So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I took my kids to the park last week. It was chilly out, but my sons had been bickering and bouncing off the walls all morning, and I knew they had to burn some of that energy for the sake of my sanity. So we bundled up and to the park we went. 

As luck would have it, we had the place to ourselves. While the kids ran around wildly I sat on a bench a ways away, sipping my coffee and scrolling mindlessly through my phone. I glanced up every now and then to watch a “cool trick” and make sure no one was dangling from the monkey bars, but mostly I took advantage of the escape from my chaotic—albeit lovely—reality.

After a few minutes, I noticed an older couple walking their dog in our direction. I suddenly felt self-conscious. I set my phone down and walked over to the playground to interact with my boys.

The thing is, I have this fear of the world seeing me as that mom who pays more attention to the device in her hand than to the babies in front of her.

It’s ridiculous, really, because I know I am so not that mom. Despite having a job that requires me to be online, I do my very best to be present with my kids. Motherhood is my number one priority, but that’s not always obvious to the outside eye.

I’m painfully aware that all of the mothering I—and so many other moms—do behind closed doors goes largely unseen

That’s why, when this cartoon from Common Wild popped up on my newsfeed today, I couldn’t help but nod along. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted to say (shout!) all wrapped up in a bunch of tiny pictures and it made me feel so SEEN.

 

As moms, so much of our effort is hidden. It’s frustrating sometimes, to be honest; the world only sees a snippet of our days and often it’s not our proudest snippet.

Sometimes it’s when we lose our temper at the grocery store because our kids won’t stop touching everything. Sometimes it’s when one of the kids says something wildly inappropriate and arched eyebrows turn to us for an explanation. Or sometimes, it’s when we’re sitting at the park with our nose buried in our phone.

Had I stayed on my phone that day, the couple walking their dog would have seen a young mom staring at her phone while her kids played by themselves.

Little would they know what they were really looking at was a young mom taking a much-needed mental break because earlier in the day she had: 

Woken up far too early when one of her sons had a nightmare and couldn’t fall back asleep. 

Prepared, served, and cleaned up three separate breakfasts while her own neglected cup of coffee grew cold on the kitchen counter. 

Burned her fingers with hot glue helping her sons with a craft.

Changed diapers. So many diapers.

Reminded two frustrated brothers to handle their conflicts with words rather than fists (still working on that one).

Rocked a sweet baby girl whose first teeth are painfully coming in. 

Read a book about planets three times over and answered a million whys from a curious 4-year-old who is trying to figure out life.

Taken a lightning-speed shower with the door wide open while tiny humans paraded in and out of the bathroom.

Packed enough snacks for a small army because Heaven knows her kids’ stomachs have no limit.

Sung a silly song to get her two-year-old to brush his teeth.

Loved her kids in all of the invisible, subtle, important ways only she can.

Usually, it’s the things that really matter—the human-building things—that nobody sees. 

This job—there’s not much glory in it. But the importance in it? Well, that’s unparalleled.

Never doubt, mama, the work you do behind closed doors matters more than you know.

You may also like:

I Am The Keeper

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

This is Why Moms Are So Exhausted

Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward

Being the Mother of an Athlete Means Learning to Let Go

In: Motherhood, Sports
mom watching sports game

This is my post. Has been for years. I’ve held this spot sacred, watching you play for so long. Yet as you grow older, I find myself mourning the day I‘ll finally have to give it up. I’ve worn a path here, pacing back and forth with worry. I’ve packed the earth here, jumping up and down with excitement. I’ve found friends here, locking arms so tight that they’ve become bonded like family. I’ve made room in my heart for teammates here, cheering as if they were my own children. I’ve learned to respect, to love, and to offer grace here,...

Keep Reading

My Little Girl Has Big, Brave Dreams

In: Kids, Motherhood
School paper with little girl's handwriting, color photo

My 6-year-old daughter wants to be a soldier.   When we heard from the ultrasound tech that we were having another girl, that was not exactly the career path that popped into our heads.   There’s something absolutely terrifying knowing your child wants to do something big like this. I’m sure I’d be petrified if I had a son with the same ambition, but there’s something extra scary about it being your little girl. There’s something weighty about raising a daughter who wants to be a soldier. But honestly, it’s not a surprise at all. RELATED: God Has Filled Your...

Keep Reading

Dear Introverted Mom, Take that Break

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman outside with book and food

I am alone, in a hotel room, 20 minutes from home, lying back in the crisp bed, feet propped up on billowing white pillows. A good book is in my hand. The large window beside me overlooks the Mississippi River as the sun slowly sets and people unwind for a southern Louisiana evening in downtown Baton Rouge. I’ll probably order room service for dinner. I spent the afternoon at the coffee shop across the street, sipping on a deliciously caffeinated beverage carefully made to my liking. I ate a delicate snack filled with fruits, fancy lettuce, and expensive cheese while...

Keep Reading

Thanks For Leading by Example, Mom

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Adult woman and mother smiling, color photo

Dear Mom,  Thinking back on my life as a child, young adult, and now a middle-aged mother myself, I am indebted to you for the many life lessons you have taught me—some directly, mostly leading by precious example.  If I have any bones to pick with you, it could be that you made it all look so easy. So very, very easy! Marriage, motherhood, working outside the home, relationships with in-laws, relationships with co-workers, relationships with church friends, and just relationships in general. I hardly ever saw you cry. The few times I did see you cry stand out to...

Keep Reading

As an Anxious Mom, I Remind Myself You Were God’s Child First

In: Faith, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping

I remember bringing that squishy baby home from the hospital. His 9-pound birth weight didn’t label him as scrawny by any means, but he was so small to us. I cringed the first time I laid him in the bassinet beside my bed. I wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on him all night long like the nurses in the hospital nursery. I couldn’t make sure he was breathing every second of my coveted slumber. To calm my worries, we turned on our bathroom light and left the door wide open. The extra light wouldn’t disturb our angel from...

Keep Reading

Home is Holy Ground

In: Faith, Motherhood
Kids and mom at home

Some days, I wake up and walk around my house feeling my chest rise looking at the chaotic mess I didn’t get done the day before.  Trampling over toys, incomplete laundry, and dishes that seem to load up by the end of the day. I pause, I stare, and I wonder which of the objects in each room I should tackle first. I take a deep breath and notice my heart and my mind are overwhelmed with a running checklist. Why can’t everything just get done all at one time? You can talk to a dozen mothers and I am...

Keep Reading

I Want My Kids To Know God’s Always There

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding cross in the palm of her hand, color photo

A few months ago, my friend lost his dad. And it impacted our community profoundly. Because he loved SO BIG. Everywhere he went, he couldn’t help but talk to and engage with people—sharing a joke to make them smile or offering a compliment to build them up. He was a connector. And in all the connecting he did, he was quick to remind everyone he encountered that our hearts are ever connected to a God who loves us. It had become his thing to pass out little wooden crosses to those he happily chatted up as he went about each...

Keep Reading

As My Children Grow, I Miss It All—Even the Sick Days

In: Kids, Motherhood
Toddler on mom's shoulder

I whisk my daughter through the doors of urgent care and cradle her head as I stand behind three other mamas clinging to their babies. We’re each rocking in different ways but moving nonetheless. The silent, comforting rhythm of motherhood. I see sad, sick eyes from the babies with their heads nestled into the necks of their mama. I’m tired from the sleepless night, and I shift from foot to foot. There is hushing and humming and back-patting. A pacifier drops to the floor. All of a sudden my daughter feels heavy. A vague sinking feeling comes over me, like...

Keep Reading

Life with Autism Is Full of Ticking Time Bombs

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother, father, teen daughter, color photo

Many of us who live with autism are familiar with the comings and goings of the ticking time bomb—one that disappears for periods of time, so much so that we might forget about it. Then, suddenly, this bomb drops at our doorstep in the form of a returning or new obstacle, so intense that it causes us to pause our lives, alter our plans, maybe even change our current paths. For our family, the new challenge has been sudden, piercing, sporadic screams. Not constant, not even often, thankfully, but jolting nonetheless. So here we were, in the midst of our...

Keep Reading

In Motherhood, Grace Makes up the Difference

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young child

Today, I have been the mean mom, the tired mom, the overwhelmed mom, the anxious mom, the impatient mom, and the want to turn in my mom card mom. Mostly, I’ve felt like the I have no clue what I’m doing mom. I have raised my voice 47 times, told children to “suck it up, buttercup” 36 times, and have intervened in approximately 83 sibling disagreements. I have rolled my eyes 59 times, sighed 148 times, and visibly showed other signs of impatience, well, way too many times. RELATED: I’m a Good Mom, You Just Caught Me in a Bad...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections