Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

 

Dear Daughters:

Make sure you show up for your friends. It’s more important than you think.

Show up for the important things, like milestone birthdays and weddings and baby showers.

And show up when they need you but don’t want to ask, like during a tough break up or when they suddenly lose their job or their parent’s funeral.

Make sure you return the call when their voice cracks in a message because they are exhausted from staying up with a newborn three nights in a row. Make sure to send a text letting them know you are thinking about them when their kid goes into surgery. Make sure you ask about their ailing mom and their struggling marriage and their dreams that always seem just beyond their reach.

When you’re married with kids, show up to that girls’ weekend even though the logistics seem impossible. When you’re on vacation, drive that extra two hours to stop in and see your friend. When you’re tired and don’t want to make it for dinner, at least stop by for a drink. Drop off that book you think she’ll like or share that article you think she’ll love.

Dear daughters, the most important thing you will do in this life is show up for the ones you love. Trust me on this.

When you were younger, you asked, “Why do I have to brush all my teeth when no one sees the ones in the back?”

I answered, “You don’t have to brush all your teeth. Just the ones you want to keep.”

Friendship is the same way. If you only work on the people right in front of you, the rest of your relationships will decay.

So you need to show up. 

Because one day, life will happen. You may find out that your child has a debilitating illness or your husband had an affair. You could be sexually harassed by a co-worker or face a cancer diagnosis. You may have to relocate your family to a faraway place or just totaled your car.

You might sink into the darkness of depression and anxiety. You might lose yourself in the depths of motherhood. You might face unfathomable grief or distress or despair the likes you can’t even imagine.

And just when you think you have nowhere to turn, a hand reaches towards you and pulls you out. They reach and pull you out because they showed up—as you always have for them.

You have to brush all your teeth, dear daughters. Trust me on this.

Show up for your friends. Make sure they know you care. Be the friend you want in return every chance you get.

Because life is about showing up for the ones you care about. Everything else can wait.

Originally published on Playdates on Fridays by Whitney Fleming

You might also like:

Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends

I Don’t Have Many Friends, But I Have True Friendship

My Dear Daughters, Friendship is So Hard

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here! 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Whitney Fleming

Whitney is a mom of three teen daughters, a freelance writer, and co-partner of the site parentingteensandtweens.com You can find her on Facebook at WhitneyFlemingWrites.

There’s No Such Thing As a Good or Bad Body

In: Living, Motherhood
Little girl sticking her tongue out with her brother and parents, color photo

Maybe it was the ’80s or just my situation, but growing up, I noticed a lot of body talk among adults. Mostly by the women, but sometimes by the men.  My gorgeous grandma always dressed up and was always on a diet. I remember a babysitter who was supermodel gorgeous not eating this or that because she didn’t want to get “fat.” Once, during my freshman year of college, my grandpa commented that I “had gained some weight.” As an adult, a compliment I often heard if my weight fluctuated slightly was, “You look great, you’re so thin.”  Or the...

Keep Reading

There’s So Much I Didn’t Know About Having a Daughter

In: Motherhood
Mother and daughter hug

I started my motherhood journey as a boy mom. I knew the names of all the construction trucks, I could build a LEGO set in record time, and nothing said about a penis could ever shock me. I could play in the dirt, tie on a Superman cape, and have a lightsaber fight all before naptime. But when I was expecting again, I saw that sweet little face on the ultrasound, and I knew—even before the ultrasound tech made the announcement—that my days as solely a boy mom were about to come to an end. I was so excited to...

Keep Reading

Exclusively Pumping Makes You One Strong Mother

In: Motherhood
Breast pump with bottles, black-and-white photo

Dear exclusively pumping mama,  Oh, how I see you, sweet mama. (I’ve been you—twice now, as a matter of fact.)  I see you frustrated with your body and feeling like it’s failed you because you’re not able to nurse your baby. Maybe your baby is in the NICU and you feel robbed of this experience. Or maybe, due to other circumstances, you haven’t been able to make it work.  RELATED: I Exclusively Pumped for a Year—And My Baby and I Thrived I see you tirelessly getting up before the baby does in the middle of the night so you can...

