Not An Option - Kimberly Thompson


Having choices is wonderful … up to a point. The problem for many moms is that families are on decision-making overload. It can become really hard to identify what choices are truly important when life is one constant stream of decisions. I would like to sing the praises of setting some guidelines for your family that cut down on all those choices … because it can set you free to spend your energy on what is important. Make some things “not an option.”

I don’t think I could live with just my husband in a tiny house (defined as 500 square feet or less of living space), and I certainly could not have done it when my kids were growing up. Still, I understand why people find them attractive — it reduces your carbon footprint, your housing-related expenses, and your real estate responsibilities. It also makes an awful lot of material things “not an option.”

What kinds of things can you make “not an option,” and relieve that decision-making exhaustion?

If you are constantly wrangling with your kids over television or video game use, make use of those devices “not an option” outside of certain times. You can do this through parental controls or just through taking the connector cords and securing them. There is no need to constantly negotiate about this or other behavior issues.

Make sure your child has a small and simple wardrobe of interchangeable pieces, and then inappropriate choices become “not an option.” Kids need limited choices, but here my emphasis is on LIMITED. Come to think of it, simplifying Mommy’s wardrobe might be a good idea, too.

If snacking regularly ruins appetites at meal times, make snacking “not an option” by eliminating your purchases of snack food. I also believe that an adult should be grocery shopping alone! That might be “not an option” for some, but it does simplify a lot of issues.

Those are just some examples. It’s really OK to take some issues off the table with your kids, and for yourself.

Life is going to throw you some curve balls — it happens to all of us. Just when you think you have made all the right choices, it happens. An unplanned pregnancy. A complicated health problem. Custody of nieces and nephews. A rough patch in your marriage. Especially at those critical times, it really helps to know that some things just are not worth agonizing over.


     I am Dr. Kimberly Thompson, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Lubbock, Texas. I work with mothers and their children to help them heal, grow, and live their most vibrant lives. My particular expertise is pregnant and postpartum women, and moms of “littles.” My book, Perfect Mothers Get Depressed, is available on Amazon and from Praeclarus Press. If you live within driving distance of Lubbock, you can work with me face-to-face; if you live anywhere else in the state of Texas, you can work with me via online therapy. Send me a message if you need more information, or call my office at (806) 224-0200 if you’re ready to book an appointment