From the moment a woman announces she’s pregnant, people bombard her with wanted and unwanted mom advice, with the latter being the more frequent. We get advice on raising, disciplining, naming, feeding, and even what kind of diapers to use on our children. People just feel the need to share what they’ve learned, but the advice is mostly based on lived experiences, and what works for one family often doesn’t for another.
But over the years, I’ve found that there is some mom advice that resonates with every parent, no matter your child’s age, the number of kids you have, or your family’s situation. Here are 3 that I’d rank as the best I’ve ever received.
Raise your children so your friends will want to have them over.
This is my favorite advice to give when asked. And although it is self-explanatory, it essentially boils down to discipline and respect. When my kids were little, my friends would say, “You are so lucky to have such good kids.” My response was always, “It’s not luck. It’s hard work!” Disciplining is not always easy, but if you are consistent, follow through, set reasonable expectations, and teach respect, kindness, and love, then you’re on the road to raising the kind of children your friends will love to see.
Put your kids on a schedule.
Rested kids are happy kids. Kids feel safe when they know what they’re supposed to do and when they’re supposed to do it. A schedule doesn’t have to be a prison. It also doesn’t have to be the same kind of schedule your friend keeps for her kids. Schedules are also good for parents because it gives them set times to do things they can’t do when the kids are underfoot. A schedule gives time for self-care and also time for each other. For example, knowing that it’s dinner at 5 p.m., showers at 6, and bedtime at 8 sets clear expectations that children can meet and gives parents time to relax and spend uninterrupted time together.
Trust your decisions because YOU are the one raising your kids.
People speak into your life because they think they see the full picture, but in reality, they only see a small piece. Only you see the full spectrum and you know how your decisions will impact your family unit, so the opinions of anyone outside of that shouldn’t affect what you do as a parent. Obviously, there is advice that we can take from people we love. They give it because they care, but caring is not always sharing. Sometimes mom advice is just masked criticism and you are not obligated to take it. God entrusted your kids to you and it is your job to do what is best for them.
What is the best piece of mom advice you have ever received?