Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

It’s cold. Not December cold, February cold. Most days usher in a negative whatever-degrees windchill. It doesn’t matter what it is exactly because at some point it’s simply freezing beyond freezing.

Somehow, we still haven’t remembered that leaving the house requires warming up the car and scraping ice for 15 minutes, so we have embraced the fact that we are late each morning. We’ve hit the time of year where it’s difficult to justify not putting coats on the kids to go to and from the car, even though they aren’t allowed to wear them in their car seats. This adds another five minutes to every outing. Who am I kidding? Ten minutes.

The tea parties have been had, villains captured, LEGOs built, every hiding place in the house used up, and we could wallpaper entire buildings with all the artwork that’s been made. Turns out those Pinterest winter bucket lists only last through mid-January, at best.

At this point, you may be feeling guilty about the amount of time your children have spent with Netflix, the number of times you’ve hidden in the bathroom with your phone, or the fact that you are 1000% out of ideas for entertainment.

Maybe you need to hear that you are a good mama and that everyone else is feeling the same way. If that’s the case and you feel like a hot mess even though it’s frigid outside, this is my February-is-the-Actual-Worst encouragement for you:

Your kids know you love them. They really do.

Before plastic was invented, children played with sticks and they all survived. I’m kidding, I’m sure there were toys. But nothing like we have today. No indoor play places with every germ this side of heaven, no libraries with computers and craft stations, and no “paint your own ceramic mug for $97” stores. Hear me again: everyone was fine back in the day. They all made it. No one died of boredom.

During the “play with sticks” days though, I guarantee that if parents had the option of Netflix they would have used it. So you aren’t any worse than the “play with sticks” parents, okay?

Every other mom is not making homemade, Pinterest-worthy Valentine’s Day cards. I know this because I for sure used store-bought ones. (Remember: The “play with sticks” parents did not even have Pinterest. They made Valentine’s cards out of pine needles and sap. It’s all good.)

It’s OK to say, “I need a few mommy minutes. Please play by yourself.”

It’s perfectly fine that your house is a wreck because that is where everyone is spending nearly every second of every day while it’s negative 756 degrees outside.

Same goes for your car.

Everyone is sick, not just your kids. I mean this. No one has allergies right now—it’s all illnesses and gunk. Bathe everyone in hand sanitizer and hope for the best.*

Your kids know you love them. (It was worth repeating.)

February, although the shortest month, is actually the longest and worst. This is a scientific fact. But mamas, we will make it. We will survive because we are strong, we are creative, we are resourceful, and most of all, because we know the hiding spots in our house our kids haven’t yet figured out. Let’s do this, mamas (and please hurry up, Spring)!

A mama in the trenches, too

*Disclaimer: Do not actually bathe your kids in hand sanitizer. Just regular soap. Like the stick parents did. See? We’re the same as them, and our kids will be OK if they have to play by themselves or be bored for a bit.

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

Courtney Boulware

Courtney Boulware lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children, and enjoys library book sales, reading, college football, binge-watching The Office, and anything chocolate. She also pretends to enjoy working out (yay fitness!). Courtney blogs with her sister-in-law at www.letterseed.com. 

Why Doesn’t Anyone Talk about How Hard Adult Friendships Are?

In: Friendship, Living
Woman sitting along on couch looking at smartphone

The scary thing about friendship is it’s completely disposable. You actively choose to remain friends. It can dissolve at any time. No one can force you into it. In marriage, you are bound to one another before God. As a parent, you have a familial obligation to your child. But friendship? That comes completely free and clear. You intentionally let them in, let them see your underbelly. Your messy house. Your imperfect marriage. Your rebellious children. Your weirdness, your quirks, your sin. And they can walk away at any moment. Oh, there are a few exceptions. Maybe you work together....

Keep Reading

The Last Text I Sent Said “I Love You”

In: Friendship, Grief, Living
Soldier in dress uniform, color photo

I’ve been saying “I love you” a lot recently. Not because I have been swept off my feet. Rather, out of a deep appreciation for the people in my life. My children, their significant others, and friends near and far. I have been blessed to keep many faithful friendships, despite the transitions we all experience throughout our lives.  Those from childhood, reunited high school classmates, children of my parent’s friends (who became like family), and those I met at college, through work and shared activities. While physical distance has challenged many of these relationships, cell phones, and Facebook have made...

