So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

My middle child. My wild child. My absolutely, positively difficult child. 

She was my easiest birth. After going overdue with the two pregnancies before her and laboring for 12+ hours with them, my middle child arrived one day before her due date in a beautiful, natural birth lasting only six hours.

She went on to be a very easy baby, too. A self-soothing queen who would sleep through the night at just a few weeks old. She hit all the milestones early, weaned herself from me without any pain or trouble, and potty trained easily at just two years old. 

RELATED: The Secret No One Told Me About the Toddler Years is How Much I Could Absolutely Love Them

People would tell us, as they like to do when you’re experiencing joy in parenting, that these weren’t necessarily good things. “Easy babies become difficult toddlers,” they would say. I don’t think that’s always true.

But we did learn the meaning of difficult soon enough.

I should have seen it coming when she came into the kitchen one winter morning before she turned three, telling me she didn’t sleep well and needed a coffee. It was all downhill from there.

Still sweet. Healthy and strong. But also wild.

She tests her boundaries, outside the reach of normal boundary testing. We now have four other children to compare it to, so trust me on this.

She does the polar opposite of what I tell her to do most of the time.

She doesn’t listen. Ever.

If you think that’s an exaggeration, I invite you to spend a couple of hours at my house to observe it for yourself.

She gets her siblings riled up beyond belief and makes our house sound like an energetic WWE match on a regular Tuesday night.

RELATED: The Mama of the Wild Child is Trying Harder Than You Know

She is the loudest voice heard through the hallways in all of the post-bedtime shenanigans.

She has exited her kindergarten classroom every day since school began by loudly proclaiming, “I. LEARNED. NOTHING!” in front of her teacher and the other parents in the pick-up line.

She is stubborn. So, so stubborn.

She. Never. Finishes. Her. Meals. She sometimes doesn’t even pick at them. She’d rather fend for herself when she feels like eating than sit down and eat a meal that’s been prepared.

I often question where we went wrong in the discipline. While the rest of the kids seem to act right most of the time and have moments of being wild, it sometimes feels like my middle child has only moments of behaving well.

She is untamed.

But being wild and untamed isn’t all bad, crazy stuff.

Let me tell you what else she is:

She is sensitive and compassionate.

She has a tough exterior with melty insides.

RELATED: Behind Every Strong-Willed Child is a Vulnerable Soul

She is sweet and kind.

She gets along well with others.

She is silly with a giggly, infectious laugh.

She’s an old soul. She loves David Bowie and knows all the words to “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

She dances all day. Gets where she’s going in whirls and twirls along the kitchen floor.

She loves to grow things and eat vegetables from her garden. She is selective about picking flowers because she knows they’ll stay beautiful if left in the ground.

She is gentle with animals and babies.

She is brave. She’ll go check out a scene before everyone else to make sure it’s safe.

RELATED: In Defense of the Wild Child

She is super athletic. She’s a fast runner, can do a million push-ups, and mastered the monkey bars on her own when she was two. She’s been climbing on playground equipment not meant for her age group since she was a baby.

She has long, wild hair and throws together some of the craziest outfits I’ve ever seen. She also does not care what anyone thinks of said outfits. Hashtag confidence.

She is strong-willed, a natural-born leader.

She loves Jesus and her worship singing might just bring you to tears.

I wouldn’t change a thing about her. If I traded the challenges, I’d lose all the joys of raising such a beautiful and loving child. Sure, she’s difficult sometimes.

But difficult isn’t the worst thing.

She’s my middle child. My wild child. My absolutely, positively beautiful child. Inside and out. Wild and warm. Tender and tough. Salty and sweet.

She is extraordinary and true. 

Previously published on the author’s Instagram

Jheri Jordan

I am a wife and mother of five, raising arrows in Pennsylvania with my hot, hardworking husband. I love Jesus, coffee, plants, and carbs. I can sometimes be overheard yelling things like, "You don't have to ask permission to poop!" Come hang out with me on Instagram @joyful.growing

Motherhood is the Great Uniter

In: Motherhood
Mom with child silhouette

Connection. It’s something that we all need right now. I knew that when I became a mother, I would be joining the ranks of fellow moms in my family, my workplace, my community. But what I didn’t know is the sense of camaraderie I would form with motherly figures I will never meet. On one particularly stressful day during the newborn stage, I had this unshakeable thought: I am not the first—nor will I be the last—mom to survive this. As I toyed with the idea of mothers existing all over the globe, long before my time, the entire history...

