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Best advice I’ve ever heard about parenting

Today was one of those mom days.  I was tired.  And frustrated.  And discouraged.  And even the sound of a kid talking to me made my ears want to explode.  Yes, I typed that out loud.

I just wasn’t up for the whole mom gig today.  

Then while sitting in the splash zone of my 2 year olds bath, I found myself reading one of two blogs I follow and I was irritated (which has never happened before with that blog) and even more discouraged.  Because she had the perfect pictures and the perfect experiences and the perfect words to describe her life.

And it made me think of how hyper-aware we are, with this Internet/technology connected world, of what all the other parents are doing.  And the adventures they take.  And the perfect days they have.  And the messes they let their kids make.  And the cruises they go on.  And the games they all play together.  And the huge trophy their ridiculously talented child just won.  And the schedule they keep.  And the meals they prepare.  And the dream jobs they have.

But after I tucked my kids into bed, rocked my baby to sleep (and hid in his room for a few minutes), assured my 9 year old her pinkie would indeed not fall off in the night from severe pain, and my 7 year old would not starve before breakfast, I sat for a second and thought how lucky my kids are.  And how lucky I am to be their mom.

They are loved.  They are told they are loved.  They are shown they are loved.

They are fed.  They are adored.  They have a warm place to sleep, clothes to wear, food to eat.  Parents that think about their needs and futures all day long.  Extended family that loves them.  Books to read.  Schools to go to.  Great teachers and leaders who love them.  Tons and tons of friends.   And on and on and on.  

And then I thought about the best thing I’ve ever heard (in multiple places) about being a parent.  And something I think about nearly every single day.  Multiple times.  

God was intentional about where he placed his children and who their parents would be.  And He gave me MY kids.  For. A. Reason.

So when a neighbor, relative, friend, teacher, parent, stranger tells me my 3 year old shouldn’t have a binkie, I should let my kids “cry it out” to teach themselves to sleep, my kids have anxiety because I don’t leave them enough, I spend too much time exercising, I shouldn’t let her eat ice cream, I’m too patient, I should never let a child sleep in my bed, I can’t believe you let them…., you should be engaged with your child every.single.minute, you shouldn’t feed them that kind of food, you hold your babies too much, I think to myself:

“That’s why they’re mine and not yours.”

And occasionally I actually say it out loud to people who think they need to correct my parenting.

Because it’s true.

My kids are mine.  And they need what I have to give.  The real me.  Not the imitation me.  Not the me trying to be like other moms.  But the me who can give them what I can give them.  And do what I can do.  And love them the way no other mom can.  Because I am their mom.  

So momma’s everywhere.  May we all try a little harder to encourage one another more instead of discourage.  And build each other up instead of tear each other down.  And recognize we can give our kids something no other mom can.  And may we all try a little harder to step up and be the kind of mom WE want to be and know we can be.  Not the kind of mom others tell us to be.  

And may we always remember we all love our kids.  And we’re all doing the best we can with what we have.  And doing what we think is best for OUR children.  And what I do may not work for you.  And what you do may not work for me.  And THAT’S OKAY!!!

Instead of comparing and despairing (I totally just made that up), let us celebrate each other’s success’s.  And remember to celebrate our OWN.  

You.  You, momma, are doing a good job.  (I’m shouting that at you)  Just keep showing up.   Your kids are yours for a reason.  Please don’t ever, ever forget that.  

And as my friend, Glennon, would say “Carry on, warrior” momma’s, carry on.

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  • I love you, LIndsay.ReplyCancel

  • Amen Lindsay!!! You hit it on the head!

  • Well said, Lindsay!ReplyCancel

  • That’s why God sent you the sleepless ones, and I got the food intolerant ones. That’s all we can handle:) loved your post!ReplyCancel

    • I think I’ll take the sleepless ones over the food intolerant ones. At least I know eventually they’ll figure out how to sleep.ReplyCancel

  • Love this, Lindsay! Just found it. Exactly what I needed to hear (though I didn’t realize it). Thank you for the great inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • Chamaine

    Thank you from the very bottom of my heart! I needed this today!!ReplyCancel

    • ltross17

      So glad it helped. It’s true. And it helps me be a better parent every day. They need what I have to give and God gave them to me. It honestly makes parenting just a tiny bit easier when I remember that and quit comparing myself to other mothers.ReplyCancel

  • Rischel

    Beautifully said!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy G

    I often find myself thinking I’m not a good enough mom. So when my friend forwarded me your article, I thought you were speaking directly to me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts out loud, cause it’s made a difference for me and makes me feel better.ReplyCancel

    • ltross17

      My guess is ALL moms think they’re not a good enough mom sometimes. I know I do. Am I doing enough? Can I give them what they need? Am I putting in enough effort to teach them. And then I think about all the kids in the world. And the things many of them are up against. And I think of my kids and how much I love them and do for them. And that God chose to give them to ME. Not to someone else. To ME. That thought alone actually brings me a lot of comfort and confidence to raise them right. Glad this helped you. I’m sure you’re a GREAT mom!ReplyCancel

  • Anna

    Thank you! So needed this right now!ReplyCancel

  • Betsy

    I just found your blog and it has already been a blessing to me, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • April Rapp

    I just wanted you to know your message to mamasin this entry was an encouragment to me today! Thank you for sharing your heart! Im sure its not always easy to do!ReplyCancel

    • ltross17

      Thanks SO much for taking time to comment and tell me that. It’s not always (or ever) easy to be vulnerable but I’m quickly learning that’s where REAL human connection is. And I want that. So I share! Glad this was encouraging for you. Kids are awesome. So are the moms who love them. God definitely knew what he was doing!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly

    This truly made me cry today. You have no idea how much I needed to read this today as the mother of two teenagers. I love love love this!! Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • ltross17

      Ah Kelly,
      So glad you “got” the message! I don’t have teenagers yet, but I’m pretty sure this is the ONLY parenting advice I’ll be able to cling to during those years. Good luck!!! And I’m sure you’re doing a great job!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Young

    This hit me hard today and I really needed to hear it!! I always ask God to help me be the best parent my kids need me to be at that moment. LOVE the “that’s why their mine not yours” part!!ReplyCancel

    • ltross17

      I have to remind myself of this often. They’re mine. I get to parent them how I see fit. Thanks for taking time to comment. Glad you liked it!ReplyCancel

  • […] note: This article was originally published on Lindsay Ross’ blog. It has been republished here with […]ReplyCancel

  • estelle

    I needed to hear this today. When I’m struggling with this gig and wondering how the heck I’m going to do it, I will remember this. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Tara

    Stumbled upon your blog via this entry. Live across the ocean but absolutely connected with what you wrote!!! Bringing God into the topic always gives the whole topic a new twist. I know it doesn’t work when I leave Him out (un)consciously. Don’t blog and am not online a whole lot. My two little ones are still asleep this morning and actually I want to move on to my scriptures now… Please continue spreading so many good seeds. Thanks a lot!ReplyCancel

    • ltross17

      Thank you so much Tara! Glad you liked this.ReplyCancel

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