Shop the fall collection ➔

I love red wines with notes of chocolate and spice. 

I love prosecco where bubbles hit dry against the throat. 

I love blends from California wine country best of all. 

I maybe love them all a little too much. 

It is a fast and fearful digression how easily I slip from enjoying a glass of wine at a gathering, to craving one nightly, to daydreaming about that chalice of reward after tuck-in time, to creeping that timeline ever earlier in the day. 

That single-focused desire scared me. The deeper need remained unmet. Last year, I stopped. 

The emotional physicality of parenthood left my body and mind in a constant fog. While the wine felt like a temporary oasis, the last thing I needed was a depressant disallowing the fog to lift. 

I do not have a clinical drinking problem. That glass of wine? They told me I earned it for being a mommy. They told me this is what we do. 

I am not a teetotaler. As a young missionary I got in a huff or four about outdated alcohol rules being inhospitable to building relationships and turning religion into a list of Don’ts. The wine stocker at my local Trader Joe’s know my name and I know his. (Hi, David!)

And yet . . . it is time to face our entanglement in the United States between wine and young motherhood. 

I bring it up now because I got lost. 

I bring it up now because I bought into the normalizing. 

I bring it up because the intensity of advertisement targeting women is rapidly increasing.

I bring it up because we are a generation of highly educated moms hustling hard for magic, anxiously spinning with ambition, and desperately weary for soul rest. 

I bring it up because I can’t participate in the mom culture of self-deprecating jokes anymore of “send wine” without my Furious Feminist coming to the forefront. 

Wine consumption is targeted solely to young moms as the escape we deserve for finish-lining the slog of another day barely tolerating motherhood; barely tolerating our children. We have memes and mugs and tank tops and text threads laughing about it. 

All the while, we remain unsatisfied or groggy or angry or numb while media and marketing profit billions from our avoided pain. 

All the while, our spouses and children watch on the sidelines starting their own self-talk stories from the implications of our actions. 

All the while, we trade soul nourishment and being fully awake for false, fleeting relief. 

Instead, what if . . . 

What if we allowed ourselves to be raw at the end of the day in all our tired and all our disappointments? 

What if we showed this side of ourselves to our family and friends and asked for their understanding? 

What if we sought sustenance from the deepest Well of Grace? 

What if we stood with our littles for backyard sunsets and bought the Costco pack of coconut water whispering a blessing of help or hope each time we twisted the cap open in the school pick up line? 

What if we danced it out in the kitchen to Kidzbop or Laurie Berkner or show tunes and turned our desire for more into creativity and connection and the most ancient ministry of all: sleep?

Believe me. I get it. I get how collectively exhausted we are. I get how we just need to collapse or zone at the day’s end. I know. 

I also know we want more.

I know we want real.

I know we deserve it and by God, by God, we’ve earned it.

Jenny Leboffe

Jenny lives in San Diego with her husband and five kids. She writes about everyday family life, foster care, adoption, and the spiritual expansion of motherhood at jennyleboffe.com. Join her story on Facebook or Instagram

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading