Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

Just over four years ago, I turned over a new leaf. I was a mom to two under 4. And expecting my third. And at 30ish weeks pregnant, was put on bedrest. 

This turn of events wasn’t necessarily a surprise for me or for my husband. We’d had early deliveries and high-risk pregnancies in our past. But this time it was even earlier. And it seemed, even more risk to the baby I was carrying. Each minute, each hour, each additional day was crucial to baby’s development. And yet, over exertion could lead to still birth or for me, a stroke. 
It sounds like I’m exagerrating, right? Like you know how everyone will swear that at least one of their births was the worst birth that has ever happened. But in this instance, baby had stopped growing. And the fluid that kept babe afloat in the placenta was decreasing by the week. So while it wasn’t the worst case scenario ever to happen on earth, it was imperative that I, the momwifedoerofsomanythings, chill the freak out.
And so I did. 
I think it’s hard when someone says that for our own self, we should settle down. Slow down. Stop taking it all like gangbusters. But when it was for the health and livelihood of my baby, all parties involved agreed mama was marooned to the couch.
I started saying yes. I even wrote about being in “a place of yes.” A place where I said, “Yes. Please take the boys to get new church shoes.” I was in a place where I said, “Yes. Please help me fold my laundry. And do some Christmas Shopping.” I said, “Yes. Your meal would be so helpful. And so would that cleaning crew.”
And in all things crazy, it didn’t feel heavy with guilt to say yes. It felt like a gift of Christmas presence. Yes. Presence. Because I really was so present that Christmas. Even after the wee one came 8 weeks early on December 10. At 3 lbs. With a NICU stay. It just felt like I knew where my focus would be. 
In that time, I learned the place of yes. And the power of not. right. now.
As women, I think we say those phrases ad nauseum. But at the end of the day, I found myself questioning prior to bedrest if I’d been using them correctly for my life. 
I was saying yes to helping on things that didn’t mean anything to me. Helping simply because I wondered what people might think if I said not right now. 
I was saying yes to being a martyr. Keeping tabs on all the things that I did daily. Simply because I wanted to keep up appearances as much as I could with my home and my children. 
I was saying yes to all the things I thought moms were supposed to say yes to.
I was saying not right now to my boys requests to stop doing laundry and play.
I was saying not right now to fitting in exercise for my own health and mental wellbeing.
I was saying not right now to cereal nights at dinner because I thought it was worth stressing myself out every night to curate a dinner experience. One where ultimately one of my children expressed huge distaste for the meal. And I would feel anger about that.
And those are just a few examples. 
I found that the experience of bedrest ushered me into a new phase and appreciation for the true reality of motherhood. Sometimes we can say yes. And sometimes we can say not right now. And that’s okay.
I got sick. Two years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. And treatment followed. Nine months of treatment. Nine months of learning the best practices of yes and not right now. 
Yes. It would be amazing if you’d come sit with me.
Yes. It would be helpful if we could have help with that.
Yes. It matters to me to sit on the couch and read Holiday books with my boys.
Yes. It is so important to me to sit in front of the tree and soak it up. Because what if I never get to again.
Yes. That snuggle time at the end of the day in the crook of my husband’s neck is important to my wellbeing.
Yes. I want to go to that girls’ night because friendship is one of life’s best gifts.
Yes. I want to rest. When I need to. I will rest.
Can I volunteer for that? Not right now. Some day. But not right now.
Can I bring food for this? Not right now. 
Can I travel for the Holidays? Not right now.
Can I finish the laundry before bed? Not right now.
Can I make every day magical? Not right now.
Can I shower? Not right now.
As humans, each and every day that we get to breathe air through our lungs, we are growing. We are growing up and out of the people who came into the world in our skin. And life happens. 
It doesn’t have to be cancer or bedrest. That’s what I ultimately realized. It doesn’t have to be something that people agree is a challenge or difficult. It could be something like, the baby was up all night or the coffee maker broke this morn. All the little things that make up our day make up our lives make up our stories. And there are times where it would serve us well to learn the comfort of saying yes. And of confidently stating, not right now.
It is a season of presence. But shouldn’t it always get to be? Yes. 
And so, to what can you say not right now?
Maybe someday when the babies are bigger. When I’m not working two jobs. When the kids don’t have 4 practices a week. When my house doesn’t look like a tiger lives in it. When I don’t need 4 cups of coffee to feel like I have any motivation. When I don’t feel like I’m already running all day. When I have more disposable income. When I have more disposable time. When I am dating someone. When I’m not knee-deep-in-alligators. When… Maybe someday. 
But not. right. now.
Yes. Someday, I’d love to do it all. But gosh. Not. Right. Now.
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

Ashli Brehm

Ashli Brehm = Thirtysomething. Nebraska gal. Life blogger. Husker fan. Creative writer. Phi Mu sister. Breast cancer survivor. Boymom. Premie carrier. Happy wife. Gilmore Girls fanatic. Amos Lee listener. Coffee & La Croix drinker. Sarcasm user. Jesus follower. Slipper wearer. Funlover. Candle smeller. Yoga doer. Pinterest failer. Anne Lamott reader. Tribe member. Goodness believer. Life enthusiast. Follow me at

Brothers Fight Hard and Love Harder

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys play outside, one lifting the other on his back

The last few years have been a whirlwind. My head has sometimes been left spinning; we have moved continents with three boys, three and under at the time. Set up home and remained sufficiently organized despite the complete chaos to ensure everyone was where they were meant to be on most days. Living in a primarily hockey town, the winters are filled with coffee catch-ups at the arena, so it was no surprise when my youngest declared his intention to play hockey like his school friends. Fully aware that he had never held a hockey stick or slapped a puck,...

