Tamika Taylor is a wife, worship leader, former elementary school teacher and mother to a lovely ten year-old girl named Tarua. The title of mother is one that Tamika cherishes greatly and prepared for long before her daughter’s arrival. In fact, even during her season of singleness she was preparing to be the best mother that she could be. Tamika was mindful of various decisions she made within her personal life because she knew that each of those decisions would affect her parenting skills to some degree. Through observing the lives of her former students and those around her she took note of what she should and shouldn’t do as a parent and today she and her husband Trevante are proud to steward the life of their daughter. Here are Tamika’s top tips on preparing for motherhood.
Tip #1 Be intentional.
Before conceiving, Tamika and her husband desired to be intentional about preparing to start a family. She shared that she wanted to “show God that I can be a good steward in another area by preparing myself.” Tamika embarked on this new journey by equipping herself with knowledge. She began following a variety of social media pages that shared content about parenting skills, she read various books surrounding the topic on parenting such as Conception, Pregnancy, & Birth by Dr. Miriam Stoppard and What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel and prepared her body through diet choices.
During this season, a useful resource she came across was babycenter.org, a website that guides you through the process of preparing for a baby physiologically, so it discusses topics such as fertility and ovulation. It also describes to you how a normal baby would develop each month after conception.
Tamika ensured that she was getting enough rest and improved her eating habits. Moreover, she believed that it was important for her and her husband to plan when a baby would be added to their family, and decided not to cave-in to outside pressures that suggested having a child early on in their marriage. They believed that it was best to be properly prepared for the arrival of a baby.
Tip #2 Have hard conversations with your spouse about how your child will be reared.
You and your spouse should discuss things like the type of disciplinary methods you both would like to use, the type of home environment you both would like to develop, and the type of relationship you both would like to display within the household. All of these areas will determine if your home has a loving atmosphere where the child is able to flourish and is free to be his or herself. You and your spouse should also determine the values, principles and skills that you wish to be instilled in your child. For example, Tamika and her husband discussed that they wanted their daughter to be kind, honest, obedient, a critical thinker, loving, respectful, well-exposed to a variety of experiences including travel and the arts, along with having a heart for God.
Tip #3 Plan what you’re going to do to help the child excel.
Now that you have both determined the kind of values, principles, and skills you would like your child to have, you should now devise various plans to build your child in each area. Tamika also knew that she wanted her daughter to be bright, so she started reading to her very early on. Tamika also started her daughter on “My Baby Can Read” at the age of six months. This allowed Tarua’s verbal skills to develop so well that she was able to speak words and short sentences at the age of ten months.
In the area of exposure, Tamika and Trevante knew they wanted their daughter to be well-exposed so they ensured that she travelled and attended events such as musicals and cultural festivities. You can devise a budget to determine how much money you may be able to allocate for travel and entertainment.
Tamika was also very big on ensuring that her daughter was well-mannered so she frequently encouraged her to use words like “yes ma’am“, “no ma’am“, “please“, and “thank you“.
To develop her daughter spiritually Tamika taught her daughter Bible verses, she also condensed them to make it easier for the toddler to learn. For example one of her daughter’s first memory verses was Acts 5:29 which states “Peter and the other apostles replied: we must obey God rather than human beings”. This verse was simply condensed to “obey God” to make it easier for the two year-old to recite.
Tamika further advised that as a parent you should capitalize on teachable moments. Teachable moments are moments where you can instill specific principles or concepts into a child because of something that has occurred. Capitalizing on these moments is extremely important to Tamika because she wants to equip her daughter with the necessary skills and tools that will be needed when the time comes for her daughter to make decisions on her own.
Tamika also suggested that as you guide and develop your child, be careful not to suppress their identity as an individual. You should also affirm your children, congratulate them when they excel or when they’re doing a good job, and try to develop an environment where they feel free to discuss anything.
For more inspiration from Tamika, follow her on Instagram @tamikataylor.
Which one of Tamika’s tips stood out to you?
Let us know in the comments!