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  • Lisa Clark


There is no perfect, so please don’t try. Just do your best! Ask for help when u need it!

I would tell them that the early days are not easy, they will be tired and stretched in 1,000 directions but to enjoy these special years because they will be gone before they know it.

Let them cry themselves to sleep at about 8 weeks. They will fall asleep then you can too. Also don’t try to make things quiet when they are napping. Let the doorbell ring, dogs bark, vacuum run. They will learn to sleep through anything

Don’t compare yourself to any other parents! We’re all different.

Get sleep. Get sleep get sleep! Your rest matters, too. You are now a “protector and provider”. Protector/providers must have support. Figure out who your support is and reach out when you need it. Taking care of yourself is essential. Recognize the “mom-guilt” and remind yourself that when you are good, everyone else is too so toss that mom-guilt aside and do what you need to do to show up to those kiddos with joy. Most of the time, that is rest. Even God rested. The house will be dirty. The Bible says “Where there are oxen, there will be hay.” Welcome to the world of kiddos. It won’t be clean ever again! Ha

Release the guilt that you feel like everything has to be perfect. Or that your house has to be clean...or your clothes clean. Hold the baby, feed the baby. That’s your #1 job and it’s ok. The first month is hard and beautiful at the same time. Release the guilt and enjoy the moment. They’re only that little once. And you know your baby better than anyone else. Don’t take advice you’re not comfortable with.

Don’t compare yourself to other parents or your child to other children. Be their advocate and safe place - even when it’s not a pretty situation. There are great teaching moments in the hard but only if they know you have been trustworthy and believe in them.

Trust your mommy and daddy instincts! There are SO many opinions out there, even from well-meaning people, but seriously no one else has the instincts for your child that you do. God gives you something special and extra to know and understand your specific child.

The days are long, but the years are short.

Trust your gut!

God loves your children even more than you do. You can trust Him with them. You don’t have to worry all the time. Always be their advocate but let them make mistakes. It is how they learn and mature. And trust God to help with this process.

Make sure that if they play a sport, don't let that define them. Because it ends at some point and can be devastating. Also...don't let your fears become theirs. Trust God from day one. He loves them more than you ever could. Trust His word...and His will in all things.

If a dad does nothing more, he needs to CHOOSE to believe in his children and to let them know their value.

Some of the best advice I’ve had is that the Lord has chosen YOU to be the Mom or Dad of your son or daughter. Because He knows that you are the perfect person for him or her. Don’t compare yourself to others.

A schedule was a life saver for us. Putting your child on a schedule put our mind at ease because we could anticipate what was coming. If you can, as a Mom, breastfeed your child.

Be intentional. Read to them. Teach them God’s word. Read Read Read!

Pray for your child every day. Spend time in God’s word so you fill your tank and have something to give to them.

This is exactly true and demonstrates how each family is different! I was determined to have my infant on a schedule, and we were both miserable. I was determined to breastfeed, and it was agony just making it to the 6-month mark. I was sure I was supposed to be a SAHM, but I cried everyday missing my calling. So, my advice would be to pray and ask for discernment. Don’t assume what worked for another family is God’s best for you. I finally gave up on a perfect schedule, stopped breastfeeding, and even went back to work. My kids are now 16 and 13, and they LOVE JESUS!!!

-There is no instruction manual, trust your gut!

- accept all the help that’s offered

- make time for your spouse

- be kind to yourself, you are doing a good job

- take time for yourself

Savor the moments and be present mentally, emotionally, physically and especially spiritually! God selected you out of all the people in the world to be their parents! He knows what He is doing!

Pray a lot!! God will lead you to make wise decisions. It may seem overwhelming but so worth every minute you pour into them.

Pray. Pray. Pray. Read “The Power of a Praying Parent”.

Put your phones down! Live in the moment.

When dads are left with the children while mom is running errands, it's not babysitting, it's called parenting

Don’t sweat the small stuff!! Be like a duck and let it roll off your back! Your house will never stay neat and tidy-Thank God for the mess!

Enjoy each day! Say I love you! Don’t forget your partner. Take care of each other. Ask for help if needed!!! Grandparents love to help!!!

I told a mom who came to me crying that she had never been a mom before (so she didn’t know if she was doing everything right) that the baby had never had a mom before so whatever she did-however she did it would be “right”.

Some advice I received was Parents can’t take all the credit nor can they take all the blame for how their children “turn out”. They will have many outside influences-good and bad- you (parent) must follow and trust God’s word and pray for discernment and wisdom.

Your job is to TRAIN your kids- not make them happy/comfortable

It’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed. It’s totally normal to feel incompetent. Ask for help. Take breaks. It’s important to recharge.

Love and nurture them with the skills and gifts God gave YOU so they can be all He created THEM to be!

Breathe. Just breathe. God has this. Rely on others. You do not have to do it alone.

The biggest help for me was learning that Dad’s way is also good. Sometimes Mamas naturally believe our way with our infants is the best and only way, but Dads also need that time to figure out what works & we can learn a lot from that. Hope that makes sense!

Protect your marriage. Find creative ways to make intimacy a priority. When children know that your relationship with your spouse is second only to your relationship with God, it creates a secure environment for your children.

The legacy of passing along your faith begins with you sharing Jesus throughout each and every day with your firstborn. Doing so impacts generations you will never know. Looking for opportunities each day to point to Jesus in the life of your child is one of the biggest blessings God pours out on us as parents. Trust Him in all things. He will provide you with everything you need for each day and give you great joy in your journey!

Accept help when it is offered. You don’t have to do it alone. Community and fellowship are essential to parental survival.

Let your children feel pain, heartbreak, and disappointment. It will be tough, but you can do it! If your children aren’t invited to a birthday party, resist the urge to make everything feel ok... If someone laughs at their school project, resist the urge to call the teacher and soften their hurt. If children learn to handle disappointment while under your roof, they will be much more prepared to handle big hurts that will come. While still in your loving home, children need to learn how to handle pain without numbing it with food, alcohol, or drugs.

Let your kids see your walk with Jesus. Be excited to get to go to church together. Worship together. Serve together. Pray together. Have your quiet time with a real Bible so they don’t think you’re just on your device. Demonstrate forgiveness.

Be consistent to enforce your rules but don’t have so many rules or standards that your children feel stifled or confined.

Give yourself grace! You learn as you go, but you can keep going with confidence that God knows you well and gave you this specific child to care for. There’s a reason for it, and you’re more equipped than you realize to handle what’s in front of you. Keep going back to Him, who planned this all for you!

Choose a ‘life verse’ that you can pray over your child. My kids are teenagers and I still refer to their verse often and pray it over them. It’s become a truth lodged deep into their being.

Be intentional. If you and your husband are in agreement of your greatest pursuit, pointing your children to the Lord, you will be able to see what is worth your time and your best course of action (in most cases ). When they are little show them God’s creativity (He created your favorite color and an anteater!) and nearness (you are never alone, God is always with you). Apologize often. Show them how to run back to the Lord when they stray. Pray honest prayers, not perfect prayers. Be silly.

Do what works for your family...everyone is different and has different expectations. If you want to snuggle with your baby while they sleep do it, if it tears your heart in two to hear them cry it out for hours then go to them, if you don’t want or can’t breastfeed, use formula. A calm and happy mom = a calm and happy child!

Be prepared for some sanctification! God will use your child to transform you more into his image.

Ok, this won’t be spiritual advice, but have them listen to the country song “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Adkins. I still get tears every time I hear it. Give it a listen if you haven’t heard it before. It just lets them know that no matter how stressful it is, they will one day miss it and wish they had those days back!!

Pray a lot and expect that God will help you. His word says He will be with you! Remember to have fun and no one else knows your kid better than you do. And remember you haven’t been a parent before, so you won’t do it right every time but usually it works out fine! And if you need a diagnosis in the middle of the night, call your mom, she’ll probably google it.

Find joy in the simple moments with your kids, don’t sweat the small stuff, and tell them how much you love them and how beautiful they are every day!

Every baby is different! It all works out! Give yourself grace.

Remember, make the most of your time with your child. You have 18 summers with them. Set goals for instilling love, scripture in their hearts & let your actions be so clear they see the way to Jesus so that they follow Him all the days of their lives.

I hope some of them are parents through adoption! My Uncle who adopted 2 of his 3 children advised us (20 years ago almost,) “Whether they are home grown or store bought, you love them just the same.” Just love those babies. The truth is yes! God adopted us as sons and daughters and gave us the right to become heirs.

1) There are no perfect parents and there are no perfect children.

2) Don’t take yourself so seriously. They won’t.

3) I would have worried a lot less. And surrendered a whole lot more.

4) Your health and your marriage is more important than your kids. The healthiest thing you can do is care for yourself well and take care of your marriage.

5) The dishes and laundry can wait.

6) Kiss them every day.

7) Make God the center of your home. Everything you are, private and public, flows from that.

Don’t be your children’s friend. Be their parent

Raise your kids as if they were someone else’s, because everyone knows how to raise other people’s kids!

Above all give them to Jesus now because if you rely on yourself to get it right you will fail outside of Him

Know that at each stage of development, there will be trade-offs. Some things get harder & other things get easier. Celebrate each milestone. Your baby starts crawling/walking. Yay! (Now get ready for some craziness!) Your kids are out of diapers! Yay! Prepare for a few accidents but enjoy the freedom (and $$ savings) of being finished with the giant diaper bag. Enjoy each stage and embrace the stages to come.

Let them sleep with you. Who cares where they are sleeping as long as everyone is sleeping. When grocery shopping, park near the baskets because it's easier when you come out loaded with groceries and babies. Keep going to church. It gives you a break. Keep snacks and a trash can in your car.

Pray. Pray. Pray. And then pray some more.

Savor every moment, even when it’s hard. Their tiny years are fleeting.

Don’t worry about being the perfect parent. God chose to bless you with this little life for a reason.

Look deep into their eyes when they are speaking to you.

Grace above everything else. Parenting is a daily practice of grace with a healthy dose of love!

Get DISC training on personality and communications. This is a link to my favorite teacher of DISC but there are many others trained directly and indirectly in the area by Dr Rohm.

Enjoy every minute... the lack of sleep, messy house, loads of laundry and dishes will get done when they get done! All those things are important but not as important as the time spent with your children! That’s what they will remember.

Make your relationship important - take that first date by 6 weeks. Call Grandma to babysit!

Be kind to one another because you are both stretched thinner than you will ever be again more than likely.

One day at a time - God said so

Some minutes seem like hours. Some hours seem like minutes but each one is a memory.

I also can say that my biggest saving grace has been giving MYSELF grace. Nothing is the same nor will it ever be, and it is beyond easy to be extremely hard on yourself. Dishes in the sink? That’s okay. Laundry you can’t fold because you have a hungry or fussy baby? That is okay. Give. Yourself. Grace.

Take a deep breath. It will be ok. Most things seem worse during the night hours. Remember God loves you and He has you in his hand. His mercies are new every morning and He loves your children more than you do!

They will (most likely) eventually do all the things you’re so fearful of like not sleeping through the night or pooping in the potty! Take a deep breath and remember that even though it feels huge and insurmountable right now, one day (a few years later) it will feel like it was just a blink of the eye!

Apologize when you may be short with them or raise your voice. Ask them to forgive you. And teach them to say I forgive you immediately. They will grow up seeing that you’re not perfect, and humble enough to ask for forgiveness. And teaching them to say I forgive you immediately, helps them to “feel” the forgiveness. My adult children to this day say “I forgive you” right away and do not hold grudges. Plus, they eventually figure out we are not perfect…Helpful to model humility and Grace with them as they grow up.

