So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

To the gentleman on Flight 1451,

I first noticed you when you sighed loudly as you laid eyes on my toddler and me boarding the plane. 

In a momentary lapse of judgement, we sat behind you. It was the nearest set of seats, and I couldn’t wait to put my child and our heavy bags down. 

From the over dramatic huffs and puffs you let out as we buckled in, it was clear you were annoyed by our very presence. 

At this point, my little girl was laughing and playing, obviously too loud for your liking. 

I wondered if you’d had a bad day, or if this grouchy temperament was your normal behavior. 

I wondered if your wife was embarrassed as she quietly nodded at your frustrations. 

I wondered if you had children of your own. 

I wondered a lot about you. 
Did you wonder about us? 

Did you wonder about this mom and little girl who were flying alone? We were so excited to go on an adventure, but I was also very nervous. 

This was the first time that I had ever flown with a child, and I was making half of the trip without my husband. 

For weeks, I researched tips for flying with kids. I packed toys and games and books and downloaded movies. 

I dosed up my child with Benadryl, but it didn’t work. She only slept 20 minutes on a cross-country flight. 

I did everything in my power to keep her calm and quiet. I shushed her, and made sure her little feet didn’t kick your seat. 

As we took off, her tears started. The kicking and the screaming tantrums came on fast. 

She had been up since early morning. 
She hadn’t had a nap. She hadn’t eaten much. 
She was recovering from a sinus infection, and I wondered if the pressure from the altitude hurt her ears. 

She was exhausted and fussy. 

You did not let up with your mutters of annoyance and looks over your shoulder.

I apologized to everyone around me. 
I almost started crying myself. 

I was feeling shame and guilt for not being able to control my own child. 

I was at the end of my rope, but then, an angel to the rescue—the flight attendant came by and gave my daughter a cup and straw to play with. 

And just like that, the screams stopped and my baby was suddenly content. 

The kind attendant told us, “It’s OK! Flying is tough on everyone, and you are both doing great!”

Somehow, her kindness calmed my baby. 

Somehow, her simple words made me feel better. 

She was right. We were doing great! 
We were doing our best, and that’s as great as it gets. 

The problem wasn’t with us, it was with you.

What you need to know is that while children can be terribly inconvenient now, they will run the world when you are old and grey. 

Kids can be annoying and downright obnoxious, but they are also innovative and brilliant. 

These kids might one day discover the cure for the type of cancer that runs in your family. 

They can be selfish and loud, but they can also be precious and loving. 

They might grow up to build systems and make laws that benefit us all. 

They may grow up to serve others in a way that makes us wish we could go in time back and do it all over again. 

They are the future. 

They are gifts to their families, to their communities, and to the world. 

We will need them one day, and they need us now.

They need a kind word. 
They need the novelty of a plastic cup and conversation from a new friend. 

They need someone to look square in their mama’s nervous eyes and tell them that they are doing great, and that everything is going to be OK. 

If you can’t muster up a smile and a hello, then simple silence will do just fine.

I get it, kids can be a nuisance—but next time you are forced to be near one, I hope you will be more like the flight attendant. I hope instead of frustration and annoyance, you feel hope and goodness. 

This world certainly has enough negativity without us adding to it, and just maybe the kindness you give out today will be returned to you in the future.

This article originally appeared on Momstrosity

Momstrosity

With 9 kids (and counting) between the two of them, next door neighbors Stephanie Hollifield and Eliza Morrill know that mommin' ain't easy. Their blog and website, Momstrosity, aims to unite parents with stories of positivity and humor.

What I Wish Someone Would’ve Told Me About Gender Disappointment

In: Baby, Motherhood
Pregnant couple holding boy or girl sign

I was in the corner of my closet hiding behind my wedding dress and every formal I’ve ever owned. It was dark, stuffy, and felt like a good place to hide. I’d just found out I was having a boy, and I was devastated in ways I didn’t think possible and was trying to hide what I was feeling from the world around me.  What kind of mother isn’t completely enamored with her baby-to-be? Did this make me a monster? I should have been happy. After all, I was having a healthy baby. That’s like winning the lottery. Instead, I...

Keep Reading

The Conversation We’re Forgetting To Have About Birth

In: Baby, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman having a baby man holding her hand

My husband lay sleeping, his head resting on a fluffy, down-stuffed pillow in our hotel room. His bag was packed neatly, ESPN was playing quietly in the background, and he had unopened snacks at his disposal on the end table. Our hotel phone rang, and my husband groggily answered, ”Yes? Oh, sorry. Yeah, we’ll keep it down. Sorry.” He hung up and found me miserable and shaky in the shower, the thin shower curtain clinging to my legs.  “Steph, we got a noise complaint. You have to keep it down!” he whispered. This is not how I expected labor to...

Keep Reading

Bathtime Washes Away the Struggles of the Day

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler

It’s 7 p.m., which means bathtime at our house. I close the drain and fill the tub with warm water. I pump Johnson’s baby soap—the water and soap swirl together and form bubbles. The bubbles dance on top of the water, just waiting to cleanse my baby boy. I toss in your foam alphabet letters, Mr. Shark, and Mr. Penguin.  I place you in the bath and lather baby soap in my hands and give you a soapy mohawk. You are barely one and still my baby, but your four fat teeth make you look older. You chew on the...

Keep Reading

This May Be the Last Time I See Those Two Pink Lines

In: Baby, Motherhood

My little caboose, I’ve just finished staring at the two pink lines. It’s not the first time. In fact, I’ve done this twice before, and each time, I am filled with the same disbelief, gratitude, and pure joy. But something is a little different this time. Unless God has different plans for us, this may be the last time I see those pink lines. And that realization makes me want to hold onto all of the last firsts we will experience together with all my might. The two pink lines. The first time we hear your precious heartbeat. RELATED: Dear...

Keep Reading

Nothing Prepared Me To Be a Medical Mom

In: Baby, Motherhood
Baby boy sitting in mom's lap

I never saw it coming. The hours spent at doctor appointments, the coordination between specialists, the adding and subtracting of prescriptions—I never saw any of it coming.  I had a healthy pregnancy. Baby had a strong heartbeat at every appointment, and the anatomy scan showed an energetic, growing babe. There were no indicators that my water would break prematurely, that we would experience time in the NICU. Nothing hinted toward a hidden genetic condition or brain malformation that would complicate our child’s care. Nothing prepared me to be a medical mom. It was something that came fast and furious. Something...

Keep Reading

To My Firstborn: A New Baby May Divide My Attention But Not My Love

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood

Sweet babe, have you heard the news? You’re going to be a big sibling! Our family is growing, and there will be a new, squishy baby to love on and to welcome home.  This baby will be a little different from your baby doll. This baby won’t need you to feed them toy carrots or make them beds of blankets. But, they will definitely need your sweet kisses and lullabies. It’s made my heart melt watching how loving and attentive you are, and I know you’ll be ready for this new role as a big sibling.  It will be beautiful,...

Keep Reading

Everything Feels Wrong During Pregnancy After Loss

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman with baby sitting outside on blanket, color photo

To the woman who is pregnant after a loss, I see you. I know this should be such an exciting time in your life, but you have been cheated of being able to feel that way again. It is so unfair. I see you trying so hard to not get ahead of yourself after you receive that positive test result. You want to feel happiness and excitement, but you force yourself to be cautious just in case. I know you are trying to protect your heart. I recognize that you are over-analyzing every cramp, pull, and tug you feel. You...

Keep Reading

The Newborn Nights Feel As Endless As My Love For You

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother sleeping next to infant, black-and-white photo

In the dark, the moments stretch too long between sleep. All night we listen for your calls: puckering cherub lips, chirps, whines, and wails. Three weeks, now, without a full night’s rest. Three weeks since this whole ordeal began. At first, we tried trading shifts in the night. In the orange and teal baby room, dim and quiet, three hours long and lonely—I thought of birth. How invincible I felt. I tried to make the strength translate. I can get through this sleepless night, I told myself. I can bear your endless feeding and howls. I can. Later, we were...

Keep Reading

I Will Forever Carry Both Life and Death

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Infant lying in bed next to matching empty bed, color photo

I have experienced the miracle of feeling life move within me. I have felt the pain and devastation of carrying a life I’d never have the chance to meet. Nothing prepared me for the bittersweet feeling of experiencing both at the same time. Celebrating the beating heart of one baby while mourning the stillness of the other. Wishing to not see a reminder of what you’ve lost but knowing that would be detrimental to what you still have. RELATED: Twin Loss Splits a Mother’s Heart in Two Catching glimpses as your ultrasound tech tries to quickly zoom past to not cause...

Keep Reading

How Do You Know If You’re Meant to Have Another Baby?

In: Baby, Motherhood

“I think I want just one more baby.” I stood at my infant’s changing table peering into his sweet eyes. Another set of eyes turned up to me from the diaper pail, wide and knowing. “I just don’t know about that,” my husband sent up as he held his breath tying off the bag full of dirty diapers. “I just feel like I have a lot of love left to give,” I responded, and he just looked at me, but I knew what he was thinking because I was thinking it too. I know I have a lot of love...

Keep Reading
Mother Holding Baby

5 Truths Every New Mom Needs to Hear

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Encouragement for the early days

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections