10 Apr 2012

For when you think you’re failing motherhood {quick, break glass and read this book instead!}

I’ve often felt motherhood was a test I was failing.

Less so lately.

But at the sleep-deprived beginning I would read all those books that tell you when the baby should be sleeping and when the baby should be eating and when the baby should be this, that, and the other thing-ing and all I would see was a big, fat, red “F”

Jackson did nothing according to anybody’s schedule but his own.

And he threw up a lot. As much as I could finally get him to eat, he would look at me, cough and puke it all back out again. Forget crying over spilled milk, I wept over what felt like oceans of of baby puke.

Wept.

Parenting is not for the faint of heart. And it’s especially not for those type A personalities accustomed to having all their ducks in a row, all their check boxes checked and all their life, their sofa cushions and their cereal boxes neatly arranged.

After two weeks had passed . . .  it became very clear very quickly that our life would look nothing like the organized, orderly, controlled lives of the model parents in the book. ~ Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year

I had a nursing chart. I’d harnessed my elementary school poster board and marker skills and set up a time table. After each feeding I would dutifully put check marks in the boxes – which side I’d nursed and how long – before I stumbled deliriously back to bed. Jackson cried, I nursed, I made check marks, and he never ever once slept or ate as much or as long as the books promised me and my chart that he would.

F, F, F, F minus in parenting.

I pretended it made sense to me. I pretended I had a handle on his “routine.”  I pretended I hadn’t started to resent all those parenting books lining the shelves of our teeny little one room cottage.

And still he ate at a snail’s pace and woke up regularly to eat slowly at 1opm, 1am, 3am, 5am and 7am.

I kept waiting to fall in love with him and instead I just felt like we’d both failed our midterms.

Disillusionment and despair quickly replaced the euphoria of new parenthood. Every nighttime wake-up, every too-short nap, every time I rocked her to sleep, I was confronted with my failure. ~ Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year

The moment I found out I was pregnant with Micah I threw out every parenting book I’d ever owned.

We did it our way.

And by the time I had Zoe I was ready to revel in my parenthood.

I would have given a lot at the beginning for someone to have told me that there is no one “right” way.

Oh my but that would have saved me a lot of anguish.

The truth for many mothers is that when the mainstream advice does not work or feel right for our families, we experience tremendous anxiety over how our parenting choices will be viewed by those around us. ~ Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year

Ain’t that the truth.

It’s taken me years to trust any kind of baby book again. With Zoe I hardly had any clue what stage she was “supposed” to be on because checking in with any of “those” books simply didn’t interest me.

I wanted to be her mother, not her hall monitor.

I wanted to get up with her any time she needed me. Even when I didn’t want to. I wanted to sniff her hair and rock her in the exhausted dark, knowing she was my last. And my first girl.

I wanted to just feed her. I didn’t want to have to keep score of how much she ate.

She wasn’t sick, she was gaining weight deliciously, and I knew that this last first baby year would slip through my fingers if I was too busy trying to plan for it. So we just lived it. Zoe and I. We lived every amazing, sleep deprived moment together.

We may have danced.

And if you’re tired and confused like I was three kids ago – oh how I’d like to come over with chocolate cake and the promise that no one gets it right the first time. No one gets it all right the sixth time either I’m told.

There are no perfect parents and no formulas that can produce perfect kids.

In fact, I’m convinced more than ever that parenthood, by design, is created to reveal all our many imperfections. Our short-tempers, our selfishness, our laziness, our flat out short fuses.

Nothing will light that up quite like a baby blowout requiring a full outfit change at 2am after an hour’s worth of nursing.

It’s meant to be glorious and utterly mundane at the same time.

the first year should be less about training our babies and more about God developing us as parents and human beings. ~ Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year

This is the book I wish I’d had in my hands on at 5am on a cold South African morning when I was tired and sore and desperate for a formula that would give me back my old life.

I needed someone to tell me over tea and cake that my old life was gone for good; not what to do so that I could still live with one foot in my stay up late, sleep in late, come and go as you please world and one foot in my I want to be a mother if the baby will just leave me alone world.

I needed a safe place to grieve the loss of a stage of life I’d loved and wise words to bring me gently into a new life. A life where everything was unfamiliar and often scary. A life that couldn’t be reduced to a poster board check list.

And in their beautiful, gracious, kind, patient, profoundly encouraging book Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year, Megan Tietz and Laura Oyer do just that.

They tell us we’re not crazy or alone or crazy alone.

They prescribe prayer and DVR’d shows.

They get how we might have felt like failures.

Oh precious panic-stricken new moms, this book is a gift to us all. It reminds us that parenting is so much more than pass fail.

Can I wrap it up along with some Downton Abbey re-runs and a basket of chocolate covered pretzels and send it over? Well, everything except the pretzels and DVDs.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Winners announced over here.

But I do have three copies of the book to giveaway. Yup, Three!

Just leave a comment by Friday sharing one thing you wish you’d known when you were a new mom and you’ll be entered to win a copy.

Gosh, you’re lovely. And brave. And I’m so cheering you on every step of the sleep-deprived way!

Just click here to leave a comment and be entered.

{Spirit-Led Parenting is currently sold out on Amazon but you can also order it at the Civitas Press Store}

Pst, other blogs spreading the word about this awesome book and more opportunities to win it over here. And nope, no one paid me to share any of this. I’m just so excited to have discovered a parenting book I can trust again:

::

I think motherhood should come with a super hero cape and a cheerleader.
My {free} ebook The Cheerleader for Tired Moms might be the next best thing.
Enter your email address and it’s coming your way just before Mother’s Day!
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Comments

{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    I wish that I would have known that just because a parenting concept is presented in a Bible study doesn’t mean it’s Biblical…Led this type A mom to denying every mothering instinct to hold and cuddle my firstborn when she was left to “cry it out” to get on a “flexible” schedule. And after having 5 beautiful children, I still don’t have all the answers but I can definitely help other new moms lose the guilt over their perceived “F” in parenting and let go and enjoy their new babies in the way that feels right to them.

  2. 2

    Yes, just what Misti said. I just wish I knew then what I know now.

  3. 3

    I wish that someone had told me that nursing is not painless. That it is not always easy, and although you do feel a bond with your baby. It’s ok to not want to nurse once in a while. Especially on very sleepless nights. Go ahead and give hubby a bottle and get some sleep.

  4. 4
    Jessica Harper says:

    I wish I would have known from the beginning that Babies don’t read books! and 9 times out of 10 people aren’t doing what the books say you “should be” doing anyways. Babies dont care if they have a nursery or cute clothes. They want to be warm, held & fed.

  5. 5

    I just gave birth to my first 4 weeks ago and I wish I’d known a nap a day is essential and the huge priority swap-around that takes place. I would have written my term-papers 2 months ago.

  6. 6
    Lisa Perez says:

    I wish I would have known from the beginning that its okay to ask for help and stop trying to be “super mom”. Enjoy each day, even if that means your baby is in your arms all day. :)

  7. 7

    As a new parent pacing the hallway I wish I’d known that a newborn baby screaming for 12 hours straight (except when she was drinking) is NOT “just colic” and something she’d grow out of, but something that’s actually treatable with some medication (ie Gastro-reflux). And I wish I could go back and shoot the Dr that told me “she’s probably just hungry – take her back home and try feeding her”. Or the other Dr that even after she’d been diagnosed wouldn’t prescribe the medication she was still needing, telling me “she should have grown out of it by now. Perhaps if you don’t pick her up when she cries…” (this is not an I-want-attention cry but an outright pain scream).

  8. 8

    I wish I would have known that in the end, every mother screws up her kids some how and never in the way you think you will. In the end, if you are honest with yourself and you love them, it will all be relatively okay. I would have stopped constantly worrying I was going to do something drastically wrong. I wouldn’t have fixated over pacifier usage, or homeschooling, or cloth diapering. I’m sure my son will be in therapy some time between now and his fiftith year and his major issue will not be whether he was fed organic baby food or standard Gerber, whether he wore thrift store hand-me-downs or designer baby clothes, or how many times he got to watch Baby Einstein while I took a shower. Most likely it will be something I don’t even remember like, “My mother wouldn’t allow me to watch RAMBO when I was eleven and I’m still mad about it!”

  9. 9

    I can’t even decide what I wish I’d known, so many things. I’m just glad I found your blog during that first year. It has been a huge encouragement.

  10. 10

    My mom said something that I took with me when I had the Bunny. She said, “I imagined I was a woman in a cave with a baby. No-one to offer advise or tell me what to do. It was me and God raising my baby, and I did what felt right.”
    I had a book for routine (because I needed the break and routine allowed me to have planned rest) and to let me know that block out was an amazing invention (who knew?), but everything else was done by instinct – I’m loving every moment of my Bunny’s growth (we’re 4 in June).

  11. 11
    Stephanie says:

    I love this post Lisa-Jo. It is giving me hope. I am 14 weeks pregnant and my first baby is due in October. I don’t know how to ‘do’ being a mum of a newborn. I want to get things right and to be honest this post helps me to know that what is right for you is ‘right’. There is no set ‘right’ way of doing things. Just reading this gives me post. The book you suggest sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing your motherhood journey. It is such an encouragement to my heart. Bless you xo

  12. 12

    beautiful write, this. ah, as i look back, i so wish i had known there would be nights where i would rock my firstborn and wish desperately for a way out. for either her to be gone, or for me to leave. and that when those thoughts came my way, i needed to find help. and fast. that those were straight from the enemy and that God did not intend for parenting to be filled with such darkness. that i needed to find safety and run to it like my life depended on it.
    fortunately, GOD was there. always, always, there. and even in those darkest times, when i had a problem bigger than i knew until years later, He kept me safe. and my babies safe. and brought me ’round with a story that reveals His loving kindness. His great compassion. His tower of refuge that He offers each and every day.
    i love how you don’t shy away from the hard things, but instead share them with courage and hope. always, always. . . hope.
    thanks so much,
    steph

  13. 13

    I wish I had been able to relax more and go with my mommy instinct! I have an exhausted friend with a 2 week old baby girl (her first) I would love to give her this book!

  14. 14

    oh, i wish i had known not to worry over every feeding, not to worrry so much over every turning body in the crib, oh, i probably would have slept some that first year, it would have been better….

  15. 15

    I wish I’d know that innocent questions like, “Does he have teeth?” or “Does she roll over yet?” weren’t a criticism or validation of my mothering skills. And although my kids are now 22 and 24, if I win a copy of the book I’ll give it to my daughter who is raising my 5 month old granddaughter. Love the quotes from the book!

  16. 16

    I wish I would have known that it gets easier. Everyone kept telling me it would but I doubted the utter exhaustion and hour long nursing sessions would ever end. But slowly, very slowly sleep came more often and nursing got faster. Next time I’ll know it’ll come and to simply wait for it instead of worrying about how to find it.

  17. 17

    To take the good & leave the bad when someone gives advice. everyone does motherhood differently, and we are NOT in competition with other parents.

  18. 18

    I wish someone would have told me not to worry so much …it goes by so fast…I miss it and I am still not even out of the baby stage;)

  19. 19

    We had our second baby at 8:30 last night. Really! What a perfect message to wakeupto. I so appreciate your encouragement!

  20. 20

    I could have written your post! I wish I had cherished the moments more, rather than trying to keep everything “in order”. My oldest is now 11, and I am pregnant with my 7th, and realize all too well just how fast those baby months fly by! I’ve learned to love them, but I wish I had learned earlier.

  21. 21

    How I wish someone would have told me that God is bigger than my mess-ups with my kids and that he can use my humility in those mess-ups to reach the hearts of my precious kids. Sounds like an awesome book!!!!

  22. 22

    Oh, what a beautiful post. And even though my children are now 13, 13, 11, and 7, it was just what I needed to hear today….because this isn’t just an issue in your child’s first year. We’re past nursing and sleep schedules and have moved on to what our homeschool “should” look like, how our children “should” behave, etc.

    I wish I’d known back then that there is no “should.” That I could read books or blogs for ideas and for encouragement without the guilty burden of feeling like I had failed because my children didn’t conform to the “shoulds” of the author or the website or how my friend did things.

    The only “should” for me is the path that God has chosen for my family and my children, which is unique and perfectly suited to fit the way He created us and the purpose He has for us.

    And that’s something I need to keep reminding myself of!

  23. 23

    I wish I would have trusted my own instincts more instead of what the books say and comparing my child and my parenting to others. With my first child I was a wreck about doing everything right and not leaning on God and doing it all myself. I would love to give this book to my sister who is going to be a mommy for the first time in September. I would have loved to have had this book set me straight with my first baby!! Thank you for writing it!

  24. 24
    Mommy of 2 + 1 says:

    Thank you for another up-lifting blog! Even though my twins are 3.5yrs and my daughter is just over 1.5yrs… There are many days where I still feel like I failed! It amazes me how things change over time… Whether it is that I am getting better at being s Mom or things are changing enough that I am gaining a bit I of freedom?? Some days go smoothly and others I feel like I am at the centre of a tornado! After a tumultuous day yesterday… This post came at a perfect time! Thank you!

  25. 25

    I am actually a new mom. And I don’t know what I “wish” I’d known, but I do know that what you described, feeling like a failure…that’s me. With everything right now – my sweet child, my job, my marriage, my friendships. Maybe because I’m trying to hang on to all of those things the way they were before our little girl was born? Chocolate cake, please :)

  26. 26
    Erin Redick says:

    I wish I would have known that all my failures as a new mom were meant to teach me how to be a better mom. Everything I did wrong when they were babies taught me how to do better when they were toddlers. Those things I still did wrong when they were toddlers are teaching me how to be a better mom to these children I now have. Being a parent is a process, not a destination. I am a different parent every day…..and I will continue to grow as a mom until the day I die. There wont ever be one day where I can say, I am there. I have reached ultra-mom-dom blissfull perfection (that is the technical term of course). I wish I would have known that.

  27. 27

    I wish I had known that you need other mums and lots of social contact as a new parent.
    That its ok to let the baby cry sometimes while you have a shower. That you need time to yourself doing something without the baby at least once a week, if not more. That it makes you a better mum when you look after yourself. That you need to be good at getting out and about but that you should not expect to do as many things as you did before children in a day out. That you can adjust your expectations. That the house does not need to be super clean all the time. That what you don’t get done will be there for you tomorrow but your child will not know or even care about the state of the house but will know how you spoke to them/ sense your mood and be aware of how you made them feel. That you need to count your blessings daily. Ruby

  28. 28

    Oh Lisa-Jo! How I wish I’d had this when I was a new mom. Alas, those days are behind me as I just registered my youngest for kindergarten. But thank you, thank you for telling new moms about a book that will give them comfort instead of more anxiety. My journey looked a lot like yours. And by my third, when I was sitting at that MOPS table talking to another new (this one first-time) mom who was desperate to know why her baby wasn’t nursing on the proper schedule, and I told her I just nursed my sweet children on demand, whenever and wherever they wished, and another mom piped up from the other side with an incredulous look on her face, saying “But they don’t have to eat every time. You’re just letting them engage in non-nutritive suckling” (I swear she actually said that – I couldn’t make it up!), that I was able to say, smiling, “Yep. And?” Which I didn’t feel guilty for AT ALL! What a freeing moment! Motherhood is a gift that challenges you on every level of who you are. But I have loved every moment – even the ones that had to age a little and be looked at by turning around. Love the post Lisa-Jo! Smiles –

  29. 29

    I wish I knew that when I was being “poured out like a drink offering” to 4 young children, I would need to remain open for the filling of His Spirit’s strength and renewal in order to be the mom that God created me to be.

  30. 30

    I wish someone had told me it’s flat-out okay to give up for the day! It’s okay to stop right where you are and cry – even in front of the baby. (Especially in front of the baby.) That laundry and dishes truly. will. wait. That THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Work on a heavenly vision, not the frustrating it-will-be-like-this-forever vision. Relax. Ask for a hug. Other moms will get it.

  31. 31

    I am a new mom… baby coming in June. I’m looking for a book to encourage and help. Sounds like this is a winnner. Would love a copy.

  32. 32

    What I wish I knew then….
    This
    Too
    Shall
    Pass!

  33. 33

    I wish I had known to trust myself more. So many times I wish I had persereved in doing what I knew was right for both of us, not what other people did. And I wish I had relaxed more.

  34. 34
    jo buckles says:

    well, where to start!
    with the benefit of hindsight, i knew nothing as a new mum, i think the best bit of advice i had was, rest while your baby sleeps. it seemed oh so impractical, but had i done it i wouldn’t have been so tired! look after yourselves too new moms, there will still be cleaning to do when they are off to school x

  35. 35

    I wish I had known that the years really do disappear like grains if sand running through your hand. I wish I had known that every question and every fear was ok to have abd that if I just had more of Jesus then I could do it with fewer regrets. I wish someone had told me that parenting isn’t competitive or competitive, each child is such a unique blessing and that by encouraging their differences and they’re individuality you are helping them be who God needed them to be, but a copy of anyone else. I would love to give a copy of this book to my daughter who survived having me for a mother and has now entered this gift of motherhood 4 months ago.

  36. 36

    Oh, I would LOVE to win this for my good friend about to have her first! I wish I had known with my first that I wasn’tgoing to spoil my baby by rocking her . . .

  37. 37

    With a now 2 month old I would have loved to have known how you do question everything – EVERY little thing – you do as a mom. All the years of babysitting & full time nannying can’t even prepare you for the sleep deprivation, the long breast feeding sessions while you nod off to sleep, the lack of appetite but the need to eat more, oh there is so much that I am sure someone tried to tell me but I didn’t listen hard enough. But the one thing I know is as hard as it was I have never needed my Lord the most as I did and do now. He knew I could do this mom thing. I just had to look to Him for how to do it!

  38. 38

    I was blessed to have a mom-friend further down the path than I was tell me my God-time might not be deep in Bible study or devotions, but in praying over a baby while she nursed and worshiping God as I revel in his amazing creation. And that friend gave me my verse for the mom-of-infant season of life. ” But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
    Love this post, Lisa Jo! Sharing with my sis who is about to become a first time mom. :)

  39. 39

    I wish I’d known, really known how to be in the moment with my babies. The baby years are past so quickly.

  40. 40
    Joanne Viola says:

    I wish I had known that my heart would never be the same ever again. And that is good. Only a baby, unable to do anything on its own, totally dependent on this imperfect mom, could do such a perfect job of uprooting my selfishness & control. Only a baby could cause me to depend on my God each & every day since the day she was born.
    Thank you for writing this post & for the opportunity! God bless!!

  41. 41

    I wish that I had known how seriously I was injured during the birth of my first child. I had a fourth degree tear, during NATURAL CHILDBIRTH. All that meant to me was a lot of stitches. All that meant to me was a major tear in my skin. 10 years later, I’m writing this from my bed as I recover from surgery that repaired the muscles that were violently ripped through, as I delivered my first child.
    I wish I’d known that I had experience that trauma because I felt like a failure for not conforming to the Bradley method of childbirth recovery. I’m not blaming the method, it worked so well, I did it again. However, the pain I was in didn’t match up with the stories I’d read and so began a downward spiral into postpartum depression that lasted well over a year. 10 years and 4 kids later, I now understand why I was in so much pain I couldn’t stop crying, why I lied to every one I knew, including my husband, about my true feelings.
    This is not what most women wish to know, and then again, it is. Knowledge and wisdom are the two things I needed as a new mom. The knowledge of what happened to me and the wisdom to keep it from dragging me into a pit of fear and feelings of failure.

