Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

I go to a Mom’s Circle at my church, not because I wanted to get together and do bible studies, but because they have free childcare. That’s it in a nutshell. Well, that’s why I went the first time anyway.

The female pastor at my church approached me the other day before Mom’s Circle and said that one of the other moms had spoken to her about what I had said last week. My first thoughts were, “oh crap, Teri, what the hell did you say?” very church-like, I know. I prepared myself for a talk about some behavior that needed to be corrected or things that you’re not supposed to say in a church group or something along those lines. I was not preparing myself to be on the defensive though, just ready to accept feedback and figure out what needed to happen next. Needless-to-say, I was shocked when she said the other mom was so grateful that I starting coming to the group, because she felt like the things I shared made her feel like life was going to be OK. That although things weren’t always easy, it would all be fine in the end.

I feel like as moms, we tend to not share the crappy details of our lives, and just give the pretty highlights and show how awesome we are. We keep sharing all of the awesome and hide all of the things we probably consider our failures. I let others know that they don’t have to worry about their successes and failures as a parent, because I already have a lockdown on the Mom of the Year Award. So since there’s no competition, feel free to parent however works for you.

Let me tell you about the time my four-year-old finger painted her bedroom with poop, or how my two-year-old liked to peel wallpaper off the walls, or how my nine-year-old got kicked off the bus for repeating sexual things he didn’t understand but overheard the older kids say on the bus, or how I didn’t pack extra clothes to take the church daycare for my three-year-old who told the workers that her underwear got rained on (for the record, it was not rain). I’ve got stories of the amazingly wonderful and the amazingly awful things my kids have done, and boy oh boy, do I have stories about my many, many, many mom-fails that are present on a daily basis.

I have learned a lot of things from my middle child. She shook up my entire world. I had parenting down pat before she was born. A simple example is what she wears. She picks out her clothing, and I am not allowed into the process. If I tried to intervene, she would have a complete meltdown on the floor, and the whole ordeal could potentially last an hour, ending when I let her make her own decisions. Now, I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is not out of the question for her to wear two to three layers of clothing, none of which remotely match. A spaghetti-strapped sequined dress with a pair of striped pants, pair of jean shorts, mismatched socks, a pirate hat, and running shoes is a pretty standard outfit.

After accepting that I don’t have to do just like everyone else does, I have decided that I like colored socks and that it’s awesome when they don’t match. With all of my power earned by my Mom of the Year Award, I give you permission to do what makes you and your family happy, regardless of what you think society expects from you. When you become comfortable just being you, life is more interesting and less stressful. So, I started going to Mom’s Group at my church to get a break from being a mom, but in the end, I felt fulfillment because I made the difference in the life of another mom.

BeaconIns3-300x250 (4)

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

Teri Gray

Teri has a bachelors degree in German and Mathematics and a master's degree in Education. She spent eight years teaching at Boys Town High School for at-risk youth before moving to Germany, where her husband was stationed with the military for almost five years. She has three children 10, 5, and 3. Teri knew everything there was about parenting before she had her second child, who continues to shatter every mold ever created and test her on a daily basis. Teri hails from Omaha, Nebraska, but currently resides in the Seattle area. Her favorite forms of therapy are baking, cooking, and running. Honesty and hilarity are integral parts of her personality.

Brothers Fight Hard and Love Harder

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys play outside, one lifting the other on his back

The last few years have been a whirlwind. My head has sometimes been left spinning; we have moved continents with three boys, three and under at the time. Set up home and remained sufficiently organized despite the complete chaos to ensure everyone was where they were meant to be on most days. Living in a primarily hockey town, the winters are filled with coffee catch-ups at the arena, so it was no surprise when my youngest declared his intention to play hockey like his school friends. Fully aware that he had never held a hockey stick or slapped a puck,...

Keep Reading

Stop Putting an Expiration Date on Making Memories

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and son in small train ride

We get 12 times to play Santa (if we’re lucky). This phrase stopped my scroll on a Sunday evening. I had an idea of the direction this post was going but I continued on reading. 12 spring breaks 12 easter baskets 20 tooth fairy visits 13 first days of school 1 first date 1-2 proms 1-2 times of seeing them in their graduation cap and gown 18 summers under the same roof And so on and so on. It was essentially another post listing the number of all the monumental moments that we, Lord willing, will get to experience with our...

