What I Would Say to a New Mom On Mother’s Day

Motherhood. Will. Change. Your. Life. Forever!

Our daughter, Carrye Burr, with her son, Luke Emmanuel
Our daughter, Carrye Burr, with her son, Luke Emmanuel
Photo credit: Rachel Martin

Read all the parenting books you can get your hands on but read your child as if there are no other books written on the subject.

Study their unique blueprint and personality.

It took “you and him” to make this “him or her”.  Remember  that … and celebrate the unique one who came from the unique two.

It always feels safer to have the baby “inside” but the birthing process is the beginning of the letting go .  You have to let go in order for them to come out alive and well and …really live !

Make much of each day and let each day make much of you.  Every day is another day of growing and learning and experiencing the wonder of  this child.  Learn with your child.  Share in the wonder and amazement of everyday life !

Sing to your child …even if it’s silly and off-key.  They love your voice …it’s music to their ears.   My sister-in-law, Mary Jane,  sang Jesus to her little baby girl, Anna,  while nursing and rocking her.  Twenty-something years later that same little girl would sing that song word for word, not even  remembering how she knew the song — and it would bring peace into her anxious heart as she rushed to her mom’s side as she lay in the hospital bed– uncertain of what the future held.  Sing Jesus to your baby!  He’ll be there when you can’t !    (Thanks Mary Jane Waters and Anna Lyles for sharing that story !)

Stare long and hard at this little miracle of life in your arms. I know it’s hard to believe, but they don’t go to kindergarten making those same faces they made at birth.  They change daily !

Enjoy the 2 a.m. feeding!  It’s probably the only time you and the baby will get a chance to be alone and quiet together — uninterrupted .  Let it be a time to pray and bless this child you’ve been given.

I know you can’t imagine this little bundle buckling up and driving at age 18 but it will happen.  Enjoy each day.  Don’t wish any one of them away.  Today is making an imprint on that 18-year-old more than you can imagine.

You’re going to mess up — but you’re the best mom this child will ever know.  There’s grace for all that’s in between.

You make mistakes …they will too.  Give them as much grace  as you want given to you.

Find out what’s at the heart of their tears or screaming or bad behavior before launching into a reaction or response.  It might be that they’re afraid or anxious.  (I might know this from personal experience 🙂

Let them paint and be creative and make things.  It will probably be messy but they’ll remember that you let them create more than they’ll remember  the clean house you kept.  You don’t want them to think growing up means putting away the paint brushes and crayons do you !!!

Our granddaughter, Charlotte who loves to paint and be creative !
Our granddaughter, Charlotte who loves to paint and be creative !

Children are like cakes …”made from scratch” — not a box.  Don’t put them in one.

Acknowledge their hurts and boo-boos …it’s the biggest hurt they know.

Our Jenny with her daughter, Haddie ! (Our son, Roger III’s wife and baby girl)

You won’t spoil your children by holding them.  They need to feel your hugs and the security of your love.  As you hold them, you’re filling their emotional tank — as my mom used to say  — so they are full and confident to walk out in this life.

Ignore a lot but focus on what really matters.

They learn more by watching you than by hearing you talk. Making sure those two  things match up  is learning at the highest level !

Always, always love others and reach out to those in need.  Your child needs to be a part of  something beyond himself.   Birth is never too early to start !

Pray with your baby from the beginning — It will become the spoken,  household language.

Let your day flow with the Holy Spirit — snack often on the Word of God — leave it out on the table for easy snacking access.  My Mom, mother of 7 children, had very little “block time” for herself but she taught me the beauty of “snacking on the Word of God” throughout the day by leaving an open Bible on the dining room table — reading small portions as she passed by …on her way to the laundry room !

Read the Bible out loud to your children.  You’ll both get something out of it.

Have Bible verses all around your house — in frames, on the chalkboard, on refrigerators, in bathrooms, bedrooms, etc.  The more you have it out, the more it gets in .

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (NIV)

Abide in your Heavenly Father’s presence throughout the day …you’ll learn a lot about how to love your little one from the way He loves you!

Music!  Music !  Let it be a part of everything.  It just makes the home  a happier place all the way around !

Get eye level with your child — see what they see !  You’ll gain a new perspective on their world.

Our Carrye and Charlotte running around being silly 😉
Photo credit: Samantha Burr

Stop to pick flowers and clovers and dandelions !  Dance ! Be silly!  Laugh a LOT!

Frustrations usually come from blocked goals.  Be realistic.  Block time may be a thing of the past …learn to divide your “to-do” list in smaller segments of 15 minute time slots.  You’ll be much happier and less frustrated.

Expectations are a killjoy !  Expect nothing .  Appreciate everything !  Always find something to be thankful for in every situation.

Your family is always your first ministry!  By loving that little one into God’s family, you’ll ultimate reach many others for Christ.  Doing that backwards can make for a lot of chaos in the home.

Being “with” your children is one of the best gifts you can give them.  Don’t sacrifice that time for other luxuries …your family is the luxury !  When you feel like you “want it all” , remember…you already have it all !

Don’t forget your husband during all the baby/child rearing days.  A loving, healthy relationship in Mom and Dad will  be the model they’ll carry into their own marriage relationship one day.  Make it real ! Make it honest!  Let your children see that you love and respect each other .

Say “I’m sorry”, “I blew it”, “Will you forgive me!”  That will make more of an impact on them than you can ever imagine.

You’ll always need tissues …and baby wipes !  😉

You’ll never, ever stop being a Mom …

You’re not alone …

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8, NIV)

To my children and their children …

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”  Deuteronomy 7:9

The kids who call me “Mom” — Roger III, Rachel, Ben and Carrye

“But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children”Psalm 103:17

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

3 John 1:4 (NIV)

And to my Mom …

Thanks Mom …you taught me well ! I realize you never stop needing your mom !  I still need you to hold me and tell me it’s going to be okay …




Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

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  1. Michele

    Made me cry Joy – beautiful words of wisdom on a personally tough day for me. xoxo

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      Even though I didn’t get to meet your mom, I miss her for you, Michele ! Love you !

  2. phyllis kramm

    ENJOY YOUR BABY & find out what they enjoy as you begin your short time to nuture them before they spread their wing’s & go out into this big World with Confidence & all you have poured into their Lives.— Happy Mother’s Day to you joy

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      Great advice, Phyllis ! Thanks for sharing. Happy Mother’s Day to you too !

  3. alwaysangelmom

    🙂 Thank you so much for this Joy. I love all the sweet advice all of you ladies have given me!! This is beautiful!!

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      You’re already a great mom Ashleigh ! We just share our stories of grace !

  4. Oh Joy! You’ve done it again! Beautiful post! Thank you for being so wise and for reminding all of us what really matters. There’s just nothing that can replace a Godly heritage, is there!

    I love you!
    Hope your Mother’s Day is blessed beyond measure!

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      Thanks SO Mary Jane for the story that you and Anna shared ! I’ve told that story so many times to young mamas ! I edited the post a minute ago and made sure I put your names in there ! Thanks for grace ! I love you so much ! You’ve taught me bucket loads about being a good mama ! Happy Mother’s Day !

  5. anotherstraw

    This was great, Joy. I put it in the “I needed to hear this” folder of my email. 🙂

  6. Sulamatis

    God bless you, It norished me a lot and gave me an idea what I need to do.
    I love the idea that you snack in God’s word.

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