay safe on the streets while house hopping for goodies as well as while devouring them.

* Stay well lit: During the fall months of early sunset, we mostly trick or treat in the dark and it’s important that the drivers see our little goblins and ghosts roaming around.  If you plan to be in a street that isn’t well lit, apply reflective tape to your child’s costume and always carry a flashlight to see where you’re heading.

* Quality-check the goodies: Sort through all goodies to make sure they’re in their original package and of recognizable brands.  Look for any candy that looks to be tampered with or partially opened.  If you don’t recognize the brand and aren’t sure of the ingredients and contents of an item, better to be safe than sorry.

* Monitor the masks: Improperly fitted mask can interfere with the child’s breathing as well as obstruct their clear vision.  As the masks usually come off or go on the top of the heads half way through the night anyway, don’t fuss over getting it perfectly over the face – a one-size-fits-all mask will not fit well on every child.

* Maintain space: Always trick or treat at houses with outside lights turned on.  Approaching a house with no lights not only leads to disappointment for the child, but also isn’t safe as entering a space of unknown in the dark leaves too many factors up in the air.  Never enter a house or follow a person through the door unless they’re of acquaintance.

* Consider skin sensitivity: Before using face paint or make-up, do a patch test to check if child is sensitive or allergic to ingredients in the cosmetic. Even products labelled as “hypoallergenic” have shown to cause allergic reactions on some children.

* Candles & jack-o-lanterns: As these pieces are traditional and surely help create the spooky atmosphere, remember to keep a distant from anything that’s of fire hazard, especially with children wearing long, layering costumes with dangling pieces that may not be flame resistant.  Even if costumes are labelled as flame resistant, they may contain accessories (wigs, beards, wings) that are not.  Also, always remember, flame resistant doesn’t mean fire-proof.

* Offer better choices: When treating trick-or-treaters, think outside the box to offer healthier options.  There are many, kids-approved choices in the market now aside from the traditionally sugar-filled candies.  Mini-sized and individually wrapped granola bars, cracker pouches and fruit-juice based gummies are to name a few.

* No underage trick or treating: Children under 12 are not recommended to go out alone.  Tweens and teens are suggested to go in small groups or at the least, in pairs.  If children close to 12 years of age would like to exercise their independence to trick or treat, parents or adult supervisors can still give them the space and keep up in close vicinity.

Click to enjoy a personalized coloring page for your child/your inner child:

Frecklebox Personalized Witch Coloring Page

Frecklebox Personalized Jack-o-lantern Coloring Page

Frecklebox Personalized Ghost Coloring Page



The Unwed Tamil Mother

She’s a young Tamil woman. She’s successful. She’s unmarried. She wants to have children. One problem though. She has not found someone who she can settle down with. But should that get in the way of her having children?

Couples having fertility problems and reaching out to assisted conception methods is not an uncommon phenomenon in our Tamil community. Although many would not openly speak about it, it is still accepted. However an unmarried, tamil girl seeking out a sperm donor and ‘willingly’, that’s right, by choice, having a child is something that would cause more than just an unsettling reaction in our community.

I met Priya* a few years ago when I had just come out of grad school. We are like-minded when it comes to many things and constantly talk about career, travels, family etc. Over the years I have seen Priya become more open-minded about life in general. It never occurred to me though that this 30-something young woman had such a strong will to have a child. I mean many of us, although we like to think we are open-minded, would hesitate to even consider something like this. Raising a child is a huge commitment and many of us think of that as the next step after we meet our life partner at which point we feel that we are ready to take the relationship to the next level.

The idea of an unwed mother whether she is with or without a partner is not widely accepted in our community (or even elsewhere for that matter). Why do we judge women who want to be mothers and raise children without the support of a husband if they are financially and emotionally stable? Why do they have to face these hurdles?

I recently sat down with Priya so she could share her story with Mommy Culture as I feel that it is an important issue to discuss.

MC: When did you first decide that you want to have a child?

