So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

There are days I still feel like the 11-year-old girl whose dreams were shattered by the person who held my fragile heart in her handmy mother. 

My mother was physically and verbally abused by her parents. She was a survivor of horrible circumstances right out of a horror film. She was raped. She was beaten so brutally her bones were broken, multiple times. She tried to run away. She tried to hide her parent’s stash of alcohol and prescription drugs. 

While she did the best she could not knowing “how” to mother, she carried a lot of baggage and resentment. She told me how blessed I was compared to her. While I wasn’t abused like she was, she never sought professional help. Her unresolved anger led to an inability to nurture her children, to be proud of them. She always said she didn’t want it to go to our heads. 

I wrote a song for her at 11-years-old. It was about how much I loved her and wanted to make her proud. I fumbled my awkward and skinny fingers along the frets of the guitar, trying to pretend I knew how to play that old, brown, cheap guitar. I was so proud of the product I worked up for her. I just knew this was that “I’m so proud of you” moment that would end with a hug. 

After a few lines, she laughed—and not in the “that’s so adorable” kind of way.

She mocked it. Every. Single. Line. My insides hurt. I felt so embarrassed. I longed to be enough for her. Make her proud. Then the whole family joined in the mockery. My bright red cheeks choked back the elephant tears that later made their appearance within the lonely walls of my bedroom. 

That response cut me to my very core. I just wanted to make her proud but instead was left feeling unfulfilled. I stopped writing songs. 

I cleaned the house and did laundry for her almost every day after school. It was never “clean enough” and never right. She always yelled that I was “so selfish” and needed to help out more. 

I played sports and worked diligently to improve. I stayed late after practice and practiced at home. I always rode home listening to car lectures of what I needed to work on. I always fell short. Every. Single. Time. 

I would try to pick out clothes that suited me as an individual, but I was always sent back upstairs to change because she didn’t think it looked good or appropriate on me. 

My makeup always looked awful. 

I was told over and over if I talked back or voiced my opinion, I couldn’t see my boyfriend again. 

She told me I wasn’t one of the kids who was naturally smart, so I needed to work harder. 

I couldn’t go out with friends because we needed to spend more time together as a family. 

When wedding planning, marriage, and babies came along, I told myself I needed to move forward and stop looking for her approval.

But I was always taken back to that little 11-year-old girl just waiting for her mom to smile and be genuinely proud. 

Here I am, now breaking 30. I’ve come to a place of trying not to harbor those feelings of falling short, but then I remember what she went through. Her pain still fills her heart. Her abusive history continued even if it was a smaller-scaled version. She was so quick to lash out and so quick to slap, she forgot to look in the mirror and refuse to let the bitterness take over. To know she was worth seeking help and so were we. 

As a mother, I think about the first time my children will write a song. I refuse to mock them. I refuse to call them dumb or for their actions to never be enough. 

We have to break the cycles, mamas. 

We have to seek the help we need to overcome. 

We have to be a voice for the 11-year-olds crying alone in their rooms because they feel like they won’t amount to anything. 

Believe in your children. 

Believe in yourself. 

Don’t let the cycles of abuse leave your children longing for your approval. 

Don’t shatter their dreams mama, get the help you need. 

Mamas, you hold little fragile hearts in your handstreasure and protect them with all you have in you. 

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 now!

Order Now

Her View From Home

Millions of mothers connected by love, friendship, family and faith. Join our growing community. 1,000+ writers strong. We pay too!   Find more information on how you can become a writer on Her View From Home at

We Have a Lot of Pets and It’s the Best

In: Living, Motherhood
Collage of kids with animals, color photo

We are the house with a lot of animals. Yep, that one. Each time I call my mom to delicately mention we are thinking of adopting another pet, I am met with the same disapproving tone, “ANOTHER dog?” Let’s be fair, we are only shopping around for our third. It’s not that crazy, but I get it’s more than most. Oh, and we also have a horse. But hear me out . . .  My oldest son has autism and used to be terrified of our dog. She was patient with him, she kept her distance, and she slowly broke...

Keep Reading

Hello 40, I’ve Been Waiting for You

In: Living
Woman wearing 1983 Original shirt, color photo

Recently, a friend gave me a sweatshirt displaying the words “Nineteen 83 Original.” I slipped the soft fabric over my head and pushed my arms through; the cozy sweatshirt fit perfectly. I looked down at the retro print, loudly and proudly displaying the year: ’83. I contemplated whether to wear it out that night. It was comfortable, I liked the way it felt and looked, and it was honest—I was literally wearing my age. Was that okay?  Would my mom have ever worn a shirt that so boldly proclaimed her age? My aunts? My grandma? Never ask a woman her...

