So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

It was one of those days on top of one of those weeks.

My once sweet little baby decided turning two really was a good time to start being terrible. My four-year-old failed over and over again to keep his hands to himself and lay off the potty talk in public. My energy was depleted from arguing over leaving the playground, or what food I served, or why I couldn’t tell another story because it’s time for bed.

It was tantrums and meltdowns and breakdowns. It was kids screaming for more food even though they just ate. It was pulling apart ugly fights. It was enduring harsh glares and rude comments. It was was locking myself in the bathroom to steal five minutes of peace. It was lying in bed under a pile of crying children. It was praying every morning for an OK day. Just OK, because great felt impossible.

I am far from the first to write these words. The challenge of motherhood theme resonates across the blogosphere. We read them and nod along in agreement because we are those mothers. And, yet, there is always people there who tell you to, “get over it.” There is always at least one comment about how you should feel blessed. There is always someone to tell you how much worse things could be.

I get it. I know in the grand scheme of life gauntlets thrown at you, I got a fairly easy one. I know many mothers face far greater burdens.

There are mothers who have buried their children.

There are mothers who parent alone.

There are mothers whose children have special needs.

There are mothers who never know if their military partners will come home.

There are mothers who wonder how they will pay for this week’s groceries.

There are mothers who don’t know if they will live long enough to watch their kids grow up.

But, acknowledging their struggles doesn’t make me feel better. I don’t experience schadenfreude. I achieve no joy from others sorrow. I don’t have a bad day and say, at least I’m not “so and so.”

What brings me comfort is knowing those moms, who from the outside seem to be suffering so greatly, are often the most positive, the most joyous and the most grateful. They seek no pity or sympathy. They find the strength to handle each day with dignity and grace.

And, some days, like for all of us, the weight of motherhood is too much to bear. Some days we are all a collection of parents with varying degrees of struggle. We have moments of wondering how we can possibly handle it all. We scrape the bottoms of our souls to give just a little bit more, and when we have nothing left, we call ourselves failures. We are women who share the gift of motherhood and all of its beauty and pain.

We need the pain. We need the struggle. We need the heartache. We need the horrible moments to help the wonderful ones shine through. We need the worst days to bring out the best.

Because just when we wonder how much more can we possibly handle, the simplest joys bring us back from the brink.

I watch my boys chase one another around the house, gleefully laughing with pure exuberance. The little one catches up with his older brother and knocks him over while giving him the biggest hug his little hands can muster. This is all it takes to remind me why I chose this path. And for that, I am grateful.

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

Gail Hoffer-Loibl

Gail Hoffer-Loibl is a writer, wife and wrangler of her two spirited boys. Her work has appeared on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, Kveller and more. She shares her thoughts on motherhood, kids and life on her blog. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Look beyond the Labels for What You Don’t See

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three kids sitting on parents' laps smiling

I’ve always said that labeling someone with high- or low-functioning autism, or any disability for that matter, isn’t ever truly accurate. You may see an extremely smart girl who seems “normal” but you don’t see everything. You don’t see how the noises hurt her ears. You don’t see how the bright lights hurt her eyes. You don’t see how hard she struggles to fit in. You don’t see how she struggles to understand the social cues. You don’t see how seriously she takes what you say even if you’re joking. You don’t see the struggles when she’s having an overwhelming...

Keep Reading

When You Look Back on These Pictures, I Hope You Feel My Love

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four kids playing in snow, color photo

I document your life in pictures. I do it for you. I do it for me. I do it because I want you to know I lived every memory. And loved every moment. When you go back through the thousands of moments, I hope it sparks something deep inside of you. Something that perhaps your heart and mind had forgotten until that moment. And I hope that it makes you smile.  I hope the memories flood and you remember how much each moment was cherished.  I hope each giggle and secret that was shared with your sisters at that moment sparks...

Keep Reading

For the Parents of the Kids Who Don’t Fit the Mold

In: Kids, Motherhood
mom hugging her daughter

This one is for the parents of the kids who don’t fit the mold. I see you holding your kid together with nothing but love and a prayer as they cry or feel defeated and you wish the world would see your kid like you do. I see you wiping away their tears after they were yet again passed over for all the awards and accolades. There is no award for showing up for school despite crippling anxiety or remembering to write down assignments for the first year ever. So they had to sit clapping again for friends whose accomplishments...

