Words to a New Mother

Dear Daughter,

Oh my, this mother who makes her living with words feels speechless right now. Not because I have nothing to say, but because I have so much. How can I summarize the wisdom that brought us to this place – the day my first grandchild is born?

Probably the best thing I can say is this: You can read books and find wisdom. You can talk to other parents and find wisdom. You can consult with professionals and find wisdom. Ultimately, however, all wisdom comes from God, no matter how it reaches you. But knowing information not enough. C.S. Lewis once said, “Education without religion (God) . . . seems rather to make a man a more clever devil.”

“Wise” parenting apart from a close walk with the Lord will be only superficially successful. 

I believe you and your husband desire a home, marriage, and family that brings glory to God. The best and only way to accomplish this is to follow hard after him. As you seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, all the other things will be added as well. It’s a wonderful law of returns—seek one and get them all.

When you’re frightened, uncertain, confused, needy, hopeless, exhausted, or struggling, pray, read God’s Word, and spend time with God’s people.

When you’re rejoicing, energized, confident, bold, satisfied, and hopeful, pray, read God’s Word, and spend time with God’s people.

Over the next 20 years or so, you’ll make some wise decisions and some foolish ones. Your children will make you proud and break your heart, sometimes in the same day. But as you seek God in everything, he will add his strength to your weakness and make something beautiful for his glory.

I know you and your husband are going to be great parents. I’m thankful to be on this journey with you.

Looking back, these are 10 things I wish I’d known:

1. It’s ok to put her down. No matter how hard she cries, she will not die. Sometimes for your own sanity, you have to step away.

2. Concentrate on the baby, but when your husband comes home, give him your best attention. It’s easy to neglect him in the face of your baby’s ever-present needs, but he needs to know you value him, too. Sometimes the overwhelming love you feel for your baby squeezes out the one you want to be there long after the baby’s grown. Never stop investing in your relationship.

3. Commit to spend time (even if it’s only 10 minutes) in Bible reading and prayer immediately after you put the baby down for a nap. Your tendency will be to do everything you can’t do when she’s awake, but if you prioritize your God time, everything else will somehow get done (or doesn’t really need to be done anyway). God honors the time we spend with him and multiplies it.

4. Realize it’s OK to draw boundaries. You can be a good mom without losing yourself in the process. It’s OK to say, “I need some time to myself.” This isn’t selfish. It’s healthy.

5. Get out and move every day, even if it’s just a walk in the neighborhood. Physical exercise will help your body, mind, emotions, and soul.

6. Realize that parenting is hard, but so worth it. Loving my husband and my children more than I love myself has made me kinder, braver, and more faith-filled, patient, creative, wise, and loving. It is a refining process God uses to make us better human beings if we yield ourselves to the process and allow him to work in us.

7. Keep a journal. You’ll treasure it later.

8. Ask for help. Don’t be prideful enough to think you can or should do it all. God places human beings in families for a reason, and whether it’s your physical family or your spiritual one, we’re here to help.

 9. Surround yourselves with like-minded, God-honoring young (and older) couples with whom you can do life. They can enrich you, share your burdens, and multiply your joy. Believing friends are special treasures—do whatever you can to find them. And remember, “To have a friend, you must show yourself friendly.” Reach out. Be the first to say hello.

10. Commit James 1: 5 to memory. You’re going to need it. “if any of you lack wisdom. . .

Welcome to the grand adventure. I am privileged to be a part. I love you more than life.


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  1. Thank you for this - it was very insightful and a good read even for a mom of 4 - blessings

  2. Dear Lori,
    Sure wish I'd kept a journal...your advice is practical and priceless. Enjoy your grandchild and maybe write some important advice for grandma's 1. Your job is to enjoy and love and love and enjoy.... blessings! Janet

  3. Great tips! I really wish I'd been more diligent in journalling with my 1st child. I'm working on it now with both my kids, but in the 2 months my son's been with us, I think I've written twice. Oops!

  4. Thank you for this even after raising 7 children, it is still so encouraging and helpful. I still need the advice and reminders as I have had my 8 mo grandbabies with me 24/7 so this is still pertinent.