5 Ways To Persevere When Parenting Young Children

5 Ways To Persevere When Parenting Young Children

GIVEAWAY UPDATE: Congratulations to Stephanie Kirby for winning the RefresHER gift pack!  Thanks to everyone for leaving such great comments. Your insights, encouraging words and pure genius thoughts are so inspiring!! 

Hi Friend,

Thank you for stopping by today. Maybe you are visiting for the first time because you read my Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today devotional. I’m so thrilled that you’re here!

In honor of you, I’m giving away a RefresHER gift-pak. It includes a Starbucks gift card, a Bath & Body Works gift card and a signed copy of Lysa TerKeurst’s latest book, The Best Yes. Sounds like a sweet combination for any women who is in need of some refreshment.

As I shared in my P31 devotional, parenting is wonderfully challenging at times and can certainly leave a momma feeling a little weary.

My boys are teenagers now, so things are easier with the day-to-day demands. But, the memories haven’t faded and I can easily reflect back on those days when their little demands caused my patience to run thin and weariness to set in.

That’s why I wanted to share 5 Ways to Persevere When Parenting Young Children, in hopes it would encourage you today. I wish I would have had this list when my children were little. It could have saved me a lot of tear-shedding moments and mommy-meltdowns.

1. Pray More ~ Worry Less
God knows the answers to all of your parenting questions. He created your children and wired them for His glory. Instead of worrying about what to do, go to God first and trust that He will guide you in making the right decisions for your child/children.

2. Perfectionism 
Simply forget about it. Perfection isn’t real; although we try our hardest to make it our reality. You’re going to make mistakes in parenting and it’s okay. Some of your best lessons will be learned from them.  When you make a mistake ask God to show you how to do things differently next time and know that He believes in you. Your child doesn’t need a perfect parent. Your child needs a loving parent.

3. Praise Instead of Pounce
Sometimes we can expect too much from our children and fall into a pattern of being  judgmental. Before we pounce and bring to light some things they’ve done wrong, let’s pause and come up with 2-3 things they do well.  Let’s praise God for the beautiful children He has given us and celebrate in faith the character of God that is being shaped within them.

4. Don’t Compare
This one is a biggie. I know it’s hard, but resist the temptation to compare your children to other children their age. Comparison kills contentment and that definitely applies when it comes to parenting.

5. Ask For Help
Some days are more demanding than others. Don’t try to be supermom. If you find yourself in need of a little assistance, call for backup. Sometimes having an extra set of hands or 30 minutes of downtime can make all the difference in the world.

As I look at my sons now and see what amazing young men they’ve become, I am blown away by God’s goodness.  Despite my many mistakes He is molding their hearts and shaping them into His likeness.

God has created your child with great purpose and specific plans in mind. His gifts and calling for your child are irrevocable. As you pray and commit your children to the Lord, trust that God’s perfect plan for them will succeed.

So, even on those days when you become weary in doing good, remember that at the proper time God will reap a beautiful harvest in your child/children, if you don’t give up.

It’s Your Turn:

To be eligible for the RefresHER giveaway leave a comment sharing which one of the 5 Ways To Persevere When Parenting  resonated with you the most and why.  Also, share this post or my P31 devotional on one of your favorite social media sites. {Just click one of the share buttons below.}

I’d love for you to subscribe for my weekly updates so we can stay in touch and I can continue to encourage you along your parenting journey.  

Keep praying, trusting believing and remember … you are amazing and so are your kiddos!



  1. I’ll immediately seize your rss feed as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription link or
    newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me realize in order that I may just
    subscribe. Thanks.

  2. Perfectionism is the one that hit me most. Being that I waited until the age of 35 to have my son, I was set in my ways & like things a certain way. With my Son being 18 months old I have had to learn how to throw my old way of doing things out the window & adjust to bring a mom of a toddler.

  3. Pray More-Worry Less! That is definitely what I need to do. I am constantly worrying about letting my daughter watch too much tv, should I go back to work, what activities should we do today, am I disciplining her right, should I not let her sleep with me at night, the list goes on and on! I worry about being that perfect mom, wife, friend, and I feel overwhelmed with how much it takes to be that perfect woman. I need to rely on God’s guidance more.

  4. Perfectionism is at the top. I want to do it all and do it all perfectly and when I can’t I beat myself up emotionally and that trickles down to my reactions and it becomes a vicious cycle of feeling inadequate as their mom. This is a good reminder that mistakes are ok and even good so that I can learn from them, and they become a great lesson for the kids as well – that even mommy’s not perfect and we are all in need of God’s grace.

  5. Praise instead of pounce. I’ve been dealing with a serious sleep deficit lately and my patience with my also sleep deprived 3 yr old has been thin. I know I’ve been more negative than positive & this was a great reminder to shift my focus and my words to more uplifting words.

  6. Sheree Bagwell :

    No doubt, comparison is my weakness! I compare how I parent especially I parent compared to my sister. I also compare how my girls act verse children their own age and I catch myself comparing my two girls. This is my greatest weakness! Praying God shows me the best way to parent and nor society! Great article!

  7. Chelsea Dudley :

    Don’t Compare.

    Oh, I’m really good at the comparison game and I always come up short. The gift I have of seeing the good in people is often tampered by the bad I see in me.

  8. Thank you Leah for the encouragement in your devotion and in 5 steps, this past month I have been struggling with mum club. I need to learn to ask for help, and to stop and pray. Thank you again! God bless

  9. While I/we don’t have children of our own, I interact often with other people’s children – nephew, niece, friends’ kids, church kids….from babies to young adult. Praise before you Pounce has been something I’ve been working on for a long time. (I started babysitting at an early age – and often joke now with younger cousins that I’m proof of why 12-13 year olds should not be having babies! LOL My coping skills are WAY more better now than they were way back then – and I’ve got more tricks up my sleeves.) It’s also one I’m sharing with the stressed-out mommies I know. It reminds me of the “catch me doing good” slogan, too.

