Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

It happened on a completely normal morning about three months after my second son was born. As I laid him down in his crib for a nap, I suddenly felt like I was going to pass out. My heart started racing and wouldn’t slow down. I started to shake. I had never felt anything like this before, and I honestly wondered if I was having a heart attack.

What I didn’t know at the time was that I was having pretty classic symptoms of a panic attack. My stress level had been creeping up for weeks, and that, mixed with lingering postpartum hormones was enough to throw me completely off-kilter.

Over the next month, I experienced more of these episodes, though never as severe as the first. It was the first time in my life when I couldn’t just positively think my way out of what I was experiencing. I didn’t really want to admit that I needed help, but after talking with a friend, she convinced me to reach out to my doctor. I hated how out of control I felt.

A significant source of my stress originated from being overwhelmed with a toddler and a young baby and feeling like I was failing as a mother. My doctor recommended going to a group counseling class as part of my treatment. At the end of the final session, the counselor said something about how none of us make it through childhood without some kind of emotional injury. Her intent (I think) was to make us all feel better, but this sent my brain into a whirlwind of thoughts about how much I might have already unintentionally messed up my kids.

Although this period of stress and anxiety was almost four years ago, I still struggle with feelings of not being a good enough mom. I still worry about the choices I am making every day as a parent, and how they are affecting my sons.

But the other night, a thought popped into my head. Perhaps God placed it there, because it felt like it came out of nowhere.

Is it possible that all I am doing and all that I am is actually, in fact, enough?

It was such a freeing thought, so I pondered it for a while. And then I let other thoughts gather.

Is it possible that I actually am telling my kids “I love you” enough?

Is it possible that even though I make mistakes, the steps I take to right my wrongs are enough?

Is it possible that I might not have this on my own, but God has my back every step of the way?

Is it possible that I’m being a little too hard on myself?

Is it possible that even though I lose my temper and yell, my kids still know deep in their souls how fiercely I love them?

Is it possible that my boys will one day be able to reminisce about how happy their childhood was?

Is it possible that the hugs and kisses and smiles and laughs are plentiful enough to fill up their cups on a daily basis?

Is it possible that my kids are not keeping a tally of my mistakes, but rather, are forgetting about them almost instantly?

It is possible that I am the perfect mom for them, despite my imperfections?

How freeing would it be to believe that I am actually not even close to failing my kids?

How freeing would it be to let go of some of the fear? How freeing would it be to say “I’m a dang good mom” and truly believe it?

Maybe the pressure I have been putting on myself is a weight I was never meant to carry.

Is it possible that all I am doing and all that I am is actually, in fact, enough?

Maybe just maybe, I can start to believe that not only is this possible, it is probable.

How freeing that would be.

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 maryannblair.com or on Facebook at Mary Ann Blair, Writer.

Simple Moments Shape Childhood

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy in shallow water of beach

Sometimes it’s the little things that can turn out to be the biggest things. Motherhood has made me appreciate the everyday moments, the simple moments, differently.  Being outdoors with my boys can be simple in theory, but I absolutely love the adventures we take. Whether we are hiking, biking, swimming, exploring, or checking out a new park, this momma knows it is time well spent.  RELATED: I’m Watching You Grow Up in the Little Moments Because whether they realize it or not, these memories being made are the special ones. The ones my boys will carry with them in their...

Keep Reading

When You Stop Running into My Arms, I Pray You Run to Jesus

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child and mother walking on beach in sunlight

I love seeing the light in my little girl’s eyes when I pick her up from school at the end of the day. Her eyes open wide, and she runs to me loudly saying, “Mommy!” for all to hear. I pick her up and give her a big hug and kiss on her cheek. She smiles ear to ear and knows she is loved and adored. She feels safe in my arms, and I pray that never changes. I want to always be her biggest cheerleader and greatest fan–holding the streamers on the sidelines in shades of brilliant gold encouraging...

