So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Dear self,

Hi. 

It’s me . . . well, you . . . it’s you from the future.

I wanted to talk you through some things, and I know you’re the only person you’ll listen to right now, so here goes.

You’re worried about your son. He’s two right now, and he still doesn’t talk. He cries and screams a lot. He doesn’t seem to play very well, and his sleeping habits are atrocious. He really struggles when you try to go out in public, and people tend to stare and judge when that happens.  

I know all of this is really, really hard right now. I know you cry. A lot. 

I also know that you worry. You wonder what is wrong with him. You wonder if things will ever get better. You beat yourself up, wondering if you’re doing enough and if there’s anything else you could try. You wonder if you’ll ever hear his voice. You hope he will play with his brother someday. 

RELATED: Dear Autism Mom, You Are a Warrior

Well, let me share a few things with you.

He will be diagnosed with autism.  

By the time you get to that point, the diagnosis won’t really come as shock to you. 

You’ll find a therapy that works for himapplied behavior analysis (ABA). It will be a game-changer for him.  

He will start to talk at the age of four. He will also start to sleep through the night. Hallelujah. 

He will start to play with his brother at the age of five.

By six, you’ll hear him say things like, “Mommy,” “Love you so much,” and “Smell my poop.”

I know, right now, autism sounds like such a scary word. I want to tell you this: that label changes nothing about our boy. He is still the same loving little boy he’s always been. He is so smart, too, just wait until he is able to show it. He even learned to read at five! I know that’s very hard for you to believe right now, but it’s true (I’d never lie to you).

I know you feel like you have so much to teach him. It feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that needs done.

But here’s the thinghe will end up teaching you so much more than you’ll ever teach him.

He will teach you to slow down and really see the beauty in thingslike watching water trickle over rocks in a small stream.

RELATED: The Intersection of Faith and Autism

You will learn about compassion and how important it is to love and meet people where they are. 

You’ll learn the delicate balance of pushing and encouraging to help him be the best possible version of himself . . . all the while not changing who he is as a person.  

He will teach you to celebrate every hard-earned victory because nothing should be taken for granted. 

He will show you that love needs no words.

He will teach you that different is beautiful.

He will make you more understanding and accepting of others’ differences. 

From him, you’ll learn you don’t have to have all the answers . . . but you’ll find them, together. 

He will show you that happiness truly does come from within.

You’ll learn you were never actually afraid of autism, but rather the unknowns that often come with such a diagnosis.  

RELATED: Before I Knew Autism

You’ll finally come to the realization that everything happens for a reason, and God has a purpose for it all. 

He will teach you that our greatest trials often become our greatest testimonies.

And before you say it, you’re right. You’re not prepared for the journey ahead, but that’s OK. You’ve got the cutest tour guide, and we’re all going to be OK.  

Deidra Darst

Deidra Darst, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and autism mom. She is an advocate, author, and shares her family's journey at www.theslpmom.com.\She can be found on Facebook and Instagram @theSLPmom

To the Emotional Mom of a High School Senior, Enjoy It

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Teen girl in graduation gown, color photo

Dear moms of high school seniors, I see your posts on social media, and I sense your excitement, mixed with anxiety and a bit of sadness (if we are being completely honest). I notice your photos of all the lasts, and I celebrate your child’s accomplishments with you. I see you, and I know you because I have been you, twice now.  I feel the almost palpable sinking feeling that hits in the pit of your stomach when you think about them moving on to the next stage. How is it possible they have grown from such a tiny, helpless...

Keep Reading

I Know My Friends Aren’t Bothered by My Messy House, but I Am

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Sad woman by laundry pile

My house screams at me. It screams to clear off the kitchen counters, to put away the clean clothes, to organize the shoe collection in our entry, to gather up the scattered toys, to sweep the crumbs up, to place the throw pillows back on the couch, to clean off the table—you get the idea. Everything in my sight speaks volumes to the state it does not want to be in, for the chaos it is imposing.  Keeping home is a labor of love and never of balance for me. Everything that is cleaned, made, or organized will always get...

