Dear Anne,

You have now entered into a new season of life.  Motherhood will be the most important job you’ll ever have. 

There are so many things that I long to share with you: lessons your dad and I learned the hard way, strategies we learned from everyday parenting experiences, and knowledge that can only come from those who have gone before you.
You’ll have to learn much from your own experiences, but I do hope you’ll allow me to encourage you in some important mothering principles every mom needs to know.
It is so very important, Anne, to keep your marriage a priority.  I’d been married 10 years before I understood the importance of “wife first, mother second.” Set aside time daily to talk, weekly to date, and annually for an overnight getaway. Investing in your marriage is the absolute best gift you can give to your daughter.
You also need to know that you can’t take care of your family if you don’t learn how to take care of yourself.  Stay in tune with your own needs and make an effort to keep your emotional fuel tank filled.  Learn to ask for what you need and work with Matt to take some time for yourself on a regular basis. 
You are now a woman in the profession of motherhood.  Regardless of whether motherhood is your sole profession or it’s one of two professions you have, it’s important for you to think of it as the job that it is.  When a mom thinks of motherhood as a profession she becomes a far more intentional mom.
Don’t be afraid to leave your little one on occasion.  Find another mom to trade childcare with, an older couple in your church to occasionally babysit, or give Nana and Pappaw or Grandma and Grandpa time with your precious little one. 
Every mom needs a mothering community. It’s important to find other moms who understand what your life is like. Start by inviting another mom over for a visit. If possible, find a moms group you can attend regularly.
Build your life on a foundation of faith.  Your relationship with God will give you the strength, the wisdom, and the help you will need as a parent. 
You are now embarking on the most incredible experience you’ll ever have.  You’ll make plenty of mistakes just like every other parent. But you’ll turn those mistakes into learning opportunities like so many others have done before you.   

You can find Anne’s “new mom” blog HERE.

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