Parenting does not come with guarantees. Sometimes it feels as though we are banging our heads against a wall while parenting. We work, we teach, we listen, but we wonder if we're getting through!

Well, consider the alternative; there are some basic mothering guidelines that you can choose to ignore at your family's peril.

I call that "Mothering the Hard Way".

Now, I KNOW that you're smarter than this, but sometimes it helps to get a different perspective on a challenging topic. Here are some surefire ideas that, if followed, will make your mothering and family life more stressful and a whole lot less fun. (Hint: you DON'T want to do these things!)

-- Let what happens, happen.

Forget about having a plan for your family. Whatever comes up, comes up. Following this method of child-raising means you'll always be wondering about "why stuff keeps happening to us".

Instead of floundering like this, however, you can realize that you're the parent. You decide what's right for your family, plan it out and take action.

-- No rules.

This mothering boo-boo means your family will STRUGGLE along each day without discipline, without security, without stability. Chaos is the natural result of this parenting non-plan. Kids in no-boundaries families regularly act-out, hoping against hope that someone will step up to the plate and be in charge.

When they figure out it's the kids that are in charge, everybody loses.

-- No mentors.

It's often noted that kids don't come with an instruction manual. That's true. What's just as true is that there are more people involved in the 'parenting occupation' than any other career field.

That means there is no shortage of information available to you about how to parent. And it's not difficult to sift through all that information, either. Simply look around you and find a couple of family's that you admire. The ones that embody the qualities you respect. Then invite those parents out for coffee and ask them to mentor you a bit in the parenting game.

Pretty simple, huh.

-- Not following through.

If you want to make your mothering unbelievably difficult, do this: don't mean what you say. On a regular basis, threaten your kids with consequences but never follow through.

Your kids will jump on this like smoke on a fire. A parent who doesn't stick to her guns is easily manipulated and outmaneuvered. There will be no end to the stress you will endure if you follow this rule.

-- Decide it doesn't matter.

Do you value parenting? Do you think it even matters who raises your kids or how it all happens? Or is it enough that kids get three square meals a day and a roof over their heads?

Do you remember your own childhood? Do you remember your feelings from it? Conversations with your parents? Frustrations, fears, angers, dreams from your childhood?

I'll bet you do. Most of us have strong childhood memories, both positive and negative. In fact, when you really think about it, most of us can remember vividly things that happened in our childhood and we are, in fact, still living out of those childhood experiences.

I have known my husband over thirty years and yet it's those first eighteen years with my parents that I still remember and use every day. For better or for worse. We are hard-wired to draw from those early experiences and influences deep within us, to use as a foundation for the rest of our lives. If we should decide to live differently than we were raised, we can, but will find it to be challenging, to say the least.

You, as a mom, are the author of many of those foundational experiences for your children. You set the tone in your home. You have values you are modeling. Your kids are watching, absorbing, and sucking it all in every moment of every day, deep into their inner core. Whether you like it or not. Whether you believe it or not.

Scary? Yes, it is. But we can use this sobering reality to do something wonderful. We can take our responsibilities as parents seriously. We can understand the tremendous influence we have in our children's lives and by extension, in the lives of everyone they ever meet.

The way they parent will be because of how we parent. The way they choose to live will be because of what they see at home. They'll either choose to be like us, for good or bad, or they'll choose to be nothing like us, again for good or bad.

Does mothering matter? Does wiping noses, settling squabbles, helping with homework, answering tough and embarrassing questions, and things like teaching driving skills matter?

Well, look at it this way. Does lovingly teaching self-care, explaining how to forgive people who hurt you, training in doing daily tasks, helping another human being find their God-given purpose in life, and being a trusted guide and mentor to someone entering adulthood matter?

Does mothering matter? Absolutely! Decide today to be the best parent you can be for your precious, one-of-a-kind family.

Author's Bio: 

Colleen Langenfeld has been parenting for over 26 years and helps other moms enjoy their homelife more at . Visit her website and get more simple mothering tips today.