Don't Compare - It is so easy to compare ourselves to others, especially in our roles as moms. This has been a common theme among blogs I have been reading lately. I will keep this short and sweet. God made you who you are. He made you with particular gifts that you can use in all of your roles of life, including parenthood. Use them and stop comparing yourself to other moms.
Relax - Your children (whether newborns or 15 years old) can sense it when you are stressed. No matter what kind of front you put on they know you and they feel it. Relax and try and not to let everything in life stress you out. And there is nothing wrong with a little adult beverage (GASP!) on a school night to help you wind down (in my personal opinion).
Laugh - Laugh with your husband. Laugh with your kids. (Trust me, your kids will remember both of the first two.) And my personal favorite - laugh at yourself. Yesterday we were running around getting ready for Garrison's game. Ethan got into the toilet (not once, but twice) and anything else he could find. Garrett sat around until the last minute which made me so nervous we were going to be late. Garrison put his baseball pants on before his underwear (for the thousandth time). I was trying to get bottled waters out of the fridge and one fell smack on the top of my foot. I sat there for a second and thought to myself, I could cry right now or I could laugh. I chose the latter. Who cares that all three boys looked at me like I was crazy. It made the situation better.
Let It Go - You have to learn to let some things go when you become a mom. The laundry may not always get done. The floor may not always be vacuumed. The house may not always be clean. It's okay. Let it go. That being said, the next one has been super helpful for me.
Be Organized/Prepared - This may not be the case for everyone but I find that when I am as organized and prepared as possible it makes my life run a lot smoother. I don't mean make sure your closet and cleaning supplies are organized. I mean to organize yourself as a mom so you don't feel like a chicken running around with its head cut off (which let's be real, is sometimes completely unavoidable). Some examples: Make lunches the night before. If you work, pick your clothes out the night before. Make sure your kids' backpacks are ready to go for the next morning. Stick to a week night routine as much as possible. Keep a calendar. Use your phone to set reminders for yourself.
Take Advice - I know sometimes it is hard to take advice from others because it makes us feel weak or inadequate. That is so far from the truth. Be sure to take advice from moms you admire and look up to. And keep in mind to not compare yourself to others in this process. If you are a full time single working mom who has three older kids, all in sports, the best person to get advice from may not be the stay at home mom who home schools one young child and has a husband who does half the housework. Be realistic with the advice you take.
This is not a bad thing...
Own It - God entrusted you with this child/these children. Whether you were raised by awesome parents or parents who made huge mistakes you have learned from your childhood and have an idea of what kind of parent you want to be. You are strong. You are worthy. You are adequate. Own your role as a mom. Have confidence and take pride in that role. You have been given a gift and a responsibility of raising a child to make this world a better place. Believe that and own it...even when you feel like you're having one of these days!
Pray, Pray, Pray - Ask God daily to help you in your role as a mom. Pray over your kids. Pray for your kids futures (including their future spouse/family). Pray for God to be at the center of your family. I find myself praying daily for patience and wisdom with my kids.
These are just some things I have learned along the way and I hope you find them helpful. Keep up the awesome work, Mamas!