ten life changing things moms need to remember


1. Expect that you will make mistakes. Like me when I tell everyone can’t you just be quiet for one teeny second because otherwise I am going to go insane comment last night. Overboard? yes. Even though the noise was ridiculous and I really needed it quiet. We make mistakes. In that moment I didn’t count to ten, didn’t give the most calming and empowering parenting response – I just let my emotion and irritation with noise dictate my response. After a bit, and a little quiet, I came back and apologized for my crabbiness. That noise? Someday, truly, I will miss it.

2. Don’t let the mistakes define you. So I made a mistake. Mistakes happen and they don’t define motherhood success. In fact, if a mistake bothers you, then good — it shows that you want to grow, you want to change, you want to be better. Learn from the mistake. For me? Often it is that counting for just a bit {that I forgot} before I respond or using a kinder tone when I do respond. I also try really hard to learn from the mistakes. Many times it is about me letting go of the things that I think are urgent {email, laundry, and more} and putting down my agenda so that it matches the family agenda.

3. Pick up. Try again. Encourage. Okay. Tough love here. I’ve been in groups where we talk about how hard it is to be a mom and all we have to do every single day. We laugh about the hard stuff and lament and complain and then we walk away. Enough. Let’s laugh, lament, complain {it’s okay to share about those hard days}, and then pull up our boot straps and encourage. If we leave a conversation with the thoughts of this is way too hard I can’t do this then we’re just reinforcing that we can’t do it. Encourage each other. Talk about the hard day {that’s okay}, but then instead of remaining in that work to encourage and move on. It’s that grace element of motherhood. We all need it. We all need to extend it.

4. Bottom line motherhood is hard. I’ve written it over and over and over. And over. Being a mother is hard work. We’ve got to deal with labels and updates and posts and all of this talking about all we could be doing. But, seriously? Seriously most days are work. It’s work without all of the honors – the awards, and accolades, and way-to go moments. Blessed work, but still work.

5. The day in and day out is just normal. Sigh. The everyday will not look like a pinterest pinboard {see the pinterest perfect real mom}. The real day will look rather boring. Get up, make breakfast, get kids dressed, clean up spills, switch laundry, etc. And that? That is okay. That is good. That, my friends, is the normal that we all crave when life goes a bit haywire.

6. Add an element of surprise to your day. Sit down on Sunday night and write down one thing that you are going to do each day to surprise your family. Maybe one day it will be breakfast for dinner. Another day will be sweet notes for your kids for lunch. Plan it. If it’s not planned it simply will not happen. In fact, grab a piece of paper right now and write down one thing that will bless your family later today. Root beer floats for dessert? I think that will be mine.

7. Schedule time for you. I know. There are some that would argue, but honestly you must have quiet space within your week to recharge your batteries. Maybe there is some show you love {me? I’m an Amazing Race junkie — secret dream — me to be on there. Can’t you see it? grin} and take time to watch it. There is NO guilt in taking time to recharge. Get up early and have quiet time and pray. Schedule a time every so often to get coffee with a friend so that you can laugh, lament, complain and encourage. Guard that time. And do NOT feel guilt when you need to step back and recharge.

8. Keep writing your gratitude list. Make it a habit to take two minutes writing everything that you are grateful for. I like to do this in the beginning of the day – it helps give good and healthy perspective for the day before the mass chaos begins. Click 2 Minute Grateful List to grab your free printables. Make this a habit and put your list in a place where you can reference it throughout the day. In fact, post your grateful moments as a facebook status update – that’s empowering.

9. Step back and appreciate. Every once in a while I simply step back and look at my day through fresh eyes. I’ve had those days when every single hair on the back of my neck stands up and I cannot figure out for the world of me why I am so frustrated. Step back. Break the pattern of the day. Pull out those gratitude lists that you’ve written. Remind yourself that this is a season, a short season, one that someday you will look back at with a bit of nostalgia.

10. Moms matter. Ending with that because, well, that’s the truth. Remember that today as you go through your normal routine and pull up your bootstraps and keep going and writing your gratitude list. You’re awesome. And amazing. And, as my almost seven year old tells me, you rule mom, you rule.

We can do this.

Moms rule.

for more motherhood tips please read 20 motherhood tips and 20 {more} motherhood tips.

Images and original content are sole property of Rachel Martin and may not be used, copied or transmitted without prior written consent.

27 Responses to “ten life changing things moms need to remember”

  1. August 27, 2012

    c.joy Reply

    i haven’t been to your sweet blog in so long. i needed this post this morning 🙂 so thankful for your words of wisdom! thank you!

