Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

Long before two pink lines ever showed up on a home pregnancy test, I had already spent hours upon hours dreaming about what kind of mom I would be. And once that positive test finally did arrive, it was even easier to envision what life would be like once that sweet babe arrived.

But as I quickly discovered, all my best-laid plans went right out the window as soon as they placed that crying baby on my chest.

The dream: Breast is best! I will breastfeed exclusively for at least a year.

The reality: I was supplementing with formula within a few days of having my first child, had supply issues with both kids, and spent way too much time those first years feeling like a failure.

The dream: I will find 100 percent complete fulfillment in motherhood. I have waited, and prayed, and hoped, and dreamed, and finally, it is my turn to be a mother. And it is going to be wonderful . . . every last second of it!

RELATED: I Didn’t Enjoy Every Moment, But I Loved the Season

The reality: There are many days when motherhood is completely depleting, exhausting, and I feel as though I am barely making it through. I count down the minutes until bedtime and wonder what life on a deserted island would be like.

The dream: I will buy a jogging stroller, become a jogger, and lose all the baby weight. Easy peasy!

The reality: I never have been, nor will I probably ever be, a jogger. And five years after my last pregnancy, I’m still packing around extra pounds.

The dream: Since I will probably be staying-at-home, I will have loads of extra time to puree the vegetables I will grow in my own garden. I will have my freezer stocked with cubes of homemade baby food.

The reality: I should have bought stock in Gerber when my kids were babies. The only things I kept an abundant supply of in my freezer were frozen meals that only required me to preheat the oven. Loads of extra time? Ha!

The dream: I will never be one of those moms who yell. I will have all the patience in the world.

The reality: There are some days when on a scale of 1 to 10, my patience is -50. I lose my crap. I yell. I feel terrible after and vow to never yell again. Guess how well that works out?

The dream: I will have several children. The more the merrier, I say!

The reality: Being a mom is ridiculously hard. Some days I feel like I can barely handle two kids. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have any more.

RELATED: I Wanted a Big Family —But I’ve Reached My Mothering Limit

The dream: I will never be one of those moms who has kids and then puts their friendships on a back burner. Having a baby won’t change any of my relationships.

The reality: Eight years into motherhood, I still struggle with staying in touch with friends, whom I love dearly. Parenting is time-consuming, and it is hard to balance it all.

The dream: My kids will have well-balanced diets with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. They will only have candy on special occasions, and I will watch their daily sugar intake like a hawk.

The reality: There are some days my kids have well-balanced diets. And there are other days when I am extremely thankful for their gummy multi-vitamin. Mac and Cheese and frozen chicken nuggets are welcome in this house. My kids love candy (and probably eat too much of it) and they only mildly tolerate vegetables.

The picture of the mom I wanted to be has faded over the years as the reality of the mom I actually am has taken her place.

But here is the miracle in all of the mess . . . 

God knew what kind of mom I would be.

He knew I would screw up. Like a lot. He knew I would not be able to live up to my self-imposed ideals of what motherhood should look like. He knew I would suffer from guilt and question my parenting decisions. He knew I would give my kids way too much candy, and he knew they probably wouldn’t eat enough vegetables. He knew I wouldn’t be a perfect parent. And yet, He gave me these two precious humans anyway.

RELATED: God Doesn’t Ask Me To Be a Perfect Mom; He Asks Me To Point My Kids to a Perfect Savior

Because He knew other things about me . . . 

He knew I would l love them with all my heart.

He knew I would put my family first.

He knew I would try my very best.

He knew I would ask for forgiveness.

He knew I would give it my all.

And He knew He would be there for me every step of the way.

And those are the things that matter in the end.

So mama, if you feel like you are failing your kids, or if you wish you hadn’t yelled so much today, or if your kids just got done eating Twizzlers for breakfast . . . if you are drowning under the weight of trying to be the perfect mom, please remember . . .

God knew we would never be perfect or even close to it.

And He gave us these sweet babies anyway.

Because He knew, above everything else, we were meant to be moms.

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

Mary Ann Blair

Mary Ann Blair is a stay-at-home mom living in the Pacific Northwest with her two little gentlemen and hubs. She loves connecting with other parents who like to keep it real! Her work has been published on Her View From Home, Motherly, A Fine Parent, Perfection Pending, That’s Inappropriate, Pregnant Chicken, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Red Tricycle and in Chicken Soup For the Soul. She can be found at or on Facebook at Mary Ann Blair, Writer.

The Quiet Work You’re Doing Matters, Mama

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and two girls playing on bed

Mid-morning light spills through the kitchen window as I stand at the sink washing dishes.  “Mom, Caleb just punched me!” 3-year-old Aiden calls from the living room. “He took the remote right out of my hands!” Caleb contends. “I saw the whole thing happen,” their big sister interjects. “It was totally Caleb’s fault.  He started the whole thing.” “Mind your own business!” Caleb barks as he charges toward his sister with his fist in the air. It takes every ounce of restraint I can muster, but I manage not to get sucked into the yelling match happening in front of...

