Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

As a child care provider and educator, there has always been so much I’ve wanted to tell parents. There are things I’ve wanted them to know so maybe issues at home wouldn’t infiltrate the classroom. There are things I’ve wanted them to know so maybe they can feel less discouraged and less alone. I can appreciate that many times, the parents of my students are just new parents, and they’ve never done this before. They don’t know how to do this, and they don’t know that it’s OK. 

As a parent, I can appreciate what it’s like to be clueless, despite my background. As a parent, I can appreciate what it’s like to feel helpless and lost, frustrated and enervated, and sometimes, even heartbroken.

Still, there are things I want to say to all the parents. The new parents especially. These are the things every new parent needs to know:

This will be hard.

This will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done.

You will feel scared, incompetent, lost, and like a failure.

You will be frustrated a lot.

You will cry, and you will hurt.

RELATED: A Mother is Made in the Mess

But that’s only a part of it.

You will know a love like no other.

You will look forward to every day.

You will feel brave, triumphant, proud, and blissful happiness.

You will love tremendously, more than you ever have in your life.

You will cry when you think of how blessed you are and how grateful you feel.

Your child will change and grow every day. You will have to adapt.

Expect the unexpected, the unusual, the surprising. Expect the opposite of what other kids are doing, the opposite of what your child did yesterday, and the opposite of what you think your child should be doing.

It may not go as you expected. It may not go as you wanted. It may not go as you planned, but that’s OK. 

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

You are a student, and you have to learn something new about your child and the world every day.

You are a teacher, and you have to teach your child how to live in the world. You have to teach your child how to say please and thank you, dunk cookies in milk, and how to cross the street, in addition to approximately 500,000 other things.

Children come into the world knowing nothing. They don’t know what a crib or bassinet is, and that these are places for something called sleep. You must teach them that. They don’t know what a spoon is or what it’s doing coming into their mouth while you’re staring at them expectantly and coaxing them. You must teach them how to eat. They don’t know how to iron clothes, write thank-you notes, or accept people for who they are.

You must teach them everything. No pressure. 

Parenthood will have its rewards, its joys, and its long, long list of magnificent things that cannot even be named. Parenthood will also have its challenges, its hardships, and its pain. You will have to persevere. You will have to be strong. You will have to be flexible, and accept when things don’t go as you expected or when you learn you were wrong. 

RELATED: Dear Kids, I’m Sorry I Yelled But I’m Just So Tired

You will have to know that no one knows what they are doing. It’s OK to ask for help and to pray every day for guidance. It’s OK to not know the answer, and it’s OK to be wrong. It’s OK to feel overwhelmed and powerful, aggravated and peaceful, and happy and sad, all in the same day. 

You are a parent, the greatest role there is. You are the reason someone new is in the world. A brand new person. So much possibility. So much potential. Again, it will be hard, but it will also be the greatest adventure you’ve ever lived and the most important thing you’ve ever done.

I want to tell the parents: give it your all, learn from your mistakes, and move on after you make a mistake. Allow yourself and your child to make mistakes. Appreciate that your child is a little human, with human feelings, flaws, needs, and ambitions. Trust your instincts, and it’s OK if you feel like you don’t have any instincts. Give yourself a break, go easy on yourself, and thank God every day for your blessings.

Love with all your might, cherish every moment, even the mishaps, and at the end of the day, know you’re doing a good job.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Dana Frutos

I am a mother to a one and a half-year-old, and I have worked in early childhood education for over 20 years. I have worked as a nanny, infant teacher, preschool assistant teacher, and preschool lead teacher. I have cared for kids of all incomes and ethnicities. I am passionate about writing and early childhood, and I am striving to combine the two.

I Prayed for These Moments I’m Living with You

In: Motherhood
Little girl smiling on couch

There’s a half-eaten, yellow Dum-Dum sucker stuck in the console of my dashboard, right in front of my gear shift. Every day when I pick my daughter up from daycare, she gets a Dum-Dum sucker from the director as we leave. Once in the car, she usually eats some of it and either puts it upside down in the cup holder of her car seat, or she hands it to me, and I place it in the console until we get home when I can toss it in the trash. This is nothing new. This has been part of our...

Keep Reading

When You Wonder, “Why Do I Even Try?”

In: Motherhood
Weary woman on couch at home

I have thought these words to myself countless times in the past year. With a fresh teenager in seventh grade and a pre-teen in fifth, it has been a year of trial and tribulation I can only imagine compares to the biblical character Job. Okay, so maybe I am a bit dramatic. However, as a hard-working single mother, this year has truly tested me to the point of near torture. And here I am, still standing, in need of copious amounts of caffeine and some serious self-care but still standing nonetheless. I am admittedly (and my sons would agree) not...