  42. 42

    I wish I had known how FAST this would fly by. I would have been diligent to take more pictures and video in the beginning!

  43. 43

    I am 12 weeks pregnant with my first baby- due in October. I was that child that walked around with a pillow under my shirt at the age of 4 saying, “I’m a mommy!” I have always wanted to be a mother and I have always thought that I would soar through pregnancy with glee and know exactly what to do when I had that baby… boy was I wrong. I have felt terrible. To be honest, much to my dismay, thus far I am finding very little joy in the day to day of being pregnant. And to continue being honest, I am terrified. No amount of helping to raise cousins or nephews has made me feel ready. However, I thank God daily as I cry and read your blog and the Lord whispers to my heart, “You can do this- I will give you strength.”

  44. 44

    EXACTLY what you have said this whole post. I wish someone would have told me that every baby is different, every family is different, every mom is different, and that God made ME the perfect mom for this baby, and this baby the perfect baby for me. That I should feel happy and good and confident about making my own parenting choices and in trusting myself as the only mom for this baby, and not second-guess myself or feel wrong or like a failure because I did things differently than the books or the people around me suggested. That I don’t have to and shouldn’t apologize for my choices and style of parenting. That only God can give the ability and strength and guidance for parenting.

  45. 45

    I am now pregnant with my second, and I wish somebody had told me how miserable it can be for some to be pregnant!
    I always wanted 10 children. Now, I would be fine with 1. I didn’t mind the baby, I loved that. I didn’t mind the sleepless nights and dirty diapers and all that. Besides, Abel is an easy but being pregnant is mostly miserable. I feel so drained and tired!
    I also wish I’ld have known just how much my life would change. Like you said, the old life is gone. I will never be carefree and free again. And no matter how much I love my baby and look forward to my second, it is something I have to accept and deal with, and sometimes it isn’t all that easy!
    I thought I knew everything about babies, having a 4 small siblings, but to tell the truth, I knew next to nothing! Big sister is big sister. But it doesn’t even come close to being a mother!
    But all that being said, being a wife and mother is also having all my dreams come true. Just not as flashingly bright and golden as I used to envision it all.

  46. 46

    Oh how I wish i knew it was okay to not feel that instant head over heels attachment to our new boy! I beat myself up over it and shared it with no one. Feeling that way didn’t make me a bad mom. Thankfully, I’m not making the same mistake with our second gift

  47. 47

    Ah, the feeling of failure. 12 yrs ago I had a boy baby (my second child) that challenged everything I knew until I felt I knew nothing! Through the journey of being his mama I’ve learned to embrace this. I survived those long ago sleepless nights filled with crying (baby and mama tears!) and now see the many blessings.

  48. 48
    Julie Buerke says:

    Oh goodness! I wish I’d known that it’s ok not to enjoy, love, or even like your baby and new life at first! I had so much guilt that I wasn’t enjoying my new baby and all that he required of me. I secretly resented all those moms who seemed to just bask in every moment. Instead of feeling happy and excited, I felt like someone had put me in a prison and thrown away the key. I hated my new life, and thought I must be a monster for feeling it. Not until I started to open up about my feelings to other moms did Irealize these feelings were more normal than I realized. Praise God, when my second child came three years later, I finally got the new mother experience I’d always wanted. I was instantly in love with my daughter, and the transition was so seemless. I can look back now and see all that God was teaching me in those first dark months-lots of dying to self. It was painful but necessary. Thank you for your beautiful posts! You are a blessing to many!

    • 49

      Julie-
      You took the words out of my mouth. Well said and thank you for saying it:)

      Laura

    • 50
      Ashleigh says:

      Thanks. I felt the same way. It’s hard to feel isolated in your feelings, like you can’t admit them to anyone.

  49. 51

    I wish I had known that my life was at it’s quietest when I had my one baby. I look back on the times we spent quietly rocking, midday napping and even early morning nursings as some of the most fulfilling, stillest moments of my life. And I try to remind myself to make time to be alone and in quiet observance of my precious new baby.

  50. 52

    I wish I had known it was ok to not enjoy every single second of every single day with your new baby and to not feel guilty about it. It’s a hard job and we have to support each other and ask for help.

  51. 53

    I wish I knew that every Mom had the same struggles, and I was (am) not the only one…

  52. 54

    My first son was born 6 weeks early; and, as a preemie, he was never quite able to catch on to breastfeeding. One thing I would have LOVED to have drilled into me prior to having him is that a mother is not dooming her baby to a life of illness and stupidity by formula-feeding him/her. Before he was born, I was a pre-mom who looked down my nose a bit judgmentally at women who didn’t breastfeed, and that attitude turned tail and beat the crud out of me once I was the one sticking a bottle of formula in my newborn’s mouth. I was able to give him breastmilk via pumping for two months; but, deep down, I didn’t believe that it was doing him any good since he was also getting the demon formula. However, he is now 16.5 months old and is one of the most well-adjusted, intelligent, and healthy toddlers I have ever encountered.

    Bottom line: What I needed to hear before becoming a mom was that my sweet baby’s development and health are in the hands of almighty God, not me through my breastmilk.

    • 55

      oh my! Amen & Amen! This is exactly what I was going to write too. :)
      I did everything natural and holistic… and when breastfeeding didn’t work, when I ended up in the hospital with infections and unbeareable pain, I was absolutely sure I had totally failed motherhood. Every time I put a bottle of formula in their mouth I was overwhelmed with guilt.
      When my kids would get sick I blamed it all on my lack of ability to “properly nourish them” and I re-lived the failure all over again.
      I wish some one would have sat me down and said, “RELAX & JUST BE. Your kids will be okay. They’ll be healthy, strong, happy and smart… even on formula! {LOL} Wasting your precious moments on guilt and worry will not be the wisest use of your time. Let go of the performance-striving-organizing-charted-scheduled world and exhale. Slow down, enjoy this moment right here.”
      There are no awards or shiny gold stars being handed out for super mom. I’ve lost so many minutes with them because I was pushing myself to be perfect, and barely surviving under the weight of that burden. The only reward I have are the moments I actually live IN (not through). To see and be thankful for the gifts and treasure that they are in my life – right now – is the greatest gold star or pat on the back.

  53. 56

    I wish that I had known that babies change so quickly in the first year. Whether good or bad, the “routine” will change every couple of weeks. So don’t freak out if it’s a bad one and don’t get too comfortable if it’s a good one. Just go with the flow! That would have saved me a lot of frustration and feelings of failure. The difference between me the first time around and me now, the second time around is huge! I am so glad we had #2 because I am enjoying motherhood this time. Sad, but true, I really didn’t with my first. I’m interested in this book because as I raise my three year old, it becomes more and more clear to me that motherhood is designed to make you more like Christ by revealing your short comings and demanding you grow.

  54. 57

    I wish people would have warned me about the recovery time after labor. It took me weeks to feel back to normal. That & gas drops are a necessity ;)

  55. 58

    I wish I’d known to trust myself more instead of agonizing over “am I doing this right?”

  56. 59

    I was a pretty laid back parent from the get go. Type A I am not. So I don’t really know what I wish I had known then. Except perhaps how the kids now as children and pre-teens are kicking my emotional and spiritual butt. Oh, and how much laundry I would have to do for them. I think I would have treasured their little bitty selves even more. When they have a spirit led pre-teen mothering book, hook me up. That said, I have a girlfriend due with her first, and should I win, I would love to gift it to her.

  57. 60

    When i bought my daughter home from the hospital, i cried at the relentlessness of the feeding, short sleeps, burping and nappy changes..then I slipped into a huge bout of post-natal anxiety that made me lock myself and baby away in the house for months, I couldn’t figure out how parents took their babies out because I was convinced that if her formula was not in the fridge it would immediately go off and make her sick. Then she started walking and eating solids and my whole life revolved around a terrible bone crunching fear that something was going to happen that would rip her away from me. There was never a shortness of love, affection and us time, but fear hung around like a big lurking monster that threatened to crush my sanity. I couldnt really speak to people about it…I didnt know how to explain it. That fear has slowly disappeared but it still creeps in..I still check to see if she is breathing at night..I still do a lot of things..and yet my daughter is so strong, she falls and picks herself up without crying, she climbs, she eats everything…..I wish that I could have been open with my fears, that I didnt have to feel like a monumental failure all the time….I wish that all the baby books stopped for a second from talking about milestones and what my daughter should be doing at what time and bluntly spoke about what mothers really feel…..that we dont all slink into motherhood perfectly..no matter how much we love children and babysat and all that jazz before. I am still just as awkward sometimes, just a little less strung out. I would have loved for someone to just say outright, that parenting is so so scary sometimes and its not all flowers and baked cookies and the perfect Mom!

  58. 61

    I wish I had known that I couldn’t hang on to perfection so much earlier than I found out. Two kids later I still find myself trying to accomplish everything. I also wish I had known I didn’t have to listen to everything my Mother said about parenting, or other people. I wish I known that carving my own path was ok too. This was a beautiful post. I will be reading this book…even if I don’t win the giveaway. :)

  59. 62
    mom to e says:

    I wish some had told me when breastfeeding you need to eat more calories than wihen pregnant. It would have saved me a lot of money on tests for my baby to determine why she was not growing!

  60. 63

    I wish I had known about postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. That sounds ridiculous when you consider that so many celebrities are now talking about it, but it needs to be shared more on a mama-to-mama basis. I was suffering from so much anxiety I could not focus on a page in a magazine. I was shaking like a leaf. I could take care of my son but the weight was falling off me like rain, and I wasn’t taking great care of myself. I read too many “expert” books and drive myself crazy! Thank God that part is past, but I wish I would have skipped all of the baby sleep training books.

  61. 64

    Oh, and for all you pregnant mothers or hopeful to-be mums… When you pray for laid back, good sleeper, non screaming babies? God hears you. I had six of them. Which is probably why I never felt like I was drowning. I know… You can hate me, it’s ok.

    A word to the wise, however… It took me to the 4th to realise it’s also prudent to pray for them to have laid back personalities PAST babyhood. Just sayin’.

  62. 65

    I wish I had known that when people told me their babies slept through the night at 8 weeks (or when they started solid food, or when they started crawling, etc), that didn’t mean *my* babies would sleep through the night at any of those points. Both kids were close to 18 months before they started really sleeping through the night…

  63. 66
    Elizabeth P says:

    I wish I had known that it is different with each child, so just go with the flow and don’t make any rules about “next time” until it actually is next time.

  64. 67
    Sarah Holmgren says:

    When I was pregnant, a close coworker told me to remember, “This too shall pass.” She said to repeat it in the middle of the night when I was tired & wishing for sleep. She said to repeat it when the baby was crying for no apparent reason. She said to repeat it when I was changing a diaper for the 8th time in a day. And she said to repeat it when I was rocking her in the warm breeze in the backyard while she looked at me. And when she first giggled. 2 years later I still repeat it (like the mantra God & I chant together) while I try to remember all the moments we have with her. I tell all my friends the same advice now.

  65. 68

    I wish I would have known that I could trust my own instincts. With my oldest, I went against what felt natural because everyone around me was doing a particular parenting style. I squirmed in it and made life miserable for both my son and myself. Things got much better once I remembered that God gave my son to me, and that was because I am capable through Him to raise this boy into a man. I love the title to this book, because that’s how God has me raising my four.

  66. 69

    Oh, I am at that nervous breakdown stage of having a potty training toddler, with whom I lose all patience, and a eight month old, who does not sleep more than two hours at a time, nursing all night long. I love my kids, I miss out on girls’ night, and I desparately want to sleep. Maybe this book could be a life line for me.

    Thank you.

  67. 70

    I wish I’d known just how unique each baby is. That some thrive on schedules (my middle who I think put himself on a schedule at 8 weeks and still likes them at 3 1/2) and others, well, don’t (my baby). And that both are just fine. And I wish I’d known to take it a day, or sometimes a minute, at a time. I’m still learning to ignore the dishes in favor of savoring these precious years. My oldest is nine and I know they fly.

  68. 71
    Mary Kate Pynes says:

    Do what you feel is right in your heat and pray…God will help you. through those rough days. Don’t worry about all the advice being thrown your way…..every mom feels she knows best..and she does for her child..NOT yours!

  69. 72

    I wish I had known that giving up on breastfeeeding when it was making motherhood HARDER would have been the best decision I could make for my family! Also, I learned by baby #2 that rocking my child to sleep every night and naptime would be a precious bonding experience, and that she would eventually learn to fall asleep by herself if I just let her take her time getting there. I could REALLY use this book for baby #3 (coming in a few months!)

  70. 73

    Oh, this book sounds like just what I need. I’m pregnant with #2 and I don’t want those precious first months to slip away in discouragement like they did the first time around.

  71. 74

    I am 28 Weeks pregnant with my first baby. I started reading pregnancy books at 6 Weeks. I have lost count of how many I’ve read. I recently switched to parenting books. One book that I just finished on attachment parenting had me in tears because I know I will never be able to do what that book says we must do to raise our children successfully. I am terrified of failure. Thank you for your real world guidance of this new adventure that stands before us.

  72. 75
    Alexandra P says:

    As a first time mom, it is so nice to hear validation that our lives don’t have to follow “the book” (whichever one it is that I am reading at the time). Our lives are so much easier once I accepted that she is an individual and will do things her own way. And with God’s strength, I can overcome any obstacle that comes our way. Thank you for such an inspiring blog!!

  73. 76
    Ashleigh C says:

    I’m quickly learning that when my judgemental grandmother says “Well WHEN I HAD BABIES this is how I did ___” it is o.k. for my to just say “o.k.” and go on. It is o.k. for me to be confident in the fact that I know my son better than anyone else, which means that I can shrug it off when someone gives ridiculous advice and not feel guilty.

  74. 77

    I am expecting baby three. A boy after two girls. Oh how I understood all u said in your post. It could have been my story! As a mom of young children I am still struggling to let go of my type a habits and not feel like a failure cause of the clutter and stuff strewn around the house. It stresses me out but I have noclue how to organize this chaos… and so failure runs thru my brain and my heart. It is looming large lately in my exhaustion and frustration and depression.

  75. 78

    oh, how I wish I had known, it is OK to ask for help. You do NOT have to do it alone. And it is OK to ask your husband PLEASE can you PLEASE just do this one thing. Ask. Just ask.

    Can’t wait to meet you at in(RL)!!!

  76. 79

    I’m not a mama yet in the sense that I’m still pregnant with our first. But I was admitted to the hospital at 29 weeks with preterm labor and amazingly have made it to 36 weeks (today)! I am 6 cm dilated already and wondering when our little one will come. I feel like these past 7 weeks of bed rest have been a crash course for this Type A plan-all personality in letting go and truly letting God have control of this little one’s life {and mine}. I went into my pregnancy refusing to put pressure on myself to be a certain way in hopes that that mindset would bleed into how I handle parenting, and being on bed rest has really forced me to look at life that way as I try not to put pressure on myself to even handle bed rest a certain way.

    Can’t wait to meet our little one! Especially now that we are 36 weeks!

  77. 80

    We are past the first year, but I still feel like this book could be beneficial! Right now I am reading Chaos, Wonder and the Spiritual Adventure of Parenting – which is also an awesome book!

  78. 81

    I love this post and I so wish i would have had that book in my hands for my first baby too. By my third son I had thrown out the books and I can’t tell you when he slept through the night, or if he slept through the night, but I know I was a lot less stressed. And now he’s four and guess what~ he sleeps!

    Thank you for your blog, it is a ray of sunshine in my day.

  79. 82

    Five months ago I had my first baby – a chunky monkey boy. I wish I had known then that I didn’t have to earn anyone’s stamp of approval on my mommying. God gave me his stamp when he trusted me with my son. I don’t have to prove anything – just love and live with this little man. I don’t have to feel embarrassed that he still pukes 1-5 times after EVERY meal, usually on someone’s clean clothes; or apologize to guests for the fact that he only sleeps 30 minutes at each nap time; or bow to the chart of expectations that his pediatrician hands me that has nothing to do with our reality. Just live our only God-given, crazy beautiful life with him.

  80. 83

    I’m due in June with my first baby, and I would LOVE a copy of this book! I’ve already become so frustrated with the majority of parenting books out there.

  81. 84

    I have two children thatare 10 1/2 years apart. With my first child I had soo much help I never really felt alone or crazy (but that was a different time in my life). With my second I am on my own, with a husband, a house, an older child, dishes, laundry, bills…well you get it. I feel like this second is my first time mothering a new baby. And I wish someone would have told me exactly what you just wrote. That it doesn’t matter where he “should” be it matters where he is! And a year later, I am learning this and trying to implement this mentality into my life. It doesn’t MATTER what everyone else’s kids are doing! It matters what my kids are doing and what works for us. I can read and listen to advice take the good and use what works for us. and thats all that matters. Oh I would love to read this book and pass it along to all new moms I know :)

  82. 85
    Lacey Burleson says:

    I just woke this morning and immediately checked my email, just to read your post in hopes of encouraging words for today. My daughter is 5 1/2 weeks old, she is my first and I’m right smack in the middle of every sleep deprived emotion you posted about and needing something to help me let the “anxieties of getting it all right” go…leave, jump out the window and flee my mind. I would love to tell you something I wish I had known, but instead would simply like the chance to “know ” those things now and LIVE in these moments!!! Either way this book will be put in my home by the end of this week!!! I have truly enjoyed your website from day one of stumbling onto it. Thank you for sharing!!!

  83. 86

    Great write!! I wish I would have known that every child is differant…I knew it..but I wish I would have really known it. I wish I would have trusted that my child needed me..not someone who had it all together…Thanks again..great read! Great Blog!!!! Always encouraging :)

  84. 87
    Laura Krause says:

    I was told “Never do once what you don’t want to do again and again.” I wish I took that to heart the first time…or possibly more on baby #3…

  85. 88

    I wish I had realized that my baby really would not be like the babies in the books, and that she would be just fine. I spent a LOT of time freaking out, when I should have been enjoying getting to know my unique, unpredictable baby.

  86. 89

    I wish i had known there was no one right way. I fixated over which way to trust with my first. I was rude to grandparents who just didn’t get it and argued with my husband when he wasn’t supportive – all to protect what was the best way for my son. By the time I had my fourth and last, I now knew each child is so different, that it was not possible for one way to be one size fits all! I learned to trust the Spirit within me to care for each unique child God has given me! And it doesn’t end with the first year! For each new stage I am again knocked off balance and have to go in prayer again, asking for wisdom for each new day.

  87. 90

    Oh, wow. Firstborn named Jackson? Check. Who never slept? Check. And puked a lot? Check. And later got adorable little boy glasses. Check.

    I love everything I’ve read about this book!

  88. 91

    I have a beautiful, strong-willed three-year-old son and a brand new three-month-old son who could be his twin but with dimples. I wish I had known with my first that time would somehow speed up, and that he would be through the first year in the blink of an eye. I wish I had taken more video and more pictures. He was absolutely precious. I am grateful for the moments we have captured. There is nothing like hearing the sound of a child’s voice for the first time as he learns how to communicate through words. He stood at the back door watching our two cocker spaniels…. “A daaawg! A daaawg!” he said. Oh, to remember the sound of those first words! Savor it. It is over much too fast.

