Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

Dear daughter, 

I know what just happened was hard on you and I want you to know it was hard on me, too. I was trying to be tough, but inside it felt like my heart was being crushed into a million microscopic pieces. 

But I held it together. 

I’m still not sure I made the right decision. For some reason, this feels like one of the more difficult decisions I’ve had to make since the day they placed you in my arms and my world forever changed. The day I became a mom. The bestand most challenging—job I have ever had. 

I am trying. So hard. Each and every day. 

And sometimes I’m just not sure. I hope I’m making the best choices. But I wonder . . . am I? 

It broke my heart tonight to make you get into the car, tears streaming down your face, covering your cheeks and shirt with droplets, like the rain gently falling on the windshield. I wanted so badly to bring you inside and wrap my arms around you and tell you it was going to be OK. That you didn’t have to go. 

Once we started driving, it took everything in me not to turn the car around.

It’s funny how when you are a kid, you feel like all of the grown-ups of the world know some secret to life. Like they’ve got it all together and understand some big huge something that you will someday understand, too. And then you become a parent. And you realize how much your parents must have been winging it. Making decisions and hoping and praying for the best. 

I have been praying a lot tonight. 

I hope the words I said to you in the car were encouraging. They were meant to be. But after you walked out of the car, head bowed down, walking slowly to the entrance of the gymnasium as the rain fell on your hunched over shoulders, I realized it probably sounded kind of harsh to you. 

My parents used to call that tough love. 

I know somewhere along the way you have decided you don’t want to be on this team anymore, but you made a commitment. You have one short week left. And I just can’t let you quit. I know you don’t want to go to practice. I know you are counting the days until the season is over. But this is where you hold up your head and you stick it out. You remember the love you had for the game, not that long ago. The love that made you get out and practice and shoot the ball over and over and over again. The love that made you work so very hard for months on end to be able to one day say you made the team. 

After this season is over, you never have to pick up a basketball again in your life if you don’t want to. But I need you to learn how to stand up and keep moving forward when things get hard. I need you to learn the importance of sticking out your commitments, if not for yourself—for your team. You are on a team. And you may not realize it, but they are counting on you. 

Someday you may be in a challenging class. Someday you may have a difficult boss. Someday you may get really, really mad at your spouse. Someday you may feel so sad you aren’t sure if you can get out of bed. 

And I don’t want you to think quitting is always the answer. I don’t want you to learn you can always choose the easy way out. I want you to learn grit. And perseverance. And to how to find the positive and the thing to be grateful for and the joy—even in the face of a difficult situation. 

You can do hard things, sweet girl. I want you to be able to look the challenges that come your way straight in the eye and know you can do it. You can get through anything. One day at a time. 

Am I saying you never quit anything? No. There are some things you may encounter in life that you need to walk away from. But I do not believe this is one of those things. 

I sat in the car for a while after you walked through the doors tonight. I thought about rushing in and telling you I had changed my mind. That you could quit. But instead, I put the car into reverse and slowly drove away. Praying. 

I get to pick you up in an hour and that hour can’t come fast enough. I am sorry you were so sad tonight. It pained me to make you go, but it felt in my gut like the right thing to do. 

One more week. That’s all you have left. You can do it. I have faith in you. 

I really hope I made the right choice tonight. I hope years from now you look back on this moment and feel grateful that your father and I made you stick it out. But I don’t know. This may be something you look back on with frustration. I always say I wonder what I am doing that will put my kids in therapy; this may be that something. 

But I hope not. I hope this experience makes you stronger. I hope you learn that you can do anything you set your mind to. That even in the face of difficulty, you can rise to the occasion. 

One week left. That’s all you have. And I will be cheering for you every step of the way. 

Today. Tomorrow. And always. 

Love, 
Mom

You may also like:

I Love You Enough to Not Give You Everything You Want

To the Mom Who Wonders if What She’s Doing Matters

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is a freelance writer, preschool art teacher and mother of four with a heart for Jesus. Her work can be found on a number of blogs and parenting publications. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, Tennessee. She is a passionate storyteller and believes every person has an important story to tell. We grow when we share. And even more when we listen.  

Yes, We Wanted a Big Family

In: Kids, Motherhood
Big family silhouette

Baby number WHAT?!?! Okay, okay, I know having FIVE children in the modern world is a bit of an anomaly, but the responses we have gotten from sharing our joyful (to us!) news has been a bit over-the-top. You see, my husband and I always dreamt of a big family, verbally expressing four to five children as our ultimate number. After having three, I must say I had to do some convincing to keep going, as my husband felt our hands were pretty full. I do agree our hands were pretty full, but I still felt our hearts could handle...

Keep Reading

How Much Longer Will I Watch Them Play?

