My tears fell along with my baby’s. I was trying to follow an expert-endorsed sleep method, but Bohdan wasn’t settling down. The only thing the experience accomplished was upsetting Bohdan and me.

I needed advice from an experienced parent, but my mother had passed away two months before my son was born. I called a friend, Karen, and she sympathized with my dilemma. Her kids were a little older, and I admired how she parented. Talking with Karen helped me become a better mom.

The need for community

Parenting young children is hard. Along with my parenting books, I need godly, supportive and experienced mothers to guide and encourage me in this role. And I’m not the only one.

Kari, the mother of two young boys, says, "When Ian was a newborn, I felt as though I should know everything." She had a hard time talking with other moms about her frustrations until she found that other Christian women didn’t know everything about raising children either – and they admitted it.

She says, "Why do I feel better knowing another mom has had clean, unfolded laundry on the couch for four days? Why am I reassured when another mom admits that her 10-year-old doesn’t eat vegetables? These are my kind of women. And I want them to be my friends."

Helping one another

Kari also found that women were able to help each other because of what they had gone through. "One time at Bible study, I mentioned that my two-year-old refused to get dressed in the morning. Another mom suggested that he couldn’t eat breakfast until he was dressed. He loved breakfast. What a perfect solution. I never had that problem again."

In the end, I adopted a sleep plan for Bohdan that worked for us. Now that my family has a newly adopted daughter, I’m once again relying on parenting experts and experienced women for help.

I still wish my mom were here to call with parenting questions, but it’s good to know that other moms have answers. They help me navigate the road of parenthood.

From Focus on Your Child’s Early Stages, February 2008. Published by Focus on the Family. © 2008 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

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