Don’t Have the “I’m Done” Gene thumbnail

Don’t Have the “I’m Done” Gene

3 Things by Julie Cole, Mabel’s Labels Inc.

3 Things by Julie Cole, Mabel’s Labels Inc.


I don’t have the “I’m done” gene.

I’ve often been shocked when people hand me over their maternity clothes and baby gear after their second or third baby. How are they so sure they won’t need it again? These mama friends have all assured me that they knew they were done.

After my last couple of babies, I realized that maybe some of us never get that feeling of being done. I expected it after my fourth, fifth and definitely my sixth. Never happened. I describe myself as having missed out on the “I’m done” gene. Every time I have a baby I expect to be greeted with a satisfied feeling of baby closure—an urge to close up shop for this tired uterus once and for all. Well, I’m still waiting.

I’m guessing that it’s the “I’m done” gene that allows women to purge their maternity clothes, pack up the bassinet and happily send husbands off for a minor surgical procedure. For those of us not blessed with the gene, we find each of those actions baffling.

How do those women just know?

JVL photo


Staff up!

I got a nanny when my fifth child was nine months old, which was about three kids too late. Don’t be a fool like I was—give in and get the help you need!

Don’t feel like dragging a toddler and baby to the bus stop every morning in the dead of winter so you can get your bigger kids on the bus? Yeah, me neither. I got an older kid who goes to the same bus stop to do the morning pick-up and afternoon drop-off for a cool $20 a week. “Bus buddies” are a good investment for busy mamas.

Another good investment is a homework buddy. Homework is often a time of conflict for parents and kids because we are too darn emotionally attached—things heat up when we get frustrated. I have a high school student come to the house and my kids love having some time with their big kid friend. Homework is not something any of us dread anymore!


Tired of being a nag in the morning? Feel like a broken record barking out things like “Don’t forget your lunch!” and “Have you packed your homework?”  Stop the insanity.

Set up a simple system that will get them out the door while keeping your frustration levels down. The Ready, Set, Go Board is a great tool I use with my little ones so they can manage their morning routines. The Ready, Set, Go Board has visual cues along with lists of the morning duties to assist in self-organization.

My kids mark off each duty as they complete it. The picture icons are perfect for pre-readers and children feel pretty darn good about themselves when they have big kid responsibilities.

Ready set go board


Contributor: Julie, co-founding vice-president of award-winning children’s label manufacturer Mabel’s Labels
Check out Mabel’s Labels.
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Enjoy her blogs: and The Baby Machine