Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I took a class about the origin of the family as part of my undergraduate degree. One part of the class was focused on our parents and how they shape who we are, etc. At the time I was just a 22-year-old kid, who had gone back to college after taking two gap years, and to be honest I had no idea what it meant to be a parent or an adult really. It would be another five years before I welcomed my long-awaited first born son. However, it wouldn’t be until he was a few years old that I’d realize how much like both of my parents I am in my own parenting style and demeanor.

Perhaps you take after your parents in your parenting style, or maybe you are the opposite because of your upbringing. Or maybe you are more like your grandma, or a lone wolf in the approach you take to child-rearing. Here are six qualities many of us have as parents that most likely we learned from our own:

  1. Tenderness. When I was a little girl, I’d lay on the couch with my dad and watch “Star Trek: The Next Generation” with him while he ran his fingers through my hair. That was always my thing. I’d fall asleep instantly. My grandmother did it for me too, but there was always something about that simple, alone time with my dad that I’ve never forgotten. Nowadays, it’s my go-to trick for times when either of my boys are feeling sad or fighting sleep. Luckily, the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree as far as sleep-inducing tricks go.
  2. Tradition. This is one I get from my mom. She always went above and beyond for Christmas, birthdays, Halloween, Easter, etc. One Christmas, my sister and I received a gigantic, custom-built Barbie dream house and all of the furnishings that she kept hidden in our basement for at least a month prior. The headaches she must have gone through to keep us from finding that must have been insane. It was worth it. That is one of my most beloved holiday memories. My kids are still young, but I make it a point to properly celebrate each holiday and honor the traditions my parents instilled in me.
  3. Protectiveness. There was never a time during my childhood that I ever felt unsafe or worried about something bad happening. I know that is because of my parents. Though, as an adult now, I know very well times weren’t always great for them, but they never showed that to us kids. Whether it was them letting me sleep in their bed when I’d have a nightmare, or one of them stepping in when an issue would arise at school, there is nothing more primal than the drive to protect our young. I would do anything and everything to keep my own kids safe. This one is a given, but one they taught me well.
  4. Discipline. I use this one lightly because to be totally biased, I was a really good kid. Really, my brother, sister and I rarely got in trouble. I’m not saying we were angels, but I think we just knew to toe the line instinctively. My parents weren’t mean or harsh at discipline, but there was this inherent desire to stay on their good side. Whether that meant we just naturally respected them enough to not act out that much or they gave us enough freedom and rules evenly to let us develop our own sense of right and wrong independently, I’m not sure. Whatever it was it worked. I try to use the same approach with my kids. Let them know who is boss, but also try and let them figure out some of it on their own so that they can develop the skills to decipher what is right and wrong without me always having to tell them.
  5. Practicality. My parents had three kids. Most activities, meals, or purchases were done so with the idea to kill two birds with one stone– a basketball hoop will benefit all three kids, if one girl plays softball the other one will be on the same team, etc. Things were kept simple, and that’s something I’ve carried over into my own parenting. I try not to make things harder than they need to be. Of course there are times when things get complicated and there’s just no other way around it. But, it’s definitely all about perspective. That’s something I learned from both of my folks.
  6. Self-care. My dad is a runner. Running has always been his outlet. He even ran the Boston marathon one year. My mom has had a variety of hobbies throughout the years. She’s always been into some form of crafting and used to go to bingo with my grandma and aunt at least once a week. They both always seemed to understand the importance of taking time to themselves when the stars would align and they were able to step away for a bit. Now that I’m a parent, I wholeheartedly get why it is vital to take care of yourself in order to take better care of your kids. My husband goes hunting, and I go to wine-tasting events with my best friend or I write.


You may have noticed one thing I did not put on the list of qualities I’ve carried over into my own parenting – love. That’s because that’s a given for most parents. Love was something that was always present in my childhood home. It is something I tell my kids every day, along with more kisses and hugs than they probably care for.

I’m so lucky to have two amazing parents as role models. I know that’s not always the case. I just hope to be as good of a parent to my own kids as my parents have been to me. I want my boys to carry some of my qualities over to their own parenting someday. And by that point, well I’ll get to just be grandma.

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

Britt LeBoeuf

Britt is a married mother of two from northern New York. She has an undergraduate degree in Human Services. When she's not chasing down her two young children, she writes for sites such as Her View From Home, Scary Mommy, Filter Free Parents and Sammiches and Psych Meds. Check out her first published book, "Promises of Pineford" on Amazon too. On her blog, These Boys of Mine, she talks about parenting only boys, special needs parenting, mental health advocacy, being a miscarriage survivor and life as a crazy cat lady. 

Being a Hands-on Dad Matters

In: Kids, Living
Dad playing with little girl on floor

I am a hands-on dad. I take pride in spending time with my kids. Last week I took my toddler to the park. He’s two and has recently outgrown peek-a-boo, but nothing gets him laughing like him seeing me pop into the slide to scare him as he goes down. He grew to like this so much that he actually would not go down the slide unless he saw me in his range of vision going down. When it’s time to walk in the parking lot he knows to hold my hand, and he grabs my hand instinctively when he needs help...

Keep Reading

5 Kids in the Bible Who Will Inspire Yours

In: Faith, Kids
Little girl reading from Bible

Gathering my kids for morning Bible study has become our family’s cornerstone, a time not just for spiritual growth but for real, hearty conversations about life, courage, and making a difference. It’s not perfect, but it’s ours. My oldest, who’s 11, is at that age where he’s just beginning to understand the weight of his actions and decisions. He’s eager, yet unsure, about his ability to influence his world. It’s a big deal for him, and frankly, for me too. I want him to know, deeply know, that his choices matter, that he can be a force for good, just...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Love is the Best Medicine

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child lying on couch under blankets, color photo

When my kids are sick, I watch them sleep and see every age they have ever been at once. The sleepless nights with a fussy toddler, the too-hot cheeks of a baby against my own skin, the clean-up duty with my husband at 3 a.m., every restless moment floods my thoughts. I can almost feel the rocking—so much rocking—and hear myself singing the same lullaby until my voice became nothing but a whisper. I can still smell the pink antibiotics in a tiny syringe. Although my babies are now six and nine years old, the minute that fever spikes, they...

Keep Reading

Right Now I’m a Mom Who’s Not Ready to Let Go

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter hugging, color photo

We’re doing it. We’re applying, touring, and submitting pre-school applications. It feels a lot like my college application days, and there’s this image in my mind of how fast that day will come with my sweet girl once she enters the school doors. It’s a bizarre place to be because if I’m honest, I know it’s time to let her go, but my heart is screaming, “I’m not ready yet!” She’s four now though. Four years have flown by, and I don’t know how it happened. She can put her own clothes on and take herself to the bathroom. She...

Keep Reading

Each Child You Raise is Unique

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three little boys under a blanket, black-and-white photo

The hardest part about raising children? Well, there’s a lot, but to me, one major thing is that they are all completely different than one another. Nothing is the same. Like anything. Ever. Your first comes and you basically grow up with them, you learn through your mistakes as well as your triumphs. They go to all the parties with you, restaurants, sporting events, traveling—they just fit into your life. You learn the dos and don’ts, but your life doesn’t change as much as you thought. You start to think Wow! This was easy, let’s have another. RELATED: Isn’t Parenting...

Keep Reading

Our Kids Need Us as Much as We Need Them

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy sitting on bench with dog nearby, color photo

During a moment of sadness last week, my lively and joyful toddler voluntarily sat with me on the couch, holding hands and snuggling for a good hour. This brought comfort and happiness to the situation. At that moment, I realized sometimes our kids need us, sometimes we need them, and sometimes we need each other at the same time. Kids need us. From the moment they enter the world, infants express their needs through tiny (or loud) cries. Toddlers need lots of cuddling as their brains try to comprehend black, white, and all the colors of the expanding world around...

Keep Reading

Your Kids Don’t Need More Things, They Need More You

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young girl smiling together at home

He reached for my hand and then looked up. His sweet smile and lingering gaze flooded my weary heart with much-needed peace. “Thank you for taking me to the library, Mommy! It’s like we’re on a date! I like it when it’s just the two of us.” We entered the library, hand in hand, and headed toward the LEGO table. As I began gathering books nearby, I was surprised to feel my son’s arms around me. He gave me a quick squeeze and a kiss with an “I love you, Mommy” before returning to his LEGO—three separate times. My typically...

Keep Reading

This Time In the Passenger Seat is Precious

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Teen driver with parent in passenger seat

When you’re parenting preteens and teens, it sometimes feels like you are an unpaid Uber driver. It can be a thankless job. During busy seasons, I spend 80 percent of my evenings driving, parking, dropping off, picking up, sitting in traffic, running errands, waiting in drive-thru lines. I say things like buckle your seat belt, turn that music down a little bit, take your trash inside, stop yelling—we are in the car, keep your hands to yourself, don’t make me turn this car around, get your feet off the back of the seat, this car is not a trash can,...

Keep Reading

So God Made My Daughter a Wrestler

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young female wrestler wearing mouth guard and wrestling singlet

God made my girl a wrestler. Gosh, those are words I would never have thought I would say or be so insanely proud to share with you. But I am. I know with 100 percent certainty and overwhelming pride that God made my girl a wrestler. But it’s been a journey. Probably one that started in the spring of 2010 when I was pregnant with my first baby and having the 20-week anatomy ultrasound. I remember hearing the word “girl” and squealing. I was over the moon excited—all I could think about were hair bows and cute outfits. And so...

Keep Reading

A Big Family Can Mean Big Feelings

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Family with many kids holding hands on beach

I’m a mother of six. Some are biological, and some are adopted. I homeschool most of them. I’m a “trauma momma” with my own mental health struggles. My husband and I together are raising children who have their own mental illnesses and special needs. Not all of them, but many of them. I battle thoughts of anxiety and OCD daily. I exercise, eat decently, take meds and supplements, yet I still have to go to battle. The new year has started slow and steady. Our younger kids who are going to public school are doing great in their classes and...

Keep Reading