Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉


Nothing prepares you for motherhood.

The highs, the lows, the good, the bad, the disgusting, and the joy.

Nothing. Okay, maybe a dog but only because of the occasional middle of the night letting it out to poop.

When my first child was born, I was in this euphoric yet manic stage. Even though I knew I was having a child, his appearance into the world astonished me! I was captivated. I hung on his every breath, every movement. He was my world. I remember taking him to J.C. Penney’s for professional pictures when he was a week old. And then I took him at one month, two months, four months, six months, nine months, and one year. That was the manic part I was talking about! And I also thought every one did that, which they don’t.

Yet, at the same time I was experiencing the indescribable joy of having a baby, I was experiencing the indescribable sadness of having a baby!

I felt a sadness so deep I had never felt before. I felt like a part of me died. Nothing was about me anymore. That thought alone made me feel incredibly selfish. I had had plenty of me time as it was. I didn’t have my first child until I was 32. But I still felt this death-of-self feeling. I longed for him to be older. Self-sufficient. When I would have my body back and every moment wouldn’t be tied up in someone else. I felt horrible for feeling that way! But, if I’m being honest, that’s how I felt. I have no doubt I struggled with some form of post-partum depression, but no one even knew. Like most moms, I didn’t share with others the awful way I was feeling.

Hitting the five year mark with my son, I can now look back and see that it really does go by as fast as everyone will tell you. (And everyone will tell you this everywhere you go and most likely during moments when your child is having a horrid tantrum.) I can also look back and see things more clearly. I can see that there were many things that blindsided me as a new mom and that I wish I had had a heads up about.

So, here are 5 “heads up” for all the soon-to-be new moms:

1.      There is a recovery process after you give birth.

When I had my first, I never thought about the after of delivering a baby. I had imagined the birth many times and the driving the baby home many times, but never the in between. I had been in labor for 23 hours in which 17 of those were spent on an epidural. After I had my son, I felt like a ninety year old woman trying to walk again. The nurses had to help me go to the bathroom. They handed me these larger than life pads and maternity underwear and an ice pack and a squirt bottle and I was in shock! Call me naïve, but I hadn’t a clue of what to expect after the birth. I hadn’t gone to any lamas’ classes and none of the TLC A Baby Story shows focused on that part! (Yes, that and reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting were my only preparation.) So, I was in for a rude awakening when I was given the list of requirements for me to fulfill every time I went to the bathroom…for the next 4-6 weeks!! So, I just want you to know that this might be you too if you are having a vaginal birth.

2.      Breastfeeding is not a walk in the park.

You would think something natural would come, hmmm, I don’t know…naturally! But for many of us this is not so. From the moment a well-meaning, yet pushy nurse tried to shove my breast into my horrified, screaming newborn’s mouth, breastfeeding became a mountain I tried to climb. I was determined and able to persevere but, so many times I wish someone, anyone, would have said, “You can quit.” I needed someone else to say this to me. Why? Because I just couldn’t give myself permission. The guilt and pressure I had put on myself to do what’s “best” for my baby over road the overwhelming desire that I had to give up.

So let me be the first to tell you…. YOU CAN QUIT. You can supplement with formula, you can go all in and just do formula, or you can continue to breastfeed. Any and all of these options will not determine what kind of mom you are. If you are determined to breastfeed, know that it may be a difficult road in the beginning. It can be challenging and overwhelming.  It ended up being an amazing thing and I’m so glad I did. But had I chosen to stop, it would’ve been OK!

3.      Everything you’ve heard about not getting enough sleep is TRUE!

Before you have a baby, you think you know about this part, but it’s not until your eye sockets -like the actual bones in your skull – hurt from the severe lack of sleep you are experiencing do you really get it. I remember saying, “This is not right. There is no way people have been living like this.” But they have! And so will you, unless by some miracle you get a baby that sleeps through the night right away, which does happen, but to other people not you. So expect to be bone tired for a while. I found starting a sleep routine right away, like putting the baby down at the same time every night, helps to begin the process. But babies need to eat every few hours and you will be getting up, so settle in.

4.      You might be sad.

Many, many women experience an unexpected sadness after having a baby. Our hormones are raging and all the new changes to our life can leave us feeling sad. This really took me by surprise. I’m a very cheerful, happy person. So the sadness I felt those first few weeks felt foreign to me. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I was overjoyed to have my baby yet I was not happy. My husband would come home from work and I would cry and cry. I remember trying to reassure him that I would be okay and that I was happy, I just needed to adjust. I didn’t understand why I was feeling the way I was and so I certainly didn’t tell anyone else. But I wish I had. I should have told my friends and family. I should have told my doctor. I should have let people know so they could’ve helped me. Sometimes we feel guilty for our feelings. Don’t. Some women have postpartum depression and unless you talk with someone, you won’t get the help you need. (Side-note: As fellow moms, we need to keep an eye out for new moms and the symptoms of postpartum depression.)

5.      It will all go by really fast, but it won’t feel like it.

The first year of motherhood will feel way longer than any other year! The range of emotions and experiences dealing with the new love of your life will feel like a roller coaster that never ends. But it will! There will be a plateau. A day when they won’t need you every waking moment. I know it’s hard to imagine right now. It kind of sneaks up on you. But soon, they won’t be chasing you around, you’ll be chasing them around.

This can be comforting yet scary! Comforting because if you are in a stage right now that you find particularly hard, just wait and you’ll move on to another stage real soon. But also scary, because those stages you love will go by, too. Those chubby little cheeks are going to thin out. That baby babble will give way to actual words and sentences. Those little curls on the nape of the neck will eventually be cut off and won’t grow back like that. So, soak it all in because one day you’ll be a stranger in the store telling another new mommy how fast it all really goes.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Sherry White

Sherry White writes about the messiness of life, parenting, and faith at her blog The Messy Christian. She tries to add her own brand of humor and insight into everyday issues we all face, reminding us that even though we find ourselves in countless messes, God’s grace lights the way. She would be thrilled if you follower her on Facebook and Instagram.

