“Mommy, Don’t Give Up!” 6 Ways To Stay Motivated As A Parent

by | Sep 10, 2020

Tips and Reminders To Keep You Inspired in Parenting

If you’re in need of creative ways to stay motivated as a parent, then you’ve come to the right place!

Raise your hand if parenting is always easy and every day you feel like you could conquer the world with your amazing skills and perfectly behaved children.

Anybody? Anybody?

Yeah. I figured.

We are all in need of some serious parenting motivation…

Most of us go through our days questioning everything.

Was I productive with my time?

Did I show enough patience to my kids?

Did I let them watch too much TV?

Were the meals healthy enough?

And let’s face it. Some days are just plain hard.

Kids are tired. You are tired. There’s been 8 arguments since breakfast.

Cheerios were just dumped all over the floor when you left the room for one minute to go to the bathroom.

You forgot the repair guy was coming between 8 and 12 so you have a 4 hour block of time where you have to be home.

4 hours is plenty of time to clean up Cheerios.

You didn’t get a chance to go to the store yesterday so it’s chicken nuggets and mac n cheese for lunch and a frozen pizza for dinner. So gourmet.

And you also happened to forget your child’s parent-teacher conference at school, which was scheduled 6 weeks ago, because you were busy putting out fires at home with your 2 toddlers.

All around an awesome day. You’re totally winning at life and motherhood.

But you know what?

You actually are winning. Because you’re doing it. Everyday. Without fail.

Even through the night. You are parenting and raising your kids.

That’s your job. And even though you may not like every moment of it, you wouldn’t trade the blessing of being a mom for the world.

Time to get motivated then. I have the best idea!

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!

Being a Texas girl, I am a huge fan of the show Friday Night Lights.

There’s something about Texas football in the fall. And Coach Taylor is pretty much amazing the entire series.

If you’ve never seen it, do yourself a favor and go on Netflix and watch all 5 seasons. Highly entertaining.

*Shameless plug: You can find me on Season 1, Episode 15. Smash serves me an ice cream cone at the Alamo Freeze. Such a fun experience! I have my brother Andrew to thank for asking me to come to the shoot and be an extra. Thanks Drew!

Back to the story…

On the first episode before the team is about to leave the locker room, Coach Taylor reminds his players of their team motto: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” They say it before every game to get pumped up!

I think this phrase is the perfect motivator for parenting!

6 Ways To Stay Motivated As A Parent

  1. See Your Kids: Fuel your focus 
  2. Eyes Forward: End the comparison game
  3. Remember your Passion: Love your kids well
  4. Live with Purpose: Be goal-oriented
  5. Growth Mindset: Learn from your mistakes
  6. Celebrate Together!: Everything matters

Read on and I’ll explain them more in detail.

*This article contains affiliate links which means I may make a small commission from any items that you purchase.

Clear Eyes

1. See Your Kids: Fuel your focus

stay motivated as a parent

To help your vision not be so foggy in parenting, remember that your kids are simply kids.

Want to stay motivated as a parent? You have to see your kids for you they truly are.

If you’re going to have a clear field of vision in parenting, you have to remember who it is you’re focusing on.

Those small humans (some may be larger than you by now) in front of you? Yeah, them.

Kids are pretty resilient and oblivious sometimes, and their little world is going to continue despite all the Cheerios on the floor.

Kid life doesn’t stop.

When you’re having a hard day in parenting, remember that these kids are counting on you.

They may be aware of some random stressors in your life, but for the most part, they just want to finish breakfast so they can go play outside and jump on the trampoline.

Like my daughter says, “Kid life is WAY better.”

I have to agree with her sentiments at times.

There are definitely moments when I’m super frustrated and am ready to put Addie to bed by 5:30.

Way too early, I know, but you know what I mean.

When the day has taken its toll on your emotions and you feel like your parenting score was a 2 out of 10, just put your kid to bed early, right?  

