Whether you are eagerly anticipating your first child or you are a parent with years of experience under your belt, parenting is hard. Kids do not come with an instruction manual.
While, ideally, parents would have their own support community composed of family, friends, and mentors to help them through the challenges they will face raising their children, in today’s fast-paced and transient society, many parents are going it alone.
Sometimes you just need someone to bounce ideas off of, to ask questions to, and to seek advice from. Many modern parents turn to the internet and the seemingly endless supply of mom boards, parenting forums, Facebook groups, and sometimes even reddit threads for parenting advice.
But advice is a tricky thing. Just because something worked for one parent, one child, or one family does not mean it will work for you and yours. Also, let’s be honest, some advice out there is… Well, out there.You should always take advice – solicited or otherwise – with a grain of salt and a healthy dose of common sense.
A few weeks ago, I went to the amazing moms in a few groups I am a member of and posed a simple question: What is the best parenting advice you received that actually helped you and you think might help/encourage other moms?
So in honor of Mother’s Day (celebrated Sunday, May 12 here in the United States), I have compiled their best parenting advice!
Best advice for new moms
Jennifer has some great advice:
Don’t worry about a clean house! Just take one step at a time and it will get done! Also never be ashamed to ASK for help!
Heidi‘s best tip actually came from her doctor:
When stressed, depressed, challenged, unsure, or struggling, just hold on for 5 more minutes. Things will change and get better. It might be the situation, my attitude, my perspective or the circumstances. I’ve referenced this nugget and clung to it many times in the first 12 weeks of motherhood.
Katie of Page & Puddles shares:
I’m a newer mom (my daughter is 16 months old) but my best advice is to hold onto your plans with open hands. This is something God is constantly teaching me in all areas of life, but especially in motherhood. When I struggled with breastfeeding, I had such a hard time when I had to switch to formula. But God used it to remind me that my love and care for my daughter is more important than any plan I can create. Trust your instincts and remember that a change of plan isn’t failure. Pray and trust God to direct your path as a mom.
Nicole Lawrence says:
It’s a STEEP learning curve, you will spend a lot of time being frustrated, confused and overwhelmed, but if you’re able to keep in mind that you and your baby are learning it all together it’s easier to have grace in those moments for you both.
Becky Beresford stresses:
It’s so hard, but we need to remember to take care of our own mama hearts. It isn’t selfish, and it isn’t something to feel guilty about. It’s difficult to make ourselves a priority when everyone is calling our name or asking for help. But unless we set aside some small bit of time to pour into ourselves, we will continually serve from an empty cup. Our needs are just as important as our babies. Really.
Best parenting advice in general
Tiffany of The Dwelling Tree wrote a post for any woman who is experiencing “mom guilt”:
By God’s grace, I’ve come to realize God appointed ME to raise my kids. Not because I’m great or perfect. Not someone else better at playing Legos with five year olds. Me! With all my quirks and shortcomings and failures… Continue reading.
Terri of Little Mama of Faith shares three simple yet powerful things to remember:
1. Pray for every little thing about your child. 2. Remember that no one other than God knows your child better than you do. 3. Give yourself some grace – you’re not going to be a perfect parent, and that’s okay, because nobody is.
Cindy of The Titus Woman wrote about our purpose and goal as parents:
If you’re a Christian parent, God has called you to the mission of building a strong Christian family. That makes you a missionary. And your mission field is your home. Continue reading.
Trisha of Joy of Reading shares:
Children grow up so fast. We have them for such a short time. Teach your children about Jesus. Tell them how much Jesus loves them. Read Bible stories together every day. Pray with and for your children. Teach them to obey. If children can’t obey you, how will they obey God? Teach them to admit when they did wrong and ask for forgiveness. To not cast the blame on someone or something else. We all make mistakes and need grace. Model this for your children. Love them!!
Julie of Mom Remade wrote:
I am a teacher and mom. The way to get to your child’s heart is through a relationship. Taking time to know them personally is what drives them to do all sorts of things they wouldn’t otherwise begin to try. There is love, respect, and trust built that is unshakable. Continue reading.
Jessica Goodpaster shares:
The best advice I have received is that it is possible to both love your kids with everything you’ve got and also not enjoy every aspect of parenting. Some days are hard and the work thankless. You don’t have to feel guilty if you don’t savor every moment. It’s okay to love bedtime snuggles and dread potty training. That’s why it’s important to have one-on-one time with your spouse and to find friends you can vent to. Let go of mom guilt!
Kat of Dearly Loved Child talks about the importance of a support network:
The best advice is to find like-minded moms to connect with. Someone to send an SOS or just prayer hands when you’re having one of “those” days.
Stephanie of Training Keepers of the Home has a post on raising successful children:
While it is our job to raise our children the best way that we can. It is not our job to dictate their futures or control them. If we have done our job, taught them, trained them, and provided the best opportunities and resources within our means; then our children will be able to make an educated and wise decision about their own futures. Continue reading.
Traci of Traces of Faith shares in a post about modeling behavior for our children:
My daughter learns how to do hard things from watching me, and honestly, I’m not very good at it. I’m learning though. If you want something bad enough, it takes work. You have to get comfortable with staring awkward in the face. It’s the only way to learn a skill, whether you’re writing a book, shooting a basket, or fill in your blank. Continue reading.
Brianna of Disciple Mama wisely advises:
In the times when your kids are testing your patience it’s always best to slow down and quiet down. Take a deep breath and say a silent prayer before you respond. Use a quiet voice to respond. Hold your child (if they let you) while you talk to them about their behavior. Doing those things really helps de-escalate situations and helps me as a parent get to the root of the issue and resolves it more effectively than when I give a quick reaction.
Great Insight From Others
Sometimes great insight can come from those who, while they may not be parents themselves, work closely with children: teachers, mentors, friends.
Amanda of Maple Alps shared this pearl of wisdom:
I’m not a parent, but something was said in my classroom today that made me pause and think: A student remarked in contrast of the behaviors of some other people he knew, that he was glad that all of the teachers at the school are true Christians. It made me have a reality check that kiddos really do watch what we do and how we act and react even if they don’t comment on it. And while they may not comment on it, it may manifest in other ways. I know a lot of my students have picked up some of my certain mannerisms and phrases over the two years they’ve been in my classroom, just like I’ve picked up things from my parents.
So very true, Amanda! I would like to personally thank all of the amazing women who contributed to this list of best parenting advice. May you find it encouraging and a blessing to your motherhood journey!
I also want to say a quick word to all of the mothers out there: You are amazing! No matter what you may be going through or struggling with, remember that you were chosen to be your children’s mother. No mother is perfect, but you are the perfect mother for your children! Trust in the Lord and, whenever in doubt, you cannot go wrong by showing a little extra love and compassion.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Inspiration for mothers
I loved you from the very start.– Unknown
You stole my breath, embraced my heart.
Our life together has just begun.
You’re part of me, my little one.
“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”– Abraham Lincoln
Woman should fill the position which God originally designed for her, as her husband’s equal. The world needs mothers who are mothers not merely in name but in every sense of the word. We may safely say that the distinctive duties of woman are more sacred, more holy, than those of man. Let woman realize the sacredness of her work and in the strength and fear of God take up her life mission. Let her educate her children for usefulness in this world and for a home in the better world.– Ellen G. White, Adventist Home
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”– Washington Irving
“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”– Jill Churchill
Her children arise and call her blessed;Proverbs 31:28-31, NIV
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.”– Maya Angelou
I am your mother, you are my child.– Maryanne K. Cusimano
I am your quiet place, you are my wild.
I am your calm face, you are my giggle.
I am your wait, you are my wiggle.
I am your dinner, you are my chocolate cake.
I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake.
I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo.
I am your goodnight kiss, you are my I love you.
May you be encouraged by these real moms’ best parenting advice! What is the best advice you received or would give to someone? Share in the comments below!