Keep Reading

I Promise to Show Up for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter in garden

My child, I hope you know you can count on this: I will show up for you. I will show up when you wake in the middle of the night, when you get up too early or stay up too late. I will be there to make your meals, read you a story, and tuck you into bed. I will show up when you are sick—taking time off work, bringing you to the doctor, cleaning up your throw-up, and sitting up with you. I will show up at every game, sitting in the stands or a camp chair, freezing or...

Keep Reading

A Strong Woman Does Not Always Feel Strong

In: Motherhood
Woman holding baby on beach, color photo

You feel weak, mama, but you are strong  We wear our strength in many forms, barely noticing the feats we accomplish daily.  The strength of a mom can be seen carrying grocery bags from the trunk to the house, upstairs and down again, with a baby strapped to her chest.  The strength of a mom is pushing two kids on swings next to each other while inwardly dealing with a recent miscarriage eating away at her heart. She holds back tears while picturing a newborn in a stroller nearby watching. And the hole deepens. Yet she carries on.  The strength...

Keep Reading

When You Feel Like You’re Failing, Know You’re Not Alone

In: Motherhood
Tired woman sitting in messy child's bedroom

Dear parent, you are going to fail. You are going to fail over and over again while parenting. I don’t care if you have nine children or one. I don’t care if you are a step-parent, an adoptive parent, or anything in between—you are going to fail. Over and over again. But the great thing about kids is God made them so resilient and forgiving, so He could show us grace on earth.  I have forgotten to send the paperwork to the school. I have forgotten about events and practices for the kids.  RELATED: I May Fail, But I’ll Go...

Keep Reading

Our Nanny Is a Special Part of Our Family

In: Motherhood
Family with nanny, color photo

The saying is “it takes a village,” and I didn’t know how true this would ring until I had children of my own. Within ours, I anticipated family, friends, the church, and various members of the community. What I never anticipated was the special role our nanny would fill within our family. As working moms, leaving our kids in someone else’s care is hard, no matter the circumstances. We wonder if they’ll miss us and whether their day will still feel full in spite of our absence.  Ever since we brought our nanny into the family, I’ve never had to...

Keep Reading

Maybe Motherhood Is a Chance to Begin Again

In: Motherhood

It’s a funny thing when you have your own children, only then do you start to see yourself in such a way that you’ve never seen before. Terrifying yet beautiful. Before you become a parent, you have this vision of how you swear you will parent. It may be an exact replica of how you were parented or may be completely different. The only guarantee is that you don’t actually know until you become a parent. Some days you hear yourself and you sound just like your mother, your father, your grandmother, your aunt, or anyone who was around long...

Keep Reading

Healing and a Horse Named Chadwick

In: Motherhood
Woman with horse, black-and-white photo

I am by no means a horsewoman. I am a regular person lucky enough to have had an extraordinary experience with a horse. My daughter asked to ride horses from the time she could talk. Having no horse experience myself, in the fall of 2019, I found a barn willing to give pony lessons to a small child. There was something waiting for me at the barn too . . . I just didn’t know it yet. I can’t remember when Chadwick started watching us from the fence. One day he was just there . . . and every day...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Growth Is Tangible, and When It Is You Hold On Tight

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom putting bike helmet on child

I never expected my sign to come in the form of a plastic bag. As a parent, you’re told over and over how fast it all goes, to cherish these times because they’re gone in a blink. You see the gradual changes in your kids as they move through milestones. One day, they can hold their own spoon. They begin stringing words into sentences. Their ages are counted in years and no longer months. You watch these things happen every day, but I didn’t realize some transitions would come in tangible ways, like a grocery bag filled with wet swim...

Keep Reading

Some Nights They Need You a Little More

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping, color photo

Some nights they need you a little more, mama. Because of the bad dreams or the bogeyman they are adamant is under the bed. Because firefighter daddy’s schedule leaves him missing goodnight tuck-ins and bedtime stories several times a week, sometimes leaving them a little needier and more emotional. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. RELATED: I’ll Lay With You As Long As You Need, My Child Because they are sick. Because they feel safe in your presence. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. It’s not always easy. It’s not always (okay, hardly ever)...

Keep Reading