  10. I no longer have small children, but my 24-year-old daughter recently moved in with me with my two grandbabies, who are 4 and 2. The first two years of my 4-year-old granddaughter’s life were mainly spent with me. My daughter worked and had some personal issues going on, so I had my granddaughter quite a bit. My own children are two girls 24 and 19 and three boys 18, 16, and 15. Even though my children are all almost grown, there are still constant challenges to my abilities as a mother. I honestly believe that it is harder now than when they were little. Having had cancer five years ago sapped a lot of my energy, so I feel blessed that the Lord gave me the opportunity of raising five young children while I was still well enough to do so. For all of the days that seem like endless dirty diapers and sleepless nights, cherish them because they will soon be gone. In their place you will have to face the daily battles of what this world throws at your children as teenagers and even as adults. It is now that I face my most defeating feelings of failure as a mother. It is now that Galatians 6:9 is most important to remember.

  11. As I scroll through all the comments of wonderful mommas struggling with the same thing that I struggle with my heart smiles with relief! I often feel so alone in the guilt that comes along with being a mom! All five ways hit my heart hard, I very much need to focus on this list! I love my two boys with all my heart and allow all the things that don’t matter to get in the way of enjoying them! I am going to pick one way each week to focus on and starting today I am going to get on my knees and start praying! Praying for The Lord to take control of my thoughts and worry for my children and give me the strength when I have none! I am also going to pray for all these other mommas like me struggling to be the best they can be for their kiddos! Thank you so much for your passion for the The Lord and sharing your wisdom! Xoxo

  12. They all really resonated in my heart, but the one I can relate most to and need to be more aware of on a daily basis is to not compare my son to other children. My son is 2 &1/2. He was born 3 months premature & is special needs. I find myself often being overwhelmed with meeting his needs which causes me to be sad & thinking about the life I want him to have or dreamed being a mommy would be. Then I remember with God’s gentle loving reminder that my son is my greatest blessing & this is THE life God intended my son to live. This is the picture God had in His mind when He picked me to be my sweet boys mommy. Those beautiful reminders help me get through the day & help me to remember my son & all his medical issues are special & helped to bring out strength in my family we never knew we had. I am lovingly reminded to not compare my son to other healthier children & remember that he will have a great & beautiful future because God has him in the palm of his hand:) Thank you for this article! I plan to print it & post it in my home so I can be reminded daily.

  13. #4 hits home for me. It’s hard not to play the comparison game…when it comes to me as a mom and my kids.

  14. Thank you for your blog post. I read it yesterday and again this morning – feeling the need for the encouragement and to remind myself to turn to God for help with all 5. The one that stands out today, thoough, is to praise instead of pounce. Feeling like a crabby mom after getting on my kids to eat breakfast, brush teeth, get shoes on, etc., in order to get on the road to school. I pray for more times that I praise them instead of pouncing!

  15. All 5 are great tips….the one I struggle with most is asking for help….we are a military family and I have a 3 year old and 10 month old twins and no family close by….there are days I’d love to be able to call my mom to come over and help me or give me a short break and sometimes I dream of what our life would be like if we were closer to family….it’s hard for me to ask a friend because I know how much work it takes to care for my children and I often feel guilty putting that on someone else, especially b/c most of them have their own families to care for. But I also understand that I need to take time for me so I can be the best mom I can be….so I need to remember it’s ok to ask for help and take a little me time once in awhile.

  16. Ask for help. It is ok to put aside your pride and do what’s best for you or your kids during a particularly difficult time. My father recently passed and it was the first time I was forced to let people in to help with the kids. Through that experience I was truly blessed by people, and allowed people the opportunity to experience being a blessing. It was really beautiful.

  17. #4. I would hate to always be compared to other moms all the time so I why do I compare my kids to other kids so much? Good reminder to stop that cycle

  18. The one that resonates most to me is #5: Ask for Help. As a first time mom, I feel like it should be my job to do everything for my daughter. I want my baby girl to grow up knowing that she can depend on me and have no doubt in her mind that her Mom loves her so much! I really struggle letting go of this notion of me doing EVERYTHING for her and I get overwhelmed with caring for her AND my 15 students at school! Maybe it is the lack of sleep, but I bet that if I can ask for help from those willing, I would live a less stressful life! Thank you for the post!

  19. I really struggle with #4 comparison!! I am always thinking &/or saying why can’t my son be/do the things that so & so’s kids do/say!! But I know they all grow at different stages so I need to quit doing this! Thanks so much!

  20. Praise instead of pounce for sure. Biggest problem with me. my words are not always kind after asking 12 times to do something. So this is something I need to work on.. great post. Thanks for the encouragement. Exhausted mommy of 4 little loves

  21. All of this resonated with me and I’m so glad to have found your blog and read your devotional today. In particular the perfectionism is something I’ve struggled with my entire life, but I’m getting better. Today though, I found myself comparing my 13 month old daughter who is not walking, not saying complete words, and only has 2 teeth on the top to a friend’s 10 month old daughter who starting walking at 9 months, has several teeth and can already say dog. Yeah, God’s got work to do on me yet… Thank you for your words. Keep writing…

  22. the pray more worry less resonated the most with me. I opened this devotional right when I was thinking that I can’t do this momy thing, it’s so hard! But I do forgot that I am not alone and that the Lord is right there with me. Thank you!

  23. All five really resonate with me but I think I am way too quick to pounce with my 3 year old, even when I know praising her is the better way to handle most situations as she is a sensitive little girl. This was an excellent reminder. Motherhood is so hard but thank God He is so faithful. Thank you for the encouragement.

  24. The Pounce one hit me the hardest. Sometimes I forget that my daughter is only 16 months old and can’t speak to me or doesn’t fully know right from wrong yet. It’s my job to praise her and let her know that she is loved at all times. Thank you!

  25. Ask For Help – I really struggle with this one. It seems in the town I live in everyone has had their group of friends forever. I struggle with having to be the one who always has to reach out for help when everyone else seems to have people there immediately when they need help and don’t even have to ask.

  26. First, thank you for sharing your experience! I often see the ladies I consider to be “super moms” on social media, and I think, “wow, she exercised, did crafts with her kids, homeschooled, & made a gourmet meal…why can’t I get anything done, & why I am so crabby when I’m tired? Why am I not more joyful when I’m living my dream of being a wife & mommy?” I became a mama at age 28, & I have loved it very much for a year now; however, there have been days when I have felt so overwhelmed by the demands that come with the position. Your quote, “Your child doesn’t need a perfect parent. Your child needs a loving parent” has been just the reminder that I’ve needed today. I need to remember to make the best choices each day. To me, that may mean leaving the crumbs on the floor in order to read a story… One more thing, thank you for not saying, “little kids, little problems; big kids, big problems.” Thanks for just saying that, yes, it’s tough sometimes. 🙂

  27. Pray more and worry less really resonates with me. As women we tend to worry as this is how God designed us. We need security and must remember that it comes from God. I have been posting scriptures all around my house (refrigerator, bathroom mirrors etc.) to help me to stop and pray instead of worrying. This is helping me along with great emails like this. Thanks Leah!

  28. Do I have to pick just one?! They all resonated with me! #1 is probably the best reminder for a constant worrier like me. God knows the plans he has for us, so no amount of stress or worry will change any of His plan. I am often told I need to relax and this is a good reminder of how I can do just that – let God deal with it!

    I found your blog through the P31 devo and emailed it to several of my mommy friends. We’re starting a parenting class this week at our church and that article will be one worth sharing with the group. Thanks!

  29. Pray more worry less! Easy to get caught up in yourself and your anxiety. Remember to turn to HIM!

  30. Pray more…worry less resonated a lot with me! I know that God knows exactly what my son needs and He is the one who can teach me how to best meet those needs. Thanks for the encouragement in this blog! What a blessing to remember we can cast all our cares upon our Savior and He is big enough to carry them!

  31. Praise instead of pounce, I feel like I’m always nagging them, at the end of the day I just feel like a horrible mom. I know positive reinforcement is way more productive then always pointing out the negative things.

  32. Pray more-worry less. I often worry about the unknown. What is going to happen, where will we be, will our finances be ok, will we be able to retire & send our kids to college, what would happen if my husband or I got sick. All of the worry can be a burden to carry. We all need to put that burden away and pray, have faith and believe God has a plan for us. A wonderful & faithful friend of mine sent Matthew 6.21-33 to me in a Christmas card. I read it daily and spend more time in prayer than in worry!

  33. I am a mommy of eight children so a few of them stick out to me. I need to pray more worry less- I am a worry wart!!!I worry about everything grades, appearance when we go out, their behavior as not to offend anyone since we are such a large group, messes that they make and so on. Since our daughter passed away I am also very anxious about things, I have a hard time letting my 15 year old stay home by herself. I always fear the worst. Tragedy has already struck our family once so I don’t like taking any risks. So I do need to learn to pray more and worry less God’s got this not me!!! I also need to learn to not feel so guilty about asking for help. I feel that our time here is so small that if I ask for help I am missing out on something with my kids. I also feel like I have to strive for perfection and feel like I am always being judge which leads me right back to being a worry wart!!!

  34. Perfectionism. With a very active 19 month old and another on the way, I am constantly finding myself struggling with being the perfect mom – tidy house, clean and well-behaved child, fresh home cooked meals, play dates, etc. But what a great reminder (and challenge!) that I need to focus on being a loving mom rather than a perfect one.

  35. I quit my job this fall to stay home with our 4yr old son. It’s been a transition to say the least! I am so glad I took this time because you can never get their child hood back, but I think I underestimated the mental toll it takes on you to repeat yourself 100 times a day about the same issues EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! My husband and I tried for many years to have children and finally conceived via IVF. We’ve not been able to have more children. I was an only child, and I have let my past skew my view on raising him. So #1, 2 and 5 are all hitting me hard currently. I worry about him being alone. I try too hard to be a perfect mom. And given that I’ve been having issues with insomnia and anxiety that have really revved up this past year, I’ve also found myself needing to do #5 more than I’d like lately. My son is just in a defiant phase, so I’m thinking that praising more than pouncing (which I do earnestly try to do) might be very helpful to us. Thank you so much for this encouragement today. You have no idea how much I needed it!! 🙂

  36. Shante Stevenson :

    Ask for help. Sometimes I feel like I should be doing it all. But I know that I can and should ask others for help. I will try to ask for help more I need it.

  37. Praise Instead of Pounce: I am so quick to pounce on my daughter for inferior effort in her homework under the guise of setting high expectations and “pushing” her. I need to try to figure out why she accepts the minimal-effort attitude and try to encourage her to turn it around. I need to use praise for her motivation instead of pouncing!

  38. Praise instead of pounce. My oldest son is 5 and is mature for his age, but has quite a strong will. I have been coming to the conclusion as of late that my expectations of him are too high. He’s 5, not 15! Thank you for giving me hope and an alternative! Praising him for the positive instead of pouncing on him for the negative.

  39. Leslie Tomlinson :

    Thanks for the great words of encouragement. You spoke to this mom of a 5 and 8 year olds. I appreciate the call to praise instead of pounce. I’m working on this because over the years I have seen the huge impact encouraging compliments have on my daughter. And the reminder not to compare to other kids their age is good, especially not to compare my kid to his sibling when she was this age. Both kids are individuals with unique personalities and journeys, just like all of us.