Smile a lot, love always, hugs and kisses are huge! Minutes turn into hours so give a lot. Your actions will be returned.

Try to treasure every single moment. Time sure goes by way too fast. Keep your sense of humor through every situation. Try not to scream at your kids! As a mentor once told me you are giving the enemy all the glory when you scream. That hit me between the eyes

To let go of what they think parenthood is supposed to look like! To accept that there are no perfect parents, and they will need God and lots of prayer. To give grace to themselves and to each other. And to remember their parenting doesn’t have to look just like what other people think it should! Trust your God given instincts about your own child!

To comfort a crying baby when nothing else seems to work, put them in the stroller and walk around the block... the fresh air will do you both some good!

Always be united in praising and punishment! Disagree behind closed doors

Don’t ever be too proud to say you are sorry to your children.

Let God’s Word be your guide. There are thousands of so called “experts”, but none compare to God and His perfect Word. Don’t let others tell you there is a better way

If it works for you and your family, who cares what others say?? You will know. Just breathe.

Take advantage of grandparent’s offer of help.

I remember as my children became aware and grew, I tried to really listen and hear what they said and felt. And to let them know how much I valued and respected who they were and trusted them. When they slipped, as we all do, I loved and forgave them and guided them to the next step. Always realizing none of us are perfect - still love and trust and move on.

When your child walks into the room to talk to you; put down your phone, your book, your project and look them in the eye like they matter and are important.

Give yourself a lot of grace! Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing or what all the books say. Do what works best for you, your baby and your spouse. We feel a lot of pressure to do what others say we’re supposed to do, and it causes more stress than anything. Also, stop and take in the baby smells. The newborn baths, lotion, etc. I miss those the most!

One more thing...about breast feeding. It seems like there is an unspoken stigma when it comes to those mamas who either choose not to or cannot breastfeed. Mom, you do you! Dad support this! Baby will develop beautifully even on formula & Dad will also have the opportunity to bond with baby. Moms, your body brought a precious baby into the world, appreciate that miracle & try not to beat yourself up over breastfeeding if it’s not working for you or baby.

Rock them to sleep as much as you want, read with them as long as you both still fit in the rocking chair, sing Jesus Loves me to them as you hold them and rock them, sit and play with them, soak in all the baby smells and belly laughs. It really does go by in the blink of an eye.

Your mommy instincts are better than you think!

Teach them manners and why we have manners. it will serve them all their life:)

When a baby cries and the need is met, it builds trust. I cry, you comfort me. This is a good thing. It helps develop your baby’s brain and heart to feel love and trust.

It’s ok if breast feeding is not for you. Wasn’t my thing and my girls did great. In fact, I think it helped them. They were used to other people holding them, and really helped my husband bond with them as well. They never once cried when I left them in the church nursery or Mother’s Day Out. Also, relax! If you aren’t alarmed by things your kids won’t be either. They see how we react to situations and take their cues from us.

It is ok if they cry and you need a minute, they will be just fine. Hold and snuggle them often.

Your baby is YOUR baby. No one knows them like you do. You can read all the books and make all the plans. You can get all the advice and do all the things. Give yourself (and your baby) grace! You are both trying to figure it out. Best advice I got— don’t worry about a schedule. Get a ROUTINE going and let your routine become your schedule!

Pray without will strengthen your maternal instincts.Moms need to vent so find and be that friend who will listen to all the bad and the bragging points without judgement. Play with them. Make all your calls and text before the children get home. When the homework seems hard, agree with them as you too learn the new math...lets them know they are not alone in the frustration Pray and remember "Be still and know..." God has it all.

Do NOT tell them that potty training is easy compared to teen years...

