Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

I know it feels like you have to do everything, mama. But you don’t.

You don’t need to have a perfect nutritionally sound meal plan every day of the week. Eat the ice cream. The broccoli will still be there tomorrow. Eat the pizza. It’s basically a balanced meal anyway. Crust—it could be whole grain. Sauce—tomatoes are probably a vegetable in this case. Cheese—protein-packed dairy. Throw some pineapple on there and you’ve got the whole food pyramid.  

You don’t have to say yes every time someone shoves a sign-up clipboard in your hands, or emails you a doodle poll, or corners you in the grocery store.

You can say no and walk (run) away. And it will be fine.

You don’t have to sign your little kids up for back-to-back sports practices. What do 3-year-olds even do at soccer practice? Train for the Olympics? Is this a thing now? Sports are great. Doing all of the sports? That’s just exhausting.

You don’t have to do that overnight trip for work. Well, there’s probably some you have to do if you want a paycheck. But I bet there’s a few where you’re the only one requiring it. I know you think you have to go because your co-workers are, but you don’t. You can just Google the topic later. And networking opportunities? I thought that’s what social media was for.  

You don’t have to wash all the laundry. Just do one load. Over and over and over. And it’ll be fine. Minimalism is “in” now. All of the smart, tech people from Silicon Valley wear the same outfits every day—you can, too.

You don’t have to turn your hobby into a hustle. It’s OK to let things be. Enjoy the crafting, the baking, and the dog walking. Don’t feel pressured to visit your local small business development center and sign the paperwork to start another to-do list. You’re in the business of motherhood, and you can enjoy things just to enjoy them.

You don’t have to do it all. I know there are lots of people shouting. Shouting to do everything. Your job, your anxiety, your sometimes-crazy in-laws. I bet the person shouting the loudest is you. But trust me. You can give yourself permission to say no.

Because here is the honest truth: NO is, in fact, a COMPLETE sentence.


That’s right. You can say no and walk away. You can say no with no explanation. You can say no without harboring guilt. You can say no without pre-planning excuses.


A no doesn’t mean never. It just means not right now.

Not right now because you don’t have to do all the things. Not right now because you’re tired—the kind of tired that seeps into your bones, darkens the skin under your eyes, and makes you forget to take care of yourself.


No isn’t never. No is just go away from me while I eat my ice cream and take a nap. Leave me alone while I cuddle my baby and watch Netflix. Mind your own business, my leggings are comfy, and I’m sure Steve Jobs wore the same Paw Patrol shirt every day when he was a kid, too.


Enjoy the moment without the pressure of mindfulness, meditation, and constant appreciation. Yes, those beautiful moments are precious. But sometimes things are just plain sucky. And that’s OK. It’s OK to say no.

You don’t have to do it all, mama. You don’t.

You may also like:

To the Mom Trying to Do It All, You’re In God’s Way

A Mother’s Mind Never Rests, Because We Carry The Mental Load

I Am The Keeper

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 for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Katelyn Stoll

Katelyn Stoll is a mother to three young boys and lives on a farm in rural NY. She navigates the rough waters of postpartum mood disorders using humor, support from her family, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate. 

I Am a Wrestling Mom

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three young boys with wrestling medals, color photo

As the sun is rising on a frigid winter morning, a brave and determined group of athletes are weighing in at a high school gym. They are physically and mentally preparing for a long day spent at a tournament where they will spend only minutes wrestling, despite the hours they sit and wait all day. Their sport uses offense, defense, and mental strength unlike any other sport. My sons and nephew are wrestlers. They are part of a special team of athletes who work together but compete as individuals.           Their youth team is run by all volunteer coaches with...

Keep Reading

3 Ways to Help Your Firstborn Embrace Becoming a Big Brother

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Pregnant woman holding toddler son, color photo

My oldest son turned four right after his first brother was born. Four years of alone time with his parents. Four years of extra mommy time during the week. Four years of having toys to himself, extra attention from family members, and more. I didn’t plan a four-year age gap; it took our family a lot longer and a lot more help than we expected to have our second son, but age gaps aren’t everything. When my second son was finally on the way, I heard a lot of opinions about how our oldest son would feel once he finally...

