Do You Need to Simplify Parenting? Collect Moments, Instead

(Inside: Simplify parenting. If all there is to do in parenting is overwhelming you, put away your to-do list and instead reach for one goal.)

“You have boys!” A woman walked towards me, smiling a welcome as we visited a new church.

“Our church needs more boys. My son would love friends who are boys to hang out with,” she explained as she turned and waved her young man over. I couldn’t help but smile at this welcome, excited for my children to meet her son.

The lady turned back resting her gaze on one of my three boys, “What’s your name?”


I glance at my 7th-grade son who’s ignoring this kind lady and is, instead, pretending to fall asleep as she asks him questions. Like, rocking back and forth and closing his eyes as if he’d been up for the past 48 hours and couldn’t bear to stay awake for one more second. 

But, I’m only horrified for half a second because then, my 6th-grade son grabs center stage. He pretends to be Godzilla. He tucks his elbows to his side, lifts his forearms at a 45-degree angle, and forms claws with his hands. Then, he leans way back, flings his body forward, and blows out his “atomic breath” at my third son (elementary age). To shield himself, my third son turns and runs like Forrest Gump through the foyer of the church. 

I think I mumbled something about still working on social skills as I tried to joke and laugh and get my embarrassed self and my weird offspring out of church pronto.

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There’s so much to teach our kids: social skills, school, faith, self-worth, and self-confidence… and the list goes on

We all get only one shot at raising our sweet babies, and when I have moments when my kids act like toddlers when they are (pre)teens, embarrass me in other ways, choose the obvious not-smart direction, or fail a test even though their mom’s a teacher, I can take it to heart.

My head knows that the rough moments in this journey are important to their growth and development. My head knows that my kids’ actions don’t always reflect my parenting skills. But my heart sometimes whispers there’s so much to teach these beautiful kids in such a short time and am I doing enough? My kids just acted ridiculous – what the holy crazy poor parenting skills?  In it all, the task at hand can feel heavy. 

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After a round of feeling discouraged in motherhood, I stumbled across encouragement from a mom ahead of me in parenting. Her words felt rich and empowering; they helped me simplify parenting.

She made a mom’s to-do list less complicated in her New Year’s Resolution post…

“2015. My theme for last year will continue into the new one. Collect every moment possible and not worry, stress, obsess about things.

When asked what my crew loved about last year it all had to do with memories, opportunities we had as a family, and being with beautiful people we love.

Jesus told the rich young ruler, do away with your possessions, and follow me. He was not interested in others collecting things. He is and always will be all about people, passing down His wisdom through stories and His life and glorifying His father.

We don’t know what is to come in the New Year but building a foundation of memories and our faith in Jesus will help us with whatever comes our way. Galatians 5: 22-23 {LOVE.}”

Somehow, this simplified things for me. Making collecting memories a goal in parenting seemed attainable and realistic and does so much that when realize.

Because, in collecting memories, think about how much we are teaching…

  • teaching people skills
  • creating a loving home
  • getting to know our kids
  • spending quality time together
  • passing down wisdom as we share life and stories
  • building a solid family unit
  • enjoying life
  • living in the moment
  • helping our kids to become best friends with each other
  • emphasizing the importance of family
  • teaching our kids relationships are more important than things.
  • growing faith
  • teaching self-worth and confidence
  • helping our kids discover what they’re good at…and I could continue…

If I read that list alone, I can wonder how can that all be done?  When I hear, “collect memories.” Well, that just seems fun.

Momma, do you also get tangled up in all we have to do? Do you find yourself tripping over your calendar and parenting books and mom-fail moments? Do you need to simplify parenting?

Take a breath, maybe tuck away your what-I-need-to-still-teach-my-kid-list, at least for a while…

And simply.

For now.

Just focus on one goal…

Collect memories.  And know that in it, you are doing so much.


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Your brain bounces between your day at work, what time(s) your kids need to be at practice, your teen’s missing school assignments, that you haven’t called your mom lately, the load of the laundry to be switched, “What’s for dinner?” and “Why are 3 of my brain-tabs frozen?” 

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gifts for moms

Do you need further encouragement on how to simplify parenting and more? Read the full “Imperfectly Thrive in Parenting” series.

Parenting is one of my biggest joys. I’ve always wanted to be a mom. From a young age, I prayed to have a family, and sometimes I pinch myself that my dream came true.

However, because this phase of life means so much to me, I can put too much pressure on myself to make the most of every moment, to handle every situation flawlessly, and to be the best mom ever. The truth is, I won’t do it all well and it’s not supposed to be that way. 

One of God’s goals for me is to lean on him – to turn to him, to trust in him, to seek his guidance and favor in this motherhood experience. The dips and turns and messy in mom-life help me do that. 

What a gift the imperfect can be. I do my best to try and articulate this idea in my imperfectly thrive in motherhood series. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing. 

Imperfectly Thrive in Parenting Series

Do You Need to Simplify Parenting? Collect Moments, Instead
Being a Parent is Hard for This One Reason: Here’s What Helps
Healthy Helicopter Parenting: A Story to Life You Up
Why Mom Mistakes Can Be Good

simplify parenting
Get more encouragement besides how to simplify parenting. Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens here.