Keep Reading

When Mom Gets a Migraine Life Must Still Go On

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother has a headache, sitting on the couch with kids running around in blur

I can’t tell the story of paramedics from the angle from which they see things, but I can tell it from the angle of the person looking up at them—the one lying in the medically-equipped vehicle with lights flashing and siren audible. There are some lessons in life we learn by blindside—we are thrust into them. That was me that May day in the ambulance.  I had known about migraines; I had decades of first-hand experience with them. I knew vision could be temporarily taken. I have operated countless days with an invisible hammer continuously beating one side of my...

Keep Reading

My Childhood Home Is Forever a Part of Me

In: Grown Children, Living
Mother, father, daughter, older color photo

Of all the places I will roam, home is forever part of me. I can see the bright, orange poppies coming out to grace the springtime hills. I can hear the classic hymns being played on the familiar piano—its notes drifting God’s praise throughout the house. I can smell the fragrant aroma of brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and oats mixing together to make the cookies of my childhood. I can touch your warm embrace—the firm hug that has always communicated that it will all be okay, that God has us held in the palm of his hands. I can taste...

Keep Reading

Our Kids Need to See Us Slow Down Too

In: Living, Motherhood
Friends with feet up around a fire pit, color photo

I have a girlfriend who has a lake house just over an hour away. It’s in a small town that has a local Mexican restaurant with a fun, easy-going staff that feels like they have to be family. There have been times over the last few years that something about that casual, bright restaurant with its rowdy waiters and surprisingly outstanding, cheap food makes me feel so content. The small lake town is not that far from home, but it feels far enough away to be unavailable to my responsibilities and have a tiny piece of that vacation vibe (without...

Keep Reading

Dear Teachers, Thank You Will Never Be Enough

In: Kids, Living
Kids hugging teacher

Growing up a teacher’s daughter has given me a lifetime of appreciation for educators. Of course, it’s true; I may be biased. I’ve been fortunate to have learned and been guided by many outstanding teachers, including my mother and grandmother, who passed those legacy skills onto my daughter, who strongly feels teaching is her calling. But if you’ve had your eyes and ears open in recent years, you, too, probably feel deep gratitude for the angels among us who work in the school system. So, as the school year ends, and on behalf of parents, grandparents, and anyone who loves...

Keep Reading

When the Last Baby Graduates

In: Grown Children, Living, Motherhood
Graduate with parents smiling, cap and gown

We’ve been through this before, so we know the waves of emotions that roll through us. When our kids graduate—be it from preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, or college—we moms come to terms with one season ending and a new one beginning. RELATED: I Blinked and You Went From Kindergarten to College When it’s your last child who is graduating from college, this can feel like uncharted territory. Yes, we know that we find new rhythms to our relationship from having gone through this with our other child(ren). But we as moms have not yet left the college...

Keep Reading

The Face In the Mirror Has Changed, But It Tells My Story

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman standing in kitchen next to roses, color photo

If I were to do an inventory of my home of 42 years, I would get a grip on what should be thrown out, given away, or kept. The older I become, the more difficult it is for me to make these decisions. I attempted making a list of personal items I would like each of my sons to have (not that they wouldn’t get rid of them after I am gone) and have started thinking about items to bequeath to grandchildren. I believe I know which son would be happy to acquire books, which son would gladly be the...

Keep Reading

I’ll Do Whatever It Takes to Fight for My Mental Health

In: Living
Woman holding white pill in hand, color photo

Trigger warning: self-harm and suicide mentioned Today, I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done: I started anxiety medication.  I’ve struggled with anxiety as far back as I can remember. At age eight and on, I remember having crowd and social anxiety and being forced into situations where I felt so unstable. Church functions, stage freight, crowds of people I didn’t feel safe around. At age 15, I experienced my first panic attack. I remember thinking I was having a heart attack, wondering why I’d be dying from a heart attack so young. It wasn’t until I was...

Keep Reading

I’m Done Teaching and the Goodbye Is Hard

In: Living
Empty classroom

Packing up several years’ worth of supplies purchased with my own money, I heave a deep exhale. The room looks so bare now. It’s less colorful and joyful. It’s lost its magic.  I kind of feel the same way about myself. After months of contemplation and decision-making, I won’t be unpacking these boxes when school returns in August. I won’t be returning to the classroom at all. Somewhere along the way, I seem to have lost some of that teacher magic that once sparkled so brilliantly.  But if I’ve spent so much time making this choice, why am I overcome...

Keep Reading