  89. 92

    You are so right—parenting is neither for faint of heart or the perfectionist. As the mother of 9, I wish I had relaxed more with my first born and understood stages better. I expected him to be far more grown up than any little child should be. He cooperated as the great firstborn that he was, but we both would have had more fun in the process. I used a parenting book with baby #3 and she loved it and I thought I had parenting down! :) We then had baby #4 who was not interested in all I thought I knew about parenting!

    Parenting is a marathon…not a sprint and the results are years….long, short years in the making.
    Keep up the God work.
    Lori

  90. 93
    Kalvari Kershner says:

    I wish I would have realized that there really is such a thing as mothers instinct. And I wish I would have trusted it more.

  91. 94
    Lydia Powell says:

    I wish I had known that every baby is so different, so you ought not have ANY expectations.

  92. 95

    I wish I’d known that, indeed, there are few rules. Also, it’s a waste of energy to throw stones. It’s ridiculously easy to think you have all the answers and criticize your neighbor for doing things “wrong” that you would “never do.” Yea, guess what? I’ve done most of those things and then some. Six kids later and a little dirt in the hair seems like a ridiculous worry.

  93. 96

    I wish we’d tried Gripe Water sooner! I avoided it, even though a friend had given me a bottle when Peanut was 3 or 4 months old, till he was 6 or 7 months old. It might not actually do anything, I really have no idea, but he loves it so much it gives a pleasant uplift to those fussy evenings.

  94. 97

    There will come a day (all too soon, though it doesn’t feel so) when you send that tiny one off and the house is SO quiet…..

  95. 98

    I am 10 weeks away from becoming that new mom – haven’t bought a parenting book yet, but am feeling a little anxious about doing right by the Gummy Bear, whomever he or she might end up being…

  96. 99

    I’d love to read this!

    I felt like a big, fat failure with my first too. I was paranoid, worried, stressed out and over the top at times. I took forever to bond with him while my husband and he bonded instantly. I loved him fiercely but I was too worried about failing to fully enjoy him. With #2, PPD hit me so hard that I fell apart. It took a year to find me within myself again. #2 and I bonded quickly and I loved feverantly and I relaxed some. And I still beat myself up over not being able to breastfeed, having to work, etc. With 2 under 2, it was a blur of activity, diapers, potty training, teething and cups. With #3, 3 years later, God knew what I needed and he has given me this precious little boy that just makes me laugh and smile and know that it will all be alright. He is good. I am good. We are happy. We love. Tears are ok. Eating is fine. Refusing to drink milk is ok. Finding a sippy cup he will drink out of will happen. Eating off the ground won’t indeed kill him. Smiles at seeing his brothers will melt my heart. Love. We found our family’s “complete” with him.

  97. 100
    Robin Kuppusamy says:

    I wish I would have known that God created me to be the mother of the baby he sent me. He trusted me enough to send me this precious bundle because everything I needed to be a good mom was already there. And if something needed perfected He would send me every grace I needed. I wish I would have known how fast it would go. And that after my baby wasn’t a baby the housework remained. The tv remained. The mall didn’t go anywhere. But my baby was not a baby. While I did capture some moments I didn’t capture enough. And I do no remember what any of my babies looked like nursing. I nursed all of them for a year but can’t remember it. I changed diapers but don’t remember the skinny newborn legs or tiny toes. I don’t remember the squishiness of their newborn bodies, how they bent and scrunched up. It’s so sad really…

    Every mom needs a housekeeper at least one day a week. To run the vacuum, dust, do dishes or laundry. And you need a photographer to come to you to take newborn pictures. Don’t worry about the mess, every mom knows how it goes…that mess will be gone in a few months…and so will that squishy baby.

  98. 101

    Don’t let yourself feel pressured into parenting like others. Do what works for you! (That would have saved a lot of stress with our first kiddo!). And also always listen to your baby! God put that parenting instinct into us for a reason! :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  99. 102
    Melody Jones says:

    I wish I’d known that God was enlarging me and that change WAS happening inside. All I could see was my failure. It wasn’t until my third that I realized I’d grown up a bit and actually felt calm in the face of the newborn stage. Perhaps now I should realize the same thing as I face 3 toddlers at once, 3, 2 and 9 months.

  100. 103

    I wish I had known that you can do everything the books and the experts tell you, and it might not work with your child, and that doesn’t mean you “just suck at all things parenting.” I wish I had known this for myself and for all the wonderful mothers I personally judged (even if it was just in my head) before I had my strong girl who refused to follow the rules and taught me about having more grace.
    I also wish I had known that parenting was a spectator sport, one where pretty much everyone else can see what you’re doing wrong and has the correct answer and feels pretty free to share it.
    And I wish I had known that my girls’ behavior, good or bad, is not the most important thing. It is not my pass/fail. It’s just proof that they are humans.

  101. 104

    Oh girl, I need this truth to soak into me. Every bit.

    Here I wonder–so silly–whether it’s worth it. And really, I feel shame asking that question. Of course it’s worth it. But, for us…we have control with our 7 1/2 year old. At least some. Or, at least we feel like we’re gaining it. And yet we aren’t.

    The nag for another child just pulls at me. And pulls. And pulls. Though I have no idea what it will look like–one of our own or adoption, perhaps–I can’t stop wondering *when* because, it does seem like when rather than if.

    It’s hard, though. It’s hard feeling like “whew, we made it” (through the baby years that were just so difficult). Sure we’re on to bigger and harder stuff, but it’s not like it was then. My control issues were just so big then. And yet, it’s staring me right in the face. The longing for control. The fear of going back into it again, and struggling.

    Mmmm…the invitation to surrender. It’s a tough one to choose. For sure.

    You, listening…you make such a difference. And I appreciate you, LJ!

  102. 105
    Christy Beynon says:

    I wish I would have known that being broke and living in the house without heat and air and struggling to buy groceries and wondering where the next paycheck would come from WAS NOT the important thing – but snuggling my baby boy and enjoying every moment WAS!

  103. 106

    I wished I had known that if you are trying your very best and love your child, you are a good parent and no one has permission to make you feel otherwise even if it is your mom.

  104. 107
    SillyStarfish says:

    I wish I’d known that all the years it took me working to achieve self- confidence as a woman would be tested as I now work to build my self-confidence as a mom. I forgot what it was like to second guess everything. And every day is like the ocean’s tide…I just try to swim with the current and try not to panic. :). Much love and respect to all of you other mommies and daddies reading this. We are raising the world with our children, and yet every day I feel I am the student learning from my son (11 months).

  105. 108

    I wish i would have known I didn’t have to have it all together, all the time. And to let others see the real side of me, my children, my home. Not just the parts I wanted them to see. To share the messy side of life. Being a mom of 4, with my oldest being 12 and my youngest 2 yrs old, I am always open to learning and change. There will always be lists of things to accomplish, every single day, and when I look back at my days with them, the only thing that matters to me is “LOVE”. Did I really LOVE them today for who they are right now? And, To really live in the moment!!!

  106. 109

    Love, love, love this!

    I wish I would have known that even though there were a million pieces of advice we would receive, my baby and I are a special pair and may not follow JUST what every other baby/mama pair would do.

  107. 110

    I wish I would have known what I am only beginning to tackle with gusto now: that it doesn’t matter if there is not a single family on earth doing things the way we are! God created us a certain way, on purpose, for a reason. No one knows what it is like to live in our family or plan, so the real freedom is doing it the way that works for our unique family.

  108. 111

    I wish I had known just how fast that time would fly by!

  109. 112
    Haley Winter says:

    I totally cried when I read this. My son is 13 months now and I wish I had known ALL these things you’ve mentioned. I wish I wouldn’t have listened to anyone or any baby book, just my own instinct. I feel an overwhelming sense of guilt when I think of those times I didn’t hold him as a newborn for fear of “spoiling” him. And I wish someone would have told me that nursing is hard and painful and the most unnatural natural thing you’ll ever do.

  110. 113
    Rebecca Joy says:

    I wish I had known not to stress so much that our oldest little girl would not sleep anywhere at night but with us. I wish I had known it was okay not to pretend that she was sleeping all night in her preciously decorated crib….but for the first year, she slept with us, nursing on command. I would be more brave, and not pretend. <3 Thank you for your posts, Lisa! You are a refreshing light of truth in a world full of pretending. God bless you! I needed to find your blog! Thank you!

  111. 114

    We’re expecting our first in September… so there’s MUCH I have to learn!

  112. 115

    I wish I had known that you can’t nurse a baby too much, can’t hold a baby too much, can’t spoil a baby. I know that now, with my fourth, and oh how much joy it lends to these early months!

  113. 116
    future mom says:

    I neeeed this book. I am totally type A and will totally feel this way I am afraid, if I do not let the spirit take over. I feel like reading this was looking into my future and I think I will go pray now. :)

  114. 117

    “the first year should be less about training our babies and more about God developing us as parents and human beings. ~ Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year”
    AWESOME!!!
    I wish I’d had this book as well. What beautiful truth in this.
    I wish I had known lots of things…like you really don’t have to wake your baby every 2-3 hours to nurse. You CAN let them sleep, unless you want to train them to wake up every 2-3 hours for the next 2-3 years! ;P Live & Learn. Baby #2 slept through the night after two days!

  115. 118

    That my way was THE right way.

  116. 119

    First-time parent of an only child….at 48, and in the thick of that first (and for us, last) magical year.

    Being older, crankier, and more cynical than many first-time moms, I knew to be skeptical of ‘parenting expert’ books. I didn’t care a jot about nursery colors.

    But I’m still really ready for this book, because…well, for me, parenthood has not been as hard as dealing with other parents.

    So, I wish I’d known how to deflect other parents’ advice and judgement gracefully.

    Wish I’d known that acknowledging your child is different and has different needs is ok.
    That sometimes they don’t just ‘grow out of it’ and getting additional help is ok, it doesn’t make you a worrywart first-timer.

    Most of all, wish I’d known from the beginning, that our family’s standing with God is more important than what other families think – even when we respect those families a lot. God’s opinion is what matters most. Always.

  117. 120

    I read every book I could find and sometimes still do. What a blessing this book is going to be to many moms! I’m getting one for my sister-in-law who is expecting her first!!

  118. 121

    Thank you for sharing- it’s good to know that even tho sometimes we feel like were all alone…were not

  119. 122
    Kelli Moore says:

    I was a preschool teacher and loved babysitting before I was a mom. Being a mom is so different, in such a wonderful way but it was a hard switch for me, I wish someone would have told me that children have their own personalities and you cant mold them into what you want them to be, just to love them :o)

  120. 123

    That winging it was the only way to parent. I learned that after #3, and it is absolutely true. Wing it, girls. It works.

  121. 124

    I wish I had known that when it comes to parenting, your own mother (or other close advice-giver) isn’t always right and can be incredibly frustrating but you have to handle it with grace and still do what you know in your heart to be correct, otherwise you end up feeling badly because you listened to un-informed advice and let someone else push you into doing something you knew wasn’t right for you. (I’m still working on the handling it with grace part!)

  122. 125

    Beautiful. I’ve also learned so much between baby #1 and #2, and wish I’d read that book a long time ago! I still think I could learn much from it, and think I might need to get one for my 2 pregnant best friends!! :)

  123. 126

    I wish I had known 5 darling daughters ago.. that baby months, toddler-hood and child years are like the wind blowing through the trees and the blink of an eye! I wish someone had told me BEFORE my oldest turned 13 to savor and enjoy everyday..because there would be time to worry about a clean house later..TODAY is a gift..Thanks for being a part in it! BLESSINGS

  124. 127

    Well, I AM a new mom. My son was born 17 days ago, and we are living in the world of figure it out as we go. I knew a book or many books couldn’t tell me exactly what is right, so I have been trying to not go too crazy on following directions, but still, it is a daily lesson. Hourly, minutely. Currently he is sleeping in his car seat in the pack and play in our room. And last night he definitely slept two hours in the bed with us on the boppy. Oops, bad mom, according to the books. I will have to read this spirit-led book regardless, because I haven’t found a God and parenting book I like yet.

  125. 128

    I wish I had known that almost everyone has difficulty during those first few weeks… I would have felt less guilty. When the 3 of us (me, hubby and baby) arrived home from the hospital, we were just crying… wondering how we would adjust, if we ever would. But we eventually did (not too long after) and it got easier. We are expecting our 2nd in about a week and I need to remember this advice then too. :) Cut myself some slack and realize it will get better soon.

  126. 129

    I wish I had known (as in REALLY known) that my children are their own selves, not just a reflection of me, that they have had their own path, their own calling and destiny, since before time began. I didn’t know…or just got so caught up in doing It right that I forgot.

    Diane

  127. 130

    I’m not a mom, but I have my two best friends are new or soon to be new mom’s and I would love to share this book with them. I see them both worrying about being good mom’s and I want to be supportive but not being a mom myself its sometimes hard.

  128. 131

    What a wonderful review! I cannot wait to read this book – Megan’s blog was one of my lifelines during the first year of my daughter’s life. :)

  129. 132

    I wish I had known about just how difficult breastfeeding was going to be. Also, I wish I would have known that taking care of a newborn as a babysitter or nanny is NOTHING like being a parent!

  130. 133

    I wish I’d realized that my self-worth didn’t need to hinge on how much breast milk I could produce for my baby. That, as my midwife put it, the milk is arguably the LEAST important part of the breast feeding relationship… All the other things my baby got while nursing were more important.

    I’m writing this partly to remind myself of this, as I’m currently 7 weeks into the life of my second and struggling again with low supply and learning again to give myself some grace.

  131. 134

    I wish that I would have known that my true friends were yet to come–I would be blessed with women who love me and my kids right where we are and not what size we might be or if my kid bites! I wrote a post about it http://joyfulmombaude.blogspot.com/2012/02/what-mommy-books-dont-tell-you When your child is different you quickly find out who is compassionate and who is not.

  132. 135

    When I had my twins almost 16 years ago, The Schedule was a good idea for us. But I did take away from those books only what worked for me and ignored the rest. Ten years later when I had my single birth son, I decided to just enjoy my time with him. But it would have been so nice to have a book to tell me that was ok! Now I am going to give Spirit Led Parenting to the new moms I know!

  133. 136

    I’d love to win the book! One thing I didn’t know was that EVERYONE fakes it in the first year! Or even longer! If they don’t admit they’ve made mistakes, been lost and confused, or worried about the tiniest thing, they’re lying and not the kind of mom friends I need because they just make me feel worse about myself, rather than better.

  134. 137
    Emily Wade says:

    I wish I had known that it was all going to work out just fine….in Noah’s timing. Every time one of my friends babies moved on developmentally I got so anxious and started reading books to tell me what to do. In the end I learned he told me when he was ready…to eat solid food, to stop nursing, to walk, to sleep on his own etc. and it didn’t look like any other kid and I didn’t look like any other mom. And not only was that ok but beautiful and evidence of God’s perfect unique creativity! Oh, if only I’d known I would have enjoyed being a first time mom so much more.

  135. 138
    Candace novakowski says:

    I wish I knew God wanted to lead me in even my parenting. I have three kids and one on the way, and yet it wasnt until the past two years I realized God being the greatest parent there is wants to guide me through my parenting journey

  136. 139
    Caroline Grandi says:

    I wish I had known that it would take me three times as long to do simple errands like grocery shopping or going to the mall.

  137. 140

    I wish I had realized before my third that my mother-in-law was one of my biggest advocates and fans, not an enemy or adversary, waiting to take over my job.

    I also wish I had not thought missing a scheduled feeding or nap would destroy my child!!!

    I really appreciated this post and could relate to is way to easily!!

  138. 141

    That you will find out what you are really capable of, and what your limits are. And that it’s ok to not do things the way everyone else is doing them!

  139. 142

    I wish I’d know that it wasn’t up to me. That their souls and schedules and salvation was in the sovereign hands of a God who’s stronger and more gracious than any legalistic system I could try to follow.

  140. 143

    I wish I had known that its ok that he doesn’t do things (crawl, pull up) at the same age as everyone else…he we get there.

  141. 144
    Lalania Schembri says:

    My baby is only 2 weeks old and yes my life is forever changed and I would so like to know how to just flow with it …

  142. 145

    I wish someone told me that my baby could not be my little mascot. That seems like a weird thing to say, but I was teaching music full time, and when my Lucy was born, I had NO intention of quitting my job. No, not me. I was going to cart that kid everywhere with me, and she was going to grow up loving music, surrounded by high school choir students who would take turns babysitting and giving her a bottle, and I was going to make her little onesies with our school logo on them, and everything was going to be perfect. I could have the best of both worlds. And then she started wanting to be fed during rehearsals and performances (as babies are wont to do), and I was missing milestones because I was looking the other way, hands raised to conduct my choir, when I should have had my arms around my little girl. I was so torn, because I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to quit the only job I had ever wanted to do, the only thing I had ever want to be, in favor of one precious, small person who needed me so desperately. I cried (a lot), and I felt like a failure because I couldn’t do it all, and I realized that my daughter was not a mascot, but someone infinitely more important than that. I wish I had known…

  143. 146
    Caroline says:

    I became a new mom on 3/1/12 with the arrival of my son, Isaac. Life changed completely in those hours from when I walked into the hospital pregnant to when I walked out with a beautiful baby. I feel like I am/was completely unprepared for life as a mom. I had visions of a predictable, quiet, sleeping newborn and me with too much time on my hands. My reality has been SO different. I wish someone had told me how much I’d grieve my old life while simultaneously finding my new one overwhelming, challenging, and yes, even occasionally rewarding.

  144. 147

    I love this. And I wish I had read it about 15 years ago while I was pregnant with my first child.
    I remember the health nurse telling me (after countless calls with worry about this or or the other thing) that everything was always normal. If they were hungry, or if they weren’t. If they spit up or if they didn’t. If they filled their diaper once a day or 8 times. It was all normal unless there was a fever present. I’m not sure but I think she was trying to stop me from calling (daily… ahem).
    It didn’t stop me from being a total basketcase though. I tracked feedings and diapers. I read the books. I was SURE I was going to do something wrong and would, with that one mistake, ruin his just starting out life….
    There are studies that new motherhood makes us a little stupid. I think maybe there might be something there. haha
    I don’t know any new mothers that might need this book but I can always share with the local mommy’s and me playgroup in town or maybe the library.
    Thanks for the opportunity and a great post!

  145. 148
    Ashley Taylor says:

    I wish I had been told to trust my instincts much earlier on.

  146. 149

    I wish I’d known it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks…that half those people wouldn’t even be in my life anymore just a couple years down the road. So excited to read this book!

  147. 150
    Tracie Lykins says:

    That even after five kids, they are all so different. My precious early nicu slow weight gainer milk spewing baby girl is challenging everything I thought I knew. And yes, I have felt like a failure on many occasions but her sweet smile helps make it better. :-)

  148. 151

    I wish I had known that I didn’t need to justify my choices to the other moms–they weren’t as busy judging me as I thought. We were all insecure, scared, and bursting with love for our babies. We really are all in this together!

  149. 152
    Patty Emhoff says:

    I am a grandmother now and I wish I knew what I know now. That everything doesn’t have to go perfectly and that it’s ok to make mistakes. There is no perfect mother or perfect way to do things.

  150. 153

    Wow wow wow! You hit the nail on the head sister! I so needed a safe place to go and grieve my old life without anyone thinking I didn’t like my baby because I did… but I also missed my old life so badly! I need to remember to BE this safe place for new moms.
    Even though I have learned so much in these past 14 months with my little boy, I still (too often) feel like I am wearing myself out trying to be a good mom and still, getting an F on so many things… how to find the balance in this?
    Thank you thank you for sharing these words!

  151. 154

    I wish that I had known i wasn’t going to get 8 hours of sleep for at least a year after the baby was born, and that that was NORMAL, and that i wasn’t doing anything wrong, that some babies just don’t sleep through the night!

  152. 155

    I just wish i knew how popular the baby nursing cover i invented so that i could nurse my son in public without chaos would catch on! I see those everywhere now and someone is making millions on my idea! My son could go to college on that or we could at least be a little out of debt and helping the boys have a different future.

    If you have a wonderful new idea that you haven’t seen before, look into how much it is helping you and help both your family and others by getting it out there!

  153. 156
    Lyla Moore says:

    I wish I had listened to my midwife when she told me the first couple weeks after giving birth are for mom, dad, and baby to bond, not for all the friends and extended family to visit and hold the baby. By day 10 of motherhood I was a mess (I have a nine month old) from all the socializing and unsolicited advice. Next time I’ll do it differently, and really protect that fresh, sacred time, just after that sweet baby is born.

  154. 157
    Elizabeth says:

    I wish I had known that the first year really is more about developing as a parent & person than “training” your baby. Oh… How I wish I knew!

  155. 158

    I wish I had known that what I was eating was affecting her so much. If I had cut out the dairy, citrus, tomatoes, and chocolate (!!) a lot earlier, we might have had more happy days! And more sleep!

    So I guess, all in all, to not necessarily believe everything people tell you, including doctors and lactation consultants. Take it with a grain of salt, you know your baby better than they do. If you still think something is wrong, it probably is!

  156. 159

    At last. Oh how I wish I’d had this book in my hands five years ago, or two years ago with my second child. If I had it to do over again, I’d panic less and love more. I wish someone had explained and validated the sleep deprivation plus hormones factor. I am not crazy but often felt like I was. Crazy and alone. Out of my experience as a blindsided new mom, I’ve developed a burden for other “failing” new moms and have built my writing ministry around our mutual need for encouragement. I will read this book and pass it on.

  157. 160

    This looks like such a great book! I wish I had grasped the fact that the time would go by so quickly and had let myself fully enjoy the infant stage. I would love to give this book to a friend expecting her first baby.

  158. 161

    I am not a mom, but I would love to win this book and give it to my sister who is a brand new mommy to baby #1. I know that she would greatly benefit from the wisdom it holds.

  159. 162
    Lindsay Stevenson says:

    I have two little ones 2 years apart. My son fell into place with a schedule and all that jazz, but my sweet little girl threw me for a loop. I tried everything to do what the books told me, but she marched to a different drum. I definitely rocked her more, nursed her to sleep more, and I’m so glad I did. She may be my last, and I know time is fleeting. I wish I had realized (and still need to remember) that I don’t have to defend my choices to others.

  160. 163
    Felicity says:

    I wish I had known that comparing myself and my baby to anyone else and thier baby was totally unnessecery. My daughter is 13 months now and I am 5 months pregnant, so here’s hoping I remember it more with the next one.

  161. 164

    Oh, wow. You make me want to buy this for all of my friends having babies, to spare them a bit of the insanity I caused myself to experience. But maybe I can win one. ;)

  162. 165
    Nadia Mendenhall says:

    I wish someone would have said ” Being a mom is tough work, but VERY rewarding. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help/prayer. God is ALWAYS with you! “

  163. 166

    I am just so thankful to God for these resources as a mom! I’m very excited to read this book.

  164. 167
    Carrie Kinzer says:

    As a first time mother of a four month old I wish I had known that it does get easier and you somehow find your rythm and the magic you hoped for when you were pregnant. Nothing was easy about my little reflux baby who refused to sleep and cried all of the time, but we have turned the corner and your words have helped me through some of the hardest times I have ever experienced. Your stories speak to my soul and I am forever grateful.

  165. 168

    When my son was a newborn I wish I knew it was fine for him to fall asleep nursing. I had been told that I was setting myself for sleep disaster, but he fell asleep almost every time he ate!

  166. 169

    Oh how I cried when I read this post! I’ll have to wait til next month to get this book, but I’m so excited to read it! I have a two year old, I’m 11 weeks pregnant with number two and I’m terrified out of my mind. EVERYONE says two is so much harder than one and one is almost too much right now. We’re living with my in-laws til we get back on our feet (15 months later!! Why won’t God work on my time table?!) and I don’t know how I’m going to survive the late nights and caring for someone else’s house (especially when they decided to try to sell the house next month!). Oh please say a prayer for me… I can really use them right now. Thanks so much for this post and for hope!!

    • 170
      Amy Carter says:

      Prayers for you Kadi! I don’t believe number two was harder, just different. Keep praying and know that the Lord would never give you more than you can handle and so if He thinks you can do it, you know you can! Loves, hugs, and don’t forget to read your bible and your Gypsy Mama posts <3 These posts have gotten me through more than one tough day and I'm on child number four :)

      • 171

        Thanks for your kind words Amy and especially the reminder to read my scriptures! I think I’ve finally figured out that the hardest days are the ones that I forget to read. Hugs back to you!

    • 172
      Rebecca Joy says:

      Hi Kadi,
      I was reading through these posts again and I came across yours. I felt like I should reply. I am a mom of 2 little girls (with one on the way in October…our first boy!) our 2 girls are 2 years and 3 months apart. What a gift that you have found this support when you have! I agree with Amy…definitely keep in prayer and tell trusted friends how you are feeling. I tended to isolate myself with my feelings until about a year ago. I am learning that I do not have to be perfect. I am a daughter of the king! He loves me just because! I always want to be the best wife and mom and stress out when I don’t meet my own standards. I forget to nourish my spirit and that then I can find freedom to give of myself. I understand anxiety all too well. It is a moment by moment decision to surrender my will to God. Have you heard the long version of the serenity prayer? I have it on my fridge. I worried about #2 as well. By God’s grace, we are making it, one moment at a time. My oldest is now 4 and my *baby* will be 2 in August. Part of it could be pregnancy hormones as well. I find those all too familar worries creeping back in as I get ready for #3. For me, it is change, newness, the unknown. I LOVE that I can run those fears to God. You are on my heart now and in my prayers! Thank you for your honesty!! I love this verse: “You love me so much! You are constantly so kind!” Psalm 86:13. Blessings!

      • 173

        Wow, thank you Rebecca. The pregnancy hormones are definitely in full swing, but things are getting easier. Thank you so much for the scripture references and the wonderful comments. You and Amy (and Lisa Jo, of course!) have given me a lot of hope and I’m so grateful for your kindness and sweet spirits. God bless!

  167. 174
    Amy Carter says:

    I wish I had know how absolutely gut wrenching parenting can be. How I can feel like I’ve got it all together and 3 seconds later I have no idea what to even make for lunch. How my heart can overflow with love for my child at the same instant that my brain is ready to explode in frustration over the 5oth temper tantrum in a row. How every time they leave my presence I feel like one of my heart strings is tied to their ankle and slowly unraveling as I watch them leave. It aches. Aches in a way that no other life experience has ever made me ache. That ache that I felt when I first held them relived daily, weekly, monthly. <3 <3 <3

  168. 175

    The book looks wonderful! I wish I had known to trust my own instincts more and take all advice with a grain of salt…especially from those older women who meant well but hadn’t had newborns for 30 years.

  169. 176

    It is so hard to feel like a failure as a new mom when you feel like everyone around you found the “right way.” It’s why I’m so truthful when other new moms ask questions of me, and why I try to support them when they feel they need to do something different. We are no ordinary parents, we don’t do things others want us to and we do things others don’t want us to and our sweet girl is happy and healthy and two-year-olding herself all over the place! My heart is for new moms to just live and learn each day and for me to be an ear or an extra set of hands when they need it. Hoping I can grab this book and pass it on as a resource for others.

  170. 177

    Thank you for this message. It warms my heart and reminds me to cherish every moment, letting the Spirit lead.

  171. 178

    Oh, how I wish I’d known everything you just wrote about. In the first month of motherhood I was recomended a parenting-formula-book and it completely ruined the first few months I had with my precious daughter. I felt exactly like how you said: A FAILURE. No matter what, I could not get my girl to do what the book said and I kept hearing the author’s voice over and over again about how she has done this with 5,000+ babies and it always works so if it’s not working for me then I’m just not being consistent enough or trying hard enough.

    I also wish I knew that my children’s faith and salvation isn’t not all on my shoulders. I wish that I had known that I would never be able to do it all right, and that that is okay.

    My biggest encouragement for moms right now is this same message you spoke today. I am a huge advocate now for the what works for you formula and I 100% endorse it, without judgment. I was just saying this to my sister-in-law the other day and I talked to her about how I think as mothers we are all scared that we are doing it wrong so we judge one another and put fear in each other’s hearts that we aren’t making the cut as mothers unless we follow some specific WAY.

  172. 179
    Amanda Kurdziolek says:

    As I read this I thought…where was this Mom when I needed her? The biggest thing I wish I had known was that MY way of doing it was best and to not think that all those books on the shelves really had it figured out. I wish I had known to stand up to over opinionated friends. Would have saved a lot of self doubt, tears and ridiculous expe.ctations

  173. 180

    My first turns 1 in two weeks. I wish someone had told me to ditch the books and just follow my instincts. And that even though the work load of “just” having one child is less than having two or three or four, the work of transforming-from employee to stay at home mom, from wife to wife & mom, to being on call 24/7, to constantly putting another’s needs before your own-is HARD and to expect it to be such. And that Babywise isn’t in the Bible. And that crunchy floors can wait but babies who are so deliriously tired that they laugh uproariously at the drop of a hat can’t. And that 99% of the people in the world aren’t grading your parenting (and the 1% who are don’t really deserve much of your consideration anyway).

  174. 181

    I wish I’d known that being a mom is hard and it’s okay to cry and say it’s hard and not have all the answers. Especially with your first, it seems like it’s way harder than it should be to take care of this tiny little person.

  175. 182
    Regina Wade says:

    One thing I wish I had known when I became a mom? So hard to choose just one…Perhaps it’s the thing I now tell other new moms: Your baby will teach you how to care for him/her. Listen to your baby, respond to his cues, and just do the best you can.

  176. 183

    I wish I had known that my life would change so dramatically…I mean I knew it would change but nothing prepared me for how drastically. I love motherhood :) thanks for your wonderful encouragement

  177. 184

    I am not yet even a new mom – I’m a month away from my due date – so I can’t tell you anything I wish I’d known because if history is any indicator it’s going to be all I can do to give myself a break during this kid’s first year! And to stay present, because living for the next thing is what I do.

  178. 185
    Jennifer says:

    I’m still that new mom, just 6 months in, and thankful for your post. There are some great books and blogs out there for Christian moms, but so little about surviving the baby stage. I’ve been searching for one. Your blog often offers me much-needed encouragement and perspective that I can apply today, not just in 5 or 10 years. You know, when I’m a perfect mom and finally have it all together. ;)

  179. 186
    Sarah P. says:

    I’m a first-time mom of a 10 month old who wishes I knew from the beginning that it’s okay if my son doesn’t do a single thing any book says he should, when he should, how he should. He’s his own person, and I’m just now beginning to acknowledge and accept that. It would have saved me a lot of tears and frustration. Thanks for this blog post. It’s exactly what I needed to hear.

  180. 187

    My daughter was born 5 weeks early and I was very sick. I was SO pro-breastfeeding and everyone had to tell me how wonderful it was and beneficial and sacrificial, etc. I tried diligently for 2 straight months with NO success! I had people tell me repeatedly as I was putting a bottle to my sweet baby’s lips (as my breasts were sore beyond words and I was frustrated to tears daily!) that ‘oh. formula. yeah. breastmilk is so much better for babies! there’s just no way to get all the nutrients that you get with breastmilk. etc.’ I cannot tell you how many times I heard it! Talk about devastation for a new mommy!!!
    I would have done anything to make it work!
    New mommies need to know that IT IS OK! if everything does not go how it went for your older sisters and their babies. Or your best friend and her baby. Or your mother-in-law and her baby. (Haha)
    I look at my darling healthy three year old girl now and wish that someone had told me “it’s okay! You are doing the best you can for her. Make her a bottle and sit down and hold that perfect, sweet-smelling infant and just love her. Enjoy being her mom!”

  181. 188

    I have two kids now…both very different. Two years apart, but they are the same size. One is an emotional stressed out wreck like me, and the other is easy going and happy. All the time. I’m learning that it’s okay for them to cry themselves to sleep, it’s okay to not live on a Babywise schedule, and if my kids eats eggwhites before his first birthday it doesn’t really matter. I’m also learning that motherhood is my highest calling right now – and I wish someone had told me to forget about the housework, the business, and my type A checklists and just enjoy being a mom. That’s what I’m doing with #2.

  182. 189

    I wish I had known so so much! My son will turn one on April 28 and I still wish I knew a lot of things. I think most of all, I wish I had known that he would eventually sleep and that my baby blues would eventually subside. I was so deep down in depression early on that I don’t even have memories of the first two months of my son’s life. Now, I wish I knew whether or not I’ll eventually want a second child. I’m just not there yet and I’m worried that I won’t get there. I always envisioned a larger family, but I’m not sure I can do it.

  183. 190

    When I was a new mom, I wish I would have known: that I know my child best and I shouldn’t be timid when it comes to raising them in a certain way or advocating for them with doctors or other caregivers.

  184. 191

    I wish I’d known, REALLY known, that every baby is different, that what works for one might not work for the next. And that you will probably never sleep through the night until your house is quiet and empty and you’re missing those days of chaos with little ones holding you tight. I wish I’d known enough to give myself a break – that the house doesn’t have to be spotless, that I don’t have to try to do everything and say YES to everyone, that it’s okay to ask for even just an hour to go to the grocery store by myself, that I need to take time to heal from a traumatic labor/delivery experience and allow myself to grieve what I didn’t have. But most of all, I wish I had known before anxiety grabbed hold of me and robbed me of joy during the first two years of my son’s life that comparing myself to other moms is NEVER going to work – and to give myself grace to be the mom God made ME to be, not to try to be anybody else. I am determined that #3 is going to have a healthier, happier momma because I know more and am more content in who He made me to be now than almost 4 years ago when this parenting journey began.

  185. 192

    When I was new mama, I wish I had understood how children are *people*. I know that sounds absurd…. but in the culture I grew up in and was beginning my family in, children were not respected as *people*…. as real people. And thus, EVERYTHING that they do (practically) is a result of their sin nature. Forget age/stage appropriate behaviours/etc.
    Fortunately, the LORD used a dear friend (who is not a Christ follower) to steer me in a better direction.
    I am familiar with one of the authors (Megan) from a parenting board that I am a member of. I would be thrilled and honored to receive the book that she and Laura authored. Thank you for spreading the word about it here.
    My heart hopes that the wisdom from true Spirit led parenting will prevail, eventually, in the universal Church.

  186. 193

    There were some things in the books that helped me but I’m glad I realized early on that I had the choice which pieces of advice I would to take and apply in our lives.

  187. 194

    I wish someone would have told me how hard it was going to be, and to not try to be the perfect mom, because you never will be. I wish they would have told me to just enjoy the good days and pray through the hard ones. I’d love to read that book.

  188. 195
    natasha nguyen says:

    thank you for this post Lisa-Jo! Olivia is 3 weeks old now and it is not going easy as i thought it would.

  189. 196

    I wish I’d listened more to my husband when he told me I was a good mom and less to the questions and advice of well meaning relatives. I wish I’d trusted my instincts to play more and work less. I wish I had learned to forgive myself for all of my mess ups and learned to be transparent with my kids sooner and realized their incredible capacity to forgive me. It gives them hope and courage to know that parents struggle but persevere. It lets them know that making mistakes is a part of life.

  190. 197

    I wish I would have known how much harder it was than being a big sister.

  191. 198

    I wish I knew more about grace.

  192. 199

    This was awesome! I wish someone would have told me that just because “it worked for her and her child doesn’t mean that it will work for me and my child.” {IT being whatever I was struggling with, for ex. nursing}. I have learned that we are all different and our children are def. ALL different from each other and different from OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN! Man, I would love to read this book!

  193. 200

    I would have liked to carry my first baby in a woven baby wrap, and to have figured out nursing lying down. This mommy-of-six realizes that those are pretty much life-savers!

  194. 201

    I wish I’d known how long 30 minutes can feel. My husband stayed at home with my daughter for the first 8 months and I would often get caught at work finishing a project, dealing with a crisis, or talking to a student and ended up getting home later than expected. Now that I am the one at home, I know how slowly that clock ticks once my husband’s usual arrival time has come and gone. As my frustration bubbles, it is countered with memories of his patience and understanding when he was in my shoes.

  195. 202
    Mary Beth Loewen says:

    Beautiful words. I can’t wait to read Megan’s and Laura’s book. I was much more laid back with our second child and that was such a gift to both of us. This sounds like a great book to be able to recommend to first time mamas.

  196. 203
    Amber Sutton says:

    I am a mommy to be 17.4 weeks today;) As I have yet to be interrupted by this awakening of a new life, I must say I am glad my friend shared this site with me and this book! Thank you for your honesty and for guiding women towards Jesus and the holy spirit during this time, how crazy it is at times we forget He is just as concerned with these parts of our story as any other area. I look forward to reading this!

  197. 204

    I wish I would have known what felt like it would never end was simply the first of many seasons.

  198. 205

    How quickly it passes — and how slowly it passes.

  199. 206

    I still consider myself a new mama… My daughter is 10 months. My biggest struggle is trusting my God-given instinct. I wish I would have prayed about stuff a lot more earlier on. It’s something I’m working on now.

  200. 207

    I wish I had felt free to sleep with my baby and that it would take a little practice to get used to having her there.
    I wish I had known to relax and trust my babies more!

  201. 208

    I’m still living the first year but have learned so more in 6 months then my B.A. in Education ever taugh me! I wish I had learned before that he only needed to eat until he said he was done – not how long the clock told me to keep him awake and force him to eat! What a miserable first few nights! I also wish someone had sat me down during maternity leave and told me it was okay to lay in bed and snuggle with my baby as long as I wanted – because I’m still doing laundry and making dinners – but those few snuggle moments are memories I treasure. Still learning …

  202. 209

    I think the thing that I wish I had been told was that tears are never more than a hug or empathetic word away. I am learning to embrace the wet beauty of tears.

    I also love the humility that comes with each new child. The things that work for one never work the same for another, so I feel like a first-timer with every one I have. Because I am. I’ve never parented this child before, but nor has anyone else.

    Oh yes, and the love/hate relationship I have with advice. Sometimes it is invaluable, offering important information or a new perspective to a sleep-deprived brain that simply cannot gain an objective view of the issue. But other times, sometimes even at the same time, I get a sense of failure or implied censure that I didn’t already have this figured out.

  203. 210

    This looks like a great read!

    I think I wish I would have known to be gentle with myself. Expectations for what I’d feel, do, react – how my life would be the same or change. I didn’t realize I had all these expectations until I was frustrated they went unmet.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  204. 211

    We can’t do it alone. We shouldn’t try to do it alone. It really does take a village to raise a kid. Surround yourself with an encouraging and supportive community.

  205. 212

    As a single college student on the brink of graduation, I would really value a chance to read this book BEFORE I am in the middle of sleep deprivation and wondering what I’m doing wrong! :) The book title is courageous, hopeful, exciting! It describes exactly how my mother raised me. I’m so glad to hear about this book.

  206. 213

    I wish I had known just how quickly it would go. I thought I understood, but I had no idea.

    I wish I had known how inadequate I would feel, nearly all the time.

    I wish I had known just how much I would constantly think about and mentally forgive my mother for everything I’d ever thought she had done wrong when I was a kid.

  207. 214

    I am just embarking on this crazy journey of parenthood, as I have a 6 week old baby girl. What I have learned so far is to be kind to myself. It has truly been the hardest lesson. Second to that is to enjoy every.moment. I have been trying to focus on the smell of her tiny head, the way she looks at me first thing in the morning, and those sweet baby snuggles she gives while she’s nursing.
    This book sounds wonderful! Thanks for the opportunity to win one. :)

  208. 215
    patti breen says:

    I am to be a 1st time MomMom this October! My only daughter is pregnant and due Oct 27!!! I AM sooo excited. Can you tell!! ?? This book sounds amazing and would love to win it to her as a gift :) I am Gr-nanny-ing for a 17 month old adorable little boy, a pediatrician friend of mine, sound as tho I am doing the second time around just perfect!
    Thanks this book is required reading :)
    With Love,
    MomMom Breen/ aka Gr-nanny PaPa

  209. 216

    Not having been a mom yet, I can’t say what I WISH I would know, but the fact that I’m due with our first baby next month means I really would love to have this book and get started out right:) Thanks for the chance!

  210. 217

    Everyone has heard the old adage, that getting married is like having a mirror placed in front of you at all times…I simply wish someone had told me it is even more so when becoming a parent! Oh how innately selfish we are. It was a stark realization to me when I became a momma to two excellent young men last summer. I’m now, day by day, reveling in letting this part of myself die while I devote myself to my children and watch them grow into Godly, strong men of character (and maybe a soon-to-be woman, with the next on the way!).

  211. 218

    I am not yet a mom. I am a woman who wants to be a mom, a woman who is trying to figure out where, when and how to blend motherhood into this five-year-marriage, twelve-year-relationship. We’ve grown up together -since we were sixteen-year-old sweethearts- and adding to our family, changing all that we’ve known is mind-boggling and scary. Complicate that with military moves and “planning” around possible future deployments. Should I try to plan for my husband to be there during the pregnancy, the birth, or the newborn months? Well, thank God he’ll be there at the conception!!

    I wish someone had told me all of this wondering is normal. I wish someone had told me everyone has this much to sort through and that motherhood is scary for everyone. I wish someone had told me it’s okay to read Alpha Mom’s Pregnancy Calendar for three hours at a time. I wish someone had told me it’s okay, at age 28, to flit around the Babies R Us website and mentally create my own future baby registry. I wish someone had told me it’s okay to want to be a mother with my whole heart for reasons I can’t even describe or understand.

  212. 220

    I’m still a new “mom”, just six months in to fostering! I wish I was better as letting myself take breaks. Heck, even naps!

    • 221
      TN Lizzie says:

      Piper, I appreciate you opening your heart and your home to foster a child – giving love to someone’s present, and fond memories to their future!

      My favorite advice was to sleep/rest when baby sleeps! May I add that this is still good advice when they are teenagers? LOL!

  213. 222

    I wish I had known that it was OK to sleep with my baby. Thankfully, I figured it out when I went back to work and then spent nine wonderful months cuddling with her every night.

    I also wish I had been a little easier on myself…and that I had actually taken the advice to sleep when the baby sleeps! That opportunity won’t happen with subsequent children!

    • 223

      I wish I’d known this too! Especially after I returned to work, it was comforting to both me and my son to snuggle at night.

  214. 224

    I have felt just the same way about mothering – that I’m not doing it right. I wish I’d known, that first year, that “right” is just “love”, and that hard doesn’t mean wrong.

  215. 225

    I am a VERY new mom (12 days) with a beautiful preemie girl in the NICU. Since I haven’t experienced a lot of motherhood yet, I will say what I wish I knew (but know I will fail at). I want to know how to know you are doing it well (even if it doesn’t fit a formula) without struggling with my dear old friend perfectionism.

    • 226
      Stephanie B. says:

      My precious girl also came early (at 32 weeks) and spent time in the NICU. There’s all kinds of people (even well-meaning hubby and family) that will tell you what is “best” for your baby at this stage. Commit it to God and let Him carry you through. Take help when it’s offered. Take care of yourself. It’s not a recipe for success in every area, but I hope it helps you navigate through this time that can be so stressful. May you be blessed with support! I’ll be thinking of you.

      • 227
        TN Lizzie says:

        My first 2 were preemies – 4 years apart. I learned to embrace my post-pregnancy-but-arms-still-empty forgetfulness. When I was overwhelmed with advice-givers, I asked them to write down their wisdom and send it to me so I would not forget a single word . I only ever got 1 letter (granted, it was 12 pages long but…) and I retained most of my friends!

        You will discover interesting places to use your perfectionism (you should see my silverware drawer!) and you will learn that “close enough is good enough” in more places than you think possible. God gave your baby the Mom that He meant to. You are the best-shaped tool in His hands to make your child more like His Son!

        Enjoy the journey – He’s with you every step of the way!

        • 228

          Oops, it looks like I left the reply under yours. Still new at this. I am really just trying to thank you both, TN Lizzie, and Stephanie, for your encouragement and support. Thanks!

      • 229

        Thanks, Stephanie. Easier said than done, but really best. :) Thanks for the reminder.

  216. 230

    I wish I would have known that my children’s behavior is not necessarily a reflection on me. I would have loved to been free from guilt/embarrassment in “those” moments to lovingly focus on them/their needs and, perhaps the discipline needed in the moment rather than worrying about what others were thinking.

    • 231

      I am an older mom…my oldest “baby” is 20 and youngest is 13 with two inbetween…I posted just because I sure wish someone would have told me what I shared. Please don’t enter me in the contest…so many new moms starting out on this wonderful, not always easy or fun, adventure.

  217. 232

    I wish I had known that it was OK to grieve my old life and that I didn’t need to feel bad or like a bad mother that it was hard to let go. And that the really hard, really sleep deprived days don’t last very long.

  218. 233

    Wish I would have known that no one was judging me as much as I was judging myself

  219. 234

    I wish I had known how clueless and helpless I would feel in those early days.

  220. 235
    Grace Welham says:

    One thing I wish I knew as a new mother is how long it takes for things to get normal. At our house, it seems to be about 12 months after every new baby (This is a projection.
    We have a nine month old– life is getting more normal, but it’s not yet). If I had that expectation, my life would have felt so much less of a failure, and I would have shown myself and my husband much more grace. Who are these people running marathons six months after their baby was born anyway??!

  221. 236

    The idea of Spirit-led parenting isn’t just for new moms. My youngest will turn 9 this month and I still fight those feelings of an F- grade in Mommyhood. I sure knew more about parenting before I had kids! Thanks for your wisdom.

  222. 237

    OH, your blog posts are breath of fresh, restorative, rejuvenating, hope-filled air! Yay all you moms out there getting free and doing it your way and loving your little ones! I wish I would’ve known that it was going to be hard even though I grew up with 8 siblings, around babies and kids constantly, with a family and child development degree and wanting kids all my life – and it was still so much harder and different than i could’ve imagined! it’s taken me awhile to let the blessings and amazings overwhelm the postpartum days, but i’m here and loving it now!

  223. 238
    Ronnie Fedun says:

    I wish someone would have told me exactly what you just blogged about . Even though my child and mothering looks nothing remotely like my sisters, or best friends, or all the moms in my MOPS group, or those around me, that its not wrong or bad. Just different. That’s the beauty of parenting. I should EMBRACE IT and REJOICE!

  224. 239

    I wish I had been advised earlier to focus more, much more on grace. But now I know and I don’t want to go back to my more legalistic self. {I am type A all the way…} These boys of mine are growing up too fast for me to teach them less than Jesus’ grace & truth.

  225. 240

    Just this afternoon I talked to my brand-new mom of a sister on the phone. Her baby is only a few days old, she was pretty shocked and overwhelmed, and she was already talking about the baby books. I think I will send her this post right now! Thanks!

  226. 241

    I wish someone had told me about high-needs babies, and that some babies will not act like everyone else’s babies, and that’s okay. Deep down, I thought my responsive parenting was making her crazy and clingy and sleepless, but I was determined to keep on. Realizing she was high-needs when she was 8 months old was the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

  227. 242

    Wow! very inspiring. I remember the first night I had my first baby boy home with us. He had slept all day long and I remember thinking – “this is easy”. Then the night time came and he woke up to nurse. I thought he would go right back to sleep afterward (he had done that all day long) but of course he DID NOT. He cried. And he cried. And it was 2am and he was still crying. I didn’t know what was wrong with him. he wasn’t wet or dirty or hungry or cold I walked him I rocked him NOTHING! Finally I put him down on a pile of blankets beside me and I decided I was going to sleep. RIGHT THROUGH THE NOISE. God how I wished that someone had told me that… babies cry. Duh. But it is not our job to STOP them from crying so much as it is to meet their needs. And sometimes, you just don’t know how to meet them so they keep on crying. Three babies later I’ve learned that lesson. But the learning continues.

  228. 243

    Wow . . . so much I wish someone would have told me! Sadly, I’m not sure I would have been that great a listener. . . . . I *so* wanted to figure it out myself for some reason.

    A few things come to mind:
    *If you feel tired, you aren’t just being lazy . . . . You very likely *are* tired (maybe physically, maybe emotionally, maybe mentally). So it is okay–even vital–to rest. So be a little kinder and gentler with yourself than you might be inclined to do. Mothering is a demanding job. And those dust bunnies and the laundry will be there waiting for you when you’re ready.

    *Lots of women talk about having a natural maternal instinct, but that doesn’t mean that someone is abnormal or flawed if she doesn’t always have it (or perceive it in herself). There are times when mothering may counterintuitive, unnatural. If that’s the case, it doesn’t mean something bad about you or your mothering. It just means you don’t know everything yet. In other words, you are perfectly normal.

    * I received this from one of my own favorite writers, Jan Johnson. She published a wonderful article about patience in _Weavings_ journal, and I emailed her to see if she’d written anything about nurturing patience in parenting. Her response was so freeing to me: In those moments (or seasons) where you know you should be patient with a trying child, but are struggling to find that patience within yourself, spend *less* time thinking about, praying about (and probably worrying about) being patient.

    I’m glad you asked this question . . . . . I’ve been thinking about blogging on this, and this has given me some inspiration. So thank you!

    And thanks so much for the book suggestion. I can’t wait to check it out!

    Blessings to you!

  229. 244

    I am a type A personality and like to have things all in a row. I wish I could have embraced letting it go sooner and keep just going with the flow and enjoying things rather than be worried about them sleeping enough, eating enough, teaching them all sorts of stuff at the right ages…

    Thanks for the opportunity for the book. It sounds great.

  230. 245

    I wish I would have know what an emotional roll a coaster you will be on. Feelings of failure, feelings of so much love, feelings of loss of “normal”. Crying, laughing, moments of craziness, moments of calmness all in one day! Being a mother is most certainly the toughest job in the world.

  231. 246
    Basimma Hammonds says:

    I wish I knew what I truly signed up for. What I found out after my son was born, was that driving my response or reaction to my child’s actions and development, was this physical, visceral, almost fascial-like connection I had to him even after the umbilical cord was cut. It was more than a feeling. This connection to him was that proverbial other limb. It ached when he ached and it delighted when he did. It kept me sleeping lightly while my husband slept soundly, and it fine-tuned all of my senses for this new and welcomed growth. This connection was there before he was born and it will be there until eternity. It is at times overwhelming, and at others supernatural. It is the most important thing I signed up for and it is literally vital to my well being.

  232. 247

    I wish I’d known that I wasn’t alone. That the women who had gone before me on this journey into new motherhood were there cheering me on. Encouraging me. Laughing with me, crying with me. Understanding every up and down, every twist and turn. You are not alone.

  233. 248

    I wish I’d known that cosleeping could really truly be done safely and not just by “crazy hippies”… if I’d known that I probably wouldn’t have been desperate (sleep-deprived) enough to try the CIO method and scheduling BS that I did… which led to no sleep improvements, and losing my milk at 5 months and going on prescription meds for the next 7 months just to keep nursing until he was 1.

  234. 249

    This sounds wonderful! I would love to read this book.

  235. 250

    I feel like reading this was like reading my mind during the first months of mothering. I wish I would have thrown out all those books too. And not worried about what other people were constantly harassing me with :) Thankfully, a good friend of my husband’s rescued me with a great resource, “The Complete Guide to Christian Parenting,” which was SO what we wanted to do and SO not constricting or condemning. And our doula and a few close friends (who also threw away the books) were there to be such amazing support. YAY for listening to the RIGHT kind of people who listened to God’s way and shared with me!

  236. 251

    I wish I had known to slow down and savor that first year, especially with my second boy. They grow up so fast.

  237. 252

    I wish I would have held her more instead of being so strict with my scheduling. I wish I would have known in that moment how much I loved her.

  238. 253

    I needed to read this today. Actually, I read it this morning and after a full day with my toddler (big fat “F” in napping!), I don’t even remember anything specific about the post, Lisa-Jo, but it fueled me today. Thank you so much for encouraging mothers. :) I’m at the beginning of the road, but still so in need of grace.

  239. 254

    When I was a new mom I wish I could have had someone tell me to trust my heart. My God give inner Mom the skills that come to you if you listen, not all the advice that did not work for me. “do what works for me,my family”.

  240. 255
    Christy S says:

    I wish I’d known that most babies can’t stay happily awake for longer than an hour or two in the first months. I spent a lot of time trying to offer my little one a change of scenery or distraction when now I realize he was likely just tired.

  241. 256

    I wish, wish, wish I’d known that doctors don’t know everything, that I didn’t have to be scared because they told me I should be. And I wish I’d known that I didn’t need to be afraid of how children break you open and make you vulnerable, because that’s the place where God holds you the tightest.

  242. 257

    Wonderful post, and I cannot wait to read this book. I have a feeling it will be my new go-to shower gift. I wish somebody had told me that it’s OK if it takes longer than other moms to adjust. I have twin girls, and at 9 months old, we’re just starting to be out-and-about. I felt like I was lazy or doing something wrong, but now I know that it is indeed a HUGE adjustment, and to give yourself time, however much time you need!

  243. 258

    I wish I had known how hard nursing a baby was going to be. I am a first-time momma and my sweet baby girl is now 4 months old.
    While I was pregnant I knew that I had wanted to nurse my daughter, but I had no idea of the pain that would ensue! Sleep deprived and always hungry, I would cringe every time I had to feed my baby. I felt like a horrible mother, but I would cry every time without fail until she was about 2 months old. I would get a bottle of formula ready once in a while. I would convince myself that it was ok to bottle feed her just to give my cracked, swollen breasts a chance to heal, but when it was time I would break down in tears again. I didn’t want her to get used to formula or bottles. I wanted her to need me, and if she was bottle-fed I knew that anyone could feed her.
    I now enjoy nursing my precious baby. It is definitely a bond like no other; a closeness I just can’t describe.
    So for all you new momma’s who are nursing or plan on nursing your little one I say to you…Stick with it! It will most definitely be worth all of the pain and tears in the end :)

  244. 259

    I wish I had known that whatever we were going through that was hard wouldn’t last forever. They grow and change quickly!

  245. 260
    Lacie Lees says:

    I wish I knew co-sleeping, baby wearing and just good bonding techniques with my first baby. I also wish I knew then what I know now about breastfeeding.

  246. 261

    Since I’m 32 weeks pregnant with my first, I have nothing. But this brought tears to my eyes: I needed a safe place to grieve the loss of a stage of life I’d loved and wise words to bring me gently into a new life.

    Yes, I’m excited, but is it ok to be a little bit sad, too, for the end of this current season of marriage? We have been greatly blessed and I love our life and when everything ahead is new and scary, it’s hard not look at this richness and be sad to leave it.

  247. 262

    I wish I would’ve known that it’s also ok if the baby wants a schedule. I avoided one and my baby was miserable until a wiser, more experienced mother came by my side.

  248. 263
    Jessica Brammer says:

    I just had baby number four and I wish I had known with the first to just enjoy the baby time. Just sit and stare into your baby’s eyes. Take naps when they take naps because the housework will always be there. After you have another baby you won’t get to sit down for long periods of time, take naps or just be with your baby again. Soon they will be running around, trying to get away from you while you change their poopy diaper, talking back and having opinions of their own. Enjoy the quiet, still, sometimes boring times of babyhood. You don’t get it back.

  249. 264

    I wish I had known that I wasn’t alone when I felt resentment toward my child, and deep frustration with each of my children.

  250. 266

    It’s really OK if the baby sleeps for a 3 hour stretch at night between feedings. You DON’T have to wake her every two hours to nurse! (I was seriously in a blind panic over this when my daughter was a few days old!)

  251. 267
    shannon mcdarby parry says:

    love your thoughts!nspiring

  252. 268
    Paula Romer says:

    Lisa… Thank you for that beautifully-written, insightful post.
    Where were you when I was in those early days of mothering an infant? I discovered your blog when my treasure was 1.5 years old… And you’ve been my cheerleader ever since! I wish I would have known to “fully give in sooner”…. To Surrender…to lean into motherhood. It would have been so much easier. To go easy on myself and embrace the new life and say goodbye to the old life. I loved what you said about “trying to keep a foot in both worlds… Trying to cling on to your former life as you knew it.
    Being a Mom got easier when I began to surrender to it fully. I definitely would love to read this new book as we are hoping to expand our family . Thanks for the giveaway.
    Paula R.

  253. 269

    I so terribly want a copy of this book!

  254. 270

    There are a lot of things I wish I would have known, but I think the top of the list is I wish more women had been upfront about how difficult the first month of breastfeeding can be. I stuck with it because I had a very supportive, non-judgemental network of friends (NOT LLL) who didn’t judge me when I supplemented formula so that I could continue majority breastfeeding. Now expecting my fifth, I am definately more relaxed, but would still appreciate reading the book.

  255. 271

    I wish I’d known that not every cry was a cry to be fed–that it was OK to use a pacifier or a baby swing sometimes, and though every time I heard it I thought it was so cliche’–they grow up way too fast.

  256. 272

    Thank you for this! My husband and I are pursuing adoption and I hope to be new mom in the near future, so I feel blessed to be learning things like this now. For years I thought I would follow Babywise. I wanted structure, I wanted babies who slept through the night. I’ve learned that this will not be the best way for us and am now allowing God to show me how He wants me to parent. I feel so grateful that I’m learning these things now!

    • 273

      I too read Babywise. It was perfect… right? My babies definately broke those molds. The first one did ok – but the second dug in her heels and said (so to speak) you will NOT put me on a four hour schedule and I will NOT sleep through the night until I am almost 2 years old just for trying that! :) AT least it felt like it. I gave up the book for my 3rd and fourth! :) I pulled out La Leche League guide and did something that fell in between – a flexible schedule that wasn’t concrete and realized that Babies weren’t all programmed to sleep through the night – no matter what a crazy book said and what supposed doctor endorsed it. :) Yes, it’s wonderful that you can realize this beforehand!!

  257. 274

    I am still living my first year as well but it’s almost over : (

    I wish I would have known that every baby does everything in their own time, they shouldn’t be rushed.

  258. 275

    I wish, wish, wish I’d had access to this kind of writing 20 years ago! My kids are long past this stage, but I clearly remember being angry that everyone expected me to know what the baby wanted. I was clearly not a mind-reader and clearly failing at my job. The fact is that feeling has continued throughout my parenting years (do they ever end?).

    “There are no perfect parents and no formulas that can produce perfect kids.” I LOVE this line! We all want there to be a right way so we can have a guarantee that the kids will turn out the way we want them to. But life doesn’t come with guarantees.

    Thanks so much for this post. I can only imagine how much it will help lots of “imperfect” moms (and dads)!

  259. 276

    I wish I’d known how un-perfect everyone is at mothering. As women, we’re so good and putting on a good face and smile. Having mothers come alongside me in my tears and sleep-deprivation was invaluable. Learning that everyone struggles just like I did was balm to my spirit. thank you for this post; it definitely resonates with me!

  260. 277

    OOOO, I know several girls who are pregnant with their first that this would be great for. As for me…I already have 4…i think I have figured out that nothing goes the way you want! :)

  261. 278

    I wish I would have know it is sometimes just a whole lot easier to nod my head and smile then take on the “this is how you should parent the correct way” discussion when in the throws of sleep deprivation new baby loveliness.

  262. 279
    Elizabeth says:

    I wish I would’ve known that every mom struggles in sleep deprivation, loneliness, and confusion and doesn’t have it together. :) That we don’t have to look perfect, but just how we are – as God loves us.

  263. 280
    Anabetica says:

    Oh how I would love this book! Even though I have teens I recently had a baby after many years stretch. I’m older and more tired and just as vulnerable to all those parenting methods. You would think I know better! None of my babies were able to comply with those books. Trying to follow the books has robbed those early years of so much joy. I still have time with this last one to turn things around.

  264. 281

    I wish I had known that so much of what I thought mattered really didn’t.
    Just love and enjoy them ,they grow up way too fast.

  265. 282

    I should be showering, schooling and laying my baby down for a nap, yet I have cried over how thankful I am that I had a 4th baby. The Lord has given me the kind of peace with her that I wish I would have had with my first. The charts, the concerns…now the sweet time every couple of hours. Something I wish I would have known with my first…some day he’d be 9 years old. I wouldn’t wake to watch Three’s Company and eat Cheerios on the couch with a 9 month old at 3 am. One day I wouldn’t need to buckle him in. I’d sleep (until I had more babies) and I’d enjoy him more than I could ever imagine. I’m a different mom…and different woman. Praise be to God. Thanks for your encouraging words…I’m passing them on to my neighbor!

  266. 283

    I wish I would’ve known that just because my own mother did everything flawlessly didn’t mean I’d have to. I wish I would’ve known that just because we kids behaved like perfect robots doesn’t mean that she was a good mother. ** What do children need that robots don’t need?! LOVE! :( **

  267. 284

    Sleep, what’s that? My daughter waking up multiple times a night has to end sometime. Thankfully I had my mom to encourage me in that. My daughter is 14 months now and when she just gets up once, it’s a good night.

  268. 285

    I wish I had known that other moms felt like this – utterly clueless, rather confused, lost…I wish I’d known that it was okay to feel that way. I wish I’d had your list of 100 things to say/do for new moms. I wish I’d had this book. I wish I’d had someone to come over and say “It’s so hard, but you’ll be okay.”

    My daughter is 14 months old and I’m in a much, much better place now than I was. I’m starting to enjoy her and I love my life and my part-time job. But it’s still hard to think about those early days – my baby was so cute, but I was so desperate…

  269. 286

    This sounds like such an encouraging book from the clips you’ve posted!

  270. 287

    Took me 3 babies to get to the end of myself and rely on Jesus for my mothering. I LOVE the freedom that Christ brings. Romans 3: 3 “What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?” I wish I had relied more on the faithfulness of God and not been so concerned about being “faithful”
    Our 6th is due soon and will named Jubilee, the joy that come from freedom. I so want to read this book.

  271. 288
    Amy Hoskins says:

    I wish I knew that I *could* do it…my way. That my MIL’s notion that babies only be fed every 4 hours, on the clock, was a rule that I didn’t have to follow. And, with my second son, adopted from South Korea, I wish someone would have told me that love takes a little time. I wasn’t *instantly* in love the first time I held him at 14 months. We both needed a little adjustment time and I beat myself up for not having an instant connection. He was a scared baby after being on a long flight from Korea to my arms, and I full of emotions and expectations. It took a little time to settle into being a family and some quiet to hear the love in our hearts.

  272. 289

    I wish I’d known that if something doesn’t feel right (e.g. not nursing to sleep, leaving your infant in the nursery, etc.), even if it’s something “they” are telling you that you should or shouldn’t be doing, it’s not the right time for you and your family. When the time is right, it will feel right, you will know!

  273. 290

    I’d love to win! Thank you for the chance.

  274. 291

    I wish I had known just how fast it really would fly by….savored EVERY moment. Even the puky, stinky, sleep deprived ones. Also, that it is OK to have “crazy” thoughts. They are normal, and just because you have them, does NOT make you a bad mommy.

  275. 292

    I am nearing the end of the first year, and I think the book sounds wonderfully encouraging. The thing I wish I could keep straight is that I don’t need to worry about comparing my parenting – or my baby – to anyone else’s.

  276. 293

    I wish I had known that people were willing to help had I simply asked. The best gift ever was a friend who brought over a fully-prepared meal that we simply enjoyed at our leisure.

  277. 294
    Hannah Elise says:

    I wish I had known that I didn’t have to feel guilty for taking a nap when he did… that taking care of my body was more important than making sure that “everything’s done around here”…

  278. 295

    I loved this post. I have four children and by the time number one was 1 year old I felt the condemnation of the looming F By the time number two arrived three years later I dumped the magazines that told me what, when and how my child should be doing and developing and all the American academy of pediatrics recommendations which I would note has all changed since I had my first one 16 years ago. It was so freeing to not have to measure up to anyone else’s standards except the ones the Lord laid on my heart for my family. The number one tip or advice I give to new moms is to “not read the parenting magazines” and to trust God’s leading. Today’s moms have it even worse. They have cell phone “apps” that tell them when the baby should sleep, eat, change, play, crawl, etc. The apps can then notify dad on his cell phone when a diaper was changed so he can send you a reminder if its been seemingly too long.
    So nice to read an article now and then that reminds me I am not the only one out there that felt it and walked away from their set and ever changing standards.

  279. 296

    I wish I had this book when I was a new mom. I know a couple of new moms that would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book! I would pass this book along to them as a gift. :)

  280. 297

    That I don’t have to be perfect! And I never will be. I will make mistakes, and that’s okay!!!

  281. 298

    I wish I’d known about baby blues and pospartum depression and how to seek help. I also wish I’d known that I would lose hair by the handfull, and not to be concerned.

  282. 299

    An excellent post – anyone who has ever parented can relate to this.

  283. 300

    Seven babies and I still can’t figure it out…..
    can anyone? really?

    Grateful He hears my groanings, and the Spirit somehow translates that into just what I needed to pray but was too exhausted to put into words.

    Can’t wait to a copy of this book!!! (okay, yeah, I’m hopin’ to win one!!)

  284. 301

    My first little love was just born on Easter Sunday! Already I’ve learned a lot and know I have a lot more to learn. I wish someone had told me about this crazy tug of emotions going every which way: overwhelming love for my baby, frustration when I can’t seem to comfort her, joy when she looks into my eyes quietly, an intense desire to protect her (felt the tiniest earthquake tremor today and FREAKED OUT when I realized I didn’t know what to do!), and a sense of loss for how things had been. It’s crazy…but God is crazy good. I can’t wait to learn more–and I really would love to read this book!

  285. 302
    Kiki Bacaro says:

    I wish someone had told me to enjoy every single minute, the good and the bad. That in the blink of an eye, these babies would be grown and gone. That those years, those sleep deprived, exhausting, atttached-by-a-boob years would be looked back on with nostalgia and wistfulness…

  286. 303

    Oh, how I need to read this book. I look at my beautiful, thriving toddler and baby and can only see my failures. So sad and unnecessary. Thanks for the chance!

  287. 304

    I wish I had known to enjoy it more because it goes by so fast. To enjoy the fun and noise instead of trying to keep it all clean and in order and quiet. I hope I am learning that now, while my kids are still (somewhat) little :)

  288. 305
    Julie Zilkie says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly! I felt the exact same way as a first time mom…so wishing I had never read any of those books. It’s amazing what a little FREEDOM will do for a mother! I would love to pass on this book to some of my new mom friends!

  289. 306
    Stephanie B. says:

    I am a new mom- my daughter is 7 months old (after coming 2 months early). While I love the general guidance of many resources, I have really tried to just take it one day at a time and enjoy where she is at each day (seeing as how she’s kinda-sorta two months “behind” anyway- phooey on the “books”). In many ways, my husband and I are still new at parenting. There is so much we need to learn, and I pray we let God begin to teach us in these precious early months of our girl’s life.

  290. 307

    Oh, this book sounds like a blessing!my first is just about 6 months& I really do struggle with abiding in the Lord & not giving in to fear. Putting it on the wishlist!!

  291. 308

    Love this, and the tag it’s under: rabid fear of parenting – nice! ;) I’m with you in the control thing with the first child. I felt so stressed with my first two – sisters adopted at 2 and 3 years old from foster care. That they never behaved and constantly tantrumed from their trauma made me feel inept and like nothing I did, no routine, prayer or love was ever good enough. I wish I’d felt safe (and had a sense of humor) in the fact that God’s as – more – concerned in their upbringing than I am and it wasn’t all on my shoulders.

  292. 309
    Meghan Akers says:

    That sounds like a wonderful book! Last year when my daughter was born, I wish I would have known not to feel guilty when others criticized me for co-sleeping/not following a strict schedule/nursing her to sleep.

  293. 310

    I am a new mom of a five week old girl. I’m still overwhelmed! I wish someone would have told me that I would grieve the loss of the stage of life I was in and also that those feeding charts are impossible to fulfill all the time. She doesn’t eat 12 times a day but she is healthy and growing and gaining weight really well. Sounds like a good book. I would like to read it :)

  294. 311
    Holly Miller says:

    I wish I would of known that time does really fly and to savor each and every moment. To not be in such a hurry to have my babies grow in to the next stage. :) Missing those sweet days of babes in the arms.

  295. 312

    I wish I’d know that it was okay to not totally love my baby; that it would happen in time. I wish I would have relaxed (and truly hope that his inability to relax at present is not due to my lack of relaxing around him!).

  296. 313

    I was just talking about how easy it is to feel like a failure with a friend this morning. I wish I would have been able to better understand how much my life would dramatically change. However, it is amazing to feel God’s love and provision wash over me even in the most sleep deprived days … and to be honest, I think this sleep deprivation was just what I needed to accept that love and provision in a more real way.

  297. 314

    I could have written this post! My first son was a colicky mess, and none of the books I had read during pregnancy applied to him. Now, on my third son, I have reveled in every moment and focused more on being a mother and less on what he should or should not be able to do. Would love to read this book!

  298. 315

    Is it wrong to wish I was the third of three commenters so that I’d be guaranteed a copy of the book? Probably. Such a sinner. Nonetheless, I’d love a copy of the book. I started anew with infant #3 (the oldest just turned 4) a few months ago, and I love what you’ve said. Thanks for the opportunity!

  299. 316

    I wish I’d know how quickly the years would pass and enjoyed each day more. Also, I see in retrospect that I thought my children’s behavior had to be near perfect to make me look good – ugh!

  300. 317

    I am a Grammy and my daughter just had a her first baby and she is 35 and has had a lot of time for herself and this is and will be a huge adjustment so I would like the book to bless her in her journey.

  301. 318

    I know a brand new mama I would love to give this to!

  302. 319
    Sarah Webb says:

    I think you are right on. How I can relate!!! Can’t wait to read this book.

  303. 320

    That it is normal to feel what I was feeling – there wasn’t anything wrong with me, I just needed to lean on those around me.

  304. 321

    I remember when my oldest was born and I tried to follow the advice I was given from my mom and mother-in-law and so many others. I was tired an crying more often than not. I found that I had to do what worked for me and my baby. Now my daughter is struggling through the same things, life is very difficult for her right now. I hope a book like this might really giver her some insight.

  305. 322

    I wish I had known there’s no secret “system” or “rules” that will turn out a perfect baby. Just muddling through and loving those babies every step of the way!

  306. 323
    Stefannye says:

    Sounds like an encouraging book I’d be happy to read!

  307. 324

    This perspective hit me when I found out I was (unexpectedly) pregnant with a sibling for my daughter: God is the one creating my family and it’s for a purpose even if I can’t see it. The plan for Abby’s and Ellie’s lives included them being sisters only 18 months apart.

  308. 325

    I wish I would have learned then, that “you can either be tired & angry when the baby won’t sleep at night, or you can just be tired.” Being upset didn’t help either of us out. =)

  309. 326

    I wish I’d known that nursing a newborn is a full-time job – it’s not my ‘side job’, so no need to try to rush it, and no need to fret that I will not have the energy in the morning for my ‘real’ job. I used to wish she’d hurry up, and now that she’s older, I miss those long nursing sessions, and miss holding her long and close. I wish I’d known that the first few weeks after the baby was born were going to be harder than the pregnancy. While I was busy trying to get my daughter to settle down and rest, I wish I had settled down and rested more in the arms of my Father and in his grace.

  310. 327

    My Best Friend prayed for years and years for a husband and a baby. God gave her the husband October 2010 and the baby is coming April 17, 2012! She’s 40 years old – the waiting was hard – but so worth it! She is really doing things “by the book” – from what she does/doesn’t eat/do. I would love to gift this book to her – because there’s no better way to do things then by the Spirit!

  311. 328
    Julie Pizzino says:

    I wish I’d known to play more with my children, to take more walks, laugh, bake more cookies together, feed the ducks at the pond at the end of our street, go outside in our pajamas, lie on our backs in the grass, and watch the stars, hold hands, whisper in bed, and wonder about things.

  312. 329

    I became a first-time new Mom three years ago at age 53 when I adopted my then 7-year-old from Ethiopia. I read SO many parenting and adoption-related materials! Looking back, I treasure the times we were together just…being. Those were the times of laughing while learning to communicate and crying because of unbelievable loss. There were no “rules” and no “guidelines”. It was truly going with the Spirit. Being is abiding, and abiding is hearing from God.

  313. 330

    With my first two kids, everyone kept telling me to enjoy them when they’re little, because the time flies by. I didn’t believe them during those difficult days of marathon nursing sessions and diaper blowouts. But now I look at my 10 and 6 year old kids in amazement at how quickly the time really has gone. I am so blessed now to be expecting our third in August, and I hope I can remember to savor and enjoy every tiny moment, no matter how mundane it may seem at the time!

  314. 331
    Karen Pfender says:

    I wish I would have known that I needed to have more relationships with adults at that time, not isolating myself with the little ones.

  315. 332

    I have a beautiful La Leche League book that summed up my basic issues in this sentence, which I’ll paraphrase:

    Identify what is really making you so exhausted. Is it the baby’s need to nurse, or your resistance to the idea that your baby will require all of you? What is making you tired: nursing, or resistance to giving up your own way?

    Beyond nursing, I’ve asked myself again and again– Why does this (behavior/issue) exhaust me? Because of the actual issue, or because I’m RESISTING what I’ve been called to do?

    Let me tell you that I’m not so tired anymore. Ha.

  316. 333

    I wish I had known that it wasn’t my fault. My first daughter was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome at 18 months. She is a precious perfect gift but nothing resembled anything we read, not even close.

  317. 334
    Mamalion says:

    This sounds silly or OCD, but I wish I’d known how messy and sticky babies and little kids could be…I was always bugged by sticky and slimy, and how they’d put goodness-knows-what in their mouths, and you’d have to fish it out, and then you’d be slimy. And they’d cheerfully barf down your shirt while you were burping them, and then you’d smell like sour milk… I’ll cheerfully take teenage angst over toddler maintenance any day.

    • 335

      Mamalion, you should invest in some great smelling shower gel – for when you can take a shower and feel so delightful, and also some GOOD smelling baby wipes for those quick spit baths in the changing room at Target!
      smiles to you!! You’ll make it through.

  318. 336
    elizabeth says:

    when i was a new mom….i wish i’d known ANYTHING. from zero to 60 in 2 days. zero experience with babies to premature twins. it was a wild ride.

  319. 337

    You think you will never forget the sweetness of this time, but you will! You don’t have to scrapbook every moment, but capture as many as you can in words or in pictures! Mostly capture them in your heart, don’t miss them because you are distracted from the sweet moment by the laundry or the mess or the schedule! Be fully in each sweet moment, capturing them in your heart!

  320. 338

    Oh goodness, there are SO MANY things I wish I’d known with my first. Just generally everything you just wrote – yes and yes and yes. And that it’s all okay! There is no report card, only love. My second child will be 2 in a couple of short months, and this go-round has been so much more fun and relaxed than my first. Thankfully, I don’t think Big Kid was damaged by my over-stress. Thanks for offering the book give-away. If I don’t win, I’m definitely going to buy one for my sis–she’s pregnant with her first!

  321. 339
    Holli Quick says:

    I would love a chance to read this book…expecting out sixth and still feel like a failure at times…still so much to learn…

  322. 340

    Wow…I think that I need to simply cherish those night wakings, the many feedings, carrying them…because it is gone in an instant. And you will miss those special moments. :)

  323. 341

    This blog post…these quotes from the book…how I feel this everyday…we are now in the 18 months with W stage…and it is glorious…but still the very hardest thing I have ever done! Praise God to know about this book… Will be ordering it as soon as Amazon gets it back in. Thank you for your sweet blog.

  324. 342

    I wish I had known that it was alright not knowing.

    Hind sight is 20/20.

    Now I see and a little more familiar with trusting Him with those unknowns is where liberty and freedom exist. The more I knew, the more bondage or parameters I placed upon myself. It was “I know”… not “Lord, I don’t know. Help me trust You and You show me…..”

    I pray that will be a help to someone.

    Because of Christ,
    Kelli
    Psalm 1

  325. 343
    Sharon Braun says:

    Such wise words. We have 5 daughters ages 17-32. This is the type of wisdom I would like to pass on to them. I so treasured my youngest, knowing she was our last, embedding all those times of nursing and rocking in my mind to hold on to now that it is long past. So wise.

  326. 344

    Thanks for the giveaway. It sounds like the kind of encouragement I could use!

  327. 345

    I also wish I would have been confident that my son being premature was not my fault. And that I would not have worried about his development keeping up with others his age.

  328. 346
    Cali I wish says:

    I wish someone would have told me to throw out my clocks…or at least the ones in my room and the nursery…When I would wake up and see the time it automatically put me in a tired/frustrated attitude to tend to the baby’s needs…we (I) don’t need to monitor the time that our babies need us, whether it’s five minutes or an hour, we just need to be available to meet their needs, God will supply the strength we need.

  329. 347

    I too wish I had known better than to try and follow any book with my firstborn. We muddled our way through a ‘schedule’ for too long. I ditched it before he was a year old. Now I’m two weeks into life with baby #4, and we’re just enjoying cuddling and whatever else we think is the right thing. Happy baby & Happy Mama!

  330. 348

    I wish that knew that you didn’t have to have parents to be a parent. I was given up when I was three and was terrified I would fail as a mother, just like my mom. I thought I would give up and walk away. It wasn’t until my second child was about three that I felt like I might be able to take on this whole mothering thing.

