Shop the fall collection ➔

We were all sitting in a big awkward group in the church’s large conference room. I sat there hoping I didn’t get the Hershey’s Dark Chocolate bar; we all were.

I was at MOPS and it was our 2nd meeting of the year. As such, we played some ice breakers with embarrassed and uncomfortable chuckles. One game included passing a jar of candy around the room and answering specific questions based on the candy you drew from the jar. The candy’s question that nobody wanted was the Hershey’s Dark Chocolate: what do you like to do with your free time?

My mind scanned my days with the kids and scoffed inside: Free time? Seriously?

I could tell I wasn’t alone with my thoughts. Other moms were murmuring things like, “Who has free time anymore? I have no idea what I would do with myself!”

So as the jar was passed around, many mumbled, “I don’t want the Hershey’s. I don’t know what I’d say!”

As I waited for my turn, my mind wandered back to an earlier conversation I had that day with a mom friend of mine. We talked about her son attending preschool. She mentioned she taught a yoga class during his time at school. She said it was hard for her to make a decision about that small window of free time she had while he was in school but she knew she needed to do it because it made her feel so good about herself.

While she talked I could see the life in her yes when she mentioned the class, but heard the strain in her voice.

The strain that said what I was thinking that night at MOPS: Why is it so hard for me to handle the little free time I get as a mother?

We tell ourselves as mothers that we could be doing something better with our time. We live a life of them before us. And slowly, over time, as we look in the mirror, we’re not even sure who we’re looking at anymore.

The result of this unknowing is fear. It’s the same small fleck of fear I got when I sat there at MOPS afraid of a candy bar. My heart didn’t want the question about free time because then I knew I’d have to face myself and ask, “Who are you and what do you even like to do anymore?”

Because the reality is that ever since I became a mother I’ve lost myself.

I am not the same woman who said yes to my husband ten years ago, who wore trendy clothes, watched whatever I wanted on Netflix, whenever I wanted. Having a career was a no brainer at the time. Finding time to work out was simple and paying for a membership to a gym was no big deal. I could eat that extra piece of cake without too much worry. If a friend called and needed me, I could be there in no time. Volunteer work in the church or community was easy to fit in my schedule.

Being myself seemed easier then.

But as soon as you’ve been gifted the beauty of raising tiny humans, all those easy parts of yourself start to fall to the wayside as the them before you starts to grow. And as time passes while you’re wandering in the sleepless fog of mothering, you start missing those little parts of yourself that you’ve lost.

Maybe this tension of who we were before we had kids and who we’re becoming as mothers is because we’re constantly reaching for those lost parts of ourselves. Constantly reaching for something I’m not creates conflict in my heart of not being enough. A worry starts overtaking my heart because I just can’t quite get back those parts of who I was.

If I keep trying to retrieve who I was then I’ll never be able to step into the freedom of who I am now.

We’re so afraid of losing ourselves that maybe we’re missing the development of our new selves because we keep looking back.

Sure, there are new things about me that are less than epic: I go to bed earlier than I used to, I have one show I try to keep up on, I wear pants that are bigger and working out is harder than I could have imagined. I still eat my cake but hold off on that second piece.


I also know a love that I never would have understood before children.

I have found a gift inside myself that I never would have explored so deeply otherwise.

When a friend needs me, my time with her is limited but becomes even more meaningful during our short times together when I can get away.

I have found a new group of women who call themselves mom and are responsible for raising a generation of young people who understand what it means to love others as they love themselves.

That’s pretty epic.

Dear mamas, It’s OK to lose yourself when you become a mom because then, then you step forward into all the new that you are as a woman.

I am a woman who is learning that it’s OK to be uncertain of what to do with my few opportunities of free time. Free time is like getting reacquainted with an old friend. I try different things until I find that connection and while it may not be the same as it was years ago, I’m grateful the for the new memories that will be made as I grow.

I have found new parts of myself that I grab onto fully.

Embracing the change that inevitably comes with motherhood is like a breath of fresh air. No, it’s like coming up for air.

Gloryanna Boge

Gloryanna is a teacher turned SAHM whose identity is found in her relationship with Christ. She is married to her high school sweetheart who insists that dirty clothes can be left on the floor. Gloryanna writes to encourage others in their walk with Christ, no matter what season you're going through. If you want to be encouraged, you can follow her writing at You can also catch snippets of her faith and scribbles on Twitter - Facebook - https:// Instagram - h>

It’s Okay to Say No to the Promposal

In: Kids, Teen
Boy holding pink sign saying "Prom with me?"

Promposals are cute.  But, even for the sweetest questions, it’s okay if the answer is not yes. I have more boys than girls at my house so the whole meet the boy asking your girl out with a gun posts don’t sit well with me. Boys and girls have an equally hard time negotiating friendships and relationships in high school, and I care equally for both. A young man spent some time, told his friends, made a cute sign, and planned to ask my daughter to a dance. A friend of my daughters mentioned he might ask (and even made...