Keep Reading

I’ll Never Be Ready for My Son To Let Go of Me

In: Motherhood, Tween
Tween boy and mom

The arts-and-crafts tote overflowed with cylinders of petrified Play-Doh, crispy-bristled paintbrushes, and Elmer’s glue bottles with clogged applicator tips. Underneath it sat a stack of spiral notebooks with homework from previous years: simple fractions, facts about fossils and chlorophyll, vocabulary words neatly written on blue lines. Star Wars characters were sporadically doodled in the margins.  None of its contents had been touched in years. Yet, the very second I tipped it upside down into the garbage dumpster—unwittingly blasting a flume of silver glitter into the garage ceiling—I felt deep, aching sadness and enormous regret.  When did fuzzy pipe-cleaners become nostalgia-worthy?...

Keep Reading

Dear Preschool Teachers, I’m Going to Miss You So Much

In: Child, Motherhood
preschool teacher sitting with kids on her lap

Dear preschool teachers, There’s just no other way to say this— I’m going to miss you so much. You are the first adults outside of our family to spend your days with my children, and watching your relationships grow and develop this year has been the most bittersweet privilege. I’m going to miss the bright smiles that light up your faces every time my kids come bounding toward you on good days, and how tenderly you hold their little hands and guide them away from me on the tough ones. RELATED: Dear Preschool Graduate, I’m So Proud of You I’m...

Keep Reading

There Are a Million Reasons Being a Mom Is Hard

In: Motherhood
Overwhelmed mom with child at home

Being a mom is hard.   The endless messes to clean up. The sleepless nights and sticky fingers touching everywhere. The meal prep, the nap schedule, the tantrums, the kitchen sink overflowing with dishes . . . oh, the dishes.   And then as they get older, there’s managing all the activities and the carpooling. The homework you can’t figure out. (Are you smarter than a 5th grader? The answer is no, no I’m not.)   The endless to-do list and the pressure to always put someone else’s needs before your own.  No doubt, it’s hard being a mom. But that is the obvious stuff....

Keep Reading

Don’t Let Anyone Rush You, Mama

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother with two kids at home relaxing

From the moment our children are born, other people make it challenging to stay in the present moment—they start asking questions that look forward instead of at the now we are in. Can you believe how big she’s getting, where did your newborn go? Oh my goodness, he’ll be walking any day now! Are you thinking about preschool? What will you do when they’re both in school? What will you do when your baby goes to college? While these questions may come with good intentions, they’re not helpful at all. We moms need to be allowed to be fully in...

Keep Reading

You Are So Much More than the Doubts in Your Head

In: Living, Motherhood
Little girl looking out window, color photo

Keep pushing. Push through every doubt the enemy instills in your mind.  Push through the depression. Push through the worrisome moments. Push through that anxiety that won’t let you win.  You’ve got to keep going. Keep moving forward.  You are a great mother. You are a great wife. You are a great employee and an even better friend.  RELATED: Struggling With Mental Health Makes You a Bad Mom—And Other Lies I’ve Believed Don’t get stuck in the same spot that depression has led you and those thoughts that say you aren’t good enough or worthy enough.  You are.  God says...

Keep Reading

Motherhood Is Hard Because You’re Doing It Right

In: Motherhood
mother holding young child

Before having children, I had a very romanticized idea of motherhood. Sure, I knew it would be hard. But I visualized the beautiful moments ahead: cuddling in bed with my baby in the mornings, sharing favorite books at bedtime, exploring the seashore, and jumping in puddles. I thought I would feel competent and purposeful, and yes, love every moment. What a reality check I was in for.  As a stay-at-home mom to a 3-year-old and a baby, those amazing moments felt few and far between. I felt utterly dragged down by the monotony of it all—not by the moments with...

Keep Reading

Just the Three of Us

In: Motherhood
Mother and father holding hands with daughter as they walk, color photo

On the eve of my daughter’s seventh birthday, I leaned against her doorway watching her sleep so peacefully. I roamed around my home admiring her baby photos and our little family. I blinked and my baby is growing up, and yet, the five years it took to have her felt like a decade. I remind my little girl she is a miracle when she requests a sibling. How do I explain that my body has officially retired when I couldn’t accept it myself? I was first diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 19 and was informed I had a...

Keep Reading

Dear Child, God Sees All of You—And So Do I

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mom and young son painting together

Math has always come easily to him. Even from the beginning stages when we counted wooden blocks on the living room floor, the numbers just came to him. “How many blocks are there?” I asked him, pointing to the scattered row of blocks. I expected him to count them. He was only three or four years old. “Six,” he answered promptly. “Yes . . . but how did you know that?” I asked hesitantly. He had not taken the time necessary to have counted them. “Three and three are six,” he replied. And on it went. The math came easily,...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections