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The one piece of parenting advice 51 moms want you to know

#TeamMotherly came through with some words of wisdom.

one piece of parenting advice
@loveandsundays

Sometimes we want parenting advice; sometimes we don't. But one thing is clear—everyone is always down to give it. The end of a decade seems like the perfect time to reflect on how we mother and ways we can have more fun doing it. #TeamMotherly mamas on Facebook shared the number one piece of parenting advice they want you to know and they are too good not to share.

Here's what they shared:

On love + affection:

1. Prema Mokhna Rau When hugging a child, always be the last one to let go. You never know how long they need it.

2. Anne Bente Falkum-Lorentzen Start very early in your children's lives to show nurturing. Hugging, kisses, holding, sleeping with them in the first years, reading to them and always, always praising them! If they feel loved and valued they will grow up to be happy and self secure adults!

3. Pauline Salomons Love is the answer, always

On picking your own battles + consistency:

4. Sharon Novak Be consistent. Be confident knowing that your child loves you more than anything in the world. Live a life remembering that your child totally depends on who you are. Remember that who you are is who they will become.

5. Candice M Lazecky Choose your battles by being able to recognize when it's more about your own ego than it is about parenting. And make your own rules. You don't have to be like everyone else and neither do your kids💗

6. Kim Dalton Pick your battles. Will it matter 5/10 years from now?

On listening to your gut vs. others:

7. Kayla Thoennes When you get the gut feeling of "stay home" when you're supposed to go to an event or gathering or shopping....stay home. It's not worth your sanity to make an appearance somewhere when your kids just aren't feeling it that day.

8. Laura Bastock Mother's intuition is usually right. Go with your gut. It's tough at times, but it's the most amazing journey you can go through! 💗💙

9. Mara Von Spangles Don't listen to anyone else's parenting advice! It's all based on their experience of THEIR child not yours!

10. Amy Schmidt Don't just read one parenting book and think that's how to do it. Either read everything, or nothing, choose what works for you, baby AND the rest of the family. There are as many ways to parent as there are parents.

On NOT stressing:

11. Tiffini Van Sickle Babies cry and it's okay. Mommies cry and it's okay, too.

12. Samantha Smith Don't fight over the little things. If they want to wear a shirt as a hat to the store, sometimes it's best to just let them do their thing.

13. Sherri Angeletti "Parenting is in the repair work." My therapist gave me the gift of this affirmation when I was in the depths of depression following the birth of my (often screaming) second child. I was especially struggling with being patient with my toddler, and was feeling like I was failing—making mistakes at every turn. She let me know that it's okay to be human and make mistakes in parenting, but the most important part is circling back and having an honest conversation to bring resolution to the incident and discuss how to work together I do better going forward.

14. Faith Pomeroy You are allowed to (briefly) walk away from your children so you can pull yourself together and be the best parent you can be.

15. Millie Derby Don't sweat the small stuff. Acknowledge and accept the fact that not every child/baby is the same and babies are hard!!!

On enjoying the moment:

16. Katie Hartman Remember: Tomorrow your kids will be a day older.

17. Lauren Blodgett Stop waiting for it to "get easier." It never gets easier, the challenges just change. Don't focus on getting through the phase, ENJOY the phase they're in.

18. Cathy Comeau Maynard Seize the opportunity when they are in the car to talk and listen. I would put at least fifty miles a day on my car just taking my three boys to and from school. I have some awesome memories of those conversations 💜

19. Nicole Cottle Abroguena There will be long nights and long days, but there will come a day when you miss the nighttime snuggles and cuddling during nap time. Love EVERY moment, they grow up so fast! ❤️

20. Christina Westberg Lower your expectations when it comes to a clean house. 😂 Spending time with your littles is way more important.

On apologizing:

21. Angelica Griffith Admit when you've made a mistake. It would be cool if we never lost our tempers, but it is so valuable for your children to see that you make mistakes and can admit to them, apologize and move on.

On relaxing:

22. Samantha Ann Barker One day at a time especially for first time moms. Always remember you both are learning. You are new to being a mom, they are new to being alive.

23. Kinga Paczula CALM DOWN. Like seriously. Take a deep breath.

24. Amanda Virginn Everyday is a new day. So if today was not a good day as a parent, there is always tomorrow. Rest up and remember your kids always love their mom or dad no matter what.

25. Crystal Tan We're living the "good old days" right now... So just chill and enjoy the moment... Be it smiles and laughter or tantrums and meltdowns. And really, just chill!

On consequences:

26. Leslie Thompson Don't be their friend when they are small. Tell them no. Give them consequences. Be a parent who strengthens and corrects and assists them in becoming a hard working self sufficient adult—THEN you'll be their best friend and they will give you their gratitude for a life of promise set up for success.

On self-care:

27. Samantha Hanson Don't stop doing the things you love just because you have a baby. We love outdoors and we've incorporated our son into camping and kayaking! ❤️

28. Kristen LaRue Although your children are the best thing that's ever happened to you, YOU are also the best thing that's ever happened to them. ❤️

29. Ceci Korial Don't forget about yourself. Self care is a must. If you're happy and healthy, the kids and husband will be too.

30. Kaitlyn Ross Don't neglect yourself, put yourself first every once and awhile.

On sleep routines:

31. Nancy Muhlig Arnold Establish a regular bedtime and routine, and your kids will be happier and healthier. You might have to leave a gathering early, but that's a small sacrifice.

32. Sam McKinley Hunter No naps after 4pm especially if you have a toddler.

33. Julie Lyn Do not fight or force a sleep routine. Sleep when they sleep and let it go if they don't. Stressing through every regression just makes matters worse.