Keep Reading

I Wipe the Slides

In: Kids, Motherhood
boy on slide

I want you to have the most fun possible at your tiny playground stars program, so I wipe the slides. I don’t want you to have a meltdown if your clothes get wet while I’m gone, so I wipe the slides. I want to have three precious hours of only managing your little sister, so I wipe the slides. RELATED: I’d Rather Serve My Kids Than Have Them be “Self-Sufficient” I don’t want you to feel embarrassed by a big reaction to wet clothes when I’m not there to help you, so I wipe the slides. I want you to...

Keep Reading

One Day You’ll Outgrow Being My Little Boy—But Not Today

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Mother and two sons back-to-school picture, color photo

One day you will come home after your first day of a new school year and not wish to share a single thing. Not today. Today, you got into the car and talked non-stop about every second of your day. I was delighted!  One day you will not have countless first-day forms for me to sign and return the next day. Not today. I signed my name at least four times. I was happy to grant permission for you to play sports, learn algebra, and do whatever else I gave my permission for.  One day you will not allow me...

Keep Reading

The Sports Mom Shows Up For Her Kids, No Matter What

In: Kids, Motherhood
Youth baseball game

We’re nearing the end of club baseball/softball season, and the burnout is real. The time away from home, burning through gas to get somewhere for two hours with half your house packed only to pack back up and turn around and drive to the next two-hour destination is insane. I don’t even like the sport right now. There . . . I said it. I’m so sick of softball fields and wind-blown dirt in my face. I’ve seen so many balls thrown in the last two months that my eyes hurt. But I still show up. I love to see...

Keep Reading

Having Babies and Toddlers Is Exhausting—but So, So Sweet

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Family of four with baby and toddler on bed

I took the girls to one of our favorite coffee shops last week and all around me were parents of babies and toddlers. Their little ones ran about in the grassy area out back, toddling up and down the lawn, when it suddenly hit me with perfect clarity—the sun has nearly set on this season for me. It was a realization marked by internal tension, a mourning of the loss of one season contrasted by the joyful anticipation at the arrival of the next. It came out of nowhere and hit me like a tidal wave. Having five kids in...

Keep Reading

3 Common Phrases to Avoid Saying to Your Kids (and What To Say Instead)

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with young boy on couch

Learning to love yourself is hard work. I did not grow up loving myself. Instead, I always felt inadequate, and I felt the need to change myself to prove my worth.  I want more for my kids. I want my kids to know their inherent value and worth. I want to empower my kids to love and accept themselves.  My self-love journey, aided by the expertise of a counselor, has helped me realize there are some narratives from my childhood I needed to unlearn. I had to accept my emotions as helpful and not something to be pushed down. I...

Keep Reading

They Love Each Other (and Sometimes They Don’t)

In: Kids, Motherhood
Toddler girl lying with big brother, color photo

When I was pregnant with his baby sister, Forest kissed my belly and talked about all the wonderful things he would do with this little girl he already loved so much. His plans changed, however, after she was born, and the thing he wanted to do the most with her was place her gently in the trash can. Some mornings he would kiss her softly, other mornings he would walk into the room where I’d be nursing her and say, “Her doesn’t look precious to ME.” Two and a half years later, Forest’s feelings toward Grace remain about the same....

Keep Reading

As a Mother, I Matter Too

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter in living room

“What’s more important than me, Mammy?” my daughter asked. I looked at her, and she was looking at me. Her question wasn’t harsh or accusatory, it was curious. She was curious. We were in the kitchen, I was at the table working, and she asked me to help her find something. I told her I was finishing up some important work and then I would play with her. This is when she asked me what was more important than her. I bit my tongue to stop the words that wanted to rush out of my mouth. I wanted to proclaim...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Follow Your Beautiful Heart

In: Faith, Kids
Mother and daughter smiling

When I held you in my arms for the first time, it was like time stopped. As you looked up at me with innocence and new life, I was struck by the reality that my main role in your life would be to guide and direct you on the right path. I hoped I would do the best job possible. As I watched you grow, I basked in your joy of putting on your pretty dresses, adorned with layers of costume jewelry, parading around the house for your father and me to see. I dreamed often of what path you...

Keep Reading

My Daughter is “Extra” and the World Needs More People Like Her

In: Kids, Motherhood
girl jumping

She is . . . extra. She just is. All the time she is extra sad, and then extra “OMG, Mom-that-was-so-epic-let-me-tell-you-everything.” Extra energetic, then extra I’m too tired to help with any family chores. Extra hungry, then extra refuses to eat the food she just asked for because she’s full. RELATED: In Defense of the Wild Child Extra loves to show how much knowledge she has, then extra doesn’t want to do her homework because she’s too busy “being.” Extra defiant, then extra brings home adorable “I love you, Mom” art from school. There is no middle ground with this...

Keep Reading