Anyone who has had a baby or has grown their family in some way or another can tell you - motherhood can be TOUGH. While we know it will have its challenges, it really is nothing like what the mom-fluencers on IG have led us to believe motherhood looks like (those sparkling white homes with kids in perfectly clean, wrinkle free outfits? Hahaha!).

There were a few tips I received early in my motherhood days that have really helped me when times were extra tough. I wanted to share them with you all, and hopefully at least one of these resonates a bit with you and your kiddos!

1. The mantra “This is important.”

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I absolutely love this tip. Someone sent an Instagram post to me discussing this very idea, and I swear, reading it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. So often in motherhood, it can feel like we aren’t doing enough, or not doing the right thing. Sometimes the day will end, and I’ll wonder, what did I even accomplish today? While some days I feel like a taskmaster, there are other days that just seem to slip through my fingers.

The point of this mantra - whatever you are choosing to do with your day is important. In the examples from this particular post, she said, “Feeding the baby for the 100th time? ‘This is important.’” “Cuddling with my toddler while he watches Daniel Tiger? ‘This is important.’” “Sweeping the floor? ‘This is important.’” “Making dinner? ‘This is important.’” “Taking a quick moment to rest while my kids play on the floor? ‘This is important.’”

The little things matter just as much as the big ones do. Taking time to care for yourself, your family, and your home are all things that matter and are important.

2. If we can’t regulate our emotions, how can our toddler?

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While this concept is pretty obvious, it honestly kind of blew my mind the first time I thought about it. Having twins that are now in the depths of the terrible twos… my patience is tested daily. And by daily, I mean, by about 6:30am every day.

I am not proud of it, but I used to find myself getting so frustrated and then snapping at my kids. The complete meltdowns over absolutely nothing, the constant fighting, the whining…. OH THE WHINING. And then one day while chatting with a mama friend, she reminded me - how can my kids calm down when *I* am not calm? How can I expect my two year olds to regulate their emotions, when their 30-something year old mother can’t even handle that?

It was a huge wake-up call. It definitely has not changed overnight, and it certainly is still a work in progress, but I am always reminding myself that I need to be their calm in the storm. I need to model how to regulate emotions so when they are more emotionally developed and mature, they can do the same. As so many quotes say - your kids aren’t giving you a hard time, they are HAVING a hard time.

3. There is no one “right way” to do ANYTHING.

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When entering into the incredible world of motherhood, it seems like opinions and well-intended suggestions are being thrown in your direction at any given time. What your baby/child’s sleep habits are like, whether you’re nursing or formula feeding, what your plans are for switching to solids, the best methods for potty training, etc. Sometimes, sharing your plans can be met with skepticism from others who think they know “the best way”.

Mama - YOUR way is the best way! What works for one family, may not be a match for yours. Even for moms with multiple kids, they will tell you - what worked great for one kid might not work with another. Finding what is the best match for YOU, and your family - that is the best method of raising your kids. There is no one clear answer on what is best for approaching anything, including sleep training, weaning, etc.

Those are three of the best tips I received as a new mom that actually helped! What are some of the best pieces of advice you have received, or what you share with others?