Some Motherly Advice

A few posts ago I asked you to share the best “mom” advice you have received, and I promised to share some “mom” wisdom of my own. So here it is!

This isn’t the most important advice I ever received. And it’s not the most life changing or even that profound. But it is one piece of advice I am so happy I followed…and I’ve passed it on to young moms a gazillion times.

When Kelli was just beginning to talk, my mother-in-law suggested I keep a journal to record the cute things she said. I thought it sounded like a good idea, so I gave it a try.

Now, almost 20 years later, I have a journal for each of my daughters, and the words preserved inside are simply precious.

Listen to this conversation I overheard between Kelli (5) and Randi (3):

R:  Kelli, are we friends forever?

K:  We’re sisters.

R:  Best sisters?

K:  Yeah. Forever.

Aawwww. Do you know what that does for a momma’s heart?!

You can’t imagine how many times I’ve recalled that conversation–especially throughout these teen years when claws are out and words are sharp and I need to assure myself that deep down my girls still do love each other.

The journal makes me laugh, too. Randi hated to have her hair washed, so I tried to get her excited about a new shampoo I bought:

M:  Oooh…I like the way this shampoo makes your hair feel.

R:  You know what I like? A good poke in the eye.

Here’s one of my favorites from Kelli. It still cracks me up (my hubby…not so much).

Randi had a diaper emergency in the car. So I pulled over on a side road, got out and got busy, unaware that as I bent over, my back end was in clear view of oncoming traffic. As a car passed, someone whistled out the window.

K:  Who was that?

M (embarrassed):  Oh, just some idiot.

K (with total awe in her voice): Was that my daddy?

(Just for the record, my daughter had never heard me call her daddy that! — But this journal entry…yeah, it’s a classic!)

And when I read through the journals, I remember the time God used my almost-three-year-old to send me a very important reminder. I was a week overdue with Randi, and she was experiencing distress, so the doctor was monitoring her every day. Of course, I was experiencing a little distress myself. I remember being so weighted with concern, praying labor would start soon, while I stood at the stove cooking dinner. Then, very unexpectedly, Kelli walked into the kitchen and began to sing: “He’s got the little bitty babies in His hands…” I’m sure she learned the song in Sunday school, but I had never heard her sing it before…until that moment. Out of the mouths of babes, right? The peace that washed over me is indescribable.

Are you convinced that you need to keep a journal? Not yet? Okay…let’s try this.

  • Some of my favorite moments are when the girls grab their journals and climb into bed with me to cuddle while we read and laugh and say, “Aaawww….”
  • When I read the entries, memories I had forgotten become vivid once again as I replay them in my mind. But some entries seem like they never happened. I have no recollection of them at all…except the words on the page. What would I be missing without those words?!
  • And you know this is true: Your little one says something so sweet or so funny or so brilliant, and you think you’ll remember it forever. But later that afternoon or the next day you find yourself thinking, “Now what was it he said? It was so adorable…” But it’s lost in the abyss of your mommy brain…forever.

If you’re thinking, “My baby is eight now (or 10 or 12 or whatever). It’s too late. I’ve missed all the good stuff”–not true. My girls still say funny things. Here are two recent examples:

K:  Hey, Mom. The Pope’s on Instagram. Seriously, you’re way behind.


R:  Did you know if you stick your ear buds up your nose and turn the music all the way up…you can’t hear it, still.

(No, I didn’t know that, Randi. Not sure I wanted to know that, but thanks.)

So my gift to you this Mother’s Day is some motherly advice…journal your babies’ words. Your journal may never become a NY Times bestseller, but it will be read over and over a million times! I promise.

Whether you’ve been a mom one month or 20 years, you already know how fast every day goes, but here’s a video to remind you each phase rushes by…journal it…(and grab a tissue)!

What is something funny, brilliant, clever, sweet…your little (or big) one said?

Share it in the comments below, so we can all enjoy it!

(And YES…that will qualify you for another entry in the May give-way…a bottle of lavender essential oil! YAY!)




  1. Renee Murphy says:

    No words here yet but, he does make some pretty cute faces and this laugh is contagious. I sure wish I could keep his little baby laugh recorded in my mind forever. Especially when he laughs so hard about something so small, he snorts.

    I’m going to make sure I remember to journal all super things he says when he gets there! Such amazing advice! Oh boy gonna pull out the journal and baby pictures when he brings his girlfriend’s home. 🙂

  2. Rena says:

    K was about 3 1/2 and was crying and I asked her what’s wrong… Mommy I want a tail like Maggie(cat).
    J about 7yrs and it wasn’t very nice but convinced K who was 15 that she was adopted and her real parents died in a car accident… Still to this day I have no idea where he came up with that

    • Karen says:

      She sounds like Randi…who is 17 and would much rather be a cat than a person! Ha! Love these! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kim says:

    Great idea. Love it

  4. Barb says:

    When I went back to college to get my teaching degree life was so hectic. I went straight through day and nights and graduated in 3 years. My kids were little and it seemed like I was sooo busy. I remember one time driving and my son was telling me about his day and he noticed he didn’t have my devoted attention. I’ll never forget his sweet voice telling me, “Mom, listen with your eyes.” From then on, I purposed in my heart to pay close attention when they shared with me. To this day I tear up when I think about that moment. Life is too short…and they don’t stay little very long. Sigh……❤️

  5. Holly says:

    About two years ago, we were in the car, Emma (4 at that time) said something, to which I laughingly replied, “you kids crack me up!”

    In her questioning voice she replied, “But Mom! I don’t see any cracks!”

    Two Christmases ago, Ethan (3 at that time) referred to Santa as, “the big Jolly dude!”

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