Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

“You’re one of the strongest moms I know. If you can’t do it, I can’t either.”

My friend’s words jumped out of the text at me, hitting me right in the gut. That negative voice in my head, always lurking just beneath the surface, was quick to question her view of me. 

How could it be that someone sees me as strong when lately all I feel is weak, a growing sense that I am a failure, and the notion that I am shrinking away from everyone?

RELATED: My Anxiety Makes Me Feel Like I Fail Over and Over Again

How could it be that despite the fog of depression and anxiety that has lately filled my head once again, I could appear to have it all together to others?

How could it be that my outward projection is such a contradiction to my inner thoughts about myself?

Which view of me is the correct one? Her view or my own? 

“I always think of you when I am in a bad spot and wonder what you would do.”

This time her words hit me even deeper. They cut through the nonsense in my head and brought some clarity to me. 

RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it

She had no way of knowing my inner struggles, but something I was doing or saying was acting as a lifeline for her. Somehow, despite nearly drowning in my own despair, I was serving as a beacon of hope for her at times. 

Maybe, just maybe, that voice in my head was wrong. 

Maybe, just maybe, I could find a way to be that beacon of hope for myself. 

Her words echoed in my head that night and kept me awake for hours as I reflected more and more about what it meant to be a source of hope for someone.

I realized that I can’t give up. None of us can. 

We have no idea who is watching us, who is holding on to their last thread of hope thinking, If she can’t do it, neither can I.

We have no idea who is wondering what we would do if we were in their shoes, using us and our experiences to help guide them through their troubles. 

RELATED: To the Woman Who Saved Me From Drowning

Look around. Someone somewhere is watching you, desperately looking for signs of hope and a sense of guidance. Maybe it’s one of your closest friends, a family member, a neighbor, a mom who sees you in the drop-off line at school, a coworker, an online friend, a stranger at the grocery store, someone reading your words—it doesn’t matter who it is, but they need you to keep going, to keep fighting, to keep believing in yourself. 

If you can’t do it, they can’t either.

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

Jenni Brennan

Jenni Brennan, LICSW is an author, podcaster, college professor, therapist, and mother. Her work centers around the topics of grief, health and wellness, relationships, and parenting.

Winter Can be Lonely; Please Check In On Your Friends

In: Friendship, Living
Winter street

Winter can be hard for a mom.  In the summer months, she often sends her kids outside, the warm sun beaming down and the windows wedged open as she listens to everyone run around the backyard.  She cherishes the opportunity to gather everybody for walks in the springtime, bright tulips peeking through, whenever the weather is nice.  Autumn offers respite with its crisp leaves and bearable temperatures.  But winter? Sometimes winter is hard. RELATED: The Lonely I’m Hiding Is Heavy Though beautiful, winter can feel like a ceaseless parade of dark nights. Winter can feel like isolation.  Winter can feel...

Keep Reading

Some People Will Misjudge You; Let Them

In: Friendship, Living
Woman on beach with arms up

Have you ever seen a simple phrase but felt like it was impossible?  “Let them . . .” This is a phrase I’ve seen in many places. It doesn’t matter where it is found, overall it means the same thing. If you’re like me, then you struggle with it. It’s an everyday battle. Heck, it’s an hourly battle sometimes. You can say over and over that it doesn’t matter. Their thoughts don’t matter. Their opinions don’t matter. Their get-togethers don’t matter. Their talking behind your back doesn’t matter. Their choices don’t matter. It doesn’t matter what the case is—it is...

Keep Reading

Every Type A Needs a Type B Person in Their Life

In: Friendship, Living, Marriage
Friends smiling

I spend a lot of time making lists, whether they are in my head, written on a piece of paper, or on my phone and laptop. Lists about what needs to be done today, later this week, or even a few months down the road. Even when I check off all the items on my list, more things pop up. There are always things demanding my attention. Initially, I thought having a list—or multiple lists—was a good thing. I felt organized and in charge of things. But when the lists started creeping their way into other facets of my life,...