That’ll solve your problems.

Yeah right.

Help your vision not be so foggy by remembering that your kids are simply kids.

They’re not acquainted with all the same worries and stressors as you are.

See them in their mess, their struggles, their quirkiness, and just embrace it.

And give them your best.

Clear Eyes.

2. Eyes Forward: End the comparison game

stay motivated as a parent
Know that on any given day your parenting is going to look different than others.

If you want to stay motivated as a parent, you may need some boundaries with social media.

I have a love/hate relationship with social media, especially when it comes to the temptation to slip into the comparison game.

So unhealthy, but it happens all the time.

Here’s An Example

You’re scrolling through social media, wanting to see what everyone else is up to.

You actually are having a great day.

Kids got along for most of the day, you made a semi-delicious meal for dinner and had very little complaints from your kids.

And your husband helped you get the kids to bed at a decent hour.

#winning

Then you scroll through and see Overachieving Ashley, your neighbor down the street, who seems like everything is always happy, golden, and exciting in her house.

She posts pictures of her storybook themed lunches she packs for her kids, complete with individualized notes.

Her children seem to never be late for school, are coordinated in their outfits, and eat EVERYTHING that’s served to them at meals.

Her latest post says, “Isn’t motherhood the best? My 3 kids make me feel like Supermom!”

The post is accompanied by a video of her children happily cleaning up the entire kitchen after dinner while she relaxes on the couch with a glass of wine and watches her favorite show.

Really? I think I’m gonna be sick.

So much for feeling great about yourself and your parenting.

Overachieving Ashley has RUINED that!

Actually, the issue lies in your own heart.

Ashley is just sharing her parenting joys and highlights, whether or not it’s TMI.

You watching her life is causing discontentment in your heart.

Maybe it’s the newsfeed that’s unhelpful, not Ashley herself.

For me personally, Facebook and Instagram can be real triggers for discontentment.

I have to know when to stop the newsfeed and take a break.

When it comes to parenting and having clear eyes, my encouragement to you is to stop the comparison game with other parents. Just stop!

Know that on any given day your parenting is going to look different than others. Your kids may have different rules than their friends.

Maybe you and your husband aren’t comfortable letting your middle schooler have a smart phone. That’s ok.

You’re not okay with PG-13 movies for your kids. Great.

You have to parent in a way that makes sense for your family and is based on what each child needs or doesn’t need.

Don’t let the noise of social media and the comparison game with other moms distract you from your calling to parent your children in the best way possible.

When your eyes are forward, you are focusing on your kids and what’s best for them, and you’re not wasting time looking all around at what everyone else is doing.

You know the most important thing is right in front of you, and that’s what should fuel your focus.

Clear Eyes.

Full Hearts

3. Remember Your Passion: Love your kids well

“Kids go where there is excitement. They stay where there is love.”

~Zig Ziglar

That’s quite a statement, and also very accurate.

Another way to stay motivated as a parent is to make sure you are loving your kids well, both in your actions and your words.

When I think about the kids in my classroom who said, “I love you” all the time and gave tons of hugs, many times it was the ones who weren’t getting that consistent love at home.

School was their safe place and they felt secure, loved, and appreciated.

It wasn’t the excitement of school that caused the security, it was the consistent love and acceptance.

In parenting, there are definitely days when the ideas are epic for how to keep your children entertained.

You have science experiments ready to go, a play date with a friend, picnic at the park, and a campfire after dinner. SO EPIC!

But if love isn’t a motivator behind those ideas or evident in your interactions with your kids, your efforts are meaningless.

Love always needs to be communicated.

Let’s Look At Scripture

In Scripture it says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” (I Corinthians 13:1)

Basically if love isn’t a motivator in your words, your words are creating a bunch of obnoxious noise to whoever is listening. Not profitable to anyone.

Another great verse adds to this concept by saying,

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (I John 3:18)

You could say you love your kids over and over again, but if the actions aren’t there to back it up, your words are null and void.

