Practical tips are what I'm always looking for so I'm sharing what I've learned with you (and I know that some of you reading this have loads more to offer me, too!)
- Always smile at your children when they approach you.
- Touch your children as often as possible. This is especially important when you also must be working at home, in some way--perhaps on the computer. A little stroking of the hair or a snuggle on your lap as you type, helps them feel like you're engaged with them while you work.
- Take a minute to go with them to where they're calling you. I've "shooed" away my children too often while I was editing photos and quickly learned that taking a short break from the computer to admire a Lego tower or watch a dance goes a long way in the bonding department.
- Calculate the cost of not praying and reading God's Word with your children daily and then calculate the short amount of time it would take to add this into your day. If you're always racing to practices and appointments, pray in your vehicle and play worship music with them.
- Pray for them and pray over them. We can whisper a prayer that they will never hear but when we embrace them before heading out the door and quickly pray God's peace and protection aloud over their little heads, they'll always know their momma believed in God's power.
- Have a secret mommy handshake or code language saying that only you and your children know--something that makes them smile and feel loved (ex. the picture book The Kissing Hand).
- If they're old enough, write them a note for their pillow or lunch bag that let's them know you've been thinking about them.
- Before they fall asleep, tell them, "I love you because..." and fill in the blank with something you noticed they did that day. As they get older, they can reciprocate to you!
- Don't give into the endless amount of guilt that the enemy would love for you to carry.
- Sometimes a temper tantrum or angry battle requires a big hug rather than a lecture.
We're all in this together, friends. Let's encourage each other to be the best mothers we can be. That doesn't mean we have to be afraid of failing in front of one another, on the contrary! Let's be honest and humble. Bringing our struggles into the light is the only way we can be healed. Pray for other mothers instead of judging them. Every mother is in a different place and every mother can teach another something good. Have a wonderful, motherful week!
Just noticing now that Ann has some more tips on her blog too! http://www.aholyexperience.com/2010/11/10-point-manifesto-of-joyful-parenting-free-printable/