Moments of Motherhood

101 mothers share their best piece of parenting advice

I recently polled 101 mothers and got the most beautiful, brutally honest answers on the best piece of parenting advice they’ve ever received.

Do you agree?

1. Follow your mommy gut.

2. Pick your battles.

3. Everything is just a phase.

4. Hide the chocolate.

5. We’re not perfect and we shouldn’t expect our children to be either.

6. There is no way to be a perfect parent, but a million ways to be a great one.

7. Chillllllll.

8. Stop listening to other people as you know your kids better than anyone.

9. Sleep when the baby sleeps, the laundry can wait.

10. Remain teachable.

11. God — Spouse — Kids: Never mess with it. Make sure your children know their order.

12. Cuddle every chance you get … it goes by too fast.

13. Be consistent.

14. It is always great to get advice from other people. But no one knows your littles like you do and you will know what is best for them even if someone else doesn’t agree with you.

15. Take the time to make memories the messes will be there later.

16. People will always have something to say, when it’s all said and done. You go home with your kids, not them. You do what you feel is best, for your children! You won’t make everyone happy anyway, so make you happy!

17. Lower your housekeeping expectations and sleep when the baby sleeps.

18. You cant take care of everyone else if you don’t take care of yourself.

19. Stop reading books written by those who never had children. Every child is different, do what feels right to you.

20. Wine, it’s okay to order in, your house will never be pristine, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed.

21. Be present.

22. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

23. Enjoy the little things.

24. After having twins, pick your battles … and I mean that because you are completely outnumbered.

25. Let Go. Let God.

26. You’re raising an adult, not a kid.

27. You don’t have to listen to everyone’s advice, rather listen to your own motherly instinct from within.

28. Give them your time not your money.

29. Don’t sweat the small stuff, enjoy life as it comes … puddles with the kids can’t wait, the dishes can.

30. Being a parent is the hardest job you will ever have but also the best job you will ever have.

31. Trust. Your. Gut. The relationship between you and your child has never existed before. You know best.

32. Every child’s path is different, unique and so very special. He knows each child’s journey before they take their first breath. Trust in Him, breathe, and enjoy the ride.

33. Pick your battles.

34. Never wake a sleeping baby to eat.

35. We don’t cry over spilled milk.

36. Don’t sweat the petty stuff, and don’t pet the sweaty stuff.

37. Speak with love — you can be firm without yelling or anger.

38. The days are long but the years are short.

39. In order to have kind & compassionate children, you need to model this yourself.

40. There always are little eyes & ears looking to you to do the right thing.

41. Apologize, no one is perfect, but the prize is in the effort.

42. Never say never.

43. Don’t allow them to do something today you don’t want them to do in a couple years.

44. Lead by example.

45. Get up before the kids to get yourself ready for the day.

46. Children are people, too. Treat them as you would any adult you respect.

47. Good things come to those you wait.

48. Fair is not always equal.

49. They can’t fall off the floor. Change them there.

50. It’s only preschool: Code for: Chill

51. You live with what you allow.

52. They only are little once.

53. Once you get used to something, the kid will change whatever it is. Always be ready for the next phase.

54. To enjoy every moment because it’s gone in a flash.

55. Take it one day at a time.

56. Never lie! For every action there is a consequence.

57. Never say my kids won’t.

58. Go with the flow.

59. Be firm but gentle.

60. Always be patient and kind, even when you have to hold them accountable for wrong behavior; when you might have to discipline them, remember their actions might have been “bad”, but never make them feel that they are “bad.”

61. Each child is their own individual — find what works for that child.

62. This, too, shall pass.

63. Say what you mean and mean what you say … with consistency.

64. You are not above your child and can not command respect, you have to teach them respect.

65. Be firm but fair.

66. Take pictures of their firsts and lasts.

67. Follow through with your consequences first.

68. Children need rules. Be a parent first. Gain their respect. The friend thing will follow.

69. Don’t worry about cleaning so much.

70. No one else will know your children as good as you do so as a result, you will know what is best for them, no matter what age they may be.

71. Enjoy every minute, because you will never get other opportunities with

your children. They will be grown in a blink of an eye.

72. Give respect to get respect.

73. Don’t believe the “washable” part of washable markers.

74. No one knows what they are doing so make it your own journey and don’t worry about what others say.

75. Just concentrate on making it through today — because tomorrow you get to start over.

76. They won’t roll off the floor — in regard to those twilight hours with a screaming baby and you just need a break. Put them down (where they can’t roll and fall off) and walk away to take a few deep breaths.

77. Trust in your instincts.

78. Get in the pictures.

79. If you’re going to laugh about it someday you may as well laugh about it now.

80. Lots of bad behaviors and moods can be fixed with a snack if they are out of sorts, they might be hungry and not know it.

81. Always remind yourself that it won’t last long. It gives light at the end of the tunnel for the stressful moments, and it reminds you to soak in the fleeting good moments.

82. Put your baby to bed awake and let them put their self to sleep; and then when you want to go hold and snuggle them with you miss them an hour later, that’s okay, too.

83. Don’t expect little kids to handle big emotions like an adult.

84. Ask for a second opinion, it never hurts and could make a huge difference in your child’s health.

85. We are going to do this my way, you can choose to do it easy or rough, but either way, we’re doing this my way.

86. No one overrules the mama, no one! Dad is a very close second, though.

87. Acceptable risks. Let your kids do things if the risk is acceptable, its how they learn, let them make mistakes.

88. If you tell a child not to do something, always tell them why or they’ve learned nothing.

89. Do what works for you whether it be formula feeding, mix feeding, breastfeeding, feeding to sleep, co-sleeping.

90. Don’t tiptoe around the baby.

91. Every child is different: don’t expect to deal with them all in the same way.

92. Take time for you; a healthy you makes a better parent all around.

93. Spending time with your kid(s) is more important than a clean house. Make time for them.

94. Always say I love you! Tomorrow is never a guarantee.

95. Listen to advice, but know that what worked on their baby, may not work with yours.

96. Wine.

97. Everything washes, even the children.

98. It will all work out.

99. That baby did not ask to be here: remember that always.

100. Consistency is key.

101. It gets better, I promise.

Long is a local author and mother of four, entrepreneur, paid parental leave advocate and health coach. Her column is published on the third Sunday of each month in the Lifestyle section. To keep up with Long, visit reganlong.com

COMMENTS