  40. Thanks for this post, Leah. Ask for help resonates with me. I want to (and definitely do at times!), but often feel guilty about needing help. Thank you for the reminder to have grace with myself. 🙂

  41. Praise instead of Pounce! Yes!
    When I am feeling weary in this God-given role, it’s so easy to see what’s wrong. But I remembered just this morning that if I am concentrating on what’s wrong, I miss everything that is good. Praising my little munchkins is what I need to be doing instead of seeing what they are doing wrong. Thank you for this reminder!

  42. Ask for help is a big one! I try to always do everything myself then I get worn out! I have a husband who loves helping and I need to utilize him more! We both work and are busy but if we both help it will make things a lot easier on us!

  43. They all resonate with me so much! I think first I need to focus on number 1 – pray more worry less. I get caught up with what’s not going the way I want it, forgetting to call on God for guidance. Some days I need to just stop and say God help me, lead me, help me follow your will for my children, teach me to be the mom you desire me to be.

  44. Praise, not pounce! I need to pause before I speak to my children, b/c i tend focus more on how they need to improve.

  45. Hi Friends~
    Thank you for sharing such great comments! I’ve enjoyed reading through them this morning and appreciate how transparent and honest you all have been. Many of you are facing tough challenges and the weariness has already set in. Let me encourage you to hang in there and don’t loose heart. I know it sometimes feels like things will never change and you’ll always feel overwhelmed in parenting, but I can assure you that’s not the case. If God wasn’t fully confident that you could do this parenting thing {with His help}, He would have assigned your children to someone else. But, He didn’t. God loves you and He loves your children. All things are possible – even when its seems impossible – through Christ who gives you strength.

  46. They all resonate with me. My children are older now. One out of the house, one graduating this year and one in middle school. They are all five years apart. Its been a long road but without God it would have been completely joyless. I have been divorced twice. I am now 45 and and been a single parent again almost 3 years. My fears of how all this will affect them is immense. But there is a harvest. I’m beginning to see it. Like the early tender buds on the trees in spring. I want to quit sometimes, but there is no quitting in motherhood. I’ve learned to take one day at a time and just deal with that the best I can with the Lord’s help. Prov. 3:5-6 and Matt 6:34.

  47. Good morning all:) The 5 ways to persevere while parenting are very helpful tools for any parent. They all resonated with me in some way. However, if I had to pick one that stood out the most to me in this time of my parenting experience it would be the “Praise Instead of Pounce”. I have a 5 year old little boy and 6 year old little girl. My first reaction to disobedience lately has been anger and lecturing. Two things that do not work for either of these age groups. It makes me think of the scripture that Paul wrote in Romans 7:15 that says ” For what I do not will this I do. But what I hate, this I do.” It can be hard at times to focus on ALL the good things my children do and focus in on just the wrong things. I am thankful to God that He has brought this to my attention and I know through prayer He will work this out in me:) I cant help but also mention the Perfectionism one. I am not perfect, but He is and His Holy Spirit lives in me and He will work His good works through me. I am thankful I do not have to be perfect. What a refreshing reminder that my kids do not need a perfect parent, but they do need a loving parent. Thank you Leah for letting the Lord use you!!

  48. All of the above!! This devotional was so timely today…just this morning I let out a big groan of mommy-frustration and thought, “I want to quit!!” Then I felt guilty for thinking that! Don’t compare is a big one for me. I compare myself to other mommies who seem to have it more together than me. Thanks for your words of wisdom today. I feel “refreshed” just reading them and realizing I’m not the only one who feels this way!

  49. Ask for help. I need this reminder, often. I think I can manage it all…kid, work, life. Letting go of the control is definitely a struggle. In my son’s second year of life I am trying harder to let others help and place the control back in God’s hands, not my own.

  50. Praise instead of pounce hit me the hardest. I can be way too hard on my kids and it is so much easier to point out what they did wrong instead of praising them for their positive choices. I definitely need to improve in this area.

  51. Oh wow! Pray more and worry less. It’s funny because God has an amazing way of bringing to light (neon lights!), the basics that I have not concentrated on in my busy life raising 2 little girls (9 and 6). This is the 2nd neon sign that points to the power of praying to ask for His guidance. Thank you for the reminder that a prayer goes a long way and worry doesn’t. This is a blessing.

  52. Praise instead of Pounce. This one really hit home with me today. I so often feel that my boys are not listening to me, that I find myself becoming angry and talking louder to get my point across, even with the little things, rather than being thankful and praising them for what they do right…

  53. Pray more, worry less! What a sweet reminder that God hears and cares for all our problems and issuses, no matter how small.

  54. Pray more-Worry less is the point that stood out to me. As a type A personality, I am hard wired to be a worrier. Throw in working full time, raising three daughters and managing a home and being newly married and some days I can barely drag myself to bed. All the while wondering/worrying about am I raising my girls in a Godly home, will re bills get paid, am I giving everyone enough time, etc. WORRY always weighs hard on me.

  55. 5. Ask for help! I’m getting better at this, but the mommy-guilt still seeps in sometimes. My husband and I both work outside the home, and he is in grad school, so “me time” is a precious commodity! I actually got a babysitter yesterday so I could complete a long training run in preparation for a race in a few weeks. It was great to get outside and de-stress. Thanks for the tips and encouragement!

  56. Don’t compare! I struggle with comparison. I often see kids my son’s age excelling in a certain area that my son is not even close to, and it gets discouraging. But then I sometimes stop and think of the things my son excels at and it makes me feel proud of my son. But comparison is still something I easily fall into, especially with social media, when so many mothers like “brag” up their children. Although it’s nice to see how proud they are of their children, it can be a discouragment if you feel like your child isn’t measuring up to that person’s success.

  57. 4 and 5 are a struggle for me. I’m a stay at home mom of 4 and we home school. So the thought that I’m home all day I should have a clean house and educate my children well above average is truly hard for me to accept that it isn’t the way it is. Asking for help has never been who I am. Thank you for this post its got me thinking and praying.

  58. Praise instead of pounce. I’ve been finding myself short tempered a lot recently. I need to be slow to speak and slow to become angry.

  59. Thank you so much for this blog! Last night I was up past midnight doing some internet “research” on ADD, sensory processing disorders and other various learning disabilities. My 6 year old son is showing some signs of those and is struggling in kindergarden (yes, kindergarden!). He is in a private school so it’s a more advanced curriculum and his teacher is afraid he is getting behind. We have him going to a speech, language, education therapist once a week but I’m wondering if it’s the right direction to go or if we need a more professional evaluation. So, because I was stressing over it last night, I couldn’t sleep. When I finally did go to bed, my 2 year old daughter woke up crying and came out of her room. I gently rocked her back to sleep and went back to my bed. As soon as I got myself back to sleep she woke up again, crying harder this time. Again, I rocked her and put her in her bed, but this time I just laid down on her floor next to her bed and fell asleep. I was worried that her opening and closing her door would wake up my 6 year old son who needs as much sleep as he can get so that he can focus at school. So, instead of taking my worries to the Lord in prayer, my stress caused me to get very little sleep. I definitely needed the reminder to Pray More and Worry Less! Again, thank you for this!!

  60. All of these suggestions resonate with me at different levels at different times, but I am particularly guilty of pouncing instead of praising…I have noticed it with my oldest (4 year old son) – we will get into a negative spiral and it drains the life out of me and ruins the day. I have always struggled with perfectionism within myself and now I get to fight it with my expectations of my kids. Focusing on the positive is often difficult for me to do but that is where I realized praying more is really the only remedy for that. Prayers that God will give me His eyes and heart for my children, that He will free me from unrealistic expectations, and that He will give me the grace to respond in grace when I can’t do it myself.
    Thank you for your devotion & sharing these tips – much to meditate on this week!

  61. Praise Instead of Pounce! Yes! Motherhood really exposed my judgmental nature. As my children get a little bigger and understand and communicate better (they are 3 and 2), I can grow weary of repeating the same sentences over and again. I want them to learn lessons right away and am often impatient when lessons take days, weeks and months to understand or follow. I can see how my quickness to correct often crushes their little spirits, so I definitely want to take this pointer to heart and build them up as amazing children of God. Thank you for the timely reminder. God is gracious.

  62. Thank you for sharing this list as well as your devotional on the P31 website. I am a mommy to two girls, 3 and 2 months. Everyday is a struggle, but it is a great reminder to not weary in doing good. The tip that resonated most with me was probably perfectionism. I definitely try to make things perfect or at least seem that way. This is something I definitely need to work on!

  63. I think “Perfectionism” really hits home for me. Last night I was explaining to my 4 year old how I was not perfect but that my love for her was. She told me, “Yes, Mom, you’re medium-good.” My heart sank a little, but then she said, “And medium-good is the best mom in the world.”
    So, today…I’m feeling “medium-good”, and for now, that’s enough.

  64. Good Morning and Thank you for this post!
    I am a single mom to an almost 1 year old baby girl!
    I would have to say 1,2, and 4 really resonate with me. This first year of Motherhood definitely came with many things and worry was one them. “Am I doing this right?” or “Do I choose this or that?” in addition to ALL of the information on Parenting and people’s advice was overwhelming. I started embracing that fact that I am doing the best I can with what I have.
    Being one of the only single Mother’s at daycare was a little discouraging in the beginning. I would find myself wishing my circumstances were different, but that didn’t help me feel better at all. Prayer, The Word and finding Blogs like this have really helped me alot.
    Thank you!
    Many Blessings,

  65. Thank you Leah for sharing your insight in the devotional on P31 and for these helpful tips for parenting. Your devotional met me right where I am – last night I struggled to fall asleep and today I am exhausted with a busy day ahead taking care of my 9 month old. Thank you for the reminder that even though some days are very challenging, my job as a Mommy does matter and that it has eternal value. The parenting tip that spoke to me the most was to pray more and worry less. I NEED to do this more often and stop worrying about the things I can’t control anyways, and surrender them over to God.

  66. ALL 5 resonate with me! Specifically one and two. I am learning to pray first instead of automatically going to worry. I know that worry does not lead me anywhere safe or hopeful. it’s a process of changing habits. So when it comes to being a perfectionist, I am learning to give myself grace for when I do make mistakes. God wants me to be able to give my boys my absolute best. And I can only do that with his help. I know I will fail but I will not stay knocked down. Thank you for offering hope encouragement to all of us mamas out here!

  67. Definitely #2 (but really all of them!). I struggle with perfectionism in my everyday life, but it is exponentially greater in my motherhood. I feel such a great responsibility for raising my children to the glory of God that I often put way too much pressure on myself to do it perfectly.

  68. Pray more…. Worry less. In all things- including my kids!

  69. I struggle with asking others for help. I convince myself that others have problems of their own and I feel bad asking for help sometimes. Our daughter is currently not sleeping well and long nights can make for very frustrating days! I will be asking the Lord for perseverance today!!

  70. I am overwhelmed by my constant pouncing, until recently in one of my devotionals, I was encouraged by the idea to look for the positive attributes in my oldest son and begin to thank God for them. Praise truly changes our attitude.

  71. I so needed to hear this message! I am a single mother of a 5 year old boy and I was born with a physical disability. Shortly after my son was born my disability reached the point where I could no longer work and it was soon after that I found myself divorced and raising a young child. I have always been the type of person to suffer in silence and do it all myself, I never want to be a burden. While I currently struggle with each of your points, I would say that Asking for Help is a big one I need to work on. I need to realize that I cannot do everything on my own, no matter how hard I try. This year has been a turning point for me as I have reopened my heart to God and have daily turned to him instead of burying myself in the worry and stress. I am also actively working on the Praise instead of Pounce style, but asking for help is something I have got to learn to do. Thank you for your post, it came to me at the exact right time.

    • Jennifer, thank you for sharing your story. I have often struggled with asking for help as well. Part of the battle was finding generous people who I trust who could either help me with things around the house or watch the kids while I finished some work (I work from home). All this to say, having a supportive network was half the battle and I wanted to pray that you either have that or that God will lead you to that. Do you mind if I ask what area of the country you live in? Feel free to email me @ shannon@shannonk.com. Hugs from Missouri.

  72. I struggle with number 5, asking for help, the most. As a SAHM to 7 kids ages 22 to almost 2, sometimes I feel like there is an expectation that with so many kids, I should have this Mom thing nailed down. Truth is, most days I struggle to figure out what’s for dinner tonight, let alone staying on top of the housework and getting all the kids to where they need to be. Added to that, I am a military wife, and should be “Army wife strong, Hoorah”. It is really hard for me to admit that I need help or to ask. But a wise friend told me once that I deny someone else the blessing of helping me if I don’t speak up. Also, I have finally started to come to the realization that I cannot attain perfection, and it’s ok… God loves me right where I’m at, and he’s going to help me be the best mom I can be every day, if I lean into him.

  73. Michelle Faile :

    #1 is my biggest problem. I get so worried about is she sick? Is she okay? I should submit all these worrys to Jesus, because truly worrying can’t do anything but PRAYER CAN!

  74. Pray more worry less, this is what I need to remember most

  75. I struggle with all but I struggle with perfectionism the most. I am still learning to respond in a Christ-like manner to every interruption and imperfect scenario that comes about. Thank you for this devotional!

  76. ALL 5 resonate with me! Specifically, 1 & 2. I am on a new path to pray first when it comes to my boys. I tend to worry and then I have to remind myself (it may take a few days!) that God is with me and for me and wants me to be able to give my boys the best of me. That runs into being a perfectionist. I grew up in a perfectionist home. We still had fun, but it was difficult at times not feeling like I could be free to make mistakes. I am breaking the mold as I raise my boys. I know I will make mistakes and I will give myself Grace. I am thankful for women, like yourself, that give encouragement to all of those mamas out there. Thank you!

  77. Julie Hammons :

    Praise instead of pounce… In the midst of a full time job and full time mom, it is difficult to find the good in days when there are piles of laundry, dirty dishes, messy rooms and homework to do when we walk in the door early evening. It doesn’t mean that those good things aren’t there, like when the 7 year old takes it upon himself to take the dog out and clean off the dinner table. Thank you for the reminder to pray for and praise our children for the gift they are from God.

  78. Praise instead of pounce. I have 3 little ones ages 4,3 and 1. I often find myself correcting them and I have to remind myself to praise them first, even if correction is then needed. I really appreciated all 5 of these suggestions as they all ring true 🙂

  79. This article was great!! I think the “praise instead of pounce” resonated with me the most. Sometimes I know I get overwhelmed and start to get a little too judgemental. I forget how old my kids are and what reasonable expectations for those ages are. I love all my kids dearly but working from home with my 2 year old can get very stressful and leave little patience for my boys when they get home. I definitely want to work on giving more praise and less judgement.

  80. It’s hard to choose because they all resonate with me! But I’m going to choose don’t compare. Thanks for this today 🙂

  81. My beautifully unique children are God’s greatest challenge and blessing in my life. The discipline of prayer in difficult situations, for me, was a long process. A Mother’s heart longing to “make it all better” can blind us to the gift of grace we hold. In overwhelming trials, I have found peace, trusting God’s promises. In this example, our children learn to worship through hard seasons and great joy.
    I am a Mother of three. A successful 15 yr old boy ,resilient 13 yr old girl and an inventive 11 yr old boy. Each hold beautiful promises of joy and challenge me every day to thrive in purpose. Pray More~Worry Less
    As children of God, we know, that we are not alone in this journey. In this we have promise of comfort, hope and grace.
    II Thes 2:16-17

  82. Everyone of them hit home, but I think pray more, worry less includes them all, so I’ll choose that one. I so worry that I won’t do everything right and sometimes I’m just plain too tired. But it’s good to be reassured that if I do my Best and leave the rest to God, he will give and provide what is needed.

  83. Pray more and worry less. I have a 4 and 2 year old and 20 weeks pregnant. I’m finding that parenting isn’t just physically doing things and training them, but very emotional as well with lying, arguing and many other things. Praying is key!

  84. All of these, to some degree, but today…praise instead of pounce. I’ve been telling my 4 kids to do their work well…whether it is homework, setting the table, laundry, bus patrol, etc. “do all things for the glory of God” and if you do, then you will never question how you are doing. But, sometimes I get so caught up in myself and things of this world, that I forget to parent them to the best of my ability for the glory of God. If I am truly parenting them according to how God wants me to do it, then I need to remember to praise them for who they are because God has a plan for them, to prosper them and I need to just support and encourage them every opportunity I can! Thanks for this encouragement for me today!

  85. April Maikkula :

    This topic really touched me today. I’ve been having a few behavioral issues with my soon to be 8 year old daughter. When she is happy, all is right with the world…but watch out if she gets mad! This behavior is usually only directed to me and her older sister, no one else. If I had to pick I would say the two stratigies at the top of my list are Pray more – worry less and Praise instead of pounce.
    Leah, thank you for your encouragement

  86. I am raising my 8 and 2 year old granddaughters. Worry less and pray more is mine. There are custody issues with their mothers to deal with and the 2 year old is a handful. This is very hard at my age but I know they are where they belong. I praise God every day they are with me and not their mothers. But I’m tired. Lol

  87. Praise instead of pounce- I have a 3 1/2 year old, 2 year old and 3 month old and it is so hard not to pounce on my eldest. I know he needs praise and I try, but some days I know he hears “no”, “stop” and “don’t do that” more than anything else. If I were to stop and remember what he does well and balance the discipline with praise perhaps the discipline would be better received. Also, our home would be a less negative environment and an attitude of praise would pervade instead.

