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Rules of Etiquette for Busy Moms

Updated on September 29, 2012

Etiquette Rules

Do you follow these rules of etiquette?
Do you follow these rules of etiquette? | Source

Manners and Etiquette

As moms, we all lead busy lives. There is always the never ending errands to run, children to chaffeur around town, an insane amount of housework, and don't forget that totally unexpected event that always seems to pop up on your busiest day ever. Through it all, we put that bright smile on our face and follow proper rules of etiquette at all times. Or do we?

In today's hectic lifestyle, it is a wonder that a mom even has time to breathe. Now does this give us the right to be rude and display bad mom manners? Of course not, but I do think that some moms (myself included) need a refresher course in the rules of etiquette for the busy mom. If you are wondering if you are one of the guilty ones, read further for a list of common mom offenses and what you can do to correct these problem areas.

Don't Brag About Every Award

My kid was the super student this week!
My kid was the super student this week! | Source

Etiquette Rule #1 - Avoid Bragging

Now we all know that our kids are the brightest, sweetest, most well behaved, and best looking children in the room. But does everyone have to suffer through an hour long conversation about how your child is going to rule the world one day?

Moms often feel pride in their child's accomplishments. It's great to feel this way and share with others your child's latest achievement. It is not okay to dominate the whole conversation. If you find yourself doing this, quickly apologize and give the other person a chance to talk.

Another good rule of etiquette for the "bragger" mom is be mindful of other people's financial situations. Often moms are really excited about the purchase of a new car, furniture, bigger house, etc. Again, it's okay to mention your latest purchase and most people will be genuinely happy for you. Just be careful not to go on and on about it, because others will find this rude and off putting.

Mom's To-Do List

Who will win the to-do list competition?
Who will win the to-do list competition? | Source

Etiquette Rule #2 - Avoid the Mom Competition

Everyday on Facebook and in real life conversations, you have the mom that lists everything she has to do or has accomplished for the day. (Okay, so I admit I am totally guilty of this one and I have to do better.) Then you have the other mom who has to "one up" the first mom.

As moms, we have to remember that we all lead busy lives in different ways. Console and praise the other mom on a job well done and move on. There is no reason to make it a competition.

Speaking of stopping the competition, moms need to be mindful of the amount of activities they take on. Another good rule of etiquette for the busy mom is to volunteer your services only if you are genuinely interested and have the time to dedicate to that event. Do not sign up if you using this as a "one up" to gain an edge on that mom of the year award. People and organizations appreciate your help if you are there for the right reasons.

Etiquette Rule #3 - Be Accountable and Apologize

Being a mom, you quickly learn to deal with an unexpected event or last minute emergency that is bound to pop up. It often causes us to cancel plans with friends or not being able to help out with that special activity at school.

No worries - this is okay and happens to even the best mom. As long as you are not making a habit out of these "no shows", people will often understand and not hold it against you.

What does matter is how you handle it. Proper etiquette would be to write an apology note to your friend or call with your apology and make plans for the next available day. Get a hold of the teacher or send a note with your child to school to let him or her know why you won't be able to help out. People will appreciate you taking the time to keep them informed and you won't be deemed the "no show" mom.

How to Say I'm Sorry in a Card

Send a Thank You Card

Write a thank you note to show your gratitude!
Write a thank you note to show your gratitude! | Source

Ettiquette Rule #4 - Show Your Appreciation

All moms tend to get in a crisis at times and there always is that one family member or friend that helps us out during these panic worthy moments. It can be that friend who takes over for you carpooling the kids to school or that family member who watches the kids while you go to a doctor's appointment.

It's great to have such caring people in your life. Do you take the time to properly thank them for helping you out in your time of need?

Proper etiquette tells us to write a thank you card expressing our gratitude for their help. You can also return the favor and help them out the next time he or she is in a jam. Buy them a cup of coffee or a Sonic drink at happy hour - anything will do - as long as you let them how much you appreciate them and their services.