Keep Reading

Always Choose Adventure

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Two children looking at aquarium exhibit, color photo

Here’s the thing about traveling with little kids. Is it hard? Sometimes. Sometimes it looks like a whole carry-on dedicated solely to snacks, activities, and emergency treats. Sometimes it looks like buying a drink for the passenger next to you as a way of saying sorry and thank you all at the same time for the airplane kid chaos they endured. Sometimes it looks like altering your picture-perfect itinerary that you meticulously planned on account of missed naps finally catching up. Sometimes it looks like washing a car seat off in a hotel shower because your toddler got carsick, then...

Keep Reading

Love Beyond Words

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugging daughter

My daughter Lexi lost her words and some of her motor functioning when she was two years old. She was three when the silent intruder of Rett Syndrome made itself known through seizures. But here’s the heart of our story: even without words, Lexi and I have created our own language—a symphony of unspoken love. She may not call me “Mom” in the traditional sense, but her eyes, her laughter, and the unique sounds she makes speak volumes to my heart. Each day with Lexi is a dance—one where the steps aren’t always clear, and the rhythm can change in...

Keep Reading

These Family Recipes Feed My Soul

In: Living, Motherhood
Old, messy, recipe book, color photo

There’s a recipe in my cookbook so caked with flour and cinnamon that my mother’s handwriting struggles to be seen. It’s for sweet roll dough, a recipe both my maternal and paternal grandmothers used and passed down. There’s just a difference in how many eggs and flour you choose to use. From this dough, meals that memories are made of take the shape of pizza, cinnamon rolls, Runzas (for us Midwesterners), or simple dinner rolls. For our family, it’s a Sunday night tradition of homemade pizza and a movie and Monday morning cinnamon rolls to start the week. Not much...

Keep Reading

There’s No One Who Gets It Like a Mom Friend

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Mom friends in the park with strollers

I made my first mom friend at six weeks postpartum. I was pushing our son in his brand-new stroller not yet stained by sunscreen or covered in cracker crumbs. My husband spotted her first, gesturing to a woman who looked my age pushing a similarly unblemished stroller with the same bleary-eyed look. “Go talk to her,” he encouraged, sensing what I was too tired to realize at the time, which was how badly I needed a friend who understood what I was going through. We hit it off immediately and discovered we lived just seven doors away from each other....

Keep Reading

I Thank God Every Day for These Babies

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and two children, color photo

You know that saying, “All of God’s grace in one tiny face”? Growing up, I never understood the meaning behind it. I thought it was overused, cliche even. I mean, of course, babies are adorable, but I never fully grasped the concept of the saying. That is until I became a mother myself. Everyone has a different journey to entering motherhood. Mine, in particular, was unique, to say the least. All my life, I couldn’t wait to have kids of my own. Yes, even when I was a kid myself, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God’s...

Keep Reading

Daddy, Am I Beautiful?

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Daddy holding preschool-aged daughter, color photo

“Daddy, do I look beautiful?” I heard my daughter ask my husband from the other room. I barely heard what she said as I was in the kitchen washing the dishes, but her words struck a chord in my heart. My sweet girl, all dressed to go out, asked for her Daddy’s assurance that she was beautiful, that she was admired and special. It hit me in that moment: this pure and built-in desire we all have to be loved, admired, and wanted. Just as my sweet girl wanted her Daddy’s approval and assurance of love, I so often cry...

Keep Reading

Sensitive Sons Are Strong Too

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy pets kitten held by another older boy

My son has always been timid. When he was a baby, he cried when he lost his pacifier in his crib. If I laughed too loudly, he might burst into tears. Once, he was asleep in his bassinet as my husband and I turned on a movie. The MGM lion roared, and he woke in a panic that seemed to take forever to calm. Now, at five years old, my son wrestles, runs, fights, and screams at the television. He pretends to fight bad guys and save me and his twin sister. He thinks he is the king of the...

Keep Reading

I Miss Being Able to Do It All

In: Living, Motherhood
Stressed mom sitting at table with two sons

I miss being wildly capable. It’s a character trait I never realized I would miss because I took it for granted. I never thought it would be something that wasn’t part of me. And if my therapist was reading this, he would pointedly remind me I am still wildly capable, I just have a lot more on my plate than ever before. But honestly, that feels like a cop-out. When I first started therapy, the goal was to convince myself I wasn’t Supermom. My therapist worked with me to see I didn’t need to hold it together everywhere all the...

Keep Reading