Shop the fall collection ➔

We had a rough night, you and I. The kind that is full of tears and misunderstandings. The kind where I force myself to take deep breaths as I try to navigate through another storm that is brewing. The kind where fear creeps into my heart when I think about the future, and what our relationship might look like during those tumultuous teenage years if I can’t seem to get things “right” in the here and now. 

Usually after rough nights like this one, I find myself trying to rush through the bedtime routine. As I physically close the door to your room, I want to mentally close the door on all that just went wrong between us. I want to be able to quickly shut down the anxious thoughts swirling in my head and escape the heaviness that weighs on my heart as I try to cope with feelings of inadequacy. I want to flip off the parenting switch for a while and let my weary mind rest. 

But tonight, I didn’t allow myself to leave in a hurry. I lingered in your room. I laid with you for longer than usual. I stroked your hair until you fell asleep. Instead of running from my feelings, I just let them wash over me. And as you drifted off into a sweet slumber, I studied your face. I counted your freckles. I listened to your breath and watched your chest rise and fall. And I let my mind drift back to those days before you came to be. The months of negative pregnancy tests and the rising fear that gripped my chest each night that I lay awake, wondering if there would ever be a baby in my empty arms. I remembered the shock and elation I felt when one of those tests finally said positive and the pure joy that spilled out when I told your dad. I remembered how magical it was the first time I felt you move and how you always seemed to know exactly when I needed to feel you kick. I remembered the first time I held you against me. I knew in that instant that my life had changed forever. 

My tears fell on your pillow tonight as I remembered those times. Because when we are in the midst of a struggle, it is easy to lose sight of the raw and true connection that we have always shared. It is easy to get frustrated with your stubbornness, while I grapple with trying to control my own. It is easy to let my anger and frustration do the talking. And it is too easy to feel like I have somehow failed you. 

But as I laid next to you tonight, studying the sweet face that has peered up at me countless times over the last several years, I flashed back to when I first saw that face in the moments after you were born. With your tiny body pressed against mine, my tears spilled onto you. I knew that a miracle had just been placed on my chest. I knew I would love you until my last breath. I knew that I didn’t have all the answers, but that somehow it would all be OK. And laying next to you tonight, sharing that sacred space in the quiet of your room, I felt the exact same way. 

You may also like:

Dear Strong-Willed Child, You’re Worth It

Why Tired Mothers Stay Up So Late

But Mommy, You Were Too Busy

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here! 

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.

God Gave Grandmas and Grandpas Time

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Grandma with granddaughter pointing outside

My daughter, Becca, was laughing as I answered her call. “Mom, we were at the park and Brady just walked up to a man he thought sure was Dad and called him Grandpa.” My first question was if the man looked at all like my husband.  She said, “He had a blue shirt on that looked like one Dad wears, but when Brady looked up at him, he had a baseball cap on and Dad doesn’t wear those. And he had tall crew socks on, and Dad definitely doesn’t wear those.” Then I asked what the man said to Brady,...

Keep Reading

Sometimes I Feel Like a Monster, Not a Mother

In: Motherhood
Woman banging fist on door frame

Whenever someone asks if I plan on a third child, I always give a safe answer: I can’t imagine going through all that again! If it’s someone in the education field I go with a different version: If we stick with two, we can pay for college! If I’ve had a few drinks and the person has a sense of humor: Only if you’ll pay for a divorce lawyer! All of those answers are kernels of the truth, but none of them are the real reason  I diligently pop my birth control pill every night at 9 p.m., which is the...

Keep Reading

Faith is a Verb, So We Go to Church

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman and teen daughter in church pew

Every Sunday morning we rush out the door bribing, coaxing, and threatening our kids to just “Get into the van!” Luckily, we live remotely rural so we don’t have neighbors to witness our often un-Christlike eye rolls and harsh sighs as we buckle each other up. We’ve always lived within a five-minute drive to a chapel, and yet we are usually there not two minutes before the service starts. Once sitting in our seats, we’re on high alert for noise control and sibling altercations for the next hour of what is supposed to be a peaceful, sacred, spirit-filled service. Which...