On comparing:

34. Mariah Christy Never compare your child to anyone else. He or she is unique and will learn and grow in their own time. Milestones are just vague guidelines. Oh, and learn to love coffee.

35. Erin Marie Stop comparing your child to others, compare your child to their past self and see the beauty and growth that happens just over night.

On having support:

36. Amber NgWun Find your mom tribe. Try to surround yourself with those who embrace you and the beautiful life you created as is in alllllll their wonderful—and even not so wonderful at times—glory sans judgement, comparison and expectations.

On just being there:

37. Anne Marie Nesfeder Be there to listen to what they are feeling. Never minimize how they feel, because they are unique human beings with their own set of feelings.

38. Niccy Hughes If you don't listen to what seems to you to be the smallest insignificant things, then they'll never tell you what you consider to be the big important things because to them it's all big and important. 😊

On must-have items:

39. Emily Kaplan You can never have enough chip clips. 😂

40. Lisa Ford Baby wipes are brilliant for literally everything! Ha!

41. Jennifer Morrison Buy the good paper towels!

42. Martina Griffin Buy a 6 foot (or larger) bed 😆

43. Catherine Warren Buy pajamas with zippers, not snaps.

Other important parenting advice:

44. Stefanie White Teach them to love Jesus... everything else will fall into place.

45. Heaven Harper They will have bad days just like anyone, so be understanding to that. Be patient. Let them make messes. Teach them to respect others and to clean up after themselves. Always enjoy the snuggles. Let them be little. 💕

46. Jenae Reynolds Douglas You don't have to love every moment to love being a mother. 💕

47. Ana Burdge Be financially stable! Many of the people you think you might be able to count on might not be there when you actual need! 😉

48. Shaunna Preston Parent the child you HAVE not the one you wish you had or think you are "supposed" to have. Getting hung up on the "supposed tos" killed me until my son turned about 18 months and we have both been much happier.

49. Kay Sway Stop picking everything up every two seconds and enjoy making a mess with them.

50. Rachele Pellegrini Wait about two or more mins to change diaper after they take a BM, they're usually not finished 😳

51. Emily Yahn If you're worried about being a good parent, you're already a good parent.

My village lives far away—but my Target baby registry helped them support me from afar

Virtual support was the next best thing to in-person hugs

They say you shouldn't make too many major life transitions at once. But when I was becoming a mama for the first time nearly five years ago, my husband and I also moved to a new town where we didn't know a soul, bought our first house and changed jobs.

To put it mildly, we didn't heed that advice. Luckily, our family and friends still made it feel like such a magical time for us by supporting our every move (literal and otherwise) from afar. They showered us with love through a virtual baby shower (expectant parents nowadays can relate!) featuring the unwrapping of gifts they were able to ship straight to me from my Target registry.

Here's one piece of advice I did take: I registered at Target so I could take advantage of the retailer's benefits for registrants, which include a welcome kit valued over $100, a universal registry function and more. Fast-forward a few years and Target has made the registration perks even better for expectant parents: As of August 2020, they've added a Year of Exclusive Deals, which gives users who also sign up for Target Circle a full year of savings after baby is born on all those new mama essentials, from formula to diapers and beyond.

Honestly, even without the significant perks of a free welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons, additional 15% off coupons to complete the registry and a full year of free returns, registering at Target wasn't a hard sell for me: Even though the experience of shopping for baby items was new, shopping with Target felt like returning home to me… and the comfort of that was such a gift.

And of course, Target's registry plays a vital role right now, as expectant parents everywhere are being forced to cancel in-person baby showers and navigate early parenthood without the help of a hands-on village. A registry like this represents a safe way for communities to come through for new parents. If you're anything like me (or any of the other mamas here at Motherly), you certainly have emotional ties and fond memories associated with Target.

What to register for at Target was also an easy talking point as I began to connect with moms in my new community. I will always remember going on a registry-building spree with my next door neighbor, who had young children of her own. As we walked the aisles of Target back in 2015, she suggested items to add… and we laid the foundation for what has since become one of my most cherished friendships.

Even as I made connections in my new hometown, I was nervous that expecting my first baby wouldn't feel as special as if I were near family and friends. But my loved ones exceeded all expectations by adding the most thoughtful notes to gifts. They hosted a beautiful virtual baby shower and even encouraged me to keep the registry going after my baby made his debut and new needs arose.

In the years since, "community" has taken on a wonderfully complex new meaning for me… and, in these times of social distancing, for the rest of the world. I've come to cherish my newfound friends in our local community alongside those long-time friends who are scattered around the county and my virtual mama friends.

Now, as my friends' families grow, I'm so grateful that I can show them the same love and support I felt during my first pregnancy. I sing the praises of Target's baby registry—especially in light of the pandemic, since I know mamas can do everything from a distance thanks to Target's website and the added benefit of getting trusted reviews and helpful registry checklists.

And now that I'm on the gift-buying side of the equation, I've found new joy in picking thoughtful gifts for my friends. (Because goodness knows Target has something for everyone!)

For my friend who is a fellow runner, I teamed up with a few others to give the jogging stroller she had on her registry.

For my friend who is a bookworm, I helped her start her baby's library with a few books that are also well-loved in our home.

For other friends, I've bundled together complete "sets" with everything they need for bathing or feeding their children.

I know from my own experience that, yes, the registry purchases are so appreciated, but the thoughtfulness and the support they represent means even more. Because although my village may have been distant, the support they showed me was the next best thing to in-person hugs.

Start your own Target Baby Registry here to experience a Year of Benefits including a Year of Exclusive Deals through Target Circle to enjoy for a full year following your baby's arrival, a year of free returns, two 15% off completion coupons and a free welcome kit ($100 value).

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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