Keep Reading

Yes, We Wanted a Big Family

In: Kids, Motherhood
Big family silhouette

Baby number WHAT?!?! Okay, okay, I know having FIVE children in the modern world is a bit of an anomaly, but the responses we have gotten from sharing our joyful (to us!) news has been a bit over-the-top. You see, my husband and I always dreamt of a big family, verbally expressing four to five children as our ultimate number. After having three, I must say I had to do some convincing to keep going, as my husband felt our hands were pretty full. I do agree our hands were pretty full, but I still felt our hearts could handle...

Keep Reading

How Much Longer Will I Watch Them Play?

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Two boys at indoor playground, color photo

As I sit here watching my two boys running around on the bright-colored foam mats, sliding down the bright red and green slides that end up in a ball pit full of giggles, I can’t help but wonder how much longer I will enjoy this sight. They’re both growing up so fast—T-shirts with their favorite characters have been replaced by plain colors.  Curtains with Paw Patrol now invite an “Eww, cringe!” reaction. Slowly their boy bedroom decor has been updated to reflect the cool gamers they so want to be. RELATED: He’s a Boy For Just a Little While Longer No...

Keep Reading

The Quiet Work You’re Doing Matters, Mama

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and two girls playing on bed

Mid-morning light spills through the kitchen window as I stand at the sink washing dishes.  “Mom, Caleb just punched me!” 3-year-old Aiden calls from the living room. “He took the remote right out of my hands!” Caleb contends. “I saw the whole thing happen,” their big sister interjects. “It was totally Caleb’s fault.  He started the whole thing.” “Mind your own business!” Caleb barks as he charges toward his sister with his fist in the air. It takes every ounce of restraint I can muster, but I manage not to get sucked into the yelling match happening in front of...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Belong In the Baby Section Anymore

In: Motherhood

I don’t belong here anymore. The thought crept into my mind today as I stood in the baby section. I was there to grab a gift for an expecting friend, but as I looked around at the old familiar shelves, I was hit with a wave of emotion.  Because it’s true—I don’t belong here anymore. There was a time when this aisle was my most frequented on trips to Target. As a pregnant twentysomething with a growing belly, I would hold up outfit after outfit and wonder what our baby would look like. Who would he or she be? As...

Keep Reading

To the Parents Raising My Child’s Future Spouse

In: Faith, Motherhood
Little boy lying on car seat with puppy, color photo

Oh, hey there friend, you don’t know me yet or maybe you do, but at least for now neither of us know that our children will one day commit their lives to each other and by doing so forever knit our families together. One day, we will all sit in the front aisles of a church filled with scores of people who have influenced our babies, but none like us. No one else in that church will know the intentionality, love, and grace of God that it took to reach that day, but we will. The work you are doing...

Keep Reading

Loving Mom (Thanks, Amazon)

In: Grief, Living, Motherhood
Woman and mother smiling, color photo

I was online, searching old Amazon orders for a part we’d bought for our 1998 Buick Regal. The car was Mom’s. She’d given it up at 86 after I said her grandsons would be grateful to use it. She’d laughed with delight as Gabe, newly licensed, pulled away from her place in her Buick, heading home to California. It was a good car, but the original parts were wearing out. That’s why I scrolled through my orders, to see which window pulley assembly we’d purchased last time. As I scrolled, I was struck by all the gifts I’d ordered for...

Keep Reading

Supporting Your Teen through Freshman Year

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom and teen boy

Growing up I remember seeing Ms. Honey in the movie Matilda and thinking teaching must be a magical job if Ms. Honey could do it so effortlessly. This image of dancing with my students, heart-to-heart conversations, and the perfectly curated teacher outfit always stuck in my mind. When I decided to become a teacher, my original goal was to teach elementary. I wanted to be that driving force that helped those pudgy little hands learn how to write, sing at the top of their lungs about the seasons, and be there to help with scraped knees. Over the years I...

Keep Reading