Recently, we asked the women in our Connected Families community what advice, encouragement, or insight they would give to moms just starting out on their parenting journey whether through birth or adoption. Here is what they told us.
30 best pieces of advice for new moms
Young kids read way more into facial expression and body language than words. Work hard at “calm/neutral face” when working through a discipline situation. Then your kids might be able to hear your words! – Working mom of two teens in Minnesota.
Over the years, I have come to realize building that connection is the parenting “cash in the bank” that pays dividends later. When one is pregnant, the child is physically bonded to you. But from the time of birth, the pulling away starts and active efforts are needed to maintain that bond. It takes place during feeding and caring for them when they are babies. When older, it’s the endless reading of stories or Lego or minecraft. But one must enter their world and interest in order to keep that bond. So go ahead and bond away. They won’t remember the perfect meal plans but they will remember being close to you.–Mum of two, wife of one, London, UK
Be gracious with yourself and don’t compare your child’s milestones (eating, sleeping, and when your child begins to talk) with those of other infants/children you know. Every child develops at his or her own pace! –Working mom of 4 amazing kids
Trust your instincts. Don’t set the bar too high. Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t think too far ahead. No phase lasts forever. -Part-time working mum of 2 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
You’re doing the best you can
When you feel secure in God’s love, you will find freedom to make mistakes, and forgive yourself when you fail (you will fail, and it’s okay). You are doing the best you can with what you have. Once you believe that, you can give yourself, and others, more grace to grow. Your trust in God’s love for you is the first step in being a safe place for your children. –Mom adjusting from stay-at-home life with littles to working mom of school-aged kids
Things don’t always go the way the book or the pediatrician says they will. Try really hard not to compare yourself or be disappointed in the child you’ve been given. Do your best to find what you love most about them and cherish those moments with them. Have fun and let go of expectations. –Outnumbered in Tennessee
When my kiddos look back at their childhood …. for them to remember it was more important for my mum to play and connect with us then to have a clean house! ……. “cause cleaning your house with little kids is like eating cookies while brushing your teeth, it gets messy as you clean” I love Connected Families! –@gracelillianandelise
Motherhood can be lonely
Motherhood can be intensely lonely. Don’t let yourself isolate or be afraid to ask for help. Send that late night text to your friend, “I am so overwhelmed and lonely and scared. Can you pray for me?” Don’t worry how you will come across, but plug into the Body of Christ and let your sisters minister to you. –Stay-at-home mom of two young kids in Minnesota
For the last many months you’ve been growing your precious child inside of you. Then you endured your birth experience (however difficult or delightful it was for you) and now you hold your little miracle – what a journey it’s been! You did it! And you can do all the coming difficult and delightful moments motherhood will bring you. You are AMAZING! You are RADIANT! You have fierce love and gentle patience for your child. Share some of that with yourself. Love yourself. Rest. Recover. Offer yourself the same gentile patience you offer your new baby. You deserve it momma. You are OUTSTANDING! –Working mom of an adventurous toddler from Minnesota
Try not to be so serious all the time. Instead, laugh more with the kids or smile at them for no reason. Try to relax and go with the flow (when possible) instead of defaulting to rules, rules, rules. These slight adjustments to my overall mood would have made the earlier years much more enjoyable as we grew our family. –Stay home, homeschool mom of 6 in Georgia
Don’t stress about the little things
‘All things grow with love.’ Your child’s greatest need is your love. Your greatest need is God’s love. –Stay-at-home mom in rural Illinois
Don’t stress about the little things. Do your best, and when things feel tough and overwhelming, just remember, “this is just a phase”. –Full-time working mom of 3 in Minnesota
Be willing to ask for and accept help. Pray mentors into your life. Do not worry about the dirty house, you can clean when your baby is all grown, which will be in a shorter timeframe than you think! Find time to read the Bible daily, even if it’s in the bathroom with the door locked. And please, have grace for yourself. God has lavished grace on you, so be gracious to yourself. –Homeschool mom from Minnesota
Parenting can be painfully sanctifying at times