Don't Forget to RSVP

Mind your manners and be sure to RSVP!
Mind your manners and be sure to RSVP! | Source

Etiquette Rule #5 - Avoid Crashing the Party

So you got another party invitation in the mail and you have no idea if you are going to be able to make it. Because your schedule is so hectic, you skip the RSVP. I am the president of the forgetting to RSVP club.

It is incredibly rude of me because the party host uses this little piece of information to know how much food to serve, how many goodie bags to make, etc. Bite the bullet moms and RSVP to all party invitations for the sake of good etiquette.

There are other useful tips to help you not be labeled the "party crasher" mom. Call if you are going to be late. Often times parties have scheduled events so you don't want to barge in at the wrong time. If the situation arises where you are bringing an extra guest with you, call ahead of time and make sure this is okay with the host of the party. They will usually be kind about this request and will be grateful that you called in order to prepare extra food or goodie bag for the additional guest.

Etiquette Poll

How would you rate your etiquette?

See results

Proper Etiquette

If all busy moms could follow these rules of etiquette, what a wonderful world it would be. Unfortunately, this probably is not going to happen anytime soon. There will always be that mom too caught up in her own world and hectic schedule to notice her display of bad mom manners. What we can do as individuals is be mindful of the way we treat others and show appreciation when it matters the most.

To all the busy moms out there, I hope you have found this hub helpful in dealing with the lack of etiquette in today's modern world. Writing this hub has been extremely eye opening to my own etiquette issues and even I have found some things I need to change in my life. Are you guilty of any of these areas or know somebody who is? I would love to hear your stories and feedback in the comment section below.


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    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Love your RSVP rule. After planning 3 weddings for my grown children, I'm hoping there is a circle of Hell for those who don't respect this rule of etiquette - especially at $50 a head!!! Either saying yes then not showing up or not bothering to reply but showing up anyway.

    • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Alissa Roberts 

      6 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks for your kind words and the votes Mama Kim 8! I haven't read this one in awhile and it was good to have a refresher course myself. Appreciate you stopping by!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 

      6 years ago

      Fantastic advice here Alissa! Us moms could use a reality check every now and then ^_^ Voting this up and useful!

    • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Alissa Roberts 

      7 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Happy to hear you enjoyed it donnaisabella! Thanks so much for reading and appreciate your comment!

    • donnaisabella profile image

      Isabella Mukanda 

      7 years ago from Fort Myers

      Wonderful article, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for writing and I will try to remember what you have written here!

    • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Alissa Roberts 

      7 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much Barry! I am sure these moms go back and wonder what they are doing wrong. They start thinking why is my kid not doing this or that or why can't we have those nice things. It's kind of sad but it happens all the time. Maybe one of these days we can stop the unnecessary competition. Appreciate you stopping by, commenting, and for sharing!

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 

      7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Well done! posted to my Google+ page. I see this behaviour you describe when I see Mum's together with their prams at coffee shops. Often when I am drinking my tea at Coffee Shops.I now wonder how the women really feel being exposed to competitive behaviour when they go back to their homes...

    • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Alissa Roberts 

      7 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks LaThing! Good to hear I am not the only one. Actually this summer was the first time I realized I had a problem. One of my best friends had to send me a reminder to RSVP to one of her bridal showers. I felt awful and started to promptly RSVP everytime I got another shower invitation in the mail. Thankfully she still loves me :) Appreciate you reading, commenting, and for the share!

    • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Alissa Roberts 

      7 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much tsmog! Oh the RSVP will be my downfall everytime! I don't even put RSVP on my own invitations. I usually put Regrets Only so they only have to call if they are not coming. And the commitment thing is my pet peeve. If you are not 100% committed then don't sign up. Appreciate you reading and for leaving your great comments!

    • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Alissa Roberts 

      7 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much winbo! Appreciate you stopping by to read!