Dear Teachers, Thank You For Believing in Your Students

In: Kids, Living
Little girl wearing a backpack looks into a doorway

When I was in sixth grade my English teacher, Mr. McMain, left a note on one of my completed assignments. “You have a gift for writing.” I honestly don’t remember how it felt to read those words. Maybe I felt a rush of pride, or maybe I just shoved the paper into my folder and went back to passing notes or whispering with friends. It was a well-received compliment from a favorite teacher, but it meant little more at the time. Here I am, though—twenty-ish years later—and I can honestly say I think about that comment often. As fate would have...

Keep Reading

Dear Graduate, I Love You Forever

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Kindergarten grad

I never imagined these days of preparing for graduation, senior prom, senior photos, and you actually moving out would come. A few weeks into your life, friends gifted you a 6-month sleeper. I remember the cuddly white footie pajamas well. But I swore you’d never get big enough to wear it. How could this 8-pound human grow to fit into 6-month clothes? Impossible. And then somehow they did fit, and then they didn’t anymore. Just like that. Everyone says the days are long but the years are short. Everyone, that is, who has had a lot of years. When I...

Keep Reading

Always Choose Adventure

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Two children looking at aquarium exhibit, color photo

Here’s the thing about traveling with little kids. Is it hard? Sometimes. Sometimes it looks like a whole carry-on dedicated solely to snacks, activities, and emergency treats. Sometimes it looks like buying a drink for the passenger next to you as a way of saying sorry and thank you all at the same time for the airplane kid chaos they endured. Sometimes it looks like altering your picture-perfect itinerary that you meticulously planned on account of missed naps finally catching up. Sometimes it looks like washing a car seat off in a hotel shower because your toddler got carsick, then...

Keep Reading

Love Beyond Words

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugging daughter

My daughter Lexi lost her words and some of her motor functioning when she was two years old. She was three when the silent intruder of Rett Syndrome made itself known through seizures. But here’s the heart of our story: even without words, Lexi and I have created our own language—a symphony of unspoken love. She may not call me “Mom” in the traditional sense, but her eyes, her laughter, and the unique sounds she makes speak volumes to my heart. Each day with Lexi is a dance—one where the steps aren’t always clear, and the rhythm can change in...

Keep Reading

Daddy, Am I Beautiful?

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Daddy holding preschool-aged daughter, color photo

“Daddy, do I look beautiful?” I heard my daughter ask my husband from the other room. I barely heard what she said as I was in the kitchen washing the dishes, but her words struck a chord in my heart. My sweet girl, all dressed to go out, asked for her Daddy’s assurance that she was beautiful, that she was admired and special. It hit me in that moment: this pure and built-in desire we all have to be loved, admired, and wanted. Just as my sweet girl wanted her Daddy’s approval and assurance of love, I so often cry...

Keep Reading

Sensitive Sons Are Strong Too

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy pets kitten held by another older boy

My son has always been timid. When he was a baby, he cried when he lost his pacifier in his crib. If I laughed too loudly, he might burst into tears. Once, he was asleep in his bassinet as my husband and I turned on a movie. The MGM lion roared, and he woke in a panic that seemed to take forever to calm. Now, at five years old, my son wrestles, runs, fights, and screams at the television. He pretends to fight bad guys and save me and his twin sister. He thinks he is the king of the...

Keep Reading

Wrestle Like a Girl

In: Kids, Motherhood
Girls wrestling team huddling on the floor

I’m a wrestling mom, but I’m a new breed. I’m the kind with my little girl on the mat. Sure, I support our son out there, and I scream like a wild banshee with the rest of the crazy parents, and I’m in awe of the athletes these boys are. But then steps out our daughter. And it’s different. She decided to join her big bro at practice years ago when word was just starting to spread about the possible emergence of girls’ wrestling. She was only in kindergarten, but I think my husband might have already been thinking college....

Keep Reading

I’ll Hold on To Moments of Childhood with My Preteen as Long as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Smiling preteen and mother

This Christmas season, my husband took our laser light projector and aimed it at the Australian bottle tree in the front yard. It shone like a thousand red and green fairies dancing through the branches. The first time I saw it, I gasped with glee. Christmas came and went. Much to our 6-year-old’s disappointment, we took down the decorations and boxed them in the attic until next year. I noticed that my husband forgot to put away the light projector though. One Friday night, recovering from a stomach bug, we decided to watch Wonka and fold laundry. We bought into the...

Keep Reading

“Tell Me Another Story, Daddy?”

In: Kids
Man reading to young son

“Tell me another story, Daddy?” I had heard these words since we had finished supper. My 5-year-old son loves hearing stories. He loves to put himself in these stories. He doesn’t just watch Paw Patrol, he’s in Paw Patrol. He is a Kratt brother. And he loves hearing stories about his favorite adventurers with him saving the day alongside his animated heroes. While I absolutely love telling stories to my son, there are many days when I don’t feel like it. When I want to say, “No, Daddy is tired. Why don’t you go play with your toys while daddy...

Keep Reading

Getting Glasses Can be an Adjustment

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Pre-teen wearing glasses

On their last break from school, my daughter and son happily enjoyed a nice week of catching up with friends and having a relaxed schedule. I was careful to avoid overloading our schedule so we had a nice balance of days out and days being at home. As can often happen on a school break, I used one day as our “appointments day.” We had our routine dental checks and eye exams booked. The morning went smoothly with the dentist, and then it was time to head home for lunch. Next, we popped back out to do the children’s eye...

Keep Reading