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Two boys at indoor playground, color photo

As I sit here watching my two boys running around on the bright-colored foam mats, sliding down the bright red and green slides that end up in a ball pit full of giggles, I can’t help but wonder how much longer I will enjoy this sight. They’re both growing up so fast—T-shirts with their favorite characters have been replaced by plain colors.  Curtains with Paw Patrol now invite an “Eww, cringe!” reaction. Slowly their boy bedroom decor has been updated to reflect the cool gamers they so want to be. RELATED: He’s a Boy For Just a Little While Longer No...

Keep Reading

God Gave Him Bigger Feelings

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy on playground, color photo

He came home from school last week and asked, “Why do I get so angry but my friends never do? Why am I not the same?” And it broke me. Because he is passionate and intelligent and kind and intuitive and beautiful. He didn’t always seem different. We never paid attention to how he would line everything up in play. And we would laugh it off as a quirk when he would organize everything dependent upon shape, size, and color. He was stubborn, sure, but so am I. And then COVID happened, and we attributed the lack of social skills...

Keep Reading

We Have a Big Family and Wouldn’t Change a Thing

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four children in front of Christmas tree, color photo

I have just had my fourth baby. A baby who wasn’t expected but very much wanted and very much loved from the moment we found out. When we told people we were expecting, the response was underwhelming. The stream of intrusive questions would then ensue:  You already have your hands full, how will you cope with four? You’ll need a bigger car! Where will they all sleep? Don’t you own a TV? You know how babies are made right? People seemed to have such a strong opinion about me having a fourth child. RELATED: We Had a Lot of Kids...

Keep Reading

As a Mom I’m Far From Perfect, But I Hope You Remember the Joy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Happy mother and daughter on the beach

Sometimes, I think about the future when you are grown and I am gone. When all that’s left of me are photographs and memories. I know what the photographs will show. I took most of them, after all. But the memories I’m less sure of. I wonder what will stick with you after all that time. How will you remember me? One day, your grandkids will ask you about me. What will you say? Will you tell them I was always distracted? Will you remember that I looked at my phone too much? Will you tell them I didn’t play...

Keep Reading

Being a Daycare Mom Can Be So Hard

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Woman holding boy on couch, black-and-white photo

Dear daycare mom,  I know it’s hard.  To get yourself up before them, to make lunches, to pack the bags, to get yourself ready.  To go into their rooms, where they are peacefully sleeping, and turn the lights on.  To struggle to get them breakfast, get them dressed, and get them out the door.  I know it’s hard.  To have a morning rush when all you want to do is snuggle up on the couch and ease into your day.  RELATED: When a Mom is Late To Work To feel like you are missing out on their childhood at times...

Keep Reading

The PB&J that Saved the Day

In: Kids, Motherhood
Table with three plates of PB&J sandwiches, color photo

It was one of those days.  One of those days when your pants are too tight, you wake up with a headache, and the kids’ rooms are disasters at 8 a.m. It was one of those days when I had to physically go into Target for our groceries since I didn’t have time to wait for pickup—I think that alone should sum up exactly the kind of day it was.  The kids were hangry. The toddler was, well, toddler-y. RELATED: Toddlers Are Human Too—And Sometimes They Just Need Grace Two minutes into our shopping trip, she had kicked her light-up rain...

Keep Reading

One Day He’ll Love Another Woman More than He Loves Me

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, color photo

To Benjamin, my 16-month-old son, I am everything. I am the first person that boy looks for when he wakes up in the morning and the last person he wants before he goes to bed. If he is in a room full of people he loves and I am not there, he will search for me.  If he has a problem, mommy is the solution. I am the answer to his cries. I feel confident in saying that I am the most important person in that little boy’s little world. I love it. It is an honor and a privilege...

Keep Reading

To My Sister, Thank You For Being the Best Aunt To My Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood
Aunt with three young kids

“Do you have the kids’ basketball schedule yet?” you texted the other day. I sent back a screenshot of the calendar, and within an hour you responded telling me which game you’d be coming to. It was a simple exchange, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude for your love for my kids in that moment. It’s something I think often but don’t say nearly enough: thank you for being such an amazing aunt. Truly.  I know it’s not always convenient. You live three hours away and have a busy, full life of your own—but still, you show up for your niece and nephews...

Keep Reading

In Defense of the Stubborn Child

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy hanging over dock, color photo

“Lamp. Lamp. Laaaaamp,” my 2-year-old son screamed while stomping his feet. Tears were running down his face and snot was dripping dangerously close to his mouth. I put on what I hoped would be a soothing, motherly tone, “Okay, just calm down.” While trying to maintain eye contact, I slowly reached toward the tissue box. This must be what the greats like Jeff Corwin, Steve Irwin, or the Kratt brothers feel like when facing a volatile animal in the wild. The sound of a tissue being pulled from the box caused the crying to stop abruptly. His eyes flitted toward...

Keep Reading