Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

I made Tator Tot casserole. This time was no different than the other 900 times I’ve mixed a pound of hamburger with a few cans of soup, thrown in beans, topped it with  fried potatoes shaped like miniature bales of hay and called it supper.

I know, mom. I know.

It’s simple, cheap and something my girls love to eat. It’s made often in our home. But this time, one distinct item was missing from the recipe. 


My girls’ dad, or husband to me, left for a work trip. He’s been away before, but as the girls grow older and more attached to their father, it’s harder for them to say goodbye. 

“Mom, tonight at supper, I’m going to sit where Daddy would sit,” my almost 7-year-old Ella said on day two of Daddy’s 4 day work trip. 

She followed with, “Mom, please pass the ketchup. I want to smear it on top like Daddy does…”

And then the tears fell, right on top of those Tator Tots.

I’ve seen this before. It’s a common occurrence with a daddy’s girl. Ella definitely fits that description. Her baby sister, Grace isn’t far behind. And it’s awesome. I’m thankful for the love they have for their daddy. It’s everything I dreamed, prayed and hoped it would be. A daughter’s relationship with her father is an incredibly special bond that will last a lifetime. I pray they will find a man just like him, someone who will respect and love and cherish every ounce of their beings. This is what I wanted. I’m so lucky.

That’s what I told myself, anyway when Ella was bawling on her tots. At some point, no matter how thrilled I am with their relationship, I’d like to be thrown a bone, too. 

“Ella, sweet girl, it’s OK to be sad. But mom’s here, and daddy will be home in a couple days,” I said cheerfully. 

She smirked. Mom is a consolation prize. I think this will always be so.

But here’s my truth. I am deeply and forever loved by those two little girls. Here’s how I know.

I am Ella. My three older sisters fit that category, too. Gosh we love our dad. In our eyes, he is perfect, gentle, caring, compassionate, kind and loving. We love to be his girls. Ask any of us, we think we’re some of the luckiest women on earth to be loved by such a wonderful man.

I recently posted a selfie of me and my dad on Facebook. It’s the cool thing to do, of course. Plus, I’m a proud daughter. It was a simple post that read, “Love you, Dad.”  My sisters echoed their sentiments. 

And then our mom left a comment, too. She said, “You girls can’t possibly love him as much as he loves you all.”

And in that moment, one simple sentence opened my eyes to something I hadn’t seen before. It hit me. Mom’s been living this life, too. I have a sneaky feeling it’s everything she ever hoped, prayed and dreamed it would be, also. 

But now I know how she feels. Now I know what it’s like to raise daddy’s girls. And now I worry, did we throw her a bone?

To our mom and to all the moms who don’t hear it enough. You are loved and you are wonderful. I hope you’ve known this all along. Thank you for loving us with an unconditional love that grows strong even to this day. Thank you for being the best mom we could have hoped for.

And thank you for teaching us how to make Tator Tot casserole. I’d cry in it for you, too.

Her View From Home

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

Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

Dear Daughter, It’s Okay If You Hate Me Right Now

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Teen girl looking up at mother

Dear daughter: I’ve heard it from you a thousand times when you don’t get your way. You yell it when your force of will doesn’t bend mine, thinking it will convince me to give in. But I’m here to tell you once and for all: I don’t care if you hate me right now. Last night you hated me because I made you take a bath before bed. This morning, it was because I made you wear pants. I’m the worst mom ever because I told you to eat a vegetable, and the whole day is ruined because I won’t...

Keep Reading

You’re Learning Life by Watching Me

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child touching mother's face as they lie on a bed

Every morning my daughter and I go outside for some fresh air. She feeds her chickens and plays and explores and walks around with her dog while I follow her around and have a cup of coffee.  This morning, my girl grabbed one of her coffee cups from her toy kitchen and brought it outside with her while she walked with her dog and pretended to take sips out of it.  Guys. I stood there watching her with her toy coffee cup, walking around with her animals, and I cried giant baby tears.  RELATED: I Wasn’t Counting On You Growing...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Love Means Slowing Down

In: Friendship, Kids
Two boys on bicycles riding to park, shown from behind

Think of something faster than a 7-year-old boy on a two-wheel bike. Maybe a race car at the drop of the checkered flag? Perhaps a rocket ship blasting into space? Or how quickly a toddler mom books it out of the house after being told she can have a hands-free hour ALONE in Target. Yes, all of these things are seriously speedy, but I have still never seen anything quite as quick as a boy on a bike on a sunny day with endless open track ahead of him. Until today. Today, my 6-year-old son wanted to ride bikes with...

Keep Reading

I Am a Wrestling Mom

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three young boys with wrestling medals, color photo

As the sun is rising on a frigid winter morning, a brave and determined group of athletes are weighing in at a high school gym. They are physically and mentally preparing for a long day spent at a tournament where they will spend only minutes wrestling, despite the hours they sit and wait all day. Their sport uses offense, defense, and mental strength unlike any other sport. My sons and nephew are wrestlers. They are part of a special team of athletes who work together but compete as individuals.           Their youth team is run by all volunteer coaches with...

Keep Reading

3 Ways to Help Your Firstborn Embrace Becoming a Big Brother

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Pregnant woman holding toddler son, color photo

My oldest son turned four right after his first brother was born. Four years of alone time with his parents. Four years of extra mommy time during the week. Four years of having toys to himself, extra attention from family members, and more. I didn’t plan a four-year age gap; it took our family a lot longer and a lot more help than we expected to have our second son, but age gaps aren’t everything. When my second son was finally on the way, I heard a lot of opinions about how our oldest son would feel once he finally...

Keep Reading

Dear Busy Sports Mom: It’s Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Mom watching soccer game, photo from behind

My daughter stands on the front porch every morning and waves goodbye to me as I pull out of the driveway to go to work.  She is 11, and recently eye-rolling, long sighs, and tears have become more commonplace in our daily interactions. But, there is also this: “Bye! Have a good day!” she calls to me in the quiet of early morning, neighbors not yet awake in their still dark houses. “You are AMAZING! You got this!” she continues in her little adult voice, sounding more like a soccer mom than a fifth grader.   Her hair is still a...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the Baby Hangers

In: Kids, Motherhood
Shirt hanging from small hanger, color photo

You bought them when you first found out you were pregnant. It may have been one of the first items, actually, to hold all of the precious new clothes. The smallest ones in your household. Do you remember that first newborn onesie you bought? It was one of your favorites. You couldn’t fathom you would soon hold something so small that would fit into that onesie. You washed all of the new clothing in preparation and hung them up in your baby’s closet. You know the item. A miniature version of the ones in your closet. Baby hangers. “Do we...

Keep Reading

Take the Trip, You Won’t Regret It

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood

Two years ago, in the middle of a snowy, windy, Colorado March, my husband and I made the spontaneous decision to road trip to Arizona with our three very young kids.  Even though I was excited, the nerves were so very real. Over the next couple of weeks, I literally lost sleep worrying about the logistics of our trip. My late-night mindless scrolling was replaced by searches like “traveling with toddlers” and “keeping kids entertained on road trips”. We already had our hands full chasing kids at home in a familiar setting. Were we crazy to think we could just...

Keep Reading

They’ll Remember the Love Most of All

In: Kids, Motherhood
Woman with kids from above, pregnant mother with kids hands on belly

You lie in bed at the end of a long day, the events of the day flashing back through your mind. You do this a lot—recap your day as a mama. How did you do? Did you maintain your patience? Did you play enough? Did you limit screen time? Did you yell less today than you did yesterday? You saw a really neat toddler activity in the group you’re a part of on Facebook . . . you should have done that with the kids. They would have loved it. There wasn’t enough time though, and you didn’t have all...

Keep Reading

Dear Son, Raising You Right Is Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood
little boy walking in sunlit field

You were the baby who slept nights. You were the infant who quietly stacked blocks one on top of the other. You were the toddler who watched other kids go down the slide at the park 20 times before attempting it yourself. You were the preschooler who hunkered down quietly and patiently when meeting your grandmother’s chickens. So I assumed you would be a gentle boy. And you are.   And yet, now that you’re eight, I’m beginning to understand the meaning of the phrase, “Boys will be boys.” I had my first inkling that day when you were five...

Keep Reading