Keep Reading

When Your Kids Ask, “Where Is God?”

In: Faith, Kids
Child looking at sunset

How do I know if the voice I’m hearing is God’s voice? When I was in high school, I found myself asking this question. My dad was a pastor, and I was feeling called to ministry. I didn’t know if I was just hearing my dad’s wish or the call of God. I was worried I was confusing the two. It turns out, I did know. I knew because I was raised to recognize the presence of God all around me. Once I knew what God’s presence felt like, I also knew what God’s voice sounded like. There is a...

Keep Reading

Go Easy On the Parents Who Refuse to Skip Naps

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two little boys and their sister walking down a gravel road, color photo

Greetings from a mom who is done with napping children. It’s great to have the flexibility during the day for longer activities, meeting friends for playdates, or day trips to faraway places. It’s a new life . . . the life without naps. The freedom to make plans and keep them. But not that long ago, I was something very different than the flexible, plan-keeping, up-for-it woman I am today. I used to be the mom who refused to skip my child’s nap. Yep, that one. Here’s the thing, for a lot of parents, It’s so much more than just a...

Keep Reading

My Heart Isn’t Ready for You to Stop Believing in Santa

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy standing in front of lit christmas tree

“My friend doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, Mom,” my son said out of the blue the other day. We were driving in the car, and when I met his gaze in the rear-view mirror his eyes searched mine. Immediately, my heart sank.  This sweet boy, he’s our first. Thoughtful and smart and eight years old. A quick Google search tells me that’s the average age kids stop believing in Santa, but as his mom, I’m not ready for that—not even a little bit.  I can still hear his barely 2-year-old voice going on about reindeer as we lay together on...

Keep Reading

Motherhood is a Million Little Letting Gos and Fresh Hellos

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with child on her lap by the setting sun and water

I missed my grocery-shopping buddy the other day. Mondays are usually the days my littlest and I knock out our grocery list. In the past, we’ve dropped the kids at school and then headed to the store. I grab a latte, and she chooses a hot chocolate. But that day, they were all in school. That day, she sat in her kindergarten class, and I went to the grocery store. Alone. A new rhythm. A changed routine. A different season. I listened to a podcast on the drive. My podcast. Then I grabbed a drink. Just one. I got the...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, This Is My Wish for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugs three kids

To my kids, The world you’re stepping into is unlike anything I experienced at your age. It’s fast-paced, interconnected, and sometimes overwhelming. But within this chaos lie countless opportunities for growth and joy. My wish for you is that you find the perfect balance between embracing the modern world and staying true to yourselves. Change is one thing you can always count on. Embrace it because it’s often the motivation for growth. Embracing change doesn’t mean letting go of who you are; rather, it’s about evolving into the best version of yourself. Remember, you don’t need to have all the...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Stay Wild

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach, color photo

I can’t really put my finger on it. Or manage to find all the words. But there’s just something about that girl. Maybe it’s the way her hair sits tangled. Curled up at the end. The way she moves. Dances. As if everyone was watching. Or no one at all. RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine It could be the way she smiles. With her heart. The way only she can. The way she cares, loves. For everyone. For herself. You see, she is beautiful in the way only wild things are. The way they...

Keep Reading

You’re Becoming a Big Sister, But You’ll Always Be My Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Pregnant woman with young daughter, color photo

The anticipation of welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting and joyous time for our family. From the moment we found out we were expecting to just about every day since, the love and excitement only continue to grow. However, amidst all the preparations for the new addition, I cannot help but have mixed emotions as I look back at old videos and pictures of my firstborn, my first princess, my Phoebe—for she will always hold a special place in my heart. As the anticipation grows, my heart swells with a mix of emotions knowing we are...

Keep Reading

Cowgirls Don’t Cry Unless the Horse They Loved Is Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Loss
Little girls Toy Story Jessie costume, color photo

The knee of my pants is wet and dirty. My yellow ring lays by the sink—it’s been my favorite ring for months. I bought it to match Bigfoot’s halter and the sunflowers by his pasture. Bigfoot is my daughter’s pony, and I loved him the most. The afternoon is so sunny. His hooves make the same calming rhythm I’ve come to love as I walk him out back. A strong wind blows through the barn. A stall labeled “Bigfoot,” adorned with a sunflower, hangs open and I feel sick. I kneel down by his side as he munches the grass....

Keep Reading