  2. August 27, 2012

    JDaniel4's Mom Reply

    I love the idea of adding an element of surprise to each day. Now I have to think of one for today!

  3. August 27, 2012

    Angel Reply

    Trying so hard to be a good mother, but feel like a complete failure most days. Please pray for me!

  4. August 27, 2012

    Krista Reply

    So thankful you shared that you yell once in a while too, that is one mistake I make that bothers me the most and I am working hard to get better. I have seen some success in my life but hearing you share it makes me feel better anyway 🙂 Thanks for your encouragement, your blog is such a blessing!

    Appreciating you anew today Rachel!

  5. August 27, 2012

    Ron and Tiffany Reply

    Words cannot say how much this blog means to me! With a 30 month-old, an 11 month-old, and a new baby due in less than three months, Daddy deployed, and family several states away, we have some pretty crazy days here. Your blog is a place of refreshment and encouragement for me!

  6. August 27, 2012

    Amy Reply

    thanks for those good reminders… so good to live out and know that mistakes and failures are a part of life and they make us stronger. one of the ways He chooses to refine us.

  7. such wisdom here! and i’m loving the b&w’s. swoony! oh, and i love you!

  8. August 28, 2012

    Serina Reply

    I do so enjoy your posts. Every time I start, I am conviced that THIS TIME I will not cry….but here I am. I love that my 3 babies (16, 10, and 6)still like to be around me and that we laugh together. I pray that never changes. Thank you so much for your words

  9. August 28, 2012

    Lynn Reply

    Continuing to pray!
    Psalms 130:1-2, 5-7 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications (5-7) I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
    My email address

  10. August 29, 2012

    Anonymous Reply

    But what if you are a bad, selfish mom? One who doesn’t say encouraging words or ever apologize for her wrongdoings? One who doesn’t make dinner if she is tired which is about 5 nights a week. One who knows she needs to change but for whatever reason cannot. One who has established such a pattern on negativity that she and her kids don’t even say goodbye as they do school drop offs. They don’t say good mornings or goodnights either. What then?

    • August 30, 2012

      Anonymous Reply

      Then you take a minute to regroup and recharge. Sit the kids down and admit that you make mistakes but you want to try a new way. Apologize. Tell them what you need from them…nice things, not blaming things. Then cuddle with them. Tell them you love them. Then tomorrow start fresh. Say goodbye and I love you when you drop them off. It’s never too late to change. If you mess up again, take a moment, admit it, apologize, and try again.

    • August 31, 2012

      Emily Mariani Reply

      To anonymous mom,
      Make a Praise book and find things throughout the day to be thankful for, that really helps with negativity. I remind myself that these moments will pass and one day I am going to pass away, so while I am alive I want to truly love and truly live. Break the cycle, we are our kids role models, you don’t want them treating their kids that way, your grandchildren. You are loved, your kids love you. You can do this, start now!

  11. September 1, 2012

    Anonymous Reply

    To anonymous mom,

    I pray for you! It took a miscarriage for me to finally step up, take responsiblity for my failures, and really change because I didn’t like the person I had become. I broke down and prayed, and with the grace of God I have been able to get up early every morning, go for a walk in the sweet stillness and enjoy a cup of coffee while reading my Bible. My mornings are better, my kids mornings are better, our days are better, and most changed are our evenings. Keep praying. God is big enough to get you through this!!!

  12. September 4, 2012

    amanda salmon Reply

    thank you for this. i just wrote a blog post last night in such despair. then woke up in a bad mood and when i finally took the time to see what God had to say to me, it really helped. I do want to quit, alot, but He said he has given me what I need and given me what I need to accomplish His will…only in Him. Thanks.

  13. September 8, 2012

    Alisha Reply

    Wonderful, encouraging words that I desperately needed. Today, you are on my gratitude list!


  14. September 12, 2012

    Lee Currie Reply

    So needed this today. I’m a sole parent of four kids 16, 15, 13 and 12 and just had a big blow out with the oldest. She’s just doing her job – and I’m doing mine. It’s exhausting. It’s worth it. Thanks for your words.