Keep Reading

To the Mom Going through a Divorce

In: Living, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman holding young girl outside, blurred background

To the mom going through a divorce: you can do this. I’ve been where you are, staring at a mountain of changes and challenges that felt insurmountable. The crushing ache of divorce, of family disruption, of building a new life, and helping my son through it all seemed endless and impossible. But eventually, I made it through to the other side, and I want you to know: the pain won’t last forever.  The first year following a divorce is an overwhelming puzzle of putting your life back together. And when there are kids involved, there is so much more to...

Keep Reading

Dear Busy Sports Mom: It’s Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Mom watching soccer game, photo from behind

My daughter stands on the front porch every morning and waves goodbye to me as I pull out of the driveway to go to work.  She is 11, and recently eye-rolling, long sighs, and tears have become more commonplace in our daily interactions. But, there is also this: “Bye! Have a good day!” she calls to me in the quiet of early morning, neighbors not yet awake in their still dark houses. “You are AMAZING! You got this!” she continues in her little adult voice, sounding more like a soccer mom than a fifth grader.   Her hair is still a...

Keep Reading

To My Son at 12

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Young boy on a baseball diamond, color photo

My son, you are 12 years old. You are a young boy in the last days before you become a young man. You are a boy fully realized, having reached the summit of childhood. You can read fat books, catch fly balls, and ride your bike to your friends’ houses. You still get excited about Pokémon cards and Nintendo games. You still want LEGO sets for your birthday and Christmas even though you enjoy them more for the building and delight of owning them than for the playing.  You still wrestle and sword fight with your little brother. RELATED: My...

Keep Reading

This is 40 and Pregnant

In: Baby, Motherhood
Black and white selfie of pregnant woman

I didn’t expect to be 40 and pregnant. But here I am, turning 40 this month with a baby growing inside me. Sometimes I think I have no business having a baby at this age. Then I wonder, why the heck shouldn’t I have a baby at 40? What’s so bad about it? Is it because I’m tired? Because I have more wrinkles dancing around my eyes when I laugh or smile? Is the truth that I don’t have enough energy for my children, that they deserve more, and that more is a younger mother? I see us everywhere—older moms...

Keep Reading

Let Them Try: Learning To Be a Mom Who Says Yes

In: Motherhood
Boy flipping pancakes

Our 7-year-old asked to make pancakes the other morning. “Can I do it all by myself this time, mom?”  Truthfully, I wanted to say no. I wanted the kitchen I had just cleaned to stay that way for longer than five minutes. I wanted to pour bowls of cereal and sit to drink my coffee while it was still hot. I wanted a slow Sunday morning instead of a busy (and messy) one spent making a hot breakfast. But instead, I smiled his way and nodded. I don’t always say yes.  I’m raising three natural-born helpers—but to be honest, even...

Keep Reading

8 Fight Songs for the Single Mom

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Woman holding earbuds in ears

They whispered to her: You cannot withstand the storm. I have had days when the storms hit me while I sat on the shower floor with my knees to my chest feeling completely defeated, letting the hot water beat down on my body. I have had nights when the storms hit me as tears stained my pillow. As time has moved on, I am learning how to beat the storms. This is only possible because of the family and friends that God has brought into my life. This is my fight song. These are and have been my take back...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the Baby Hangers

In: Kids, Motherhood
Shirt hanging from small hanger, color photo

You bought them when you first found out you were pregnant. It may have been one of the first items, actually, to hold all of the precious new clothes. The smallest ones in your household. Do you remember that first newborn onesie you bought? It was one of your favorites. You couldn’t fathom you would soon hold something so small that would fit into that onesie. You washed all of the new clothing in preparation and hung them up in your baby’s closet. You know the item. A miniature version of the ones in your closet. Baby hangers. “Do we...

Keep Reading

Take the Trip, You Won’t Regret It

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood

Two years ago, in the middle of a snowy, windy, Colorado March, my husband and I made the spontaneous decision to road trip to Arizona with our three very young kids.  Even though I was excited, the nerves were so very real. Over the next couple of weeks, I literally lost sleep worrying about the logistics of our trip. My late-night mindless scrolling was replaced by searches like “traveling with toddlers” and “keeping kids entertained on road trips”. We already had our hands full chasing kids at home in a familiar setting. Were we crazy to think we could just...

Keep Reading