Keep Reading

Wear the Pretty Underwear

In: Faith, Grief, Living, Loss
Woman in evening gown, color photo

This week was monumental.  After 15 years, I finally finished a bottle of Victoria’s Secret perfume. I just wish I would have emptied it sooner.  It was one of those special occasion luxuries because it was not cheap. For years, I had saved this decadent perfume for date nights and holidays. It was too fancy for everyday use. And then, I was widowed without warning. My husband was here one minute, then gone the next. Impossible. Unfair. Traumatic. RELATED: What If Tonight Was Your Last Chance To Have Sex With Your Husband? But we were going to die in our...

Keep Reading

To the Parents Raising My Child’s Future Spouse

In: Faith, Motherhood
Little boy lying on car seat with puppy, color photo

Oh, hey there friend, you don’t know me yet or maybe you do, but at least for now neither of us know that our children will one day commit their lives to each other and by doing so forever knit our families together. One day, we will all sit in the front aisles of a church filled with scores of people who have influenced our babies, but none like us. No one else in that church will know the intentionality, love, and grace of God that it took to reach that day, but we will. The work you are doing...

Keep Reading

Spanking Made Us Parents We Didn’t Want To Be

In: Faith, Motherhood
Silhouette of mother pointing finger at child

Fourteen years ago when my husband and I were preparing for our first child, we felt we already had several tools in our toolbox. Both of us worked with children and youth, and we felt prepared for parenting. We decided early on that we would never spank unless we were completely out of options.  As our bright, sweet, bubbly firstborn entered the terrible fours (yes, he was a bit delayed in his toddler rebellion), we were surrounded by a community of people who believed in “controlled spanking” with hugs and grace afterward.  RELATED: These 6 Words Transformed Discipline in Our...

Keep Reading

I Was Raised by an Easter-Only Mom and I Want More for My Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter read Bible

Motherhood is not for the faint-hearted, and women tend to look to their upbringing for guidance. We may not even realize we’re doing it! But being a godly mother is even more difficult when you weren’t raised by one. The questions are endless: How do I model forgiveness? How do I set the right priorities for my household? How do I explain baptism to my 6-year-old? Is it okay to have undiscipled friends around my children? Do we have to pray over every meal? Is the occasional swear word acceptable?  These questions may be less intimidating if you were fortunate enough...

Keep Reading

Even When it Feels Like I Can’t, I Keep Going

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom holding toddler

When I feel like I can’t do one more thing. When I am overwhelmed and touched out and lost in the logistics of it all. When my physical and mental energy are depleted. When the length of my to-do list needs more hours than I have. When I am so bone tired that I’m sure I just can’t go on. And there is still more to do. And the only choice is to keep going– I keep going. I dig a little deeper and find strength I didn’t know I had. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it...

Keep Reading

What Happens When She Wants Another Baby and He Does Not?

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife, pregnancy photo, color photo

I am on my knees, folded over, with my head resting on the carpet. I am in my closet, which doesn’t see much of the vacuum, and it is the only place I can find to sob out of sight. I feel hollowed out and defeated as if I have run a marathon and was cut short at the finish line. I cry out in prayer, pleading with God to soften the heart of my husband. I desperately want another child, and he desperately does not. I take a deep breath and dry my eyes because my 4-year-old outside the...

Keep Reading

Is Your Marriage on Cruise Control?

In: Faith, Marriage
Couple holding hands in car, above view

Cruising down the road, the highway curled before us like a ribbon into the horizon. Cozy road trips are a staple for my husband and me, and we look forward to the time together. Having been married for 37 years the adventure continues! We have loved each other through the ups and downs, and we have learned a lot about relationships. We also made a point of carefully watching successful relationships and surrounding ourselves with those whose marriages flourished. Nowadays, we have many young couples ask us what it takes to keep a marriage vibrant. One of the key ingredients...

Keep Reading

Ordinary Mornings, Extraordinary Grace

In: Faith
Emily Ley holding Sure as the Sunrise book by water's edge

“From his fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Today, take note of what brings you gladness. That which gives you pause or causes you to take a deep breath. These are glimpses of God’s goodness in our lives, brought to life through moments and things, memories and sounds. Realizations and hope. In its biggest forms: a moment you wish you could freeze in time, and in its smallest: a sliver of grace, otherwise overlooked. I wake up to the smell of fresh laundry, sheets cool against my skin. One eye open, I peek down at the...

Keep Reading

She Just Needed to be Held

In: Faith, Motherhood
A little girl held by mom, color photo

“She just needed to be held,” I texted my husband after a two-hour battle to get my 3-year-old to bed. She’s been sick. Daddy’s been gone. And she needed to be seen. Held. Loved. And in that split second, I felt God say, “Just like you.” When things are chaotic. When we feel alone. When we feel weary. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama When our spirit feels sick. When it all feels like too much to carry. We need Him. To breathe life into us. To remind us of our worth. To remind us of the hope He offers....

Keep Reading