Keep Reading

Stop Putting an Expiration Date on Making Memories

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and son in small train ride

We get 12 times to play Santa (if we’re lucky). This phrase stopped my scroll on a Sunday evening. I had an idea of the direction this post was going but I continued on reading. 12 spring breaks 12 easter baskets 20 tooth fairy visits 13 first days of school 1 first date 1-2 proms 1-2 times of seeing them in their graduation cap and gown 18 summers under the same roof And so on and so on. It was essentially another post listing the number of all the monumental moments that we, Lord willing, will get to experience with our...

Keep Reading

When Your Kids Ask, “Where Is God?”

In: Faith, Kids
Child looking at sunset

How do I know if the voice I’m hearing is God’s voice? When I was in high school, I found myself asking this question. My dad was a pastor, and I was feeling called to ministry. I didn’t know if I was just hearing my dad’s wish or the call of God. I was worried I was confusing the two. It turns out, I did know. I knew because I was raised to recognize the presence of God all around me. Once I knew what God’s presence felt like, I also knew what God’s voice sounded like. There is a...

Keep Reading

Go Easy On the Parents Who Refuse to Skip Naps

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two little boys and their sister walking down a gravel road, color photo

Greetings from a mom who is done with napping children. It’s great to have the flexibility during the day for longer activities, meeting friends for playdates, or day trips to faraway places. It’s a new life . . . the life without naps. The freedom to make plans and keep them. But not that long ago, I was something very different than the flexible, plan-keeping, up-for-it woman I am today. I used to be the mom who refused to skip my child’s nap. Yep, that one. Here’s the thing, for a lot of parents, It’s so much more than just a...

Keep Reading

My Heart Isn’t Ready for You to Stop Believing in Santa

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy standing in front of lit christmas tree

“My friend doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, Mom,” my son said out of the blue the other day. We were driving in the car, and when I met his gaze in the rear-view mirror his eyes searched mine. Immediately, my heart sank.  This sweet boy, he’s our first. Thoughtful and smart and eight years old. A quick Google search tells me that’s the average age kids stop believing in Santa, but as his mom, I’m not ready for that—not even a little bit.  I can still hear his barely 2-year-old voice going on about reindeer as we lay together on...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, This Is My Wish for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugs three kids

To my kids, The world you’re stepping into is unlike anything I experienced at your age. It’s fast-paced, interconnected, and sometimes overwhelming. But within this chaos lie countless opportunities for growth and joy. My wish for you is that you find the perfect balance between embracing the modern world and staying true to yourselves. Change is one thing you can always count on. Embrace it because it’s often the motivation for growth. Embracing change doesn’t mean letting go of who you are; rather, it’s about evolving into the best version of yourself. Remember, you don’t need to have all the...

Keep Reading

Motherhood is a Million Little Letting Gos and Fresh Hellos

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with child on her lap by the setting sun and water

I missed my grocery-shopping buddy the other day. Mondays are usually the days my littlest and I knock out our grocery list. In the past, we’ve dropped the kids at school and then headed to the store. I grab a latte, and she chooses a hot chocolate. But that day, they were all in school. That day, she sat in her kindergarten class, and I went to the grocery store. Alone. A new rhythm. A changed routine. A different season. I listened to a podcast on the drive. My podcast. Then I grabbed a drink. Just one. I got the...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Stay Wild

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach, color photo

I can’t really put my finger on it. Or manage to find all the words. But there’s just something about that girl. Maybe it’s the way her hair sits tangled. Curled up at the end. The way she moves. Dances. As if everyone was watching. Or no one at all. RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine It could be the way she smiles. With her heart. The way only she can. The way she cares, loves. For everyone. For herself. You see, she is beautiful in the way only wild things are. The way they...

Keep Reading

You’re Becoming a Big Sister, But You’ll Always Be My Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Pregnant woman with young daughter, color photo

The anticipation of welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting and joyous time for our family. From the moment we found out we were expecting to just about every day since, the love and excitement only continue to grow. However, amidst all the preparations for the new addition, I cannot help but have mixed emotions as I look back at old videos and pictures of my firstborn, my first princess, my Phoebe—for she will always hold a special place in my heart. As the anticipation grows, my heart swells with a mix of emotions knowing we are...

Keep Reading

Cowgirls Don’t Cry Unless the Horse They Loved Is Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Loss
Little girls Toy Story Jessie costume, color photo

The knee of my pants is wet and dirty. My yellow ring lays by the sink—it’s been my favorite ring for months. I bought it to match Bigfoot’s halter and the sunflowers by his pasture. Bigfoot is my daughter’s pony, and I loved him the most. The afternoon is so sunny. His hooves make the same calming rhythm I’ve come to love as I walk him out back. A strong wind blows through the barn. A stall labeled “Bigfoot,” adorned with a sunflower, hangs open and I feel sick. I kneel down by his side as he munches the grass....

Keep Reading