  331. 349

    I wish I had known…that it wouldn’t kill her, make her brain dead, or mess up life forever if I held her until she fell asleep.

  332. 350
    kay peycke says:

    What a beautiful post…thank you. I have three children, my youngest is one month old, so we are in the sleep-deprived state right now. I am like you were, trying to just enjoy my little bundle. I wish someone would’ve told me to on a regular basis that “this season will not last forever.” Or “this too shall pass.” With my first and second, it was hard to see through the haze of the difficult moment to a day when I would sleep again or not have to guess why my baby was crying. Maybe it’s something I had to go through to learn that perspective?

  333. 351

    Yes! Every day is an adventure with our 2.5 year old daughter. She is full of life and hope and love, but these are hard to see through my tired eyes some days. This book looks great. Thanks for the opportunity.

  334. 352
    JoDee Markley says:

    I wish I had known…oh so many things..but that I would need to grieve the loss of a stage of life and that grief would not make me a bad mom.

  335. 353
    Kathy Wilson says:

    Relax!! The more you are upset, the baby will know and be up tight too!

  336. 354
    Renee Worcester says:

    It was so encouraging to read “real” stories of feelings & parenting in comparison to techniques that we are always measuring & never living up to! Thank you

  337. 355
    Leann Burch says:

    That it’s ok if you don’t fall madly in sync and in love at first. Sometimes it takes time to get to know each other.

  338. 356

    Thank you.

  339. 357

    As a mother of four, I was spoiled in that my first three did follow the book… quite easily. And then came number four! :-) She’s 10 months and still getting up at least 2x each night. I often wish someone would have told me (but of course they couldn’t have) that this baby would be so different from the last 3. Still, she, and all 4 of them, are wonderful blessings.

  340. 358

    LOVE THIS POST! I think the thing I wish I’d known from the start was that I wasn’t the only one who felt like a failure and there would be hard days that I’d have to just ‘go with’ whatever worked for us. That and doing life with the kids God gave us our way was OK because He’d be there to help!

  341. 359

    I loved this post. Yes, I wish someone would have told me in the midst of all those parenting books, that not one single day of our life would look like page 37 of chapter 3, in any book I had read. I am learning, thanks to a dear friend with 11 kids, to let go, and fully enjoy our precious son, who is 9. Thanks

  342. 360

    I wish I had know that God cares about me in the midst of the diapers, laundry, spit up, crying (both babies and me), weight gain, weight loss, nursing, oh everything that comes with a baby. And it would have been nice too if someone had helped me with (or at least warned me about) the transition from “doing anything and everything I want at any time” to “a life that revolved around children including no time to yourself even in the bathroom”. And that I would love every minute of my new life more if I could let go of the old life faster.

  343. 361

    I wish I would have allowed myself to ask for more help!

  344. 362

    I wish I had known to just soak it all up, to SIT and just hold him, and not worry about the chaos around, the lack of money, the lack of space, the lack of confidence…and just have held him a little longer. Now he’s 14…..
    How I MUST read this book! the title alone seems perfect………

  345. 363

    Giving my first baby baths was SO stressful, I just felt like he was so little…the second time around, I’m loving giving my little guy baths & so much more relaxed! There are at least 1000 other things too – loving the learning & growing process of motherhood!

  346. 364

    but when you realize you really DID fail at mothering as you look in the face and life of your teen, and your menopausal body, and realize you can’t go back to the baby days, tell me how to redeem THAT failure which crushes the breath out @ 3 a.m.

    • 365

      The Lord is not done working yet. This TOO shall pass. Keep praying. You are NOT alone. Give your “failure” to Him, as he gives his grace to you. God is big enough for your pain. I’m praying for you, mj.

  347. 366
    Carrie Gordon says:

    I’m inspired by this. The first year with my son was SO EASY for me. I was able to stay home with him and run my whole life by his schedule – napping when he did if I felt the urge, or getting things done at all hours of the day or night while he played close by. My daughter was born when he was 19 months old, and – of course – it’s an entirely different experience. She’s got a lot of the same personality traits he did at her age (she’s 5 months now, and his second birthday is coming up fast) but I find it so much harder to meet all of her needs with her older brother’s current demands. AND – just to add to the excitement – I’m expecting again in November. My son will be 2 and a half; my daughter will be 1; and I’ll have a newborn. That’s sure to be a first year filled with even more new challenges! I look forward to reading this book and gaining even more insight!

  348. 367

    Yes, this is an awesome post. You articulated much of what I’ve discovered through parenthood of 4 babies:
    “In fact, I’m convinced more than ever that parenthood, by design, is created to reveal all our many imperfections. Our short-tempers, our selfishness, our laziness, our flat out short fuses.”
    It isn’t all about our babies…it isn’t all about us…and it isn’t all about being perfect. I have to be reminded daily how God is shaping me through the process, and how his love, redemption, and grace big enough for my children (and me) in the MIDST of my failures.
    Thank you for sharing such graceful words. I would love to read the book…and pass along to a new mommy!!

  349. 368

    I wish I’d known sooner to NOT try to keep up with making homemade bread and a wide variety of meals!

  350. 369

    To know that I wasn’t alone during those helpless, frantic nights when my baby was sick and struggling for breath. So many times I thought if I had just done this or that, he wouldn’t be fighting so hard during this virus. Reality was, it had nothing to do with me. The thoughts just distracted me from turning and trusting the One who had it all in control, and from just comforting and loving my son.

  351. 370

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, and amen. I have three kids, possibly similarly-aged to yours, and was so devastated by the parenting books I read with my first baby, desperately wanting to do everything “right.” My precious boy did nothing resembling anything I read. He still doesn’t. The difference is that I don’t read parenting books anymore. They’re all in the trash. Every parent and child is a unique, God-designed duo. Only the Spirit can give a parent wisdom that is right for their child. And the grace we all need for our inevitable mistakes.

  352. 371
    Rebecca Dalseth says:

    I wish someone had told me that parenting wasn’t easy and not always fun! I have this vision of everything always being easy and fun and I get let down often by my expansive expectations. After 10 years of parenting, I am SURE now it is NOT easy… we strive to make the MOST of our days; the fun ones and the stressful ones! :)

  353. 372

    Oh… epic fail today. That’s what I feel like. Getting punched by my eldest is almost too embarrassing to admit. If I heard of someone else being treated like that by their child, I would think that *something* was amiss…

    I had to go to the bathroom and have a good cry. It hurt so much – both physically, and emotionally. What brings on such distressing behaviour??

    Anyway, failing motherhood? {weak smile} It feels like it today…

  354. 373

    Last Thursday, my heart split wide open. My first grandchild entered the world, this country, this city, this street, this apartment and cried to be held. I didn’t feel the pressure to prove my competence, erase my shame, perfect my call to motherhood, chart ANYTHING: I just held him against my skin and thanked God for the chance to pour myself out again.
    I have birthed four children and dedicated them to God’s service. But, more than once, I have played judge and jury, God’s voice, and taskmaster. This time it will be different.

  355. 374
    Dee Anne says:

    When becoming a new mom, I never felt so dumb in all my life. I wish I had learned sooner to not let the clock rule my day, but simply let it be a guide. Wish I had learned to enjoy every moment…because aren’t they all amazingly priceless? All of them!

  356. 375
    Maria Isela Sandoval says:

    Hey! Great post!! Really enjoyed reading about your first experience as a mother… which brought back my own memories 27 years ago!! When I became mother of premature twins. They spent more than 5 weeks in the hospital. But once they came home,
    both mom and my mother-in-law poured over me all their motherly advices and they costantly came over to see how I was doing!! I wish I had spent more time looking for God`s advice than trying to keep up with their expectations!! I wish I had talked to them to let them know my husband and I needed more time on our own with our babes. Now my twins are married and one of them is about to give birth to her first baby… she lives in Botswana, Africa and we her family live in Mexico!! I wish I could be around to help her when I`m needed and not to give her “all my motherly advice”, but to let her know that no matter what, motherhood is a wonderful gift from God and it will flourish as she walks this path at ease of mind, knowing that He is in control, and that she doesn`t have to be perfect. I believe this book could be a blessing to her and to me, (why not)? Take care now!! Blessings!!

  357. 376
    Anne-Marie Stewart says:

    My children now range from the age 23-8 years old. I am past those sleepless nights, but i still ask myself, why couldnt i have done this better, or why didnt i succeed following this way of parenting. I fall into that thinking time and time again, then the LORD will gently remind me that is satans voice and i need not listen. He just wants me to listen to His promptings about my children and follow them. That brings me peace. And then Grace abounds to my children. What a journey we are on!

  358. 377

    I would LOVE to read this book- and one for parents of preschoolers! How to live and love your preschoolers fully and purposefully every day! I am working to change my parenting style every day- I need this book!

  359. 378
    Kathi O. says:

    I wish I’d known that it would’ve been okay to ignore the advice of well-meaning friends who told me if I wanted a well-adjusted child to NEVER take my colicky baby for a car ride to get him to sleep, or bring him into bed with us, or let him watch Sesame Street, or nurse him too much. I did ignore their advice and did all these things but struggled with guilt for quite some time. This lasted until just after one of my A-personality friends and the mother of two seemingly perfectly behaved children gave me a book with instructions on how to potty train your child In a day.
    After spending one long and absolutely horrendous day following the book’s instructions to a tee, the results produced one guilt-ridden and exhausted mom and one traumatized toddler. The next morning I prayed, asking God to be my sole guide and teacher in caring for the child He had entrusted to my husband and me, threw the book in the trash and went and gave my beautiful, wonderfully-made son a big hug and kiss…and then we snuggled up together in bed and watched Sesame Street.

  360. 379
    Robin in New Jersey says:

    I wish someone would have told me in no uncertain terms, that it is ok to ask for help. I tried to be so brave with my first, so strong, so, “I can do it all.” By the time she was 3 weeks old, I was a wreck and so was the baby. My husband had never been around babies, so he was totally lost as to what to do or how to help me. This book sounds like a true gem. I will give it to that first born to help her with her little ones.

  361. 380

    I wish I had known when my 9- year-old was born that it is OK to relax and enjoy my babies. That so much that we think matters, like schedules, clean floors, and other people’s opinions of our parenting, don’t, and that many of those things we don’t realize that matter, such as traditions, having fun together, and simply being there, do. I also wish someone would have told me to never look at the clock or count the number of times up before my last baby was born.

  362. 381
    christi o. says:

    I wish I would have known it’s not so much about me raising them as it is about God using them to raise me. :-)

  363. 382

    I wish I would have known that following your God-given instincts to parent truly is a peaceful way to parent….and that I would have been secure enough in that knowledge to truly have followed it more than I did….that first year is now almost 20 summers past…

  364. 383

    I have felt like chucking parenting and “how to do it right” books for al ong time. I have this somewhat weird cycle – I feel like I need some guidance – read the book – try to institute this “magic” method that will make my children become angels who revere me in complete obedience… it doesn’t work… I have failed…. my routine not routine enough…. my schedule isn’t scheduled enough…I must rise earlier… discipline more frequently… allow them to suffere more consequences… just add whatever. slowly this thing is slowly coming to me (or maybe I just don’t listen to the ONE enough) that it is a process…. they are all uniquely made…. and this process takes time, consistency, and love, and a willingness to let them know – I blew it (again) and so when they blow it – I can indeed extend grace…

    I did the same with our third and fourth… I gave up the fact that our babies are scheduled on exact minute schedules – that they don’t sleep through the night – and that eventually – we slowly move back to sleeping and I didn’t even look at when they were supposed to do what – they were normal an fine – whether they started early or late!

    So, I figure this out with Babies then they grow older. They take 1 1/2 hours to complete a 15 minute chore, they tell me their work is done, and I walk in and it’s NOT done and they have been playing, and nothing can be done without excessive dawdling… I feel like I push large weights around all day. What should I do – I start looking in parenting books again… and the cycle repeats!! Maybe I need to read THIS parenting book! ;)

    Blessings!
    WS

  365. 384

    i wish i had known that it’s okay not to love every minute of parenting from the start! there are tough, hard days, and it’s not all bliss! i think you fall more in love with your kids as you grow and do life together!

  366. 385
    Victoria says:

    Ahhh, wish I would not have felt so guilty when the baby cried for no reason at all. Wish I would have had someone say, “sometimes they just do and you can’t figure it out.” And that it is really okay! You’re doing a great job.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

  367. 386

    I didn’t mean to sound like I wouldn’t try the book, though. It sounds good!

  368. 387

    I wish I would have known HOW QUICKLY the years would fly. (we have them from 6-26)
    Cleaning bathrooms is still my favorite thing to teach the 6 yo and no,
    they aren’t too young. (no harsh chemicals–I use Mrs. Meyers and H2 O2)
    PS Zoe is so beautiful.

    “Great peace have those who love Your law.” (Psm. 119 :165)

  369. 388

    Going on baby #4 and I have a whole lot less “pat” answers now than I did with my first. But it’s so true–God uses children to teach us humility and a dependence on Him!

  370. 389

    I wish someone would have told me that nursing could be painful, really painful. That I would be exhausted most of the time and that babies aren’t always a lot of fun :) Thankfully they Lord carried me through that first baby… and now having had 3 and one on the way, I am definitely more relaxed and enjoy my babies so much more.

  371. 390
    hillarey says:

    I never win giveaways, but boy do I want to wint this one! When I was a new mom, just 20 short months ago, I wished I known I would ruin my child by holding them for their entire nap, or napping with them. I wish id realized how fast each stage goes by and you’re suddenly potty training. I wish I had read less how to books and read my Bible more. I wish I had stopped keeping track and just lived in the moment. Thanks for sharing!

  372. 391

    Ah! Thank you!! I needed to hear these words that feel like freedom to my overly tired & achey heart. My first baby was a breeze and now my second little one has been a challenge in every stage…and she is only 8 months old…:). Your words written were like they were coming straight from me! Thank you again for sharing!!

  373. 392

    I think of the title of Emily’s book “Grace for the Good Girl” and wish I had known grace for the new mom! There is no “one right way” when it comes to being a mom, and there is grace, grace, and more grace. I wish I had known that.

  374. 393

    I cannot, cannot wait to read this book. So many times my vocabulary consisted of phrases like “supposed to”, “he should”, and “why isn’t it working?” There are many things I wish I understood with my first baby, but one that springs to mind is that co-sleeping (bed-sharing) wouldn’t kill my baby. With my second, I often have him in bed with us for half the night and I LOVE waking up with him in my arms. It’s a blessing that I deprived myself of unnecessarily (out of fear) with my first.

  375. 394

    I still am a new mom. But I wish someone had told me how isolating and lonely it can be and how to battle that.

  376. 395
    Leah Rogers says:

    Relish every precious moment. Don’t be too hard on your shortcomings. God chose you specifically to be the beautiful & flawed parent to your precious child!

  377. 396

    I wish I’d known that you should take all advice with a grain of salt. Oh…. And you’re not a failure if you don’t breastfeed!

  378. 397
    Karyn Wynalda-Booth says:

    I am a new momma…I wish I knew that it would have been ok to pick up the phone and call a friend when I was a bit weepy and lonely….
    I wish I could have planted a bigger garden, I had no idea how healing it was to visit, ponder, and water the little plants while hugging my wee daughter to me…
    I wish I knew how beautiful my husband thought and thinks I am, for all those tough days….

  379. 398

    I wish I would have let him be a baby longer. Not to have had so many expectations of being a perfect parent meting out perfect discipline, just to let him be a little boy.

  380. 399
    Deborah Jongsma says:

    “The days can be long, but the years are short.” I wish I’d heard that when I first became a Mum, and repeated it over and over.

  381. 400

    Love this! Wish I had this book with my first. Your experience shoulda just like my first born! I finally realized that while I had read all the “right” books he had not, so I threw them out.

  382. 401

    I wish someone had told me just how often I would feel like a failure, and told that it was ok and normal, and that I didn’t have to have all the answers, and get it right all the time.

  383. 402

    I related to every single word you wrote. Every word. I even talked briefly with Megan last week on Twitter about one book in particular that made me feel like a HUGE failure. I think for me, the one thing I didn’t realize was that not only are we raising these babies, but sometimes they raise us. I wish someone had told me it was ok to give myself grace.

  384. 403

    I wish I’d known that I needed to do what was right for our family, and not try to copy anyone else or do anything to please anyone else. I remember spending a lot of time holding my crying son, thinking about what so-and-so would do…

  385. 404

    I’m on my 4th baby now, and it’s amazing how much more comfortable I feel with the choices I’ve made that don’t go along with mainstream practices. I wish I had realized with my first child how fast it all goes by – so I could learn to love it and savor it before I got to my 4th child, instead of always trying to “fix” some behavior that I was told was wrong, or that I believed was wrong. I wish my future self, or some other wise mother, could have told me that the first year would be over quickly, and not to rush through it all to get her to “sleep through the night”. It happens on its own, we get there one way or another. Why not just find peace in the present?

  386. 405

    I wish I had known to go with my gut, instead of second guessing every decision.

  387. 406

    I wish someone had told me how being a mom is the most joyful, painful thing you will do.

  388. 407

    Just. Love. Them. Just as they are, no comparisons, no condemnation. I have an autistic son who is an amazing work of God and believe me, everyone had advice for me. However, I had to trust my God who gave him to me and trust that God had given me to him.
    It has only taken fourteen years, and I still have to remind myself of these truths.

  389. 408

    I wish someone had told me to relax and enjoy my son. That it’s okay if he cries a lot. It’s okay to admit that he has colic. And, it’s okay to hold onto baby weight for a while.

  390. 409
    Lisa MacDonald says:

    I wish someone had told me that the crying will stop. Colic doesn’t last forever and it doesn’t mean your baby doesn’t like you. ;)

  391. 410

    I wish I had known sooner that sunshine and lunch dates with friends would help get me out of the PPD I was secretly slipping into after my second was born.

  392. 411

    This is how I felt when my 3rd came, my preemie. I did this same thing. I wish I had known with my first but especially my 2nd. I will share on fb. Thank you.

  393. 412

    The best advice I DID get in the nick of time was from the lactation consultant at the hospital. She said, “Don’t expect to sleep the first night you’re home.” it had not dawned on me that that would be required, but she was right…

  394. 413
    Jessica Forrester says:

    I wish I knew how fast it would go. Everyone said it, but I didn’t get it then the way I do now.

  395. 414

    Thanks for the encouragement. I need it, with a third baby on the way and my children’s Daddy off to pursue another life.

  396. 415
    Jennifer says:

    I wish I had known about Gripe Water with my first 2 babies. If pumped breast milk is liquid gold, Gripe Water is liquid silver.

  397. 416

    Everyone messes up, we just don’t talk about it. Finding genuine mothers to read, talk to and pray with has been a source of encouragement for me. Thank you for this post.

  398. 417

    Love to read this!

  399. 418

    I wish I had known earlier that being thankful in little things in parenting helps us to cultivate joy to be fully present with our kids. I spent too much time in the first year and a half just trying to get through the days – rather than being fully there by thanking God for sweet times and messes and my precious daughter.

  400. 419

    I’m about to be a new mom in July and would love this book!

  401. 420
    Melissa Boutchia says:

    I wish that I could have relaxed and not stressed about the baby’s schedule of eating, napping, and diaper changes. I would have just enjoyed holding him him and not worried I was doing everything wrong! It got easier with my second child but then we had to deal with medical issues that caused a lot of stress. I just had my 3rd child and I can truly say I am savoring every moment with her!