How do I communicate love when I’m frustrated, tired, lacking patience, and not appreciating the disobedience?

Valid question.

Have you discovered yet that parenting requires tons of selflessness and not a lot of sleep?

I get it. There are days when you just feel blah and you’re not feeling it. No motivation at all. Your phone is more alluring than your kids.

Sometimes you just have to lay aside your frustrations and remember that your kids are young, impressionable people, and are worthy of your best each day. No matter what.

However, there may be times when you need to take a Mommy Time Out and give yourself a 2 minute break of deep breathing (or Facebook in the bathroom) to collect your thoughts and calm down.

I have done this.

We all get overwhelmed and need to recognize when we are about to lose it. And we have to stop ourselves before we explode with unkind words to our kids.

But all of my children are so different! How can I possibly meet their needs?

Think about what best communicates love to your child. Find out your child’s love language, as the famous author Gary Chapman puts it.

Need a book? Read his! It’s great.

The Five Love Languages For Children by Gary Chapman

This book is fantastic! I read this when I was teaching kindergarten, and I found it so

helpful with my students. Now that I’m a parent to a 6 year-old, it will come in handy in

my parenting. When you unlock your child’s love languages and love them in those specific

ways that “fill their tank,” the results are amazing. Definitely check this out!

Does your child feel loved with words of affirmation? If so, write them a note or share specific encouragement with them.

Something more than, “You’re so cute.”

Be specific, like this: “I really appreciate how hard you worked to help your brother. That was very kind and selfless.”  

Maybe your child enjoys quality time. Take them out for ice cream or to the park.

Your child might need physical affection to be assured of love, so simply snuggling together on the couch and watching a movie is all it takes.

Whatever your child needs, do that. And…

“Let all that you do be done in love.” (I Corinthians 16:14)

Full Hearts

You Made It To Half Time!

Since you’ve reached the halfway point of this article, you deserve to reward yourself!

I thought I’d share a couple of awesome books that will help you stay motivated as a parent. Here are a couple of my favorites! Treat yourself and snag one of these. You won’t regret it. =)

Risen Motherhood by Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler

I love this book so much! These wonderful mamas apply the gospel to

all situations that you can come across in motherhood. It is a hope-filled, encouraging, and

humorous read. Definitely snag this one!

Mom Up by Kara Kae James

If you’re ready to be motivated as a mom and inspired to to mom up, then

this book is definitely for you. Kara takes an honest look at motherhood and

incorporates lots of personal examples and tons of honest humor. Treat

yourself to a great read!

4. Live with Purpose: Be goal-oriented

stay motivated as a parent

Make sure your child’s goal is both age-appropriate and attainable.

Goal-oriented? This sounds so formal. Not interested.

Goals are so useful! Don’t miss this.

Another great way to stay motivated as a parent is to set goals!

Just like you may have a weight-loss goal or healthy eating goal, your children can understand and work towards achieving goals.

For kids, make sure their goal is something very specific that is both attainable and age-appropriate.

It can be a behavior goal for your child or even a character quality you want to see them develop (like integrity/telling the truth).

This will be carried out and emphasized by you, the parent.

Confused? Let me help!

Addie is 6. She has a lot of emotions. A lot!

An appropriate goal for her right now would sound something like this:

I will try my best, with God’s help, to calm down when I’m frustrated or angry about something. I will use my words to ask for help, rather than screaming and crying.

Why do we include ‘with God’s help’ in her goal?

Jesh and I want her to understand now, that it’s so important to rely on God in her life.

For everything. It’s teaching her about humility and the importance of laying aside any pride.

Addie is such a passionate child.

She can be happy as a lark one moment, and the next moment crying in her room because she couldn’t get her sock on the right way.

The feelings are BIG!

Right now we are praying with her and helping her work through those feelings and meltdowns in hopes that she will learn to rely on the Lord and live in the strength of Christ.