Keep Reading

That Girls’ Trip Sounds Fun, but…

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Three friends laughing

To my friends who I used to spontaneously have gatherings with, book a trip last minute with, and have endless energy to entertain: my life is in the most chaotic state it’s ever been because . . . well . . . three kids. Not that I have to justify my actions, decisions, or priorities to anyone. But when I say “I need to check my calendar,” it’s because I don’t want to let you down.  I don’t use my phone calendar. I have a physical calendar I have to find. I have to check my husband’s work schedule (and...

Keep Reading

Please Let This Be the Year His Classmates Come to His Birthday Party

In: Friendship, Kids, Motherhood
Boy blowing out candles on cake

I’m a proud mother of three pretty amazing kids, one of whom has special needs. My son is your “typical” middle child. A wild, rambunctious little boy sandwiched between his older and somewhat quieter sister and his younger, easy-to-love brother. To look at him, you’d never know that G has special needs. But spend any amount of time in his presence, especially when he’s around other people, and it becomes obvious pretty quickly that he’s “different.” He’s been diagnosed with ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and anxiety, and is currently being evaluated for autism. He can’t be still, his...

Keep Reading

Even When It’s Right, Walking Away Hurts

In: Friendship, Living
Woman looking off to side

It’s a weird thing, mourning the living. It’s like your brain just can’t quite wrap itself around the process the same way it does when someone passes away. Choosing to walk away from a relationship begins a long, often confusing, process of mourning. Even if you know deep in your heart of hearts that putting space between you and that person was necessary and good, the mourning process that follows is a hard road marked with doubt and second-guessing. Should I have said that? What if I had just done xyz? Should I have given more time? These questions come haunting. Sometimes...

Keep Reading

I Wish I Knew How to Get a Seat at the Table

In: Friendship, Living
Woman sitting on floor alone

I was raised to believe I deserved a seat at any table where I wished to be seated. Sadly, the world may not look at my place the same way as my mother. I have found myself at many tables. Work tables. Friend tables. Service tables. And many times I have felt like I did not belong. Like no one wants me there. Like I have to fight to keep my seat. RELATED: It’s Lonely Being the B-List Friend I am confused. What is it about me that makes others want to exclude me? Why do I have to fight...

Keep Reading

Dear Moms, Encourage One Another

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Family standing on bridge, color photo

I stood on Millennium Bridge in the center of London with my family of five. Desperate to record this significant memory in this iconic spot, I stretched my short arm as far as I could. I wanted to have some physical memento of this memorable moment with my three children. As I craned and struggled to take the selfie, a mom walked by and simply asked if she could take the picture for me. I gladly acquiesced, and what resulted was the perfect family picture–all children looking in the same general direction, Tower Bridge and the London skyline in the...

Keep Reading

8 Strategies to Get Out of the Lonely Mom Funk

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Mother holding baby looking out window

Ever since 2020 hit, a lot of moms have found themselves isolated more than ever. The old saying, “it takes a village” suddenly didn’t seem to apply the same way anymore. In many circumstances with social distancing and quarantining, it couldn’t.  None of us were able to sail through the past couple of years unscathed. Sure, we were all in different boats, the waves may have hit some harder than others. But we all experienced the waves, we all experienced a change in direction. Many moms were already feeling isolated before setting sail.   Isolation. The meaning of this word changes once...

Keep Reading

Moving Away from Family and Friends Made Us Stronger

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Family photo of parents and three children, black-and-white

In the fall of 2021, my husband and I started exploring the idea of moving out of the Midwest. We had talked about moving for years, especially during the winter months, but we didn’t know where we wanted to move. I distinctly remember asking my husband one week what he wanted to do with the kids over the weekend, and that’s where it all started. We looked at job opportunities and decided to fly to Kentucky the next day and explore the area. After we visited Kentucky, we felt defeated. It didn’t feel right. We wanted it to work, but...

Keep Reading