Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

We’ve all heard the comments all too often.

Did you hear the teacher’s kid is suspended? And the minister’s son decided not to go to college, doesn’t go to church every week, and is instead going to try to tour the country with some band! Oh my goodness…these are the people who are supposed to know how to raise their kids to be perfect angels at all times. What a shame.

Even when I was talking about this subject with my husband, he said, “But it is true that it always seems to be those kids you hear about.” I agree. So when the kid who lives in low-income housing and whose parents work their butts off every night on the night shift at the factory gets in trouble, it’s just not newsworthy because apparently, this is to be expected.

So I ask this…what are we doing to our kids?

We pigeon-hole and we expect. We believe they should live a certain way or be a certain person because of who their parents are, where they live, and how much money they have. It’s absolutely ridiculous and it has to stop. Take me for example. Here I am. I’m a mother of two young sons and I’m in the 24th grade. I’m almost a doctor of Special Education and I teach as a lecturer at a nearby University. I know education. I know kids. But here’s what I don’t know.

I don’t know how to raise my sons any better than that person with a high school education working nightly in the factory.

So today was a hard day in the Koch house. It’s never a good sign when the principal walks with your child to the car during after-school pick up. I learned my 4th grade son had pulled a chair out from underneath a female classmate, trying to be funny, and caused her to fall. Thankfully, she didn’t get hurt. But she could have, and I completely agreed with the school’s decision to give my son a day and a half of In-School Suspension (ISS). I’m not going to lie, I cried. For one, my son was crying. That’s not easy on a momma’s heart, but my tears were more of disappointment. I’m sad my son made this choice and truly could have hurt someone. I’m sad he didn’t know better. But alas, I’m sad I just don’t know how to help him understand his actions.

As parents, we can try and try to use our experiences to help our kids make the right choices every time. No parent is immune to the reality of not knowing what to do. But the truth is sometimes our words go in one ear and out the other. Sometimes our kids just aren’t ready to listen. And sometimes our kids have to fall hard in order for the life lessons to really hit home. I’m thrilled my son is in ISS. He made a bad choice, and now he has a principal and teachers telling him the same things he hears at home. We are a team. It takes a village to raise a child.

Just because I’m an educator doesn’t mean my son should be held to any higher standard than any other child. He has to learn in the same ways we adults did to get to the point we are at today. I think of myself as a 4th grader and I’m pretty sure I would have kicked my own ass. I was a liar, a cheater, and an entitled snot. My husband received ISS as a 6th grader. As parents, we all too often forget who we were during the years of trying to find ourselves.

So as an educator, I beg this of you. Please do not believe any child should or should not be any certain way because of who his or her parents are. Every child needs and deserves nurturing, education, a swift kick in the ass at times, and someone who truly believes in their abilities to become great. Not great according to anyone else’s rules, but great according to personal dreams, desires, and goals. Parenting only goes so far, then comes free will.

I will do my job as a mother to love my sons, to teach them about Jesus, to discipline them, to show them a healthy relationship with my husband, to teach them right from wrong and respect, to pray for them, and to back up the others trying to help me raise them (principals, teachers, community members, family, etc.). But mostly, I will do my job as a mother and help my sons understand that bad behavior does not mean bad kid, and bad kids do not exist. Bad choices mean opportunities for learning.

Every parent is in the same boat and we are all navigating choppy waters from time to time. Sometimes you just have to hold on and believe in our kids’ abilities to take the wheel. Every kid, no matter who his or her parents are, needs positive interactions and someone who sees the heart before the behavior. Be that person who believes in kids.


Follow our blog and learn more about our story from the following links…




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

Bailey Koch

Bailey Koch is an advocate for those who can't easily advocate for themselves in every way. Married to her hottie hubby, whom has survived 5+ suicide attempts, and mom to two teenage boys, the oldest with High Functioning Autism and youngest with Epilepsy, Bailey is passionate about mental health and parenting through the messy realities. Additionally, Bailey is a Doctor of Special Education and works as an instructor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney preparing future special educators to be advocates for the learning of all. Bailey and her husband, Jeremy, have written and published two books. "Never Alone: A Husband and Wife's Journey with Depression and Faith" details their struggles with severe depression and the journey toward understanding their purpose, accepting help, and finding faith. "When the House Feels Sad: Helping You Understand Depression" is written for families, at a child's level, to open up a conversation about the reality of Depression. Follow their journey, the triumphs and the challenges, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/anchoringhopeformentalhealth and Instagram at @anchoringhopeformentalhealth.

Being a Hands-on Dad Matters

In: Kids, Living
Dad playing with little girl on floor

I am a hands-on dad. I take pride in spending time with my kids. Last week I took my toddler to the park. He’s two and has recently outgrown peek-a-boo, but nothing gets him laughing like him seeing me pop into the slide to scare him as he goes down. He grew to like this so much that he actually would not go down the slide unless he saw me in his range of vision going down. When it’s time to walk in the parking lot he knows to hold my hand, and he grabs my hand instinctively when he needs help...

Keep Reading

5 Kids in the Bible Who Will Inspire Yours

In: Faith, Kids
Little girl reading from Bible

Gathering my kids for morning Bible study has become our family’s cornerstone, a time not just for spiritual growth but for real, hearty conversations about life, courage, and making a difference. It’s not perfect, but it’s ours. My oldest, who’s 11, is at that age where he’s just beginning to understand the weight of his actions and decisions. He’s eager, yet unsure, about his ability to influence his world. It’s a big deal for him, and frankly, for me too. I want him to know, deeply know, that his choices matter, that he can be a force for good, just...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Love is the Best Medicine

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child lying on couch under blankets, color photo

When my kids are sick, I watch them sleep and see every age they have ever been at once. The sleepless nights with a fussy toddler, the too-hot cheeks of a baby against my own skin, the clean-up duty with my husband at 3 a.m., every restless moment floods my thoughts. I can almost feel the rocking—so much rocking—and hear myself singing the same lullaby until my voice became nothing but a whisper. I can still smell the pink antibiotics in a tiny syringe. Although my babies are now six and nine years old, the minute that fever spikes, they...

Keep Reading

Right Now I’m a Mom Who’s Not Ready to Let Go

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter hugging, color photo

We’re doing it. We’re applying, touring, and submitting pre-school applications. It feels a lot like my college application days, and there’s this image in my mind of how fast that day will come with my sweet girl once she enters the school doors. It’s a bizarre place to be because if I’m honest, I know it’s time to let her go, but my heart is screaming, “I’m not ready yet!” She’s four now though. Four years have flown by, and I don’t know how it happened. She can put her own clothes on and take herself to the bathroom. She...

Keep Reading

Each Child You Raise is Unique

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three little boys under a blanket, black-and-white photo

The hardest part about raising children? Well, there’s a lot, but to me, one major thing is that they are all completely different than one another. Nothing is the same. Like anything. Ever. Your first comes and you basically grow up with them, you learn through your mistakes as well as your triumphs. They go to all the parties with you, restaurants, sporting events, traveling—they just fit into your life. You learn the dos and don’ts, but your life doesn’t change as much as you thought. You start to think Wow! This was easy, let’s have another. RELATED: Isn’t Parenting...

Keep Reading

Our Kids Need Us as Much as We Need Them

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy sitting on bench with dog nearby, color photo

During a moment of sadness last week, my lively and joyful toddler voluntarily sat with me on the couch, holding hands and snuggling for a good hour. This brought comfort and happiness to the situation. At that moment, I realized sometimes our kids need us, sometimes we need them, and sometimes we need each other at the same time. Kids need us. From the moment they enter the world, infants express their needs through tiny (or loud) cries. Toddlers need lots of cuddling as their brains try to comprehend black, white, and all the colors of the expanding world around...

Keep Reading

Your Kids Don’t Need More Things, They Need More You

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young girl smiling together at home

He reached for my hand and then looked up. His sweet smile and lingering gaze flooded my weary heart with much-needed peace. “Thank you for taking me to the library, Mommy! It’s like we’re on a date! I like it when it’s just the two of us.” We entered the library, hand in hand, and headed toward the LEGO table. As I began gathering books nearby, I was surprised to feel my son’s arms around me. He gave me a quick squeeze and a kiss with an “I love you, Mommy” before returning to his LEGO—three separate times. My typically...

Keep Reading

This Time In the Passenger Seat is Precious

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Teen driver with parent in passenger seat

When you’re parenting preteens and teens, it sometimes feels like you are an unpaid Uber driver. It can be a thankless job. During busy seasons, I spend 80 percent of my evenings driving, parking, dropping off, picking up, sitting in traffic, running errands, waiting in drive-thru lines. I say things like buckle your seat belt, turn that music down a little bit, take your trash inside, stop yelling—we are in the car, keep your hands to yourself, don’t make me turn this car around, get your feet off the back of the seat, this car is not a trash can,...

Keep Reading

So God Made My Daughter a Wrestler

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young female wrestler wearing mouth guard and wrestling singlet

God made my girl a wrestler. Gosh, those are words I would never have thought I would say or be so insanely proud to share with you. But I am. I know with 100 percent certainty and overwhelming pride that God made my girl a wrestler. But it’s been a journey. Probably one that started in the spring of 2010 when I was pregnant with my first baby and having the 20-week anatomy ultrasound. I remember hearing the word “girl” and squealing. I was over the moon excited—all I could think about were hair bows and cute outfits. And so...

Keep Reading

A Big Family Can Mean Big Feelings

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Family with many kids holding hands on beach

I’m a mother of six. Some are biological, and some are adopted. I homeschool most of them. I’m a “trauma momma” with my own mental health struggles. My husband and I together are raising children who have their own mental illnesses and special needs. Not all of them, but many of them. I battle thoughts of anxiety and OCD daily. I exercise, eat decently, take meds and supplements, yet I still have to go to battle. The new year has started slow and steady. Our younger kids who are going to public school are doing great in their classes and...

Keep Reading