Keep Reading

Going on Family Vacation with Young Kids is Work That’s Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom with two young kids on airplane

Our routine will be a mess. Our toddler won’t sleep in a new environment. Our baby needs all of the gear. The flight could be a disaster. I went through a mental checklist of reasons why this kind of family vacation would be hard. It was a pretty convincing list if I’m being honest. I considered throwing a pity party dedicated to the concerns I shoulder as a mother. A few days later I felt a wave of conviction wash over me. I was dreading a trip that was meant to be a blessing to our family. Any kind of...

Keep Reading

Separating Work From Home is a Must For Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom with baby smiling

If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 11-year-old boy with his pale feet sticking out from under the blanket, on his way to the morgue after a gun accident.   If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the still, blue form of the 3-month-old who passed away in his sleep. We gave CPR and all the medicines “just in case,” but that baby was gone long before his caregiver brought him in through the door. If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 3-year-old...

Keep Reading

One Child, One Moment, One Memory at a Time

In: Motherhood
Mother with toddler girl smiling

As I sit and watch my girls play in the water at our cabin, I can’t help but smile. Their laughter, their smiles, their pure JOY for the simplest of life’s pleasures- enjoying mother nature-is palpable. But so is my anxiety. For every moment I’m watching them play, I fear it’s a moment that will too soon become a memory. An experience gone too quickly, for I so desperately want to keep them little. You see when I hear things such as, “I only have ____ summers left with my child at home,” I go into total panic mode. It...

Keep Reading

Your Son Won’t Care About Decorating His Dorm Room

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
College boy in dorm room

  ‘Tis the season for dorms for those of us whose children are in college. You may be designing, planning, and buying dorm essentials because the decorating has begun; physically or mentally, it’s happening. And here’s what I’ve learned: boys don’t care. That’s right, boys don’t care what their rooms look like. OK, that may be a bit of an overstatement, but trust me, it’s not that far off the mark. Last year, I remember scrolling through my newsfeeds admiring my friends’ daughters’ room pictures. Everything was color coordinated, and I mean EVERYTHING–even the Command hooks stringing up the fairy...

Keep Reading

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

I Want To Raise Good Sisters

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four girls sitting on a rock in the forest, color photo

My current dilemma: how to teach four little girls how to be good sisters when I have no idea what I’m doing? I was an only child growing up, and a tomboy at that. It was a lonely, quiet childhood. I remember wishing for a sister, but knowing that with my single mom, it wasn’t going to happen. So, the sister thing is a big mystery to me. I’ve noticed (admittedly with some envy) adult sisters together and their inside jokes, shared history, and language known only to each other. I’ve read about sisters in books. The relationships between the four...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Just Love You, I Like You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boy standing at bridge, color photo

My growing child, my heart often aches when I look at how big you have gotten. You aren’t a baby anymore, you’re a whole kid. You are your own person, with your own thoughts and feelings. You have your own friendships, and interests.  Parts of me realize you don’t need me the same, but deep down I know you need me all the same. And I’m realizing, that in all of these changes, my love for you is also a like.  RELATED: Being Your Mom is the Greatest Honor of My Life Because now we can connect in a whole...

Keep Reading

We’re Learning to Be Just the Two of Us (And It’s Fun!)

In: Grown Children, Marriage, Motherhood
Couple cooking in kitchen

My husband and I have been married for 23 years and we have never spontaneously gone four hours away to anything, much less a concert.  When we got married, we both brought daughters into the marriage, and three years later, we had a son. We were a family of five. In our 23 years of marriage, it had never been just the two of us. There were always ballgames, concerts, school awards, etc that kept us busy and split between two places if not three. After the girls both left the house for college, we still had our son. While...

Keep Reading

Dear Kindergartner, I’ll Always Remember You This Way

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and child touch foreheads

The first magical flickers of your strong heartbeat on a black and white screen— the reassuring evidence I needed to know you were gaining strength for this world. My belly grew, and I proudly went shopping for maternity clothes to cover it. I felt the first dances of your little feet, and it reminded me of butterflies taking flight— the movement of a true miracle. I’ll always remember you this way. The sounds of your first cries—music ringing in my ears. You were real, Earth-side, and wanting only to be loved. The softness of your skin, the way you smelled,...

Keep Reading