  402. 421

    I really wish I could have forgotten the notion that my kids were going to be perfect. I thought that without ever really thinking it on purpose.

  403. 422

    I wish I had known that the second go-round can actually be harder!!! Our first baby was fairly easy. Our second one has been a little more fussy, a little more needy. Trying to parent both to the best of my ability!

  404. 423

    My only and eight-year-old daughter asked me the other day if I felt as overwhelmed with being a parent as I did the first day I took her home from the hospital. She overheard me tell this story recently. I was surprised that the hospital would let me take her. “Do they let just anyone take babies?” “What if I’m not fit?” “What if I do it wrong?” In my round-about, very-wordy, think-out-loud-as-I-answer sort of way, I responded to her and then I went away and thought about it some more, and what it really boils down to for me is that there are moments of feeling overwhelmed, not good enough, I fear the future. But what I’ve learned most is that when I like me, when I begin to feel more comfortable in my own skin, trust that it is okay that I don’t know the outcome of tomorrow or teenage hood, I begin to act differently. I treat my child differently and everyone I encounter.
    Someone gave me some very simple parenting advice recently, as heard from an “expert” and it was simply this “enjoy them.”
    To be enjoyed, to be loved, cherished, desired, played with and remembered, to take all those moments of chaos and mess and things not going quite how we planned and view those times as “making memories” how beautifully freeing that is to my soul.
    And to not compare with those around us. We all come from different stories, but it’s the feelings and the thinking that connect us. We are connected to each other to learn from, to grow with and to love, not to decide who is doing it right and who is doing it wrong. Only I can love my daughter the way I can. God planned us to be a family. Just.the.way.we.are.
    So to sum it up, after going about my many-worded-way (because this is who I am :)
    Learn to really like (love) yourself.
    Just Enjoy your child.
    Just.the.way.you.are. The same way God has and always will love you.
    AND if you ever need help with the any of this or anything else, A S K. Keep searching for that help until you get what you need.
    Love.

  405. 424

    I wish I’d known it would look NOTHING like I thought it would (or “should”), and that all those times I looked at other moms and thought “I can’t believe she’s doing _____” that someday I might be doing some of the same things. As I anticipate my 2nd in 8ish weeks, would love to give this a read!

  406. 425

    I always knew I wanted to be a mom but I never knew how exhausting and overwhelming the first month or two would be. I had this picture perfect outlook on how happy and overjoyed I would be once my baby girl was here but man, those crazy post-partum hormones had other plans! I felt like a horrible mom because the overwhelming feelings outweighed the joyful ones for a good 2 months. And what made it worse was it appeared that all the other new moms around me were sailing smoothly through the new mom phase. I wish someone would have told me that its the hormones that make you feel crazy, that you aren’t a bad mom for feeling this way, that it’s completely normal, that the craziness does end, and you do feel normal again one day (once baby starts sleeping through the night:))

  407. 426
    Meghan Siudzinski says:

    What a beautiful, healing post. Even three years later, that guilt and trauma still stings. I would love a copy to read and then pass on.

  408. 427

    who couldn’t use some spirit led advise to walk thru the first year of motherhood

  409. 428

    This sounds like the thing that I needed 5 years ago when my first was born. The second time around, I did the same thing as you – threw the parenting books to the wind and went with my gut…so much better!

  410. 429

    I got a lot of advice before and during my pregnancy. Most of it turned out to be helpful, but a lot of it either terrified me or left me dreading parenthood. I wish someone would have told me how much easier it would be to meet people once we had a baby.

    I am an expat and my circle of friends here has never been so large or so close knit. Parenthood has given me more confidence and I find it much easier to strike up conversations with other mothers.

    I also never thought that having a child would chill me out so much. If she is safe, happy, and fed, there is not much else I am going to get worked up about.

  411. 430
    September says:

    Sounds like a lovely book. As a mom of 8, I appreciate the authors trying to encourage moms to love their babies and be mommies, not rigid schedulers.

  412. 431

    This couldn’t be timelier. I’m struggling with all of this right now. Once again, your words about first-time motherhood have expressed my feelings better than I could at the moment. Thanks for the encouragement! I’d love to win a copy of this book- it sounds great :)

  413. 432
    Jennifer Randles says:

    I am a new mother of a 3 month old little girl. I have read several “how – to and how baby is suppose to be”…I actually shed tears after reading this excerpt…because this exactly how I feel. She is the only child I will be able to have. This book is going to be a must read for me.

  414. 433
    Lynn Cannizzaro says:

    You will love your kids even if things don’t go as planned, one day , one step , one great breath breathed together at a time can get you through anything, and each moment IS a new moment!!

  415. 434

    For me, I would have trusted God more to help me in my weakness, and cast my cares on Him more…and enjoyed those precious moments more instead of being afraid so much! This looks like a very encouraging book for new moms – my babies are now 23 and 19, so the book might be an encouragement for them in the next few years:)

  416. 435

    Thank you for sharing your insight. As a new mom to a 8.5 month old little boy who is a nightmare to feed cause he just won’t eat even though he’s starving, (and is it reflux or a food allergy or is he just fussy) and he’s just barely gaining weight and he won’t eat anywhere other than in his bedroom rocking chair with his blankie in hand. I need to be reminded that I’m not failing every time I see plump little babies and hear other new moms talk about their perfect eaters while they feed them out in public while balancing the bottle with their chin, talk on their cell phone and browse through racks of baby clothes for their ever growing little child. I need to know that I’m not alone and be encouraged that as long as my little boy is smiling, I must be doing an ok job.

  417. 436

    I would love to read this book.

  418. 437

    I wish I would have known how difficult breast feeding can be. I assumed just because I had breasts that I would know what to do. Boy, was I wrong!

  419. 438

    Hi there! My mother-in-law sent me this link because she thought this book might be of interest to me. I am 5 months pregnant with my first child and I’m in the throes of that “read every baby book I can get my hands on” stage. Whether I win this book or not, it’s one I will track down. I knew I needed to read it when you said “I needed a safe place to grieve the loss of a stage of life I’d loved and wise words to bring me gently into a new life.” I have grieved a bit over the loss of the life my husband and I currently have but we are bravely excited about what will come when our son is born in August…

  420. 439
    Sarah Mudder says:

    This could be really helpful as we prep for #2 :)

  421. 440
    Melanie crady says:

    I wish I knew that babies change so much that even the really horrible stages will be over quickly too.

  422. 441

    My first baby was all about schedules and my second was all about no-schedules. That was so frustrating for so long. Now I’m pregnant with my third and hopefully ready to let this child just be itself. I would LOVE this book to encourage me along the way!

  423. 442

    If I win the book, I know exactly who I will give it to. :)

    Much of what you wrote resonated deeply with me. :)

  424. 443

    I am a new mom, and have been soaking up in all the blogs from Tsh Oxenreider and the other bloggers through simple living media. Was just listening to the latest simple mom podcast that you were on and truly enjoyed it! I am so overwhelming blessed to watch God lead me to each of these blogs, where I am being encouraged and strengthen by understanding ‘I’m not alone!’ in anyway! I am so glad to have found moms like you out there encouraging and cheering us really new moms on! My little man is three months old and truly this year is about me adjusting and learning how to be a great mommy, laying down my old pleasures of having the freedom to do what I wanted to embracing this phenominal experience of parenthood. The one thing I do wish I had known when my son was born was more understanding about breastfeeding. I wish I would have understood more that it literally is all you will do for those first several months. I gave up, and got too impatient. But I plan on persevering wih my next children now that I can see and understand the dedication it takes.

  425. 444
    J. Brooks says:

    Oh, the MANY things I wish I’d known . . . With a little perspective, my boys are 16 and 12, I’d say the ONE (of many) thing(s) I wish I’d known was how precious and fleeting babyhood is. Savor those sweet baby fingers and toes, the fat wrinkles in their thighs, that heavenly baby scent, and those adorable little baby noises. Rest and relax and take it all in with the knowledge that if they have good appetites, “regular” diaper changes, and a decent amount of sleep, then they will be fine.
    Babyhood, those sweet first years, will fly by, never to return. It will be replaced with other delights in toddlerhood, childhood, and yes, even adolescence. I just wish I could have slowed down enough to enjoy those sweet days of nursing, cuddling, and just soaking it all in.
    It’s still a process I’m working through, now that we’re on our way to the other end of it (my oldest will be graduating in 2 years). I try to savor all the joys and sorrows of being a Mom and live in the moment of loving my sons. Some days are easier than others. But even when I’m ready to pull out what hair I have left, God gently reminds me that this, too, is temporary. Then I savor that hug from my big boy and laugh at his silly jokes. I soak in that scent of childhood (that’s rapidly turning into adolescence in my youngest), treasure that sweet kiss, and rub that soft cheek that will soon change to be replaced by a manly face.
    Slow down sweet and precious Mamas. You’re doing just fine.

    P.S. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book. It sounds great!

  426. 445

    I wish I had known that the first months of parenting would be about growing me as much as growing our son. I learned and leaned on God far more in the first few months than I ever expected.

  427. 446
    Sara Suastez says:

    I am so very excited about this book! I know it will be great!

  428. 447

    I wish I had known that I could learn how to nurse a baby, and change a baby, and check on a baby in almost complete darkness. My husband and I slept with the bedside lamp on for weeks. It was awful.

  429. 448

    I wish I would have known about sleep deprivation. I wish I would have known to let my husband give our first born son a bottle in the middle of the night every once in a while so I could get some sleep and a break from nursing. Mostly, I wish I would have breathed him in more and laughed with him more rather than anxiously and exhaustively keeping everything “in order”. I wish I would have known, somehow magically really known, that what every Mom says when they see someone pregnant is true: “Cherish it. It goes so fast”.

  430. 449
    Amber Heppner says:

    i wish i’d known that courage is not giving your all to follow what others say you should be doing as a parent. true courage means making decisions that work best for your family when you know that those not living in your home will not understand.

  431. 450
    Sarah Crawford says:

    I wish I would’ve known that motherhood brings the highest highs and the lowest lows I’ve ever experienced. I appreciate God’s amazing grace more than ever before because I see my sin more than ever before. I wish I would’ve known that striving to be the “perfect” mom would only show me how much I need Jesus’s perfection. Now I know :) but I will continue to learn it over and over again. That’s the beauty of it.

  432. 451

    I wish so much that someone would have told me that I would never have a day again where I felt like I’d accomplished everything I’d hoped to…but learning to feel accomplished if my children knew they were deeply loved and I knew that I was forgiven for the many ways I failed would be an accomplishment in itself.

  433. 452

    I wish I would’ve been warned about the emotional roller coaster. It baffled me that one second I could be in such awe of our miracle and then the next second feeling more exhausted than I ever knew possible.

    http://mylittlebitoflife.com/?p=1349

  434. 453

    I can’t remember! (I’m now on #5&6 – twins) It’s true that you don’t get it ‘right’ the 1st time…and I too have stopped reading parenting books (for the most part). But God is good, and I’ve learned to love the baby stage (still working on the toddler one some days though!)

  435. 454

    I wish I’d know that all that feels like personal loss or sacrifice is truly gain. That I only need to slow down and trust Him and Love. That there is a “garment of praise” for the overwhelmed heaviness and a joy unfathomable that comes from leaning on the Only One that can sustain you. I am ever more aware of my need for the Lord and it has deepened my faith and allowed me to see more of His grace…. Also, that parenthood allows you to let go of self and this letting go brings you into sweeter communion with our Lord. Its true. She who loses her life will truly find it.

  436. 455

    Oh, wow. I hear you about the nursing charts. Wow, wow, wow. Yes, and I needed this book with my first, and I need it now. Thank you for sharing.

    One thing I wish I had known? It’s (“it” being any crying, developmental delays, stomach hurts, fussing, etc. etc.) not all my fault. (Wait, I still need to learn this!)

  437. 456

    I wish I would have known that being successful at breast feeding involves a lot more than just the time commitment.

  438. 457

    I wish I had known that the babies would grow so quickly. That the crying in the night would slip gently from my memory. I wish I could do it all again ; )

  439. 458

    I would still like to learn just what it looks like to give grace and receive grace. I was raised to be a great legalist!! I would love to read this book!

  440. 459

    I feel like your story is my story. I too nursed my little guy and I thought it was supposed to happen one way and yes it all happened on his own time,( every two hours for the first 4 months!) eating at a snail’s pace too and still does. So our next one is due Oct. 5th. I am definitely going to be more relaxed with this one and not so stressed out! I did more harm than good to my emotional state. It is not worth it to allow it to happen again. Thank you so much fo the opportunity to enter this wonderful giveaway!!

  441. 460

    Thank you for sharing this. It is so encouraging to
    read another mom ‘s thoughts and heart about parenting…I’m realizing so many of us feel the same way…especially at the beginning. I’m failing! What am I doing wrong?Why is my baby not sleeping through the night yet? Etc…thank you for this reminder of grace…

  442. 461

    Oh how I would have given anything to know the truth that you wrote with my first baby. I was just a mess and I felt like such a failure. By kid number 3, I have learned to throw those books away and just enjoy it. I can’t ruin her. I can love her. This makes parenting so much more blessed and treasured to me!

  443. 462

    This post and the above comments brought me to tears. I just gave birth to my second a few weeks ago and my oldest is a mere 13 1/2 months. I still consider myself a new mom! I had expected the transition from one to two children to be somewhat smooth since I had experience with one baby. I had expected enjoying every moment with both babies. And, I had also expected that this maternity leave would be rejuvenating – getting lots of rest, getting the house organized, etc. Not the case! I am overwhelmed in trying to keep up with my two babies. I feel guilty for splitting my attention between them.

    I think a lot of these feelings are due to lack of sleep, postpartum hormones, and unrealistic expectations. What I am trying to learn is that it is okay to have a little “me” time every day whether in the form of a quick nap, chatting on the phone with a friend, reading a blog, taking a long, uninterrupted shower, etc. Doing something for me, rejuvenates me and allows me to keep things in perspective. I am less overwhelmed and I enjoy my children more (even if they’re being fussy :). This is the one thing I wish I would have known and am still trying to learn.

    I am excited about the book! Thanks for the post!

  444. 463

    I’ve been led into spirit led parenting and homeschooling during the past couple of years. It’s lovely :) There was so much I didn’t know but I am so grateful for the journey. Now, six kids later, I want moms to know how to rest with their kids, how to BE with them,without an agenda of getting something done or filling their brain with something new. There will always be too much to get done.

  445. 464
    Scarlett Kiowski says:

    I wish that I knew and held on to the fact that my way of childbearing was good and right for my family and that I didn’t have to be like everyone else!

  446. 465

    I wish I’d known how isolating being a new mom would be. I really needed some community in that first year, and being super shy and kind of closed-off and unused to asking for help, or knowing when to ask, or knowing how to ask… you get the picture. I guess what I’m saying is I wish that I’d had more mom’s in my life who weren’t afraid to just step in and help without being asked.

  447. 466

    Oh, I wish I had known that it is okay to ask for help. A few nights or afternoons alone may have been a glorious miracle.

  448. 467

    I wish I had known that every day was going to be different and that it takes a long time to get into a comfortable routine.

  449. 468
    tammy von horn says:

    Thank you for this gentle reminder. . . I am raising my first and three baby all at the same time. This time I am savoring every little thing while I slay my own fears one by one.

  450. 469
    Catherine says:

    I love reading this – thank you. As a blessed and contented mother of a few more, I wish I had known that I needed to savour and enjoy each moment instead of worrying about what I was and wasn’t doing – I have so treasured each moment with the current baby of the family and her older siblings as I gained this insight …. I also wish they had told me about the night sweats, the inability to sleep on your tummy as long as you were either pregnant or breastfeeding, the re-visits of ones owns childhood joys and nightmares ….. AND the ABSOLUTE joy of being a mother and that I would understand a tiny bit of how to relate to another human being as God our Father relates to me – unsurpassed and not to be missed!

  451. 470

    Hi there. Thanks so much for your blog article. I love the sound of the book – and wish it had been around sooner. What I wishI had known when I was a first time Mum was that to live in that moment – with all its richness and beauty of relationship, was an ultimate goal in itself – far more worthy than the goal of a sleeping baby, a tidy house, or a well ordered life(which, by the way, is an impossibility as a mother!). The constant battle to achieve robbed me of the peace that could have been mine to impart to my darling baby. As much as I fully believed in the call of motherhood, my actions implied that I should be more – yet a mother was more than enough.

  452. 471

    Great! I wish I’d known that it really does get easier and someday it would feel natural. We just brought # 2 home from the hospital a week ago and I ‘m amazed at how different this feels the second time around!

  453. 472
    Christine says:

    I’d love to read this book.

  454. 473

    Oh what wisdom! If only all the over striving, exhausted, spiritually drained moms who read this could really internalize it, believe it, own it and embrace it! As a grandma to 4, and mom to 2 grown daughters, I see my daughter struggling to do everything “right” and completely be deflated and defeated because her reality does not match her vision of what this 3rd baby’s first year would be like, and blame every disappointment on herself. I wish I could distill the wisdom of this post into a concentrated serum, and inject it into her, so she could have the forgiveness for herself and her partner, to allow them to cope in whatever way they can, and love the disarray, without guilt or fear.

  455. 474

    I know I’ve said this before, but you are just AMAZING in the way you pinpoint the various emotions of motherhood. All that my heart feels, you have written here. And by reading the comments from all these other wonderful, struggling mothers, I see again that you have touched SO MANY lives. You are truly a blessing from the Lord.

    The good Lord created us as human beings–flaws and all. Yet he still has enough grace for all of us, even in our moments of “failure.” This a concept I’m still trying to wrap my head around. I will never be the mom I want to be, but I’ll keep trying. I love my little ones with all my heart, and daily I feel a “failure” because I’m a working mom. It’s painful to leave them, and so I’m practicing giving them to God–they are his anyway, and he loves them even more than I can. I pray that your comments about me being the “right” mom for my kids is true. I love them so much and want to do right by them. It’s hard to be so “human,” knowing, like someone else said, that I’ll mess things up despite good intentions.

    Praise the Lord for each day! Praise the Lord for the challenges He gives to me! Praise the Lord for my blessings! I praise the Lord for you, Lisa Jo–a shining light to all of us!

  456. 475

    I have had this book on my wish-list for a whole and this post was the final push to busy it NOW!! I’m a new mum to a 4 month old baby boy and the last few months have been an amazing journey. I particularly like the excerpt from toy included from the book that talks about the first year being for God to develop us a parents…
    Thanks for this :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] 11, 2012 in General I stumbled upon this post today from a link here. Gypsy Mama is speaking my heart today! I have not read the book referenced […]

  2. […] of the Gypsy Mama wrote an uplifting post about it this week: For when you think you’re failing motherhood {quick, break glass and read this book instead!}. While it speaks to the inner voice many of us moms hear that constantly harps on what failures we […]

  3. […] re-evaluate them) has come from the timely words of others. I read Lisa-Jo’s post, “For when you think you’re failing motherhood,” and felt like my heart was shifting a little bit for the better. What she says is universal […]

  4. […] A new blog I found that I enjoy reading…she’s so honest and is filled with a lot of great ideas!  Plus this post I linked to is about mommy stuff and a book recommendation!  The Gypsy Mama. […]

  5. […] your comments over here? All 467 of them kind of made my heart […]

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