    • LaThing profile image


      7 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Great tips! I am notorious at forgetting to RSVP! But I would usually not go if I forgot.

      Thanks! Sharing......

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      7 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Great hub. Having very little concept of a mom's life I received an education. These are useful for about any walk in life the way I see it. RSVP, wow, never thought of it that way. I usually make the last minute decision thinking no prob. Shame on me in a good way. The list thing is prominent at work. I didn't think mom's did that too. The commitment thing I wholeheartedly agree. Kids taught me to be very cautious with a promise. Thanks for sharing and congrats at the weekly topic accomplishment

    • winbo profile image


      7 years ago

      fabulous hub

    • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Alissa Roberts 

      7 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much teaches12345! That was the number one my dad always taught me - if you commit to something, you better follow through. Of course there will always be those unexpected events come up but I feel as long as you offer an apology and explanation everything will be forgiven. Appreciate you stopping by and for your great comment!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      Great post for those of us who wish to polish our mom skills. My pet peeve is #3, if you are busy or your schedule changes, please let us know. It is rude to simply assume that people understand and will look over your not showing. A simple "I'm sorry" goes a long way in smoothing out the bumps. I see that 80% of us wish to polish our skills so your hub has done it's job in encouraging us to think ahead.

    • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Alissa Roberts 

      7 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much Steph! So happy that you agree with the list. It definitely opened my eyes to my own etiquette issues. I guess we all need a little reminding to watch our manners every once in awhile. Appreciate you stopping by, commenting, and for the votes!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Love, love, love this hub!! As a busy mom of 4, I am always out in the "mom world," and so many of my friends (yes, myself included) need to keep these etiquette tips in mind. Especially the no bragging, write thank yous and don't forget to RSVP!! Rated up and awesome, etc. Best, Steph

    • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Alissa Roberts 

      7 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks alezafree! That is too funny - I have known some moms like that! You just want to say "Really I must see that". And your hub gave me a good laugh (made me want to go back to work to annoy some coworkers!) Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

    • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Alissa Roberts 

      7 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much Simone! Ah yes there will be no stopping the proud momma. We can only hope they will pause long enough to let us take part in the conversation lol :) And the apology is so important - it really shows the other person how badly you feel about missing the event. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

    • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Alissa Roberts 

      7 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Oh angela I open those invitations and then think I will RSVP later and then they get lost in a huge pile of papers on the table. No telling how many people I have annoyed with my lack of the RSVP. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

    • alezafree profile image

      A Freeman 

      7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      The worst is the parent who brags about things their child obviously couldn't be doing, like the 3 month old who miraculously stood up and walked across the room. Yeah right! Great tips. I have to admit, I took this week's topic in an entirely different direction, but I really enjoyed the way you approached it!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Such fabulous tips! Hahaa, though I think it will be very difficult for most mothers to stop bragging about their kids.

      Great point about no-showing, by the by! Even if one may fail to make it to an event, one can still be polite by apologizing about it.

    • angela p profile image

      angela p 

      7 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      I am bad at RSVPing at the last minute. After the date published on the invitation. I usually forget and then get reminded by my kids that I need to RSVP so they can go. It gets hectic with 4 kids!

    • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Alissa Roberts 

      7 years ago from Normandy, TN

      I couldn't agree with you more Melis Ann. It can definitely be draining if you have to be around someone like that. Sensitivity and encouragement are so important! Thanks so much for reading and adding your great comments!

    • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Alissa Roberts 

      7 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much jenubouka! Happy to hear you enjoyed it! Appreciate you stopping by, commenting, and for the share!

    • Melis Ann profile image

      Melis Ann 

      7 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      If I'm ever left feeling down after spending time with another mom, I realize it's because I've listened to too much bragging and I won't want to socialize with that person again. As parents we need to be sensitive to others and give each other words of encouragement. Good advice for all!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This was awesome! I can think of some moms who could really use this, Sharing. Thanks!


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