Gifts for Dad ➔

With my needed-to-be-refilled coffee mug in-hand, I got up from the couch to get my second dose of caffeine for the day.
Five steps into the kitchen, I heard the familiar sound of tiny toddler toes filling the same space on the floor that mine just had. When I got to the coffee maker, I turned to find her arms in the air directly below me in anticipation of being lifted to her spot on the counter. Our favorite time of the morning, we went through the routine steps to co-create a fresh cup of brew: switching the old cup for a new one, pressing the start button, opening the sugar by herself before spooning some into the cup and swirling it around “like a tornado”. After taking the tasting sip, she giggled knowing that she was about to be picked up into the mid-air merry-go-round for our daily celebration of the “best cup of coffee ever”.
That little one. She’s at the stage when she wants to be part of everything I do, and doesn’t want me to be out of her sight without knowing where I am. If I get up from the couch, it’s a guaranteed ask of, “Mommy where you going?” My response is usually an unexciting bathroom trip, or a walk to the refrigerator for more water. Either way, she’s right behind me.
Because while she’s the first one to greet her dad with an excited, screaming welcome when he walks in the door, she just loves her mama right now.
At night, she only wants me, her blanket, and a rocking chair. She knows exactly which nook in my arm she wants to lay her head, and her feeling of safety fills the air every night when she lets out that breath that tells me she’s found her safe spot.
She’s a mama’s girl.
When I pull out the cutting boards to prepare the dinner ingredients, it’s a guarantee that I’ll hear the sound of a step stool sliding across the floor and stopping below the countertop next to me. “I want to help,” she’ll say before she proudly hands me whatever vegetable I need.
She’s a mama’s girl.
When she trips over her too-big-for-her princess dress and hurts her elbow on the floor, no matter what adult is closest to her, she’ll make the journey to wherever I am to find her comfort.
She’s a mama’s girl.
And candidly, there are days when her constant need of me is exhausting.
I wish she’d let someone else help her, or give me just a minute to spend some time in my own space. I have learned I simply cannot soak in every single moment of her littleness all the time; I need a moment to soak in the quiet in my own mind every once in a while.
The other day, she raided my closet for her favorite pair of red heels that I own. She brought them to the kitchen and giggled as she shuffled and stumbled around. “Hey, Mommy!” she called out. “Look at me . . . I’m just like you!” 

In that moment when those sweet little words formed in her sweet little voice, I was reminded that one day, she is going to grow up and be able to fill out those shoes. She’ll put herself to bed without even saying goodnight.

She won’t notice (or care) when I leave the room.
She’ll choose to lean on a friend’s shoulder instead of mine when she’s hurting.
She’ll talk on the phone to her friend in the other room, while I cook in the kitchen and yearn for the sound of that step stool.
While I know she might not ALWAYS choose her mama, I do want her to know that she CAN when she needs to.
That I will lay in bed with her and wipe her tears when she’s having a fight with her friends at school.
That she will say “yes” when I ask if anyone wants to join me when I’m leaving the house to run an errand.
That I will be there for her when she seeks my comfort when her first love breaks her heart.
That she knows she can join me in the kitchen for a chat over a cutting board . . . even when she doesn’t need a step stool anymore.
So for now, while there are days I crave my me time . . . I’ll choose to pick her up, I’ll choose to hold her hand and I’ll choose to snuggle her in my arms.
So when she’s no longer my baby, she’ll always know she’s her mama’s girl. 

You may also like:
Want more stores of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here!

Brea Schmidt

Brea Schmidt is a writer, speaker and photographer who aims to generate authentic conversation about motherhood and daily life on her blog, The Thinking Branch. Through her work, she aims to empower people to overcome their fears and insecurities and live their truth. She and her husband raise their three children in Pittsburgh, PA.

Oh, How I’ll Miss Little You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child standing in leaves, looking up, color photo

Oh, my sweet little child, I wish you could stay this little forever. I wish these days would never end. They are busy, loud, and chaotic—but, oh, how I love them! They make my life feel whole. Complete. I don’t know what I will do when these days are gone. I will miss your sweet little face looking up at me. The innocence in your eyes. Your sweet little grin. I will miss how your face lights up when you see me. How your little arms manage to give me the biggest hugs. How I can make everything better with...

Keep Reading

There’s Just Something about a 4-Year-Old

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
4 year old girl smiling outside

There’s just something about a 4-year-old. The way their bubbly laughs and sweet little faces still have some traces of babyhood while they’re transforming into more and more of their own unique person right before your eyes.  The way they ask questions about everything under the sun, listen wide-eyed to your clumsy answers, and believe every single word you say. It’s so innocent (and scary) the way they believe absolutely anything you tell them—just because you’re “mommy.”  The way their still-a-little-chubby hand finds yours. And the way they still come running to you for a hug and kiss when they’re hurt. Or...

