1. Make your relationship with the Lord your number one priority. If you’re too busy for God, you’re just plain too busy. Make time for the most important things. You won’t regret it.
  2. Get a consistent routine in place. Make your routine simple (maybe even just five or seven things you want to do in the same order every day), write it out, and make yourself stick with it for three weeks. After that, you’ll probably find it’s become somewhat of a habit. Don’t set your expectations too high. If you’ve never had a consistent routine, you’re not going to go from chaos to a regimented schedule in two days. Start small, take baby steps, and make loving and enjoying your children your priority — far above a clean home or strict schedule.
  3. Read aloud from a plethora of good books. Look at the pictures together. Talk about the stories. Stop and listen and answer your children’s questions. It’s not about finishing the book; it’s about investing in your children’s lives.
  4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Ask yourself, “What will matter 25 years from now?” and then live your life accordingly.
  5. Take advantage of teaching opportunities. It’s amazing the things you can learn and explore together when you’re willing to stop what you’re doing and seize a teachable moment.
  6. Praise your children liberally. Do you correct or criticize your children more than you praise them? As parents, it’s our role to guide and nurture our children, but that doesn’t mean we can’t also be their biggest cheerleader!
  7. Realize that no mom — however put together she might look — is anywhere near perfect. Stop comparing. Stop feeling guilty. Focus on what works for your family and be okay with the fact that you aren’t gifted in all areas.
  8. Don’t give up. Being a mom is hard, hard work. If you’re anything like me, you have days when you feel like you just can’t do it anymore. And I’ve come to learn that I can’t, in and of my own strength. But “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

{Editor’s Note: This article was first published on MomLife Today in October of 2011 and was updated on March 29, 2019.}

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  1. Agree, Agree, Agree!!! Thanks for sharing and for the encouragment! It sure is a crazy season in life, but it will be short in the light of things and when I finally slow down and do some of these things I don't worry as much but enjoy the little things. God is so good to bless us with these little lives, He WILL give us the grace we need to get through each day. Blessings!

  2. Crystal,
    Thank you for such a wonderful article! As a mom of a one year old I sometimes feel like I’m just getting through the day much less filling my little girl’s day with enriching activities. So I’m encouraged by your practical suggestions.

  3. Love this! Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

  4. Amazing! Thank you so much! I only have one of my own but I babysit for a couple and have their 4 year old my two year old and their 8 week old and it gets hectic around here =]

  5. As a round 2 mom, it is good for me to read this. I am an older mom of two little ones as well as a 19 year old son. My husband and I just celebrated our 23rd anniversary. We feel so old and tired trying to keep up with these busy girls. I don't feel like I am doing as much for them as I did when my son was little. I feel guilty for not having enough energy.

  6. Thanks for sharing Crystal! This is an area I know many Moms (myself included) think about while raising kids. Everyone else may appear to be "Super Mom" or "Have It All Together" but each Mom has their own struggles. I think you are correct that God must come first in our lives so that his love and care can radiate through us to our families and friends.

    All Moms should have a group of friends and family that you can be honest with, talk about your struggles as a parent, encourage each other, and most importantly pray for each other. I pray that my girls overlook the mistakes I make while parenting them and that they ultimately turn their hearts to God as their guide through life because he never fails them. Every day I am thankful that God has allowed me the amazing blessing of being a Mom to my girls.

    1. I love this, "I pray my girls overlook the mistakes I make….and that the ultimately turn their hearts to God as their guide"…that is a prayer I need to pray!

  7. New Mommy Diary says:

    I blamed myself for every little thing that upsets my daughter when I was on maternity leave. Going back to work gave me the distance I need to realize that she might just be having a bad day that has nothing to do with me. But that does not mean I do not feel guilt for not spending all day adoring her even though she needs the paycheck I bring home to keep the roof over our heads and the indoor temperature at a constant 75 degrees. I have a feeling I will be feeling this guilt for the rest of my life. Amazingly and not surprisingly, my husband does not have this problem.

    1. For the most part men don't tend to have the same guilt we have- BUT they often have a whole other set of weights on their shoulders that we don't bear either. But feeling guilty is NOT how u should ever feel if you're providing for your daughter! And moms do not have to stay home, or work, or breastfeed, or cloth diaper, or cook only organic, or get every portrait taken on their exact bday- in order to be amazing moms. We are all different and we will all parent differently- and that's a good thing, otherwise our kids would all grow up to be the same and the world would be a very boring place.

      1. Brenda – that is so true. My husband is constantly worrying that he is not pulling his weight when it comes to the income department. Since the birth of our baby, he has been working his tail off trying to make more money to "provide for the family." In some ways it is good, but at the same time, we are seeing less of him.

  8. So good! Thanks for sharing. Mommy guilt is a tool of the enemy. You put it all so well!

  9. I just wanted to say thank you for this post – I appreciate you sharing & as a mom to 2 young ones, this encouragement is much needed. I would like to share this w/ my MOPS group – giving you credit of course! I am a huge fan of your site.

    1. You are more than welcome to share it with your MOPS group. Thank you for your kind encouragement!

  10. Pingback: 8 Ways to Be a Better Mom to Young Children | Money Saving Experts | A Done Deal
  11. Crystal, you sound like an wise and amazing mom to me. As long as you put Christ first in your life, you cannot go wrong. He will give you strength and direct your path… Your children are blessed to be brought up to love the Lord. That is the best thing you can do for them.

  12. I've been reading your blog for close to a year now but never commented. I cannot begin to describe how much I needed to read this article today, right this very minute. Thank you for your encouragement and please know that God is using you in the lives of others.

    1. Hugs, Ayme! And thank you for your kind encouragement! I'm right there in the "trenches" with you!

  13. Thanks, its amazing how many blogs I read that have said something along these lines over the last week. I've really been needing the encouragement too.

  14. So very well said, Crystal. More than one of these reminders hit home in a not super-pleasant way (I think I have actually said something like, "Would you please stop asking questions so I can read, buddy?!" Yikes). And #1…so, so true, yet so easy to shove aside. Great article!

  15. I really needed this today! Thanks for the great post and a great blog! 🙂

  16. Thanks always for your wisdom, Crystal!

  17. I'm about to become a mother (due November 8, possibly sooner), and this was great to hear since I've never done this mothering thing before! I'm so excited to do it but want to make sure that I stay accountable to the most important relationship in my life. I'd love to hear more about how you put the Lord first, your husband second, your babies third, and yourself last… That's biblical, and I'm sure it's hard to put it in that order. Let me know if you have any tips for doing so! Thanks for the post.

  18. Just what I needed! Thanks so much.

  19. I think what I lack is that routine. I need to get that worked out! I think I would feel so much better. Mother of a 3 year old and 6 month old.

  20. Amanda
    thanks really good advice i have a 5 year old daughter that has some behavior problems and i could really use advice like this