  88. I have 2 boys, ages 1 and 3, and last night neither of them slept well…so needless to say I’m one exhausted stay-at-home mommy today. As I was reading the P31 devotional this morning while relying on my coffee to keep me awake…it became apparent that I was looking for answers, reasons, purpose from everywhere but God. So the pray…not worry point really hit home today! Thank you for your insight and giving me some hope that I can get thru today, with Jesus’ help!!

  89. Pray more worry less hit home for me. My husband and I lost a son when he was only 3 months old so I tend to “over-react” to EVERYTHING! Since my son was a healthy baby boy with nothing but a cold so no good reason for his death I am terrified of something happening to my 3 girls. I can come up with any crazy reason that they may die. I am getting better but the fear is still there, the fear of having to bury another child.

  90. Lisa Buchanan :

    Praise instead of pounce was the one for me. We have 7 children ages 3 months, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 19. In the routines and craziness of getting things done I find myself pouncing more often than praising sometimes.

  91. Rachel Patten :

    Gosh, you don’t even know how timely this is! My husband is in the military and he is currently TDY for the first time since our daughter Evelynne was born. She’s 8 months old now. Yesterday I was so overwhelmed with trying to take her to church (while she scream cried in the front pew, and she hates nursing under a cover) I finally had to get up and walk out with tears brimming in my eyes. I was ready to throw in the towel! This motherhood thing is truly the hardest thing I’ve ever done but your post is so on key; it’s also one of the most rewarding things. When she smiles or laughs it truly makes it worth it. And knowing that I’m sowing a seed into her for her to be a warrior in the Kingdom! What an honor!
    More prayer and less worrying is most definitely the most true but also one of the seemingly hardest things to do. I believe as women and mothers we feel a heaviness on ou hearts to control every situation. It’s so hard to just let go and let God! But every time I do, the reward is so worth it!
    Thank you so much for writing this post, it spoke truth and encouragement deep into my heart!

  92. Perfectionism. I have struggled with trying to do everything just right and keep everything and everyone in order my whole life. My son is 11 months old and he is the most amazing little boy. But he is not perfect and it tries my patience. I needed this encouragement that I don’t have to be perfect and neither does he. He is exactly how he’s supposed to be sticky fingers and all and I’m exactly the mom he needs mistakes and all. Thank you for giving me this reminder. I know the lord will give me the tools and strength I need in my weakness.

  93. I would have to say I struggle with all of them, depending the day. But I really need to work on praise then pounce.

  94. Thank you for this post. PRAY more, WORRY less – that’s my motto! I am a stay at home mom of an 8 & 11 year old boys. I recently read a post by Lysa TerKeurst on P31 devotionals about the very same topic. It resonated with me, and although I have been a praying mom since before I had my children – sometimes we just need that reminder that before they were “our” children – they are God’s children and as much as we love them, He loves them even more.

  95. When my children were small I needed all of these. The book ” Children are Wet Cement” is a wonderful resource for praising your children. I am now raising two grandsons, 5 and 2, and need to pray more and worry less.

  96. Ask for help is a great reminder for me as a new mother of a now 4 month old. I often try to do it all myself and have to realize I need to take care of myself too so as to better care for my son.

  97. Ask for help is my #1 struggle. I can use them all though as a mom of two little girls, ages 2.5 and 9 months. I need to remember to let go some days and just be okay with not getting things done. Sometimes I can’t do it all. Thank you for this reminder and encouragement.

  98. Ally Thompson :

    Praise instead I pounce has struck such a chord with me! I have an almost two year old and a ten month old. Both are currently teething and my two year old is going through the dreaded “terrible two’s”. Some days it feels like she is constantly doing something naughty whether it be hitting her brother, or getting into Mommy’s makeup. This can be exhausting and sometimes I find myself gettin so frustrated. So today I will praise her even though I may be weary! Thank you for the encouragement!

  99. Perfectionism- forget about it. It isn’t real. I think most moms feel the pressure to be perfect, especially working mothers. At times, it is an impossible balancing act. Be great at your job. Be great taking care of things at home. Be great with the cooking, cleaning, helping kid study, keeping kid looking great, and the list goes on and on.. I needed reminding that my child doesn’t need a pefect parent, just a loving parent.

  100. Pray more worry less!

  101. The minute I read your devotional this morning I thought, yes – this is exactly what I need starting “work” on a Monday morning. My girls are the same age split as your boys (now 5 yo and 11 mos) and I homeschool my older daughter. Every since her sister was born I am very guilty of expecting too much of her, so I really needed to hear “Praise, Don’t Pounce” and be reminded of her strengths…and also the fact that she is only 5; I need to be patient with God’s timetable for her growth and development. Thank you Leah!

  102. We were blessed with another child when our kids were 8 and 10 years old. Our little guy is now 3 and there are moments when I feel like a novice again in regards to parenting. Thanks for the 5 ways to persevere! The one that resonates with me is to not compare. It is the quickest way to a bad day when you wonder why your child isn’t like others and how you’re failing as a mother. But remembering to be thankful for who God made my kids is the quickest way to a joy filled day!!! How blessed I am!

  103. Pray more. I was recently dealing with a real defiance issue with my 3 year old and felt totally clueless on what to do. I lifted it up to God for wisdom and now it’s practically a non issue. God is so faithful!