Priya: I love kids, I have always wanted to have one of my own.  I’m always playing with my nieces and my cousins’ kids. Growing up, I wanted to have three kids of my own. I even imagined the order I would have them in: a boy, girl and a boy. I don’t have any brothers, so I wanted my daughter to have an older brother and a younger brother.  I know, I have no control over the this, but a girl can only dream, right. I even have names picked out for them.

Now that I’m getting older, I don’t think I can have 3 kids, so I would like to have atleast one child.

MC: What prompted you to come to this decision?

Priya: I’m 33 years old now. I’m still single and having difficulty meeting the right person.  In my life, I was able to accomplish lot of my dreams without any trouble….getting a degree, having a great job, owning a home, travelling to all my dream countries.  But the only thing that I was not able to accomplish was settling down, getting married and having kids. This is the only thing that I feel I had no control over. I never had any luck with relationships.  I met a lot of people over the years, but they all took advantage of me in different ways, financially and emotionally.  Most of the guys that I met here in Canada were not serious about settling down, not mature enough and they were all acting like they were still in high school.  My colleagues and friends advised me to meet guys through a marriage broker, online dating sites, at parties/events, through family etc.  I tried everything and I was still not able to meet anyone.

I have a couple of friends who are having difficulty conceiving.  I thought about being a surrogate for them and even mentioned it to them. Knowing me and how I love kids, they didn’t think it was a good choice.  They all said that I would not be able to cope emotionally when giving up the baby.  That is when I decided to go the route of artificial insemination.

Priya talks a bit about her experience with meeting men:

People around me started saying that I was very picky. My only requirement was to meet a guy who was responsible, easy going and who had an ambition in life.  It is very simple, but the hardest quality to find in a guy.  As years went by, I started to lose hope in love.   If I get married later in my life, I don’t want to go through obstacles again to have a child.  I don’t know if or when I will get married so I don’t want to lose the opportunity to experience giving birth to a child.

MC: Are you prepared to face any potential backlash from family and the community for doing this?

This may come as a surprise to some of my friends and family, but I have put a lot of thought into this.   There are always people to criticize your decision.  You can’t make everyone happy.  There is a point in life where you have to be selfish to do certain things for yourself.  This is one of them for me.  I don’t want my generation to stop after me, and the only way to continue it is to have kids of my own. My life experiences have made me a very strong and independent woman.  I’m ready to face any consequences.

MC: So will you be prepared (emotionally and financially) to raise a child on your own?

I’m emotionally and financially stable to raise a child on my own. There are lots of support and services available for single/low income families.  I know at the beginning, my parents are going to oppose this idea, but eventually they will understand my situation and support me. I believe in that. I also believe that a person becomes stronger when they are faced with challenges.

MC: What are your thoughts on how our community views an unmarried, single, tamil girl with a child?

I find that the Tamil community is narrow minded, even those that are born here.  I think it’s the parents to blame for it. If a person makes a mistake, people always remember it and never give them a second chance, even if the person learns from it. People segregate them and put them in a different group. For example, I had been engaged in Sri Lanka, a register marriage (legally married), but we only signed the paper at the house in the presence of a registrar. We never lived together as I moved to Canada. When our relationship ended we had to get a divorce as we were legally married. It was just on paper. But now, I’m classified as a divorcee in my community.  If I want to get married again in the Tamil community, I can only marry another divorcee or widower.

Guys who were not married before lose the interest in me as soon as I tell them that I’m divorced, even when I explain my situation.  My past experience was similar to a boyfriend-girlfriend break-up but Tamil people have a hard time getting past that.  The proposals that come through marriage brokers are with other divorcees.  It really hurts me to see this happening.  Now, I am only given a choice to marry a guy who was previously married longer than me or someone who has kids. I have no problem with that but why am I forced to only choose from this group, especially when a lot of the men are so much older than me? I have even dated a few previously married guys or those with kids, but even they did not want to commit to a long-term relationship. I just can’t seem to meet the right person. People don’t accept a girl who is divorced, so I don’t think they are going to accept a girl with a child.  So I don’t care what the Tamil community thinks.

MC: Have you thought about what you will tell your child if he/she asks about the father?

