Mommy Advice Contest!

I have LOVED the first year of Sam’s life. I was warned, and they were right. You start looking at your twenty-five pound (yes!) “baby” and yearn for the firsts again. You get the itch. But I have to admit, while thoughts of another little Smartt excite me, I also get very, very. . . tired. Literally, I want to take a nap just thinking about those long nights again – WITH ANOTHER CHILD to boot. There is no question in my mind that whoever said “mothering is the hardest job in the world” was something near to prophet. Sure, there are other workers on call twenty-four hours. But how many of them need the skills (thirty seconds from waking up) to promptly recall the words to “This Little Light of Mine” and sing it in a tone so soothing, confident, and loving that a screaming newborn is induced from hysteria to calm, contented sleep? Not many. And I’m not bragging. If I could be fired, I probably should have a few times. It’s just tough.
And then I think of others – you know who you are – who do this thing called “mothering” against harrowing, dangerous, and indomitable odds. Some of you carry, rock, and nurse a newborn with one, two, or (gasp) more running around. Some of you have endured sleep deprivation at levels resembling military torture techniques. Some of you do it alone – no mom around, husband busy, little fellowship. Others are exhausted, hormonal, and overwhelmed but always seem to care more how I’m doing. Others have more reasons to worry than I’ll ever have – but don’t.
I have always respected good moms; today, they are my heroes. I think of my own (four under the age of four!) and my grandmother, who raised seven (wonderful) kids with virtually no money, no help, and no fellowship. She is amazing.
It becomes evident that this thing – this mothering thing – it is an art. I submit that contrary to Parenting Magazine and Redbook you can get it wrong. I want to be somebody’s hero. I have so far to go, but I’m open to learn. I know there’s no vitamin combo, no secret mantra, no deep breathing exercise that manufactures naps or patience or the ability to go to the bathroom when you’re rocking a baby. I get that. But my question is this. When you are exhausted, overwhelmed, and out of strength – what helps you keep serving? Maybe “serving” is too ambitious. Surviving, even? In those difficult moments – the days that start unexpectedly at 5:13 with a gassy, teething, or energetic baby, those days where naps are miracles, where dinner hasn’t even been imagined by 6:30, when your husband is late and your patience is thin and your arms are tired – what helps? Please don’t ignore that silly little thing you do/think/say because you assume we all do it. Perhaps what is instinctive to you is brilliance to another. Share the wisdom! No minimum length – new or veteran moms encouraged! I’ll be posting as many responses as I can in the next few weeks. AND, (because rewards are nice), it’s a contest. The most helpful/insightful response will be awarded with a small gift (I said SMALL, people), lots of fame and honor, and, probably, because you’re such a wonderful person, jewels on your crown in heaven. (I’m just guessing here.) Thanks in advance for the help and can’t wait to hear!
*You can post your response as a comment or email to

3 thoughts on “Mommy Advice Contest!

  1. For me, my sanity rests primarily in knowing that God is in control, that he loves my son more than I can (so I can relax) and that he loves ME more than I know! I try to keep verses that remind me of this not only on my mirror, but in the places Caspian frustrates me the most- Above his changing table, on his high chair and on the bookcase (which is OFF LIMITS!). Also…I really like to know in those moments that I'm working toward something specific with my son. I thought this might answer a question you had a while back too, about what activities you can do with your kids. My sister did a blog post ( about what she did with her son this week. She is putting him through 'tot school'. Its a blog site where moms with different aged children post what they're doing with their kids. This really helps me, who can be creative but not for long~! LOL. It's nice to see what other moms are doing for their kids and use their ideas. Check it out!

  2. oops – I forgot to contribute! Well I'm not a veteran mom or anything, and most of my advice has to do with caring for multiples (if you need to know how to nurse 2 babies at once, I'm your girl!)BUT I would say that when things get hairy, Jeff & I constantly say to each other "you gotta laugh or you'll cry!" A sense of humor has really helped us – and just having the right attitude. I can choose to have a quiet time before I start my day with my boys, and I can choose to stay calm and laugh or freak out and cry. Sometimes that's HARD to do but I'm learning every day… and every day we enjoy our twins more & more! Putting things in perspective helps too – I know there are those who can't have children who would kill to have a crazy day with 2 babies… and watching a good TV show about triplets, quads, or quints always makes my life seem blissful. ha!

  3. On days when Dani (2)is in overdrive, Collin (1)is teething, Collin's little brother (due in September)is in there partying like its New Years Eve, Brian is out of town working, the house is a mess, the laundry isn't done, the dogs won't stop barking, and every other one of Murphy's Laws is in full affect I stop and remember that out of every mother that has ever lived and will ever live God decided that little old me is the mother He custom designed for my family. Realizing that He believes in me like that helps me to believe in myself.

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