  104. I think these all hit home but the one that stands out to me is perfectisim. I think at times I put this pressure on my child to be what I want her to be or think would be “perfect” for her. I pray that I can put her needs and desires first and foremost over mine. Pray that she knows I love her no matter what decisions she may choose to make in this life! Please pray for me and my need to make things seem perfect in mine and my families life. So glad I found this website 🙂

  105. I actually took a screen shot of your paragraph about Praise instead of Ponce. I’ve been caught up in this lately. What’s so frustrating is that I know it as I’m saying the words – I can literally hear God saying, “Back down, Susan.” So that will be my prayer for today – that as we go through all the messes and joys and in-betweens of our day together, my kids will go to bed having heard at least a handful of specific things I love about them. Thanks for this. It’s what I needed to hear today for myself.

  106. Pray more~worry less. That’s the key. Thank you so much for your words of truth and encouragement.

  107. My biggest struggle, by far, is not comparing myself to other moms.

  108. Perfectionism….I really struggle with this! On the days I work, I work 12hrs a day and it seems like the house work and clutter piles up. So, I am constantly trying to catch up and always fall short. I try to remind myself that the clutter will always be there but my boys will only be little a short while. Put down the broom and go play with them! Thanks for the reminder!!

  109. It’s hard for me to choose just one of these! They all resonate at this stage of three kids from 4 to 2-months! Pray more and worry less is definitely something that I’m trying to work on. i know my strength comes from God, but too often I get caught up trying to do it in my own and worrying as a result. Perfectionism is another area where I struggle. In this world of social media and Pinterest I always feel like there is more I should be doing to be a good mom! Which also connect to not comparing–although I’m more likely to compare myself to other moms than comparing my kids to others.

  110. Ask for help! I’m sure I’m not alone in this but often times asking for help feels like admitting defeat! I am learning (sometimes very slowly) to ask for assistance in even the little things!

  111. Thank you so much for writing this post as well as your encouragement for today for the Proverbs 31 daily encouragement – there were things that you wrote in both articles that made me think, “man, is she reading my mind?” Thabk you for helping me to remember that I am not alone!

    There were a couple of these points that really resonated with me – don’t compare, and ask for help. I have a 10 and 1/2 month old and this past year seemed to be the year to have a baby among my group of friends. So having a number of friends with newborns that are roughly the same age as my son has been tricky. With things like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it’s hard not to see the pictures and videos of my friends’ kids and their accomplishments and wonder if my son is developing at the right speed because he isn’t doing what they’re doing yet.

    I also really struggle with asking for help. I seem to have this idea stuck in my head that since I’m the mom, it’s not okay for me to want something or some time for myself. That it makes me a bad mom for wanting, or needing, help. As you can imagine, this has led to some tricky (but much needed) conversations with my hubby as I have, unfortunately, even made him feel like I push his offers to help away.

    The past 10 and 1/2 months have been a real growing process with a steep curve, but I’m getting there slowly. It’s blogs like this that have been really helpful reminders that I am not alone. I am not alone in my struggles, in the way that I’ve felt, and especially, I am not alone in raising this little boy that God has put in my life.

  112. Do I have to pick one? All 5 ways listed really resonated with me. Literally. In the back of my mind I know to do these things. I tell myself all the time. However, I am raising three kids between 2 to 7 years old on my own, before and after working a full-time job, and it’s so easy to forget these things in the messy moments of life. I know I need to pray more, worry less. But I worry about everything and even make problems up on my own which could have been prevented had I only prayed. I strive for my family to be perfect, but the more I try, the further away we get. It’s easier to pounce than praise, and it is ever so easy to compare. And last but not least, I’m a control freak and refuse to ask for help. But today I’ll put these things in God’s hands. I’ll pray more, worry less in good and bad moments. And praying for steps 2-5 is my first step toward success. I won’t do it alone, I’ll do it with and FOR God.

  113. Ask for help. I often struggle with this because as a first time sahm, I feel as if I don’t deserve help. I’m getting to do what I always dreamed of being able to do and I want to be supermom in the process 🙂

  114. Pray more …worry less… I should know this by now, but most of the time I get caught up in whatever stressful situation and oftentimes praying is the last thing I end up doing. I just started homeschooling 2 of my children, 9 and 5 this year with a busy 2 year in the middle of it. Thank you for the reminder to pray more and worry less, but also that I need to trust God to fill in the gaps if I just keep persevering. I find myself worrying all the time that I don’t have what it takes to teach my children well. Homeschooling is a blessing, but it is also very challenging. Thank you for the reminder and for the encouragement. I need to continue to ask God for help on a daily sometimes hourly basis and trust Him for the harvest.

  115. Don’t Compare
    I have a 5 year old with special needs, and its so hard not to compare him to what other kids his age are doing. I know he has his own time table, and I am so thankful for what he is able to do but it is still so hard not to compare.

  116. Pray More Worry Less…. I need to remember to do this more!

  117. Pray more ~ worry less. As a relatively new first time working mom of an almost nine month old, I often feel like I forget to pray and worrying comes so much more naturally. But I know, have always known, that there is so much power in prayer. This morning before I begin my day and head out the door I’m going to kneel by my sleeping baby and pray. Thank you for the reminder!

  118. Pray more and worry less…………..we have been through ALOT the last 3 years and I have worried almost nonstop the entire time; what is this doing to my girls, their hearts, what can I do to help them through this…….and there was the answer in your blog. Thank you for sharing.

  119. Pray more worry less.
    “He created your children and wired them for His glory.”
    Being reminded that they are wired for His glory is great in knowing that no matter what I do God will always come through and speak to them in His own time. I am here to teach them the best I can but God had got this under control.
    Thank you for the reminder.

  120. pray more-worry less… bingo! I often question myself whether or not i am setting a good Godly example for my children (& spouse)… specially when my patience is running thin. I have to remind myself God is the one in control and just pray! Thank you for the encouragement!!!

  121. I really struggle with perfectionism. No matter how much I try not to, I still do. But then that may be the key: I try.

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