  15. September 18, 2012

    Anonymous Reply

    #7 is the hardest for me. I have a very soon to be 4 year old and a single year old. I am divorced and work full time~but blessed that my work hours coincide with their school hours. I have yet to learn how to take time out for me and not feel guilty. The weird part is I genuinely applaud moms who do find time for themselves but feel guilty and cancel plans when I try to do it for myself. I am just a work in progress 🙂 Thank you for this blog..I just recently started reading and I have already been encouraged. God bless

  16. September 18, 2012

    Anonymous Reply

    single=6 lol sorry

  17. I just found your blog via pinterest and we have a lot in common. I write about many of the same issues. Very nice to meet you. This post is beautiful!

  18. January 16, 2013

    Zohebmtzm Reply

    Wonderful, encouraging words that I desperately needed. Today, you are on my gratitude list! Alisha http://Www.yourkidstable.com

  19. March 12, 2013

    Lisa Reply

    Great list on a hundred different levels. Thanks for sharing!

  20. January 11, 2014

    Rachel Novak Reply

    Once again just what I needed! Your words of encouragement help me recharge. Honestly lately my recharge minute has been reading one of your posts. It helps me step back and remember. Thank you again!

  21. April 4, 2014

    brett Fish anderson Reply

    Ah, great stuff Rachel, just from listening to and observing my friends i know that being a parent is such a daunting thing and then to try be one well while juggling all the other elements of life… for a lot of people this must be a bit of a scary place to be especially when everyone else’s manual is so completely different.

    so thanks for writing – straightforward, direct and to the point. I love it when people lift up relationships and parenting and speak into those with love and power. I actually have a space on my blog in a series of Taboo Topics called ‘Being a parent of a young child [when it’s not particularly easy]’ which a lot of people have found so encouraging: http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/taboo-topics-parents-of-young-children-intro

    thanks again and keep on
    love brett fish

  22. April 5, 2014

    Lynn Reply

    Hope you’re having another successful conference!
    I’m here praying right now.
    Psalms 116:1-5 I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.

  23. April 7, 2014

    Lynn Reply

    There are such comforting words in Isaiah! Praying!
    Isaiah 25:8-9 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

  24. I found this article on one if my many sleepless mornings. I am a full time working mom, possibly jumping into a career change, manage to participate in Archery with my oldest and softball with my youngest (sometimes on overlapping nights), married…. with two very emotional girls. I can honestly say I really never sit down. My favorite phrase currently is “I’m going to stop everything I do for a week so you can see what doesn’t get done”. But then I think I would be more unhappy with more uncontrolled chaos. So I continue to push on. For sanity sake. A messy environment makes me feel more anxiety and tougher on myself but it also means we should be thankful for having an environment to make messy.

    At some point a mom feels down, discouraged, like a failure. This is normal. Being a mom is hard! You are judged for letting your 14 year old go to school in her favorite clothes, camo and cowboy boots. You are judged for having a teenager with messy hair, and not because we didn’t brush it, but because she has a combo curl and straightness that never looks controlled.

    Truth is…..a routine is just that “a routine”. Sure my kids think that when I’m dancing and singing and kissing them at 645 am, I’m the one with the problem. And that when I drop them off at school and repeat the same words of advice every morning, “Be good and respect yourself, make good choices, don’t talk to strangers and all that stuff”. They laugh at me like, again, I’m the crazy one. And then they walk away with a warm smile. I can honestly tell you that when they are faced with a choice, good or bad, they hear my voice and think, “What would mom do?” I’ve seen this in action.

    It’s at those moments of “ah-ha”, I know and they know….. I’m doing it right. It may not be the most organized or logical rightness, but for my family, my unpredictability just works. They are great girls and even tho they aren’t listening to me, they hear me!

    Sure it’s not perfect, I’m surely not perfect with a sparkling house filled with all the snacks and games and devices all kids want. But it feels great to know the kids, the friends, they enjoy it here. Not for the chaos, or having all the options they could dream for, because that we are far from. They enjoy it because it’s real life. I listen without judgement, I stop behavior that’s uncalled for, and I protect everyone of them whenever I can. Could I, just maybe, be the neighborhood “cool” mom? I believe if you help them feel important they will succeed and make good choices.

    So….. for those mom’s out there feeling a little under… appreciated or like a failure. Just remember, it’s our job to teach those kids to someday be a grown up. Respectable, knows right from wrong, and has honesty that loves whole hearted. Kudos to all mom’s reading these, for you, you are one of the moms that took the time on a sleepless night to encourage and give virtual hugs to others who may feel but are not alone!

    That is all, there’s my peace.
    Happy sunny Friday morning!

  25. July 6, 2016

    Veenu Gulati Reply

    Saviour of moms
    I felt same but now feel better
    Keep sharing Beautiful words

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