So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

From the moment you were born, those words have been spoken to me more than any others. From doctors and nurses, family and friends, and whoever just so happened to settle their gaze on your precious face.

But mostly it was the older ladies at the grocery store who gave me that well-worn wisdom, the ones who had finished their own chapter of raising kids many years ago.

“It goes by so fast,” they would tell me as I rushed from aisle to aisle, filling my cart as fast as I could before you needed to eat again. Before your cries rang out, causing my heart to race and my feet to scurry through the checkout line.

And I would resist an eye roll and offer a fake half-smile because those early days, those first few years felt like the longest, slowest days of my life.

They told me your baby years would go by fast. And as I brushed the sleep from my ever-weary eyes, I didn’t believe them but I hoped they were right. I didn’t want those long nights to last for long. Or the diaper blowouts. Or the lugging around a weighty diaper bag, and infant carrier, and stroller.

They told me your toddler years would go by fast. That as time went on, you’d be less inclined to tell me every thought that whizzed through your head. That one day, you wouldn’t greet me so early in the morning – that I’d instead be greeted by grumbling upon waking you. That before I knew it, you’d be potty trained, able to dress yourself, and asking for privacy. And again, I didn’t believe them, but I hoped they were right. I longed for a few minutes of silence. I dreamed of sleeping in. I wanted a little more time for my hands to be free.

The thought of mothering an older child seemed nothing more than fantasy, but as I watched your tiny baby body morph into that of a toddler before transforming into a full-blown child, you proved they were right.

While those early years aren’t much more than a blur of nursing and cleaning, scrubbing and feeding, wiping and weeping, the memories of what was are etched into my heart. And looking back, those first few years seem shorter now than they felt then. Your days as a baby and toddler seem like quick stops on our journey together. With not enough time to have fully taken in the scenery.

Thoughts of those long nights and early mornings remind me of your downy head resting against my chest. And your chubby fist gripping my finger. And the singing that roused me from a never-enough sleep. And your smile that both started and ended my day.

If I’d have known they were right, I would have taken one more moment to run my fingers through your soft baby hair and study your toothless grin and examine your tiny fingers.

And when I think of those long days, I remember your diapered bottom I loved to pat. And your endless thighs that were irresistible when they were bare. And the art projects that were nothing more than scribbles, but melted my heart. And how your world revolved around me. If I’d have believed them, I’d pat that little bottom once more and squeeze those thighs and hold you close instead of encouraging you to do something on your own.

You taught me they were right. That it really does go fast, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

So when your brother was born, I knew better than to hope it would go by fast. The second time around, I knew the slow-moving days of babyhood and toddlerhood were passing by more quickly than my brain could comprehend. I knew the long nights wouldn’t last for long, the sharp cries would one day stop, and that before long, I’d be able to leave the house with nothing more than a wallet, maybe a purse. I knew in just a few short years, I’d look back and long for just a taste of those early days with your brother, just like I did for you.

The days are still hard and long and often frustrating, for motherhood is never easy. But when I’m desperate for a break from it all, I remember what you’ve taught me.

It all goes by so very fast and the days spent with the small versions of you two are a treasure I hope to never bury.

You may also like: 

To My Firstborn, I’m So Thankful God Gave Me You First

Dear Firstborn, It’s OK To Fail

Jenny Albers

Jenny Albers is a wife, mother, and writer.  She is the author of Courageously Expecting, a book that empathizes with and empowers women who are pregnant after loss. You can find Jenny on her blog, where she writes about pregnancy loss, motherhood, and faith. She never pretends to know it all, but rather seeks to encourage others with real (and not always pretty) stories of the hard, heart, and humorous parts of life. She's a work in progress, and while never all-knowing, she's (by the grace of God) always growing. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

I’m Giving My Kids the Summer Fun I Never Had

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys playing in the waves on the beach, color photo

I love that my kids hate school. Stay with me here . . . Yes, I absolutely love that year after year, my boys cannot wait to ditch school for summer break, that they endlessly bemoan the academic year and cannot wait for June.  I love it because it is normal. I love it because it means they enjoy being at home and implies that I make summers fun for them, or, rather, allow summers to be fun for them. I love it because I always dreaded summers when I was growing up. Dreaded them with knots in my stomach...