Keep Reading

Find the People Who Will Root for You

In: Friendship, Kids, Motherhood
Empty sports field, color photo

My son participated in tryouts out for a new travel soccer team at the end of a recreational fall soccer season one chilly evening in November. He has been playing recreational soccer since he was three years old when we started with the local club. He has been asking about joining a travel team since kindergarten. In recent seasons, I watched him struggle in the recreational league. I watched him wanting a little bit more in the sport as he developed his passion—he was ready to grow.  We knew he loved soccer, and it was something he had always wanted...

Keep Reading

You Don’t Raise Your Babies to Be Little Forever, but I Thought I’d Have More Time

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Little boy peeking over wooden fence, color photo

I can see the yellow blur of the school bus passing in front of my window. Soon my little boy will excitedly burst through the front door with his picture of a giraffe from art class. His big brown eyes will meet mine as I get a toothless “I missed you, Mom” grin. He will tell me everything he had on his tray for lunch, recount the whole soccer game at recess, and share all about that hilarious thing his friend said on the bus. He will then sit on my lap as he takes each school paper out of...

Keep Reading

No Man in a Girl’s Life Holds More Influence than Her Dad

In: Kids, Marriage, Motherhood
Father and daughter on amusement ride, color photo

As I sat outside Walmart watching my husband of nearly 16 years walk in with my 9-year-old daughter to buy me a box of tampons, I realized how blessed I am.  This is real life. Not only does he not care about running into the store and picking up these items, he asks our girls if they want to join him, and they use this time to talk. They talk about real-life—about growing up, changing bodies, what tampons are even for, how they can wait years and years before they need to start dating, how he will be waiting outside...

Keep Reading

My Little Girl Has Big, Brave Dreams

In: Kids, Motherhood
School paper with little girl's handwriting, color photo

My 6-year-old daughter wants to be a soldier.   When we heard from the ultrasound tech that we were having another girl, that was not exactly the career path that popped into our heads.   There’s something absolutely terrifying knowing your child wants to do something big like this. I’m sure I’d be petrified if I had a son with the same ambition, but there’s something extra scary about it being your little girl. There’s something weighty about raising a daughter who wants to be a soldier. But honestly, it’s not a surprise at all. RELATED: God Has Filled Your...

Keep Reading

As My Children Grow, I Miss It All—Even the Sick Days

In: Kids, Motherhood
Toddler on mom's shoulder

I whisk my daughter through the doors of urgent care and cradle her head as I stand behind three other mamas clinging to their babies. We’re each rocking in different ways but moving nonetheless. The silent, comforting rhythm of motherhood. I see sad, sick eyes from the babies with their heads nestled into the necks of their mama. I’m tired from the sleepless night, and I shift from foot to foot. There is hushing and humming and back-patting. A pacifier drops to the floor. All of a sudden my daughter feels heavy. A vague sinking feeling comes over me, like...

Keep Reading

Life with Autism Is Full of Ticking Time Bombs

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother, father, teen daughter, color photo

Many of us who live with autism are familiar with the comings and goings of the ticking time bomb—one that disappears for periods of time, so much so that we might forget about it. Then, suddenly, this bomb drops at our doorstep in the form of a returning or new obstacle, so intense that it causes us to pause our lives, alter our plans, maybe even change our current paths. For our family, the new challenge has been sudden, piercing, sporadic screams. Not constant, not even often, thankfully, but jolting nonetheless. So here we were, in the midst of our...

Keep Reading

Youth Sports Build Strong Kids

In: Kids
Young girl with gymnastics medal, color photo

My kids are heavily involved in sports. My son plays for an elite basketball team and my daughter competes on an Xcel gymnastics team. It takes up a lot of our time and a lot of our money. Even though prioritizing youth sports seems to be an American norm, we still sometimes receive criticism and judgment as to why we would spend so much of our time and resources on it. (“Don’t you know the chances of your child going pro is less than 1%?”) As I sat at my daughter’s gymnastics meet, listening to the parents cheer so excitedly...

Keep Reading

Don’t Let Anyone Rush You, Mama

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother with two kids at home relaxing

From the moment our children are born, other people make it challenging to stay in the present moment—they start asking questions that look forward instead of at the now we are in. Can you believe how big she’s getting, where did your newborn go? Oh my goodness, he’ll be walking any day now! Are you thinking about preschool? What will you do when they’re both in school? What will you do when your baby goes to college? While these questions may come with good intentions, they’re not helpful at all. We moms need to be allowed to be fully in...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids


Proven techniques to build REAL connections