Develop a sense of joy. Ask God to help you enjoy fun times together with your family at home and maintain a sense of humor.

Develop a sense of love. Ask God to remind you regularly of His unconditional love for you, and let your gratitude for God's love for you motivate you to love your children unconditionally.

Strengthen your marriage or find a parenting partner. If you're married, invest time and energy into your marriage regularly. Your children will benefit in many ways from seeing God's love in action in your marriage relationship, and sharing the parenting responsibilities equally with your husband will help prevent either of you from getting burned out. If you're not married, find another person who loves your kids and is willing to partner with you in raising them (such as one of your parents or siblings, or a close friend), since you need regular encouragement and practical help as a mom.

Invest in relationships with other women. Don't neglect your relationships with other women, even when parenting demands are keeping you extremely busy. Make time to keep up friendships, and ask an older mom with more parenting experience than you to mentor you, as well.

Keep growing closer to God. Make your relationship with God your top priority. A close connection to God will transform you into the kind of person who can love and serve your children well. Pray and read the Bible regularly. Worship and serve in a church every week. Keep choosing to trust God with every part of your life, and looking forward to the future He has planned for you and your family.

Adapted from MomSense: A Common-Sense Guide to Confident Mothering, copyright 2011 by Jean Blackmer. Published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.revellbooks.com.    

Jean Blackmer is the publishing manager for MOPS International where she gets to develop books designed specifically for moms of preschoolers. She is also the author of a book for moms of boys, Boy-sterous Living! Celebrating Your Loud and Rowdy Life with Sons, is a regular contributor to MomSensemagazine, and has written for other magazines including Guideposts, Thriving Family, Today's Christian Woman, and Christian Parenting Today. She has her masters degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder and lives in Colorado with her husband, Zane, and their three sons.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com's site on angels and miracles (http://angels.about.com/). Contact Whitney at: angels.guide@about.comto send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience.