A gal recently asked, “Why don’t you share more tips and tricks on motherhood?” I scrunched my nose and let out a nervous laugh.

Well, I thought to myself, probably because the jury is still out on my crew. Because I don’t feel like a pro. Because I’m still clinging to the feet of Jesus as I raise and wrangle my own fiery tribe. Because, sometimes, I can feel overwhelmed and nearly invisible.

But I have learned a thing or two over the past decade, so here are 13 random thoughts on parenting:

  1. Babies don’t keep, so snuggle their squishy faces every chance you get.
  2. More is caught than taught.
  3. Kids are more resilient than we think; more capable than we realize.
  4. Never trust silence.
  5. Even a great mama makes a lousy God. The best thing we can do for our kids is point them back to Jesus.
  6. Laughter really is the best medicine.
  7. Take time to listen to their insight. Wisdom + worship frequently overflow from the mouths of babes.
  8. Toddlers are cute, but also tiny terrorists. Arm yourself.
  9. Whether potty training or working on cultivating a specific behavior, consistency and perseverance are key. Just keep swimming.
  10. Whenever possible, explain the “why” behind the “what.” Honestly breeds trust.
  11. Encourage the fire out of them, but make sure it’s genuine. They can sniff out a fake faster than you can blink.
  12. The mess is worth it.
  13. Never underestimate the power of “I’m sorry” and “I love you.”

What else would you add to the pot of thoughts?