So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

This year you left me. Well, okay, you didn’t really leave, per-se, but part of you has gone. You’ve crossed over to the other side, where you’ve become less of my baby, my son, my firstborn, and more of the teenager, the hairy man-child, the tall and independent adolescent.

I watched you walk into your new high school, tall, handsome, confident, but still a bit shy, and although I was so proud of you, I still felt a sense of loss that day.

We had a very difficult time the day you were born. You were a big baby, almost ten pounds and twenty-three inches long. I was in labor for many hours, and after three of those hours trying diligently to push you into the world, the doctor stuck a suction cup on your big (really if I’m being honest here), HUGE head, and plucked you out like a Dyson sucking up a ping pong ball.

You came out the size of a three month old, orange (jaundice), and with a perfectly shaped cone head. It was as if I’d given birth to a gigantic alien baby that, in certain lights, resembled a Malibu Barbie with a triangle-shaped noggin. But I thought you were the most beautiful creation I’d ever seen in my entire life.

That night, lying in the hospital bed sleeping, I dreamed of you. I couldn’t believe I had carried you inside me for all those months, and finally, you were there. My heart was so full of love, I almost couldn’t breathe.

Because of the difficult labor and birth, you were born with something called a “pneumothorax”, which, as the doctors explained, was sort of a hole in one of your lungs. You were having trouble breathing, and you couldn’t eat. I had wanted to nurse you right after you were born. Instead, the doctors and nurses rushed you to the special care nursery so you could be looked after and put under a light to cure your jaundice.

Your dad and I didn’t get to take you home with us right away. You needed extra care, and the nurses explained that they would watch you all night long, that you would be safe and they would feed you my pumped milk with a little bottle. I was devastated. I wanted to take you home. I wanted you with me. After all, I’d had you with me every single day for the past nine months. I wasn’t ready to let you go.

Your dad and I didn’t sleep much that night, and couldn’t wait to finally go back to the hospital to pick you up and bring you home. I still, to this day, thank God for those doctors and nurses who took such good care of you and helped you to become the happy and healthy boy you are today.

We struggled with breastfeeding. It was tough, but we eventually figured it out. I was happy and relieved when you finally got the hang of nursing. I nursed you until one morning, when you were ten months old, I brought you downstairs for your first feeding of the day, and you wouldn’t eat. I tried different moves and maneuvers, thrusting my breast at you, hoping you’d take it, but you were having none of my nonsense.

You were done. Finished. Complete. No more nursing.

And that’s you, my boy. You know what you want when you want it. At that moment, I realized you were making your very first decision as an independent, free-thinking, little human being who already had his own thoughts, wants, and needs.

That’s how it’s been with you from day one. Each year you grow, you need me just a little less. You’ve come from needing help with staying in the lines coloring in kindergarten, to help writing a story in third grade, to help with styling your hair in fifth grade, to advice about friendships in eighth grade, to doing your own laundry, snapchatting with girls, and spending more time alone as a teenager. How am I supposed to get used to all of this?

We are starting to talk about colleges, and tomorrow you are taking the PSAT at school. You took a girl to Homecoming this year. You care about what you wear, how you look, and how your breath smells- all good things, but all signs that you are growing up much too quickly. At the very least, you are growing up faster than I’m able to adjust.

Slow down, my love. Don’t leave just yet. I still need hugs and snuggles. I still need a midnight snack with you while we talk about funny videos you like to watch and weird stories you’ve heard in the news. I’m not ready to let you go.

I’ve got a few more years with you until you go off to college, so keep holding my hand in the car, keep texting me before you go to sleep at night, and don’t forget to ask me to make you my famous grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup for dinner when you need something warm and comforting.

Go ahead and wake me up at night if you have a stomach ache, and feel free to interrupt me while I’m working if you really just need to talk. Time moves too fast, and I want every single, precious moment I can get with you before you become and adult and start your own life.

Just remember, no matter how close or far you are one day– I love you, my son, for now and always.


Tammi Landry-Gilder

Tammi is an author, wife, mother and blogger who lives in West Bloomfield, Michigan, with her husband, two sons, three dogs, and too many fish in a tank to count.

I’m the Quiet Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, smiling, black-and-white photo

I’m the quiet mom. The shy mom. The highly introverted mom. The mom who doesn’t do very well in social situations. The mom who tries to be social but usually comes off as a little awkward. I don’t overly like this about myself. But it’s who I am. I could try to change this about myself. I could try to be the outgoing mom. The social mom. The loud and extroverted mom. And I have tried. However, completely changing who a person is at heart is not something that can be easily done. Complete change is also very unlikely to...