It’s helpful to see the goal written out, to talk to Addie about it on a weekly basis, and to check in with her about it.

She’s very honest about how she’s doing on any given day.

And it’s motivating as a parent to see that goal, and to see your child taking steps to reach it!

I would definitely recommend making a behavior goal or character goal for each of your children. It’s super helpful!

It reminds you that you’re not just getting through your days to get through them.

You are influencing these precious kids and helping them become who God is creating them to be!

Full Hearts.

Can’t Lose

5. Growth Mindset: Learn from your mistakes

stay motivated as a parent

If you have a growth mindset in parenting, you really can’t lose.

Parenting is a process. We, as parents, are works in progress. And our children are definitely works in progress too.

We have not yet arrived, and that’s a good thing.

It’s important when you’re trying to stay motivated as a parent to not dwell on past mistakes.

We have all lost it with our kids, not had enough patience, disciplined them when they didn’t actually deserve it, etc.

Bottom line: we are imperfect people who wrong others, including our own children, and have to own up to our mistakes, apologize, and move forward.

Failing Forward

The key phrase in that statement is move forward. Learn from your mistakes.

My principal used to tell us, as first year teachers, that we needed to learn to “fail forward.”

She assured us that we would most definitely screw up and make plenty of mistakes our first year. But we needed to take those mistakes and see them as opportunities to learn, hence the term “failing forward.”

That has stuck with me forever. Thanks Sharon!

We need to have that growth mindset as parents.

Let’s face it, we are going to make HUGE blunders as parents.

Rather than dwelling on the errors in judgment or lack of kindness in our words, we need to apologize, correct our mistakes, and move on with the day.

Most likely your kids have forgotten about what happened long after the reconciliation has occurred.

They’re already thinking about what’s for dinner and when they get some screen time.

You’re the one still thinking about it. Just let it go!

Trust God with your child’s heart and know and ask for strength and wisdom to truly learn from what happened.

In our house we try to say, “Love keeps no record of wrongs,” which comes from the love passage in I Corinthians 13.

It’s a great reminder to everyone that once an apology and forgiveness have taken place, it’s wrong (and selfish) for the one offended to bring up the offense.

The situation has been dealt with.

Here’s an example.

Addie might say, “Mommy, I didn’t like it when you talked tough to me and didn’t believe what I said. That was mean.”

Because reconciliation already took place, I can give her a gentle reminder and say, “Addie. Love keeps no record of wrongs.

You know this, and it’s very selfish of you to remind me of what I did after I’ve already apologized.

Please don’t mention it again. You need to move on. I love you.”

This has happened on more than one occasion.

A simple reminder is all it takes and we can both move on peacefully. Most of the time.

So however you’ve screwed up in parenting, don’t let those mistakes dictate your mood for the day or your outlook on the future of your family.

Own your mistakes, make things right with your child, and learn to give yourself grace.

Lots and lots of grace.

If you have a growth mindset in parenting, you really can’t lose.

Your heart and mind will be in the right place, and your outlook very healthy.

It will be hard at times for sure, but you’ll be taking the right steps to graciously practice failing forward.

Learning to fail forward gracefully will help you stay motivated as a parent.

Can’t Lose!

6. Celebrate Together!: Everything matters

stay motivated as a parent

It’s healthy for families to be there for each other in hard times and in good times.

A final way to stay motivated as a parent is to practice celebrating together as a family.

What do you celebrate besides birthdays and holidays?

Here are some ideas!

Has your child had a great week in school and shown responsibility? Celebrate!

Maybe your teenage son didn’t ask for extra screen time all week and was content to have family dinners with no devices. Celebrate!

Did your 6 year-old daughter bring her plate and glass to the sink, rinse it out, and ask to help clean up after dinner, unprompted? Celebrate!

There are PLENTY of little things to celebrate in parenting, and in life.

Don’t forget to celebrate awesome grown-up milestones too.

A promotion at work? Celebrate! Reached a weight-loss goal? Celebrate!

Invite your kids into your lives and your goals. It allows your kids to see that Mommy and Daddy have things they are working on too.

And everyone needs some encouragement and affirmation.

It’s healthy for families to be there for each other in hard times and in good times.

The apologies and after-discipline conversations are just as important as the celebrations with your children when they pass their driver’s test or the big exam at school.

It all matters.

It’s so important for your children to see that you will be there for them in their failures and in their triumphs.

And no matter what, your love for them won’t change. If they make a 65 on a test or a 95, you still love them and support them.

And you will celebrate together, no matter how small the victory.

Stay motivated as a parent and enjoy the celebrations!

Can’t lose!

A Happy Little Review

stay motivated as a parent

Each day is a new opportunity to start fresh and love well. You can do this!

Now that you’ve read through each statement and perhaps thought through your own parenting, let’s review!

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!

6 Ways To Stay Motivated As A Parent

  1. See Your Kids: Fuel your focus
  2. Eyes Forward: End the comparison game
  3. Remember Your Passion: Love your kids well
  4. Live With Purpose: Be goal-oriented  
  5. Growth Mindset: Learn from your mistakes
  6. Celebrate Together!: Everything matters

There is no magic formula to stay motivated as a parent. You can be highly motivated every day and still feel like you failed.

My encouragement to you? Just keep going.

Take each day as it comes and love those precious kids in front of you.

Don’t give up on your kids, and you better not give up on yourself!

Give yourself grace, and know that God’s mercies are new every morning.

Each day is a new opportunity to start fresh and love well.

You can do this!

Lots of love to each of you!

~ Lisa

Don’t forget to sign up and become a subscriber! You’ll join the Recess Crew and get all the good stuff!

Please share this post on social media and help spread some encouragement around!

Other Helpful Articles

“Mom, You’re Fat.” 8 Helpful Tips For Raising Kind Kids

Road Trip Essentials For Moms? I’ve Got You Covered!

5 Amazing Ways To Help And Support Teachers This Year

Mask Up. Stay Home. How To Have Real Connections With People In A Socially Distant World

7 Things Women Going Through Infertility Want You To Know

Do These 7 Things NOW To Help Your Kids Listen Better

“Mommy, I’m Scared.” 6 Ways To Help Your Kids Deal With Their Anxiety

Every Teacher Should Stop And Read This Right Now

Want The Happiest Class In The School? Read This!

10 Comments

  1. Amy

    Great tips! I am a big fan of the love languages for kids book too. Love your advice on not comparing yourself to other families.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Amy! I think sometimes comparison can for sure be the thief of joy. Glad you enjoyed the article!

  2. Cari Deal

    Love this!! Teachers can apply this wonderful wisdom to all students in their classroom as well. ❤️

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Cari! Glad it was helpful! Pass it along to your teacher and mom friends and keep spreading the encouragement. Appreciate your support!

  3. Charlotte Smith

    Great read!

    Reply
  4. Cindy

    Fantastic article!!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Mom! I really enjoyed writing this one. =)

    • Melisa

      Thank you for giving more advice and recommendations on how to better me and my kids. You are so amazing.

    • Lisa

      So glad you found this helpful!

    • Kathy Childers

      I love this!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

for more great content, check out these articles…

join the recess crew! 

Want the latest time-saving hacks for teaching and raising great kids? Join the Recess Crew by subscribing to my newsletter and you'll get all the good stuff!

BONUS OFFER...if you join today, I'll send you my 25 hands-on activities for teaching reading...straight to your inbox! Don't miss out!

Want the latest tips and tricks for parenting and teaching? Become a subscriber and you'll get all the good stuff! BONUS OFFER...if you join today, I'll send you my 25 hands-on activities for teaching reading...straight to your inbox! Don't miss out!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This