I would like my child to know who his/her father is. When I did my research on artificial insemination, I only looked at donors who were willing to share their contacts and are ok to be contacted later.  I want my child to be mixed, so I have looked at Columbian donors. I think that’s a great mix. When my child asks about my father, I will tell him/her the truth. I know he/she will understand.


*Name has been changed to maintain anonymity.

October 24, 2014 - 10:17 pm

johnny bravo - Do you think all brown guys are childish? Can i say all tamil girls are drama queen? Just curious, why a columbian? You are insecure about your ethnicity and yourself. Sorry no sympathy.

Is premature graying the norm?

As I was staring at a few strands of gray hair shining  on the sides of my head a few weeks ago, I was dumb-struck as I hadn’t noticed any one of them before.  Did they grow out overnight?  Probably not!  As they are on the side and on a view I wouldn’t have seen easily, I must have missed their initial growth.  Although I know of a few friends that have been coloring over their gray hair for a few years now, graying in mid-30s just didn’t make any sense…until I looked into it.    Aside from B12 deficiency, issues with thyroid gland or lower bone density, there are no medical connections to premature or early graying.

Contrary to popular belief, plucking gray hair doesn’t make you grow more gray hair; however, the plucking damages hair follicle and when hair grows again, it grows in a different direction of the rest of the strands around it which makes it stand out and overall seem like more gray hair against the rest of the color than there actually is.

According to WebMd, Asians start growing gray hair in late 30s.  Our counter parts are as follows: Caucasians in early 30s and Africans in mid-40s.  And, premature graying refers to 10-15 years ahead of the above norm.  So, I can’t consider myself as premature graying, but definitely a few years ahead of the norm.  Reason: unknown!  My parents didn’t go gray until late 40s or even early 50s.  As much as I would like to blame my family for inducing stress, scientists haven’t seen stress causing gray.  So, what gives?  I might never know.

Next step, what are my options?

  • Semi-permanent or demi-permanent color: The color lasts a few weeks and is a good option for people just starting to see gray according to King. “If you have a lot of your natural colors running through, you don’t want to take that away,” King says. “You can just blend it without disrupting what you already have that’s already beautiful and natural.”
  • Highlights: Scattered strands are lightened to blend the gray with the rest of your hair.
  • Permanent color: King suggests using it once you have 45% to 50% gray. Some clients leave some gray around their face to make a statement.
  • Hair products: If you don’t want to dye but still want to conceal the gray, King suggests a coloring tool such as spray-on airbrush hair makeup, which washes out with a shampoo.

Against black-brown hair, grays are very apparent, so, I’ll have to do something about it very soon.  I’m leaning towards semi-permanent color as I wouldn’t want to color all my hair periodically and dry it out.  Are you dealing with early graying?  How are you handling it?


Reference: Premature Graying: Reasons, Options

You’re such a skinny b*tch!

What’s with all the hate on skinny girls these days? Is it suddenly cool? Having been a skinny girl and far from being curvy for many years, I can’t stand to see all this sudden backlash on skinny women.

I’m not trying to undermine all the efforts on fighting eating disorders, portrayal of women in media over the years and how far we have come in influencing the fashion industry to redefine their beauty standards. But why do we have to celebrate bigger women by putting down smaller women? Shouldn’t we accept all women and celebrate beauty in all shapes and sizes?


View full post »

October 24, 2014 - 11:17 am

Josephene Amirthanayagam - It is very heartbreaking to hear about girls as young as 7 or 8, feeling the need to lose weight and be made to be deprived from certain foods, simply because of society telling them that being a certain shape and size is attractive and will get you places. Women including men needs to be taught that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and society needs better role models to convey this message. People need to feel confident about themselves and learn to love themselves, rather than follow some artificial hype.

October 24, 2014 - 11:20 am

Josephene Amirthanayagam - It is very heartbreaking to hear about girls as young as 7 or 8, feeling the need to lose weight and be made to be deprived of certain foods, simply because of society telling them that being a certain shape and size is attractive and will get you places. Women including men needs to be taught that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and people should place a more importance on one’s personality, character, and integrity. We need to have better role models to convey this message across. People need to feel confident about themselves and learn to love themselves, rather than follow some artificial hype.