Read the extra book at bedtime, cuddle a few minutes longer, WRITE DOWN THAT SUPER CUTE THING THEY SAID (because you won’t remember it later), count to ten before you say something you’ll regret when angry (even if you do it out loud), laugh, laugh at yourself, apologize, listen, don’t be pressured into letting your kids go or do because “everyone is”, sometimes bend, make sure they know they are heard, have a date night, pray together, realize it may seem like a hundred years until everyone goes to kindergarten, but once your last is in kindergarten...they graduate five mins later, and lastly, God has a sense of humor and what works with child one may not work at all with two, three, four! Tell them “I love you” multiple times a day and make sure they know Jesus!

I’ve told lots of young moms that while we all hope to hear our children say their parents were the biggest spiritual influences in their lives, the truth of the matter is that kids often reject their parents’ influence. I remind them of the scene in Father of the Bride where Annie’s new boyfriend, Brian, is coming to meet Annie’s parents for the first time and take her on a date. As she is getting ready, her dad tells her it’s chilly outside and she should wear a jacket. She responds that it’s not even cold outside and doesn’t get her jacket. When Brian arrives and they are about to leave, he tells her the same thing, and she promptly grabs her jacket. The point is, kids will often reject a parent’s advice, while eagerly accepting the same advice from someone else. So it is so important to make sure your kids are exposed to Godly people who can speak into their lives. My three daughters will all tell you that the biggest spiritual influence in their lives happened at Kanakuk Kamp in Missouri. To this day, I continue to thank God for all the people who were willing to invest in my girls’ lives, and the list includes Moms’ Day Out teachers, preschool teachers, VBS leaders, small group leaders, youth pastors, pastors, Bible study leaders, volleyball coaches, and parents of their friends. So many people invested in my girls in their spiritual journeys and today, they are all passionate Christ followers. So, while we may not get the credit for their decision to become Christ followers, we do get credit for providing them with so many opportunities to be influenced by other Christ followers. So my advice to young mothers is to live and model an authentic, transparent life as a Christ follower, but make sure you provide those opportunities for other believers to speak into their kids’ lives. I also tell young moms that great kids don’t just happen. You have to be intentional in what you teach them. Some very helpful books for me were Dobson’s “The Strong Willed Child” and “Parenting With Love and Logic” by Foster Cline and Jim Fay.

Let people help you!! There is no reward in doing everything yourself. And don’t compare yourself to others! - this probably applies to us all!

It is an incredible privilege to parent your children, To share Jesus with them, to shepherd their hearts to love Him and others well. Live in God’s word, bathe in it, eat and drink it up, so you are a living, breathing, walking testimony of the Savior. That is your # 1 goal! Love this time, cherish the daily and laugh. Laugh at yourself, laugh with them and laugh during the struggles. Pray without ceasing and entrust them to the One who created them and knows them better than anyone. This is not about you... this is about you allowing a Holy God to work out His Holiness in the hearts and minds of your family. He is trustworthy!

Don’t base your worth as a parent on your child’s successes and failures.

They are sinners...just like their parents.

Don’t worry what other parents are doing. If you don’t feel good about something, say no. It’s ok if “everyone else” gets to do it. It’s ok to say no and it’s ok for your child to be disappointed. They might even thank you later.

Find time for Jesus. You will need him. And don’t compare…stay in your lane.

Baby blues and post-partum depression are real. It’s okay to not be ok. Ask for help. You are a life worth fighting for.

Must have book – Moms On Call

Teach kids to always respect and honor their mother and father.

“Fess up when you mess up!”

Never go to bed angry.

Always say “I LOVE YOU!”

Always take time to listen to your kids.

Prayer is powerful. Be on your actual knees for your kids every day…for their hearts, minds, salvation, wisdom, attitudes, all of it! The Lord is better at equipping you as a parent than any book or podcast. Great resources are good but the Lord desires to be our helper in raising who He made!

Don’t base your worth as a parent on your child’s successes and failures. They are sinners…just like their parents.

Don’t worry what other parents are doing. If you don’t feel good about something, say NO. It’s ok if ‘”everyone else” gets to do it. It’s ok to say NO and it’s ok for your child to be disappointed. They might even thank you later.

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