Keep Reading

3 Simple Ways to Be a More Confident Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and young child smiling outside

Do you ever ask yourself why you can’t be more like that mom or why can’t your kids be like those kids? The comparison trap is an easy one to fall into if we aren’t careful. At the click of our fingers, we see Pinterest-worthy motherhood in every category. From the mom with the black-belt kids to the mom with Marie Kondo organizing skills—it’s easy to look at their lives and feel like we’ve fallen short. Even worse, is when we start to strive to become something we aren’t or prod our kids to become something they aren’t.  Comparison makes...

Keep Reading

I’ll Find Her Again One Day

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother holding baby at night

It happened again. Took 15 months this time. But I found myself in the same spot I said I’d never be in. Lost, drowning, on the brink of a mental breakdown—however you want to put it. I was gone in motherhood. With the diapers piling up around me, I was getting mad at my husband for nothing, screaming at my oldest son, crying along with the babies, and in a fog. RELATED: To the Woman Who’s Lost Herself in Motherhood I couldn’t do anything—literally—I couldn’t even pee without hearing a demand. When my children were quiet, my house billowed with...

Keep Reading

I Know What It’s Like To Have a Difficult Child

In: Child, Motherhood
Little girl kneeling on deck, color photo

One Sunday morning during church, I was standing around bouncing my fussy premature baby around the cry room. This room is special—a place for nursing moms and moms with young kids to watch the live sermon on a monitor. I wasn’t alone, two other moms sat on the couches, and we were all chatting. A beautiful but tired mom sat with her little girl snuggled in her arms, gazing at the lights.  “She’s so chill. She’s like this all the time, much easier than my other son.”  I looked over at her with big eyes and a laugh, “I’m jealous!...

Keep Reading

One Day You’ll Outgrow Being My Little Boy—But Not Today

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Mother and two sons back-to-school picture, color photo

One day you will come home after your first day of a new school year and not wish to share a single thing. Not today. Today, you got into the car and talked non-stop about every second of your day. I was delighted!  One day you will not have countless first-day forms for me to sign and return the next day. Not today. I signed my name at least four times. I was happy to grant permission for you to play sports, learn algebra, and do whatever else I gave my permission for.  One day you will not allow me...

Keep Reading

To the Mom In the Trenches: Make Room For Yourself

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach black and white photo

“I need to make room for myself,” I think quietly as I shove toys aside with my foot and toss the dog-hair-covered blankets onto the couch behind me. This endless carousel of shuffling clutter weighs on me, but I try not to dwell on that fact right now. Clearing a space for a quick strength class between Zoom calls requires almost as much effort as the class itself. Plastic play food and melodic baby toys lay strewn about the room (the whole house, really). Scattered LEGOs and Hot Wheels wait to attack unsuspecting bare feet at any moment. To say...

Keep Reading

Senior Year Is Overwhelming For Moms Too

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
High school graduate kissing mother on cheek

We are mothers. We do ALL the things. We are varsity-level, starting lineup, go-to DOERS. We are in the business of getting it done. And we know that our fine-honed, behind-the-scenes skill of doing makes the wheels turn smoothly in our families.   We are the getting-it-done glue.  High fives all around. So, here comes this season of launching. Your child is now a high school senior. Guess what? As moms, we want to jump right in with our number one mom-tool . . . doing. I want to do the research. I want to do the planning. I want to...

Keep Reading

His First Haircut Was the Start of Letting Go

In: Child, Motherhood, Tween
Toddler smiling and holding popsicle, color photo

My son has the most beautiful curls. I remember when his hair started growing as a baby and a little ringlet appeared. My momma heart was bursting with excitement. Yes, I will admit something as superficial as a curl made me squeal.  The kid just has adorable hair—and where does this wondrous flow come from? He didn’t inherit it from me, and his dad doesn’t have a curl to boot either. In a way, it’s become my youngest’s trademark.  The day came for his first haircut, and then his second one. I remember watching his curls fall to the ground...

Keep Reading