I’ve been a parent almost half my life. That’s a long time! Being a Mom has been one of my favorite roles and my daughters bring so much joy to my life! I’m grateful that early on, I was challenged by God and by others to choose to make each day the best day!
Having said that, I also remember having one daughter with strep, the other with a sinus infection, my accountant waiting for the end-of-the-month reports and I think I was supposed to take cupcakes somewhere….
Even when you are intentional in making each day the best day, there will still be challenging days. That is why I am SO grateful we get a fresh start with each new day and can strive to make it the best one yet. We can begin each day free in Christ as we parent and care for our children.
Here are my top parenting tips for making each day the best day:
#1 – Begin your day with God and lots of prayer. Fill up with God’s love, Word and guidance each day, preferably in the morning. Share your joys, but also your frustrations with your Heavenly Father. Pray for each member of your family by name and allow God to show you what they need. He knows, He cares, and He will give you ideas and solutions to enjoy your family.
#2 – Apologize when necessary. You will mess up. No mom is perfect! Use those times of being short with your kids or forgetting a promise as an opportunity to ask your kids for forgiveness. You may even need or want to add further explanation, depending on their age. I remember a time as a business owner when we were going through some tough employee issues. I know I was distracted and often spoke with an impatient voice. So I set my daughters down and explained that we were experiencing adult issues. I asked for forgiveness and grace as we worked on solutions that would take away much of our stress. My daughters were old enough to understand and were included in our prayers and some of our discussions. Model the behaviors you want your children to express.
#3 – Read books, blogs, listen to podcasts, but also observe and ask other parents for advice. Parents who have experienced what you are going through are the experts! I consulted parents who had daughters a few years older than mine when an issue or question came up. It doesn’t mean I did exactly what they did or what the parenting books suggested, but their advice gave me ideas and a starting point. When you do your “homework” and add that to God’s guidance, you have a wonderful parenting “handbook”!
#4 – Be yourself; you don’t have to do what every other family is doing. After you just read Tip #3, I am going to say that you will walk a different path than everyone else. Your kids are unique, as are your family circumstances. Do not feel the pressure to be exactly like every other family. Decide what is best for your children and put blinders on if you have to!
#5 – Practice good health habits and self-care. This may seem like a given, but I know moms who skip yearly check-ups and other appointments because they are always putting their children first. I remember when my girls were young and thinking, “If I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be able to care for them.” Schedule the necessary appointments and things you need to do for you and ask grandparents or friends to assist in watching the kids. Attend a Bible Study where you can grow in your walk with God and connect with other women. Take care of yourself – your family will thank you!
#6 – Spend time each day connecting with your kids. I am a huge advocate of the dinner table. We enjoyed so many conversations and laughs at our meals! But, things change as your kids grow older, so get creative in ways to connect. One year, we gathered each night in my youngest daughter’s room and everyone had a chance to share praises and concerns. I had been frustrated that our devotions were being skipped or rushed and this simplified plan allowed us to share stories along with prayer requests. Life gets full and moves fast – find what works to keep your family connected.
#7 – Seek and find support with other moms. Check out your church, local MOPS groups or a book club where other Moms are gathering. Seek out women at your workplace or gym whom you can do life with. During this journey of parenting you will need other women who “get it”. Also, plan some play dates and let the kids have fun while you enjoy chatting and laughing – it’s good for a mom’s soul!
#8 – Have a do-over. If you don’t like the way things are going, start over. Spend time with God, your spouse and your family to discuss how things are going. Are mornings too hectic? Do you need to establish a better bedtime routine? Involve everyone; the way to have your best day may be an idea from your 5 year-old!
Please share your parenting tips and ideas in the comment section below. Let’s help each other make each day of parenting the best day!