God called you to love this little one He has entrusted to you. That’s it. Not to be the perfect mom with the perfect plan, the perfect meals, the perfect whatever. You will make many mistakes. But by God’s grace, you can start each day afresh. So relax and enjoy this little one. Delight and rejoice in them. Parenting is the biggest sanctification school you will ever go to. You might be a nobody to this world. But to your child, you are the whole world. –Mum of two, London, UK
The quote: “Cease endlessly striving for what you want to do and learn to love what must be done.” by Goethe, is a challenge for me to check my perspective when I am frustrated. .–Mother of 3 elementary schoolers in Minnesota
Remember that children are children
Remember that children are children; don’t expect them to know how to do everything. We have to help them learn to navigate their emotions and feelings just like we help them learn to tie their shoes. If we can help our children have a voice, we can help navigate so much in life with relationships and confidence in the value of who they are. –Mom of grown children in Texas
Becoming a good mom takes time and you are loved no matter what. Raising your kids will be the most important and best thing you will ever do in your life. There will be many times when you give your life for theirs. It is painful but greatly rewarding. –Mom of four in Germany
Don’t hide your struggles. Talk with your children about how Jesus restores your soul, even in the valleys. Truth sets free. –Mom of 7 in New Brunswick, Canada
Be oh-so-kind to yourself
Be oh-so-kind to yourself. Giggle and play whenever the opportunity presents itself. Play music and dance. Do not fret about what your kids will turn out like. God’s got this. Read lots of Bible stories while they’re young and their minds are so receptive. Hug often and listen with deep compassion. Pray, pray, pray! –Mom of teen daughter, Oregon
Get to know your kids. Watch how they approach play and what interests them. That will help you know how best to show them they are safe and loved during those tough toddler moments and beyond. Part of being an intentional loving parent is to fill your bucket first. Make the time to be with Jesus. Make the time to be a non-mom as much as you can. Even if it means 1 minute while drinking a glass of water. It will carry you through the day.
You are not alone even if it feels like it. Your entire world just changed. Every mom experienced that. Reach out to moms that have gone before you. They will love listening to you and sharing their similar experiences. You are already rocking this new gig… you found Connected Families! Welcome to the best village/community there is. –Working mom of two boys in Texas
Make it your superpower to be gentle with yourself and your children on hard days. God is in the business of redemption – and the magic is not in how perfectly you parent, but in the way you repair with your kids when things go wrong and in the way you all messily grow through the difficulties. God knew exactly who you are and exactly who your kids would be when He put you together. Remember how much love, creativity, and humor He must have had in that moment! –Mom of 2 from Iowa
As my dad always told me, they’ll grow out of it by the time they go to college.–Mom of 2 in New Hampshire
As a young mom, I was given the counsel “Enjoy your children.” This sounded too easy. Sure, I wanted to enjoy my children! But I also wanted to do wonderful things, say wonderful things, teach wonderful things. Twenty years later, I wish I could tell my younger self that enjoying each other as God intended is the best thing all of us could learn.–Erika
It’s okay to be emotional. It’s okay to sit in a messy house and just love on your kids and baby. It’s okay and it won’t last forever! –Stay-at-homemom of almost four
You don’t have to enjoy every minute. Enjoy what you can and don’t bear the burden of guilt or shame for what you don’t. Take note of the precious moments tucked between the hard ones. Tuck away your favorite memories. Cherish the ways God is sanctifying you in the moment. Savor the child you’ve been given as they are now, even as you pray for progress. The delightful and the hard are both temporary, so take the fleeting opportunity to behold it all. –Stay-at-home mom in Texas
Reach out to those moms with older kids for help! It’s not a burden – it’s life-giving for them to share what they’ve learned along the way! –Homeschool mom of 4
A final word from Connected Families to new moms
Finally, from all of us here at Connected Families, we’d love to offer you this encouragement from Proverbs 31:10, 25-26:
We trust this left you feeling encouraged! Want more? We ran a similar article a few years back that has even more great advice. If you enjoyed this article would you consider sharing it with a friend, or on social media to bring other moms encouragement?
Do you feel stuck in negative patterns? Are you isolated? Are you anxious about your kids’ successes or failures? Our Grace and Truth for Moms online course will help you identify and hold on to God’s truth about YOU, and equip you to stop believing toxic lies about yourself. This course is created for small groups, so grab a few other moms and be encouraged!