The One Thing Every Parent Needs

…is joy!

If you can be joyful, you can be a fearless parent.  Instead of thinking in your head, “We did this right and we didn’t do that right  and we probably messed our child up forever” you will think, “My child will be okay no matter what because I am doing the best I can do, I made the best decisions I could make at the time with the information I had, and ultimately my child is my responsibility, but also my child doesn’t belong to me but to God.  And God has a plan, and it will be good!”

If you can be joyful, you can enjoy the more challenging developmental phases of childhood instead of wishing, hoping, praying, that they were over and done.  Joy meets life fully in the present.

If you can be joyful, you can give your child the very two essential components for growth that a child needs:  time and space.  You can step back, and not have to be there to navigate every single thing for your child, you can be more comfortable with child-inclusive but not child-led, you can be more comfortable with benign neglect.

If you can be joyful, you can stop complaining now.  Children are a joy and privilege and so is marriage.

If you can be joyful, you can live here in the now and like it.

If you can be joyful, you can see homemaking and housekeeping not as drudgery, but as the warm  nurturing love you have for your family expressed.

If you can be joyful, you can see the light of Christ in all of humanity and in the cosmic nature.  Look around you and be awed!

Change your thoughts, change your life. You can start today.

In Joy,


24 thoughts on “The One Thing Every Parent Needs

  1. No, it’s sleep! Without sleep, there is no joy! I’m kidding, but when I saw your heading “sleep” came to my mind. There is a song in our church that starts “If you want joy, you must sing for it.” Singing does lift one’s spirits, I can attest to that.

  2. How timely. Taking a moment to shift from frustration (because of our home’s to reality) to joy (because of our home’s reality) feels so much better to me. I am sure it will affect my husband and children also. Thank you for the simple and profound wisdom.

  3. Thank you for sharing this, and celebrating and remembering how blessed we are to have our families. I think it is so important to share joy and love in parenting as well as sharing uncertainties and challenges or just focusing on the “negative” – I hear so many parents complaining (or actually, parents who are “taking the ugly out of the house” if I may paraphrase from this blog!).

  4. Although I enjoy all of your posts, these little encouragement bursts always touch my soul the deepest. Thanks for having a relevant word. It’s helping me continue the journey, with Joy!

  5. Could you direct me to a post that would give more details about what you mean by child-inclusive rather than child-led? I am curious. I’ve not read your blog here for six months or so due to a computer change, but I do believe I have missed your perspective. From sunny Tucson, thanks and many blessings Carrie!

    • Amy! Yes! Start with the guest post Liza did for this blog on “Meaningful Work for Toddlers” – whether your children are toddler aged or older, this post gives the real heart of child-inclusive. I think too, if you just put child-inclusive into the search engine, a bunch will come up!
      HTH, JOY!
      Many blessings

  6. For some reason I was forgetting to feel grateful today and instead was feeling tired and rundown by lack of sleep and the monotony and physical work of caring for 2 toddlers. This was just what I needed to read!

  7. I’m new to your blog, and just read Liza’s guest post about meaningful work for toddlers – I just may have to print out her list of toddler “to dos.” We are a family of six, and I find myself generally frustrated at times with my littlest, a very active three year old. He’s a dear, loving child and I want to enjoy these years before he goes to school, but there are times when I feel like pulling my hair out! I think he would LOVE to do some of the activities, if I can let go of my need for a super clean house! Thanks for the post, I’ll be dropping by often!


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  10. Hi.. absolutely love this post and your blog. It speaks from the heart and touches my heart. I’ve been a mom for six years now but have started blogging only recently. Would love to hear your thoughts on some of my posts about my little girls…about parenting, siblings, schools, etc

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