Keep Reading

Being a Hands-on Dad Matters

In: Kids, Living
Dad playing with little girl on floor

I am a hands-on dad. I take pride in spending time with my kids. Last week I took my toddler to the park. He’s two and has recently outgrown peek-a-boo, but nothing gets him laughing like him seeing me pop into the slide to scare him as he goes down. He grew to like this so much that he actually would not go down the slide unless he saw me in his range of vision going down. When it’s time to walk in the parking lot he knows to hold my hand, and he grabs my hand instinctively when he needs help...

Keep Reading

Finding My Confidence in Learning to Enjoy Exercise

In: Living
Woman at exercise class, color photo

This picture is of me, noticeably overweight, attending a silks class. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I looked noticeably out of place in my XL frame, compared with the other women in their size two Lululemon leggings. At one point, before we began, I actually quietly asked the instructor if there was a weight limit. She reassured me that people a lot heavier than me had hung from their ceiling on those silks. Before we started hanging from the ceiling, the instructor had us all sit in a circle and introduce ourselves and our goal for...

Keep Reading

Somewhere Between Wife and Mom, There Is a Woman

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman standing alone in field smiling

Sometimes, it’s hard to remember there is a woman behind the mom. At home, you feel caught between two worlds. Mom world and wife world. Sometimes it’s hard to balance both. We don’t exactly feel sexy in our leggings and messy mom bun. We don’t feel sexy at the end of the day when we are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from being a mom all day. The truth is we want to feel like ourselves again. We just aren’t sure where we fit in anymore. RELATED: I Fear I’ve Lost Myself To Motherhood We know the kids only stay...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, Until We Meet Again

In: Grown Children, Living
Daughter hugs elderly mother from behind outside

Mom, I pray to the stars that someday, somewhere we pick up where we left off. Before the Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Before your life, my life, and our family’s life changed forever. If we meet again, will you appear just as I remember you before this awful disease took over? With ebony black hair, vibrant blue eyes, and a gracious smile. Will you look at me and know I am your daughter? Will you refer to me by my beloved childhood nickname? RELATED: The One Thing Alzheimer’s Cannot Take Away Will you embrace me in a warm hug and tell me...

Keep Reading

Friendship Looks Different Now That Our Kids Are Older

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two women and their teen daughters, color photo

When my kids were young and still in diapers, my friends and I used to meet up at Chick-fil-A for play dates. Our main goal was to maintain our sanity while our kids played in the play area. We’d discuss life, marriage, challenges, sleep deprivation, mom guilt, and potty-training woes. We frequently scheduled outings to prevent ourselves from going insane while staying at home. We’d take a stroll around the mall together, pushing our bulky strollers and carrying diaper bags. Our first stop was always the coffee shop where we’d order a latte (extra espresso shot) and set it in...

Keep Reading

The Only Fights I Regret Are the Ones We Never Had

In: Living, Marriage
Couple at the end of a hallway fighting

You packed up your things and left last night. There are details to work out and lawyers to call, but the first step in a new journey has started. I feel equal parts sad, angry, scared, and relieved. There’s nothing left to fix. There’s no reconciliation to pursue. And I’m left thinking about the fights we never had. I came down the stairs today and adjusted the thermostat to a comfortable temperature for me. It’s a fight I didn’t consider worth having before even though I was the one living in the home 24 hours a day while you were...

Keep Reading

I Loved You to the End

In: Grief, Living
Dog on outdoor chair, color photo

As your time on this earth came close to the end, I pondered if I had given you the best life. I pondered if more treatment would be beneficial or harmful. I pondered if you knew how much you were loved and cherished As the day to say goodbye grew closer, I thought about all the good times we had. I remembered how much you loved to travel. I remembered how many times you were there for me in my times of darkness. You would just lay right next to me on the days I could not get out of...

Keep Reading

Give Me Friends for Real Life

In: Friendship, Living
Two friends standing at ocean's edge with arms around each other

Give me friends who see the good. Friends who enter my home and feel the warmth and love while overlooking the mess and clutter. Give me friends who pick up the phone or call back. The friends who make time to invest in our relationship.  Give me friends who are real. The friends who share the good, the beautiful, the hard, the messy, and are honest about it all. Give me friends who speak the truth. The friends who say the hard things with love. RELATED: Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends Give me friends who show up. The friends who...

Keep Reading