Keep Reading

Mothering One Day at a Time

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding daughter in matching shirts, color photo

As I sat with my growing belly, full of anticipation for the arrival of my firstborn, the possibilities were endless for this little girl. Maybe she would lean toward the arts and be a dancer, writer, or musician. Or maybe she would take after her great-granddad and become a scientist. And maybe one day she would be a mother too. Dreaming about the future was fun and exciting. But then she surprised us with an at-birth Down syndrome diagnosis. Special needs were never included in my dreaming sessions.    All of the sudden, my hopes and dreams for this new...

Keep Reading

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

I Know It’s Just Summer Camp but I Miss You Already

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Kids by campfire

You would’ve thought I was sending you off to college. The way I triple-checked to make sure you had everything you needed and reminded you about the little things like brushing your teeth and drinking plenty of water about a thousand times. You would’ve thought I was sending you to live on your own. The way I hugged you tight and had to fight back some tears. The way you paused before leaving just to smile at me. The way I kept thinking about that boyish grin all the way home. The way I kept thinking about how you’re looking...

Keep Reading

I Want My Boys To Become Men of Character

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boys with arms around each other by water

I’m a single mama of two young boys. As a woman raising young boys, I’ve thought a lot about how I want them to act—as kids and adults. We joke around that I’m not raising farm animals, and we don’t live in a frat house. I’m trying to plant seeds now so they grow into men with positive character traits. They burp, fart, spray toothpaste on the sink and somehow miss the toilet often, but I’m trying to teach them life lessons about what it means to be great men and gentlemen.  Interactions with other men provide opportunities for us...

Keep Reading

Until There Was a Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother looking at son and smiling, color photo

I never believed in love at first sight . . . until there was a boy.  A boy who made my heart whole the first time he looked at me.  A boy who held my hand and touched my soul at the same time.  A boy who challenged me and helped me grow. A boy who showed me that, even on the worst days, the world is still a beautiful place.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything A boy who reminded me how to laugh until tears ran down my cheeks. A boy who tested my patience...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Heart Remembers These Sweet Moments Forever

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and baby laughing

Motherhood gives you all the feelings. It’s hard not to be utterly thankful for and grieve the little things of your last baby, trying to take in all of the firsts and lasts. Every bin of clothes and baby gear packed up produces a tiny crack in a mother’s heart, breaking just a little bit more each time she says goodbye. It’s not that she needs those baby clothes, but it’s the memories each outfit held that are difficult for her to let go of. She does not want to forget those beautiful moments. When she looks at that bin...

Keep Reading

I Want You To Miss Your Childhood One Day Too

In: Kids, Living
Kids jumping off dock into lake

What I miss the most about childhood is owning my whole heart. Before I gave pieces of it away to others who weren’t always careful with it. And some, who never gave the pieces back. I miss my knowing. My absolute faith that my mother’s arms could fix just about everything and what her arms couldn’t, her cookies could. When my biggest grievance was not getting my way. I miss feeling whole, unblemished. Before words cut me. Before people had taken up space in my mind, created permanent movies that were ugly and still play on repeat at times. Before...

Keep Reading

No One Told Me It Was the Last Time You’d Be This Little

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young son playing in ocean

No one told me it would be the last time I rocked you to sleep. A cry in the night, the haze of a dimly lit room, our rocking chair worn brown. We were the only ones in a little world. No one told me it would be the last time I carried you on my hip. The way my body shifted—you changed my center of gravity. Your little arm hooked in mine, a gentle sway I never noticed I was doing. No one told me it would be the last time I pushed you on the bucket swing. Your...

Keep Reading

The Only Way to Freeze Time Is to Take the Picture—So I’ll Take as Many as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two kids sitting in wagon, color photo

Life ebbs and flows. Seasons come and go. One of the reasons I take so many photos is because they are the only way to make time stand still. They provide a nostalgia that can’t compete with anything else. They help us remember the exact moment captured and show us how fast time is fleeting. It doesn’t matter if their texture is glossy or matte. It doesn’t matter if they are in a frame or on a screen. It doesn’t matter if they are professional or if someone’s thumbprint is in the upper corner. All that matters is the moment...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime