Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I’ve reached a new era of parenting; the GO TO SLEEP stage. The struggle is real. When my toddler plays the no-sleep game, I want to scream, “GO TO SLEEP.”  Though, he’s a touch too little for momma’s wrath. I’m a softy! Instead, my eyes bug out of my head and I want to chug wine. The tantrum before bed isn’t cute, it’s annoying.

No really Love Bug, go to sleep. Momma’s bedtime is coming too. Party time is over.

Last night, Benjamin-Won’t-Go-To-Bed was up for the count. Pre-bedtime, Ben was pulling the cat’s tail, got a get-out-of-bath-time-card, refusing to put toys away – normal toddler stuff. My patience was already thin, Wildman Toddler needed to go down. No book could settle him for night-night. He was testing me and I knew it. I allowed the test, those chocolate brown eyes welled with tears when I laid Ben in the crib. His cries begging me to pick him up. So I did, we read a few books and played for another ten minutes. Now, bedtime had really passed. Going on thirty minutes. Going to sleep used to be easy. Books, a little rocking and snuggle time, then he went down without a fight.

I tried again, Mount St. Toddler erupted in more tears and squeals. I buckled under pressure, grabbed my toddler and comforted him with books. Curious George was no help, neither were the monsters from Where the Wild Things Are.  I tried again with rocking, which turned into kicking and begging for Daddy. 

Ben’s fight was strong, he was stubborn like his mom. Determined to win the battle and park his tush on the sofa with Elmo and Cookie Monster, Ben pointed to his bedroom door and said, “Elmo.” Ever so sweetly too. Then crocodile tears came next. I’m a sucker for tears too! We were now WAAYYYY passed his bedtime. Desperation started to sink in.

Again I gave in, and my Toddler Terror turned into butter, cuddling in my arms for a few more minutes of Sesame Street (TV, I know – trying to break it. Hold the judgement).

I think, Maybe he’s not tired. He took a three hour nap (semi-abnormal) at daycare.

His eyes drooped, head bobbling up and down, an action that forces one to stay awake.

Ben was tired, he wasn’t going to fool me again. I shut Elmo off after ten minutes.

GO TO SLEEP. I said in my head as I laid him down and kissed him goodnight. 

Toddler Terror came back, with a screaming vengeance for round three. His savior; Elmo. Then, Daddy. Sorry buddy, you are not getting Elmo at 9:30 at night. I heard his little feet thump on the mattress. I was sure his blankies were thrown across the room. When Ben got really angry, off goes his socks, jammie pants, and diaper– a final sendoff to his angry land. 

He had no temperature, a fresh diaper, clean linens, a full day of playing. Why can’t you just go to sleep like you always do, lay down in your crib after rocking?

Nope. He screamed louder. I admit, I can only handle the crying for a certain time-frame. I watched the clock intensely as minutes passed slowly. Five more minutes, then I would do a recuse mission.

GO TO SLEEP. I thought, my teeth clenched too as another minute passed. Finally, I heard a flop and a settling cry. Then, nothing. Defeat and sleep, Ben went down and the nighttime war was over.

Until the next night, or the one after that.

Oh yes little one, I see lots of battles in the future over your bedtime. I love you Benjamin, but go to sleep.

**Little One woke up at 6:30 am, bright eyed and bushy tailed. Clothes intact too**

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Kate Hula

Kate Hula began writing as soon as she could hold a crayon in her hand and has been hooked with words, writing and storytelling ever since. By first grade, Kate completed her first novel, The Butterfly Catcher, with several other grade level masterpieces that only her mother has seen. Her writing ambition brought her to the University of Nebraska- Kearney where she graduated with a degree in Journalism while working part-time at a local television station. As time progressed, Kate moved to Lincoln and found the one thing she wasn't looking for, love. She met her future husband at a cheesy 80's cover band concert and her life changed forever. While balancing married life and a full time job, Kate has just enough time to do what she loves the most, writing. Follow Kate's hilarious and unconventional blog, the vaultuncensored.com, about life as a thirty-something year old woman among a world of debauchery, annoyances and every day oddities that make life a little more interesting.

Dear Graduate, I Love You Forever

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Kindergarten grad

I never imagined these days of preparing for graduation, senior prom, senior photos, and you actually moving out would come. A few weeks into your life, friends gifted you a 6-month sleeper. I remember the cuddly white footie pajamas well. But I swore you’d never get big enough to wear it. How could this 8-pound human grow to fit into 6-month clothes? Impossible. And then somehow they did fit, and then they didn’t anymore. Just like that. Everyone says the days are long but the years are short. Everyone, that is, who has had a lot of years. When I...

Keep Reading

Always Choose Adventure

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Two children looking at aquarium exhibit, color photo

Here’s the thing about traveling with little kids. Is it hard? Sometimes. Sometimes it looks like a whole carry-on dedicated solely to snacks, activities, and emergency treats. Sometimes it looks like buying a drink for the passenger next to you as a way of saying sorry and thank you all at the same time for the airplane kid chaos they endured. Sometimes it looks like altering your picture-perfect itinerary that you meticulously planned on account of missed naps finally catching up. Sometimes it looks like washing a car seat off in a hotel shower because your toddler got carsick, then...

Keep Reading

Love Beyond Words

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugging daughter

My daughter Lexi lost her words and some of her motor functioning when she was two years old. She was three when the silent intruder of Rett Syndrome made itself known through seizures. But here’s the heart of our story: even without words, Lexi and I have created our own language—a symphony of unspoken love. She may not call me “Mom” in the traditional sense, but her eyes, her laughter, and the unique sounds she makes speak volumes to my heart. Each day with Lexi is a dance—one where the steps aren’t always clear, and the rhythm can change in...

Keep Reading

Daddy, Am I Beautiful?

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Daddy holding preschool-aged daughter, color photo

“Daddy, do I look beautiful?” I heard my daughter ask my husband from the other room. I barely heard what she said as I was in the kitchen washing the dishes, but her words struck a chord in my heart. My sweet girl, all dressed to go out, asked for her Daddy’s assurance that she was beautiful, that she was admired and special. It hit me in that moment: this pure and built-in desire we all have to be loved, admired, and wanted. Just as my sweet girl wanted her Daddy’s approval and assurance of love, I so often cry...

Keep Reading

Sensitive Sons Are Strong Too

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy pets kitten held by another older boy

My son has always been timid. When he was a baby, he cried when he lost his pacifier in his crib. If I laughed too loudly, he might burst into tears. Once, he was asleep in his bassinet as my husband and I turned on a movie. The MGM lion roared, and he woke in a panic that seemed to take forever to calm. Now, at five years old, my son wrestles, runs, fights, and screams at the television. He pretends to fight bad guys and save me and his twin sister. He thinks he is the king of the...

Keep Reading

Wrestle Like a Girl

In: Kids, Motherhood
Girls wrestling team huddling on the floor

I’m a wrestling mom, but I’m a new breed. I’m the kind with my little girl on the mat. Sure, I support our son out there, and I scream like a wild banshee with the rest of the crazy parents, and I’m in awe of the athletes these boys are. But then steps out our daughter. And it’s different. She decided to join her big bro at practice years ago when word was just starting to spread about the possible emergence of girls’ wrestling. She was only in kindergarten, but I think my husband might have already been thinking college....

Keep Reading

I’ll Hold on To Moments of Childhood with My Preteen as Long as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Smiling preteen and mother

This Christmas season, my husband took our laser light projector and aimed it at the Australian bottle tree in the front yard. It shone like a thousand red and green fairies dancing through the branches. The first time I saw it, I gasped with glee. Christmas came and went. Much to our 6-year-old’s disappointment, we took down the decorations and boxed them in the attic until next year. I noticed that my husband forgot to put away the light projector though. One Friday night, recovering from a stomach bug, we decided to watch Wonka and fold laundry. We bought into the...

Keep Reading

“Tell Me Another Story, Daddy?”

In: Kids
Man reading to young son

“Tell me another story, Daddy?” I had heard these words since we had finished supper. My 5-year-old son loves hearing stories. He loves to put himself in these stories. He doesn’t just watch Paw Patrol, he’s in Paw Patrol. He is a Kratt brother. And he loves hearing stories about his favorite adventurers with him saving the day alongside his animated heroes. While I absolutely love telling stories to my son, there are many days when I don’t feel like it. When I want to say, “No, Daddy is tired. Why don’t you go play with your toys while daddy...

Keep Reading

Getting Glasses Can be an Adjustment

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Pre-teen wearing glasses

On their last break from school, my daughter and son happily enjoyed a nice week of catching up with friends and having a relaxed schedule. I was careful to avoid overloading our schedule so we had a nice balance of days out and days being at home. As can often happen on a school break, I used one day as our “appointments day.” We had our routine dental checks and eye exams booked. The morning went smoothly with the dentist, and then it was time to head home for lunch. Next, we popped back out to do the children’s eye...

Keep Reading

To the Fifth Grade Parents: Thank You

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Arcade style photo machine, color photo

To the fifth-grade parents in my community: How are we here already? The end of fifth grade. The end of elementary school. It feels like yesterday we saw each other at kindergarten drop off, some of us through the tears of sending our first baby to school, some seasoned pros, and a small group of us with a touch of extra worry in our mama hearts—the special ed mamas. Among the many things I worried about sending my kindergarten son to school was how your children would treat him. Would they laugh at him like they did at his Montessori...

Keep Reading