This is my 12th year as a mother. I still have a long way to go, but I’ve come this far with a grateful heart and a hopeful spirit.
Parenting is a learning process. For the past seasons and the present, these nuggets of wisdom I learned from books, mentors, other parents, social media, the Bible, and my own experience helped me navigate this rollercoaster ride of parenting.
1. Asking for help and accepting help is healthy for everyone.
There’s no shame in needing help. The old adage “It takes a village to raise a child” is still true in every sense no matter how advanced our society gets. Everyone’s circle looks different and you may not get all the help you need, but take advantage of all the help available. Need assistance with anything? Ask someone. Don’t overthink. They might say no, but a yes is worth the try. Did someone offer help in any way? Don’t overthink, say yes, please! Lightening the load for you is helping your child too.
2. Pick your battles.
If you let everything get to your nerves, you will be one perpetually angry, nagging, and ugly mom. Raising children entails plenty of demands, disappointments, and disagreements. Leaving a wide room for mistakes on both ends will allow you to focus your energy on the things that matter most. When you learn to ignore small mistakes that are part of growing up, you will have more time to savor the moments of beauty, bliss, and brilliance that comes with parenthood.
3. Listen. Really listen.
I once got angry with something I permitted my daughters to do because I said yes to something I did not really hear. Our smartphones give us the illusion that we can multitask, we can’t. Listening to our children is one of the simplest and most important ways we can show our love to them. Really listening means giving our full attention, not just with our ears. We complain that our children don’t listen to us; but are we listening to them?
4. Choose your experts.
My first years of motherhood were tougher than they had to be because I let everyone’s opinion matter. People will always have opinions about…