Keep Reading

Let Your Kids See You Try and Fail

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter sitting on floor knitting together

Let your kids see you try and fail at something. That’s what I did today!  My daughter wanted to take a knitting class together. I said sure, naively thinking the skill would come pretty naturally. I’m usually good at things like this.  Guess what? It didn’t. Although she picked it up easily and was basically a knitting pro within five minutes, the teacher kept correcting me, saying, “No, UNDER! You need to go UNDER, not OVER.” She was kind enough, but it just wasn’t clicking. I started to get frustrated with myself. I normally take things like this in stride...

Keep Reading

My Kids Don’t Like to Read, but They Do Love to Learn

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two children reading with each other, color photo

I fell in love with books during a war while my kids lost interest in reading during COVID. Between 1975 and 1990 during the Civil War in Lebanon, my mom, an avid reader, was determined to make me one despite many odds. Once every few weeks, starting when I was about 10, she and I would make the half-hour trek by foot from our apartment in Beirut to a place we called the “book cave.” It was a nondescript space—about 15 by 20 square feet—tucked in the basement of a dilapidated building. Inside, it housed hundreds of books in various...

Keep Reading

Dear Teachers, Thank You Will Never Be Enough

In: Kids, Living
Kids hugging teacher

Growing up a teacher’s daughter has given me a lifetime of appreciation for educators. Of course, it’s true; I may be biased. I’ve been fortunate to have learned and been guided by many outstanding teachers, including my mother and grandmother, who passed those legacy skills onto my daughter, who strongly feels teaching is her calling. But if you’ve had your eyes and ears open in recent years, you, too, probably feel deep gratitude for the angels among us who work in the school system. So, as the school year ends, and on behalf of parents, grandparents, and anyone who loves...

Keep Reading

Before You, Boy, I Never Knew

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three boys playing in creek, color photo

Before you, boy, I never knew that little boys could get so dirty. Play so rough. Climb so high. Assess your risks. Make me hold my breath. Messes everywhere.   Before you, boy, I never knew how much my lap will make room for you. My arms will stretch to swallow you up in endless hugs and just hold you close. And love you to the moon and back. And back again. Snuggling and snuggling.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything Before you, boy, I never knew that there would be so much wrestling. And superheroes, and far-off...

Keep Reading

It Hurts Seeing My Kid as a B-List Friend

In: Friendship, Kids, Teen
Teen girl sitting alone on a dock

Kids everywhere are celebrating, or will be celebrating soon. They will be playing outside, enjoying warm summer days, bike rides with friends, and maybe even sleepovers. It’s summer—it’s fun, right? Sure, it is. And sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it isn’t fun for the kids you least expect it from. We have that issue, and I knew it was building for the past few weeks with our teenage daughter. She was moody (moodier than normal). Short tempered. Obviously frustrated, but not ready to talk about it. But it was when she came home on the last day of school, in tears,...

Keep Reading

5 Money Tips to Set Your Kids Up for a Strong Financial Future

In: Grown Children, Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Father putting quarters in child's hand

As parents, we want to see our children become independent, but the transition to financial independence has unique challenges. I get it. I have three children of my own, and each of them deals with money differently. The transition can be especially difficult if you are a family that doesn’t talk openly about money. Regardless of whether money has been an open topic in the past, as your high school graduate moves on to the next chapter in their life, it’s important to help them start thinking about their financial future. College tuition, rent, and other expenses can be overwhelming...

Keep Reading

Dear Hunter’s Mom, What I Really Want to Say

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler boy, color photo

Hi, I’m Krystal. I’ve wanted to say that every Tuesday and Thursday when I see you in the preschool hallway. I don’t know why I never say it. It might be because I’m afraid to. Maybe you just want to get the drop-off over with and get out of there. I get it. Hunter is crying . . . hard. People are looking . . . they always look. Your face is flushed, your jacket twisted. You are caught between trying to do what you are supposed to do and what you want to do. I can tell. I know...

Keep Reading