Keep Reading

These Are the Sick Years

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom kissing head of sick toddler

I’m still in the trenches of toddlerhood, and yet, I already know I will look back on my daughter’s preschool years with affection for what it is: sweet, fun, curious, and undeniably precious. What I won’t miss about this stage is that it’s germy. SO germy. The preschool years bring endless crud into our home. Crud that is heartbreaking when your beloved child’s body is working hard to fight it off, but that also works its way into other bodies. The adults in the home who have jobs and responsibilities, run the entire household and have just endured the emotional...

Keep Reading

One Day You’ll Have Big Girl Tears, So I’ll Hold You Today

In: Motherhood
Mother holding infant daughter, color photo

Your little eyes are swollen tonight from crying, but I know how to comfort you. I hold you close, hum one of your favorite songs, and nurse the pain away until your breathing slows. Tonight, your tears are from teething pains and being overly tired, but I know one day, probably in a future that will come faster than I can anticipate, they’ll be swollen for big girl reasons. Fights with friends, heartbreak, championship losses, homework stress, the inevitable mother-daughter arguments.  I hope in those times I will know the ways to comfort you, that I can still ease some...

Keep Reading

You’re Not a Bad Mom, You’re a Work in Progress

In: Motherhood
Mom hugging child

I’m kind of hard on myself as a mom. In fact, most days if I were to grade myself on some sort of official motherhood report card, I think I’d give myself a “Needs Improvement,” which isn’t all bad. Nobody’s perfect, and the idea of working on being a better mom is great—important even—but I’m realizing more and more that when I see myself as a mom, I tend to focus on the bad. The things that need improving. All the little mistakes add up, and overall, I end up feeling like a bad mom. Nobody tells me this. It’s...

Keep Reading

I’m Giving My Kids the Summer Fun I Never Had

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys playing in the waves on the beach, color photo

I love that my kids hate school. Stay with me here . . . Yes, I absolutely love that year after year, my boys cannot wait to ditch school for summer break, that they endlessly bemoan the academic year and cannot wait for June.  I love it because it is normal. I love it because it means they enjoy being at home and implies that I make summers fun for them, or, rather, allow summers to be fun for them. I love it because I always dreaded summers when I was growing up. Dreaded them with knots in my stomach...

Keep Reading

I Would Relive Every Moment of Sorrow Just To Hold You

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

As I sat there rocking my child to sleep, I caught my mind wandering to the past. Not my recent past but my before . . . Before my son was born. Before my stressful pregnancy. Before my positive pregnancy test. Before . . . when I was praying every day for a miracle—six years back. Infertility is a messy journey that few (and many at the same time) are chosen to take. It’s lonely and heartbreaking and dark and will make you hate yourself at times. You feel helplessness and anger and despair. RELATED: This is Infertility Your relationships...

Keep Reading

So God Made a Mother With a Willing Heart

In: Motherhood
Mother and daughter smiling, color photo

You may have heard it said that God only gives special children to special parents.   But, when God made the mother of a child who has special needs, the Lord did not need a special mother, the Lord needed a mother who was willing. God needed a woman who would say yes to an assignment that many choose not to accept. The Lord knew she wouldn’t feel qualified to raise a child with special needs, but that didn’t matter because God would equip her every step of the way. Since there is no such thing as a perfect mother,...

Keep Reading

Mothering One Day at a Time

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding daughter in matching shirts, color photo

As I sat with my growing belly, full of anticipation for the arrival of my firstborn, the possibilities were endless for this little girl. Maybe she would lean toward the arts and be a dancer, writer, or musician. Or maybe she would take after her great-granddad and become a scientist. And maybe one day she would be a mother too. Dreaming about the future was fun and exciting. But then she surprised us with an at-birth Down syndrome diagnosis. Special needs were never included in my dreaming sessions.    All of the sudden, my hopes and dreams for this new...

Keep Reading

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

You Don’t Have to Lose Yourself to Be a Good Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman brushing wet hair

There is nothing wrong with losing yourself in motherhood. Diving in head first, serving your kids and spouse endlessly, never asking for a break, being proud for providing an amazing childhood for your kids, and allowing mom to become your entire identity. But what if you don’t want that?  When did this become the standard of motherhood we are all expected to achieve? Why does society say the best mom is the one that’s 110% physically and emotionally available for her kids all the time and never does anything for herself? Why are you less of a mom if you...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!


Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime