Our fall favorites are here! 🍂

As our oldest child’s birthday nears closer I find myself looking back at pictures from her birth. I see the young, new mom in the pictures who is madly in love with the little baby in her arms. That mom has no idea what is in store for her in motherhood.

I have only been a mom for about six years. In many, many regards I am still a rookie at this. There are many parts of mothering I have yet to experience. But even rookies can gain wisdom through experience, especially with three kids.

Looking back over the past six years, I wish I could relive many of the memories. And there are a few things I wish I could tell myself back then. Things about lessons I have learned, or things I wished I had done differently.

If I could write a letter to myself as a new mom, this is what I would say:

Let her sleep on you more. There is so much about getting kids to sleep in their own cribs and sleeping through the night. And one day they will. One day they won’t be little babies who sleep on your chest. So let the babies sleep on you as long as possible.

Hold them as much as possible. Our daughter has finally reached the age where I cannot hold her and pack her around like when she was a toddler. Part of me mourns this time, while the other part loves that she walks with me hand-in-hand.

Relax. I can remember Googling just about everything as a new parent. I worried and worried and worried about everything. I am still prone to worrying. But if I could go back, I would tell myself not to worry about every little thing. Someone else is in command and He is far greater than I am.

Do it how you want, not how you think it should be done. There seem to be many “right” ways to parent. But I have come to believe when it comes to many parts of parenting, the only right way is what is right for you. If I could tell myself back then not to worry about doing everything “right” I would. I would tell myself to find what works for us and go with it, regardless of whether our friends or family did it that way, or that’s what the book said to do. Don’t allow anyone make you feel like a bad mom or that you are doing something wrong.

It will get better. I didn’t think anything could top the adorable words, the toddling around, or the baby giggles. And those things are beyond special. But the love and fun will only magnify as they grow. New stages and new seasons will bring new joys and memories.

Take it all in. Write things down. Take lots of pictures. One day they will be treasured reminders of the special and seemingly mundane times.

Your to-do list will never get done. Just be OK with that. There will always be dishes and laundry and vacuuming and organizing to do. But the kids won’t be little for long. Put them at the top of your to-do list.

Learn to love your kid’s cry. Let’s be honest here, you’re going to hear them cry A LOT. Find a way to love it.

It’s OK not to enjoy every moment. I try so hard to enjoy every minute of the time our kids are young, but in all honestly, there are just times when it is plain hard, overwhelming, boring, exhausting, and not fun. Some days are pretty much just survival mode. And that’s OK. There are plenty of days that are full of laughter and joy. Enjoy the fun times, and power through the hard times.

It’s OK not to be a super mom or a perfectionist. You can’t do it all. And you’re not supposed to do it all.

You are doing a great job. There will be many, many moments where you feel like a failure. The days where you are tired and grumpy, the weeks when you serve Mac ‘n Cheese a few too many times, and when your kids develop a collection of Happy Meal toys that is too big. But your love and care for these kids day after day, week after week, and year after year is what matters. Don’t allow the days of feeling like a failure overrule the days of joy.

Love and prayers,
Future you

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 now!

Order Now

Emily Scott

Emily Scott, PhD, is a stay at home mom of three, and part time parenting consultant and blogger who has written and spoken on various parenting topics including child development, ACEs, and tips on raising responsible kids. 

The Letting Go Happens Tooth by Tooth

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy smiling missing a tooth

There is something about a toothless grin. Not the gummy smile of infancy, but the wide-gapped delight of a child who has newly lost a tooth. Today’s was not the first tooth my son has lost—the first was over a year ago—but today, the fifth tooth, was a top one, and today his smile seemed to announce with an oh, so in my face clarity, that he and I had better make room for adulthood (or at least, pre-tweendom?). He is shedding his babyhood. Those teeth that kept me up at night on their way in have outgrown their use....

Keep Reading

I Love Who We’ve Become

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn, black-and-white photo

The lines of my body are softer now. Softer like her little cheeks as they brush against mine. Softer like her smile while she falls asleep looking up at me. Softer like her perfect head of hair when I brush it after bath time. The parts of my body are more full now. Full like her belly because of the milk I create. Full like her thighs fitting into new sizes as we leave the premie world in our rearview. Full like our hearts since we found out she was coming, and they’ve filled exponentially every day since. RELATED: The...

Keep Reading

It’s Okay if the Dishes Can’t Wait

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman washing dishes

It’s been seven hours since I last spoke. There’s no one in the house to talk to. My husband is still at work and my kids are having a sleepover at Grandma’s. It’s also the Friday before a long weekend, so most of my friends have left for the cottage, which means my phone hasn’t dinged in a while. So, I did what most mothers do when they have the house to themselves for a few hours. I cleaned. I washed the dishes. I wiped the toothpaste off the bathroom mirror in my kids’ bathroom. I picked up the wood chips...

Keep Reading

To the Parents Facing a Child’s Illness: You Are Strong

In: Grief, Kids, Motherhood
Toddler with cast and IV looking out window

If you are the parents who just sat for hours in a cold doctor’s office to hear that your child has a life-threatening illness, you are so strong.  If you are the parents who can’t bring yourself to decorate or celebrate the unknown because you don’t know if they’ll ever come home, you are so strong.  If you are the parents who travel or relocate to deliver your child in one of the best hospitals with hopes it will change the outcome, you are so strong. If you are the parents who learn all the medical terminology so you understand...

Keep Reading

What Happens When Your Perfect Life Explodes?

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Marriage, Motherhood
Sad woman by window with her head in hands

One day you’re living your best life, writing articles about how perfect your marriage is, and the next, BOOM, life as you know it completely changes. I was blindsided by information that my husband had been lying to me for three years about certain aspects of our lives. I felt like I had been hit in the gut by the biggest rock you could imagine. What has followed has been a snowball of events and new information that has changed the course of my and my kids’ lives. So what do you do when your perfect explodes? This is one...

Keep Reading

Life Began with You

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding baby to her chest by window

I heard about the labor pains. And the sleepless nights.  I heard about the inconveniences. And the never-ending sacrifices.  I heard about the “end of life as I knew it.” And the loss of my individual freedom.  I heard about how it would impact my career. And how I’d never get to travel the world.  I heard about how I should date my husband while I can. And how expensive it all is. I heard about never getting any alone time. And how frustrating it can be. I heard about loneliness, depression, and the blues. And how hard it is to...

Keep Reading

Sweet Baby, I Wish I Could Have Met You

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Toddler standing at table with lit candles, color photo

Miscarriage. It floods my head with devastating memories. It seems like it happened so long ago, yet I can still feel the roller coaster of emotions I was taken on. My husband and I were ready to start a family, and I was fortunate enough to get pregnant right away. Holding that pregnancy test with my hands shaking and voice trembling, I was scared and excited.  I was ready to be a mom. Even though seeing those two lines so quickly left me shocked, I was ready to meet my baby. When I found out there was a little human growing...

Keep Reading

All I Could Do Was Make It to Church Today

In: Faith, Motherhood
Close up of man holding baby in his arms in church pew with kids in background

All I can do is make it to church today. It was the final thought that shut the door on all the other thoughts this morning. The thoughts that said I don’t look good enough. I should put on makeup. I should wear something nicer. I should find a way to paint my nails without them getting smudged up from holding a baby before they dry. The thoughts that said I am not doing good enough. I should have made supper last night. I shouldn’t have used that glass pan that shattered in the oven while trying to steam bake...

Keep Reading

You Are Worth Every Sacrifice

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding infant, black-and-white photo

The best part of me is my son. Being a new mom is exhausting yet so rewarding. They say when he sleeps, you sleep. But I don’t want to miss any cuddles, so when he sleeps, I snuggle him up tight.  Being a new mom is lonely and so fulfilling at the same time. I’ve never felt so alone, but I’ve also never felt like my life had a purpose until now.  I wouldn’t trade my loneliness for a large number of friends. Although having some friends, even if very few, helps. Sometimes it takes being lonely to bring the most...

Keep Reading

3 Things Toddlers Teach Us if We Slow Down and Notice

In: Motherhood, Toddler
Toddler and mother hold dandelion flower

The saying goes, “Learn from your elders.” I’ve heard it said throughout my childhood and into my adult life. There is a lot to learn from people who are older than you, especially from their mistakes. However, I’ve come to realize that I can learn a great deal about living in the present from my gutsy toddler. Being a parent allows—more like forces—you to live in the moment. Toddlers are temperamental, tenacious, tender-hearted, and if they are anything like my daughter, they are also incredibly talkative. Their mood swings hit you in the face, sometimes quite literally with the unwanted...

Keep Reading