Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

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 them. They need to feel safe, and we know this when their faces light up when they see us. Sometimes the safe shows up when they run to us at night fearing a “scary witch” in their room. They need us to help with imagination clarity and to remind them that fears are mostly in our heads. A lesson we teach, yet a lesson for us too.

As our children grow, they enter the world of big feelings, right from wrong, and the rules of life that follow. I remember one of my boys would get so mad or frustrated and after a screaming fit, he would say, “I need you to just hug me.” There are moments when they need us to engage in play for reconnection, and other times, they just want someone to listen, whether it’s about a crazy dream or a random story with no specific point or end.

RELATED: The Teenage Years Will Break You

As I enter the tween years with my oldest, the needs are changing yet again. He needs me to let go, but not with both hands, yet. He yearns to show us his maturity and responsibility, yet relies on our expectations and the life lessons we allow him to experience, along with our gentle guidance. Big emotions emerge again but hit at random times. On certain days, his mind is filled with words he’s eager to share while on others, he stays completely silent and stares out the car window.

There are moments when it’s clear he’s facing challenges, whether he’s storming off to his room or by random tears rolling down his face in the safety of my presence. I need to be aware and step into those moments when I don’t feel needed. I still cherish the small things he needs. “Mom, aren’t you going to close my bedroom door and tell me goodnight?” Of course, I will.

Sometimes we need them. In the thick of winter, changing seasons of life, and my career, I’ve been wrestling with the challenges that come with these shifts. I’ve had to be deliberate about silencing the noises around me (social media, the go-go-go mindset, and do less talking and more listening). As a result, I see what is right in front of me. The four little blessings I get the honor of raising. Sometimes I sit and watch them jump on the trampoline together or have Nerf wars. One of my favorite moments was when I looked out the window at my 3-year-old simply sitting on the bench outside with the dog, swinging his leg and eating an apple. These are the simple joys of life. It grounds you. Clarity often comes when your mind and heart are relaxed, allowing you to notice things that might have been overlooked during busy times.

Simultaneous needs: a beautiful dance. Bedtimes are a time of chaos. It’s like herding wild cats. No one wants to listen, they need another snack, a cup of water, that random toy they haven’t seen in a month, another story, or to tickle their back exactly how you did it four nights ago. You know, the list goes on. I start feeling the anxiety very quickly.

I have two choices, I can raise my voice and join the circus, or I can be their calm. The nights I choose calm, as tired as I am, end up being the best nights. I will read the extra book or tickle their back one more time, and during that time, they will tell me stories about their day, and I’ll get a sincere “love you” as I shut the door. I go to bed with peace those nights. I need that. This is the beautiful dance of simultaneous needs.

RELATED: I Wasn’t Counting On You Growing Up So Fast

Navigating the dance floor. When big feelings are present, give a hug and just hold them. When you feel the anxiety building up over a stressful moment, breathe, turn off the noises you can control (TV, radio, your phone), and do one thing at a time in that moment. There are moments when we simply need to connect with our kids on their level, collectively pause, take a deep breath, and share our thoughts one at a time.

When you’re going through a tough time in life, whether it’s feeling blue, dealing with stress, or navigating a transition, I encourage you to turn off all the noise. Engage in a game with the kids or simply watch them play. These are the moments that help refill your cup.

We all know life is busy. We can easily get caught up in the hustle. I have realized that we get one chance at this, and the older I get, the faster time goes. When I feel the anxiety of mothering and chaos around me, it’s now a cue and reminder to take a quick check. Someone needs something at that moment. Is it them or me?

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

Richelle Byrne

I am a 43-year-old mom of four busy boys. My husband and I have been married 14 years and live in Oklahoma. I am going on my 20th year in real estate and my husband is also in sales. We are a very busy family between sports, birthday parties, working, and feeding four HUNGRY boys. I dream of having a small farm some day and also being able to travel more and seeing the world. I love meeting new people, I'm a see the cup half full type of person, always looking for silver linings, and love to encourage and motivate. I rely on my faith and God's plan to lead me where I am supposed to be. 

50 Questions To Ask Your Kids Instead of Asking “How Was Your Day”

In: Kids, Motherhood
50 Questions To Ask Your Kids Instead Of Asking "How Was Your Day" www.herviewfromhome.com

We asked our Her View From Home writers to share some of their favorite conversation starters with their kids. These are especially great after a long school day when your babies don’t want to chat. Here’s some of their favorites!  What made you smile today? Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?  Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond? Does everyone have a friend at recess? What was the book about that your teacher read? What’s the word of the week? Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh? What did you do...

Keep Reading

Want to Connect with Your Kids? Go Outside.

In: Living, Motherhood
Two kids playing in snow, color photo

Tantrums. Entitlement. Boredom. And those were the things I was battling with myself. The kids had their own issues! I was feeling sick of being in my head and restless in my own body. I was tired of being stuck in the house in the dead of yet another Midwestern winter (how did those keep coming back each year?!). I wanted— needed—a change for my family. For me. I was spending an embarrassing amount of time on my phone. I limited screen time for my kids but still knew they were watching more TV than I’d like. We weren’t engaged...

Keep Reading

5 Ways To Connect With Your Kids Right Now

In: Motherhood

We’ve all said it. “How was your day?” And we’ve all gotten that dreaded response.    “Good.”  Not exactly the stuff of conversation magic, right?  What parents really want is a way to break through that wall of communication and connect with our kids—some simple strategies and easy tools.  Guess what? We have them for you!  Through our exclusive 5-day email series, we’ll share tried and true tips for how to strengthen your bond and really connect—something that feels even more important in this stressful year. From questions to ask young children at bedtime to smarter alternatives for your tweens...

Keep Reading