Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

I’m not the mother I planned to be or the mother I wanted to be.

I’m not the mother I should be or the mother I could be.

But I am the mother I am.

I am the mother my son needs, the one he wants and loves.

Like so many others, my motherhood journey has not gone according to plan. Breastfeeding was too hard. We co-slept, and sometimes still do. I don’t have cool, fun activities set up for my toddler every day. I’m not as hands-on and interactive in his learning as I want to be. His communication is starting to get better, but he’s way behind where others his age are. His sleep is a nightmare. His diet, a disaster. And of course, he has too much screen time.

I struggle every day and do what I can to get through those long hours.

Every night I feel like a failure. Like I should do more because if I don’t, I’m not good enough. I feel like he deserves a mother a hundred times better than I could ever be.

RELATED: I’ll Never Be a Good Enough Mom

But that’s not true.

I love him.

I’m always there for him.

I try my best.

And that is what he deserves.

Here’s the thing, there are times when I am the mother I wanted to be or at least a version of the one I envisioned. That version is the one my son needs.

My 2-year-old is little Mr. Independent. My husband and I struggled to connect and communicate with him. But then we found music. Music and dance are the keys to our little boy’s heart.

RELATED: Good Moms Are Just Women Who Love Their Babies Fiercely

Yes, he has too much screen time as he watches The Wiggles, but he gets up and dances. He tries to sing even though he can’t speak. He acts out the scenes from the movies he loves. He strums our guitar and plays the piano with his father. He loves listening to music and doing his own crazy dances. We all get up and dance with him and the smile on his face says it all. “This is the best! I love you, Mom!”

Last year, we went to a Halloween trunk or treat activity held by our local church. He wasn’t interested in the candy or the games. He didn’t want to play with the other children. He heard music and all he wanted to do was dance. It was the same at the Christmas party, and it was disheartening. We went there for him, and he didn’t even care.

But then I watched him.

I watched him spin in circles and move his arms to the music. He danced by himself then saw his shadow. He danced with his shadow, watching it move as he did. He looked at me and smiled as he kept dancing away. Happy in his own little world.

So, I walked over to him and started dancing, too even though there were other people there. People I didn’t know well enough to be myself around. People who had never even met me. But my son was dancing, and he wanted me to dance too.

So, I did, and his smile grew a thousand times bigger.

RELATED: I Hope I Loved You Enough Today

In moments like that, I am the mother I wanted to be. The mother I planned to be and the mother I should be. Not the perfect mother we all strive to be, but I am the mother who loves her little boy so much. So much so, she dances with him like no one is watching.

That is the mother I want to be.

That is the mother he wants me to be.

And that is the mother I am.

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 now!

Order Now

Dannielle Grant

Dannielle Grant is a young SAHM of a cheeky and very active toddler boy. Her son and husband are her world and two of her biggest blessings from God. Motherhood, and life in general, are messy and hard, but she believes you can always see something good, even if it takes a while.

Winter Gloves and Other Trauma

In: Living, Motherhood
Snowflakes flying from mitten covered hands

As I stood in the middle of a bustling English high street, trying to help my screaming 7-year-old daughter fit her fingers into her new winter gloves, I realized that this scene perfectly captured the sense of trauma that each one of us was carrying. England was my country. The land where I grew up. Winter gloves were a normal part of my childhood, along with snow, frost, and rainy days. The fact that my daughter had reached the age of seven without ever needing gloves just highlighted the point that she was not at home here. As I looked...

Keep Reading

Sometimes in Life, You Just Really Need a Win

In: Living, Motherhood
Youth basketball game, color photo

These past few weeks have hit my family hard in a variety of ways. My marriage is going through a difficult season. My oldest son has encountered some trouble at school and at home. I fell off a bike and broke my elbow (true disclosure, it was a double fracture, but it hurt like a break)! It has literally been one thing after another for several weeks on end. I am weary, I am worn, I feel like life is beating me up a bit. However, tonight at my son’s seventh-grade basketball game, the two teams were playing neck in...

Keep Reading

I No Longer Wear a Mask to Hide the Hard Parts of Being a Special Needs Parent

In: Motherhood
Family selfie, color photo

So many of us moms who have a child or children with special needs feel the need to put on a brave face, a happy face, a hopeful face, and maybe even a helpful face for them. We often mask the hopeless face, the heartbroken face, the desperate face, and even the angry face in order to protect them and maybe even ourselves. Until we are nearly drowning and gasping for air. I encourage service and support providers to give the parents an opportunity to reach out, to assure them that it’s okay to let the mask down because masking...

Keep Reading

There’s Still Magic in These Tween Years

In: Motherhood, Tween
Tween girl walking into ocean waves

The water shimmers atop the electric-blue pool. The clock blinks 94 degrees. It is July 10th weather showing off. A friend asked me to watch her son. He is nine, like my son, and the two of them get along—swimmingly. They throw towels askew and fast-step-crash into the water, goggles on, challenging each other to do this and that. Nine-year-old boys, so alive. My 11-year-old daughter and I stand and squint, placing towels neatly on our beach chairs.  She looks from face to face, like assembly line quality control. A friend—her eyes ask . . . now plead—any friend.  I...

Keep Reading

Sharing Our Grief Frees Our Hearts

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two women holding hands over a hospital bed, color photo

Almost 18 years ago, we lost our first child. It was unexpected. It was public. It was traumatic. It was a moment in time that even to this day, burns with a scorching flame, running like a reel in my memory and igniting a pain deeper than anything I’ve ever known into the empty corners of my heart. And while time has marched on in beautiful ways—healthy children who I get to watch grow up, an incredible marriage with the love of my life, a gratitude for all the milestones each year brings—I still can’t help but hold space for the...

Keep Reading

God Had Different Plans

In: Faith, Motherhood
Silhouette of family swinging child between two parents

As I sip my twice-reheated coffee holding one baby and watching another run laps around the messy living room, I catch bits and pieces of the Good Morning America news broadcast. My mind drifts off for a second to the dreams I once had of being the one on the screen. Live from New York City with hair and makeup fixed before 6 a.m. I really believed that would be me. I just knew I’d be the one telling the mama with unwashed hair and tired eyes about the world events that happened overnight while she rocked babies and pumped milk....

Keep Reading

My Baby Had Laryngomalacia

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding baby on her shoulder

Life’s funny, isn’t it? Just when you think you’ve got the whole motherhood thing figured out, the universe throws a curveball. And, oh boy, did it throw me one with my second baby. There I was, feeling like a seasoned mom with my firstborn—a healthy, vivacious toddler who was 16 months old. Our breastfeeding journey had its hiccups, an early tongue-tie diagnosis that did little to deter our bond. Fourteen months of nurturing, nighttime cuddles, and feeling powerful, like my body was doing exactly what it was meant to do. Enter my second baby. A fresh chapter, a new story....

Keep Reading

Please Stop Comparing Kids

In: Motherhood
Mom and kids in sunlight

Let me begin with this important message: Please refrain from comparing children, especially when it pertains to their growth and development. If you happen to notice differences in a child’s height, weight, or appetite compared to another, that’s perfectly fine. Your observations are appreciated. However, I kindly request that you avoid openly discussing these comparisons as such conversations can inadvertently distress a parent who may already be grappling with concerns about their child’s growth trajectory. Trust me, I say this from personal experience. Recently, at a dinner gathering, a couple casually remarked that someone’s 1-year-old child appeared larger both in...

Keep Reading

This Will Not Last Forever

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman looking at sunset

“This will not last forever,” I wrote those words on the unfinished walls above my daughter’s changing table. For some reason, it got very tiring to change her diapers. Nearly three years later, the words are still there though the changing table no longer is under them. While my house is still unfinished so I occasionally see those words, that stage of changing diapers for her has moved on. She did grow up, and I got a break. Now I do it for her baby brother. I have been reminding myself of the seasons of life again. Everything comes and...

Keep Reading

You Made Me Love Christmas

In: Motherhood
Family in pajamas near Christmas tree, color photo

Hi kids, this is a thank you note of sorts . . . I’m about to tell you something strange. Something you may not “get” yet, but I hope you do eventually. I used to dread Christmas. I know, isn’t that weird? Most kids and a lot of adults have countdowns and decorations and music, but I had a countdown in my mind of when it would be over. To me, it wasn’t a happy time. From the age of about eight (right about where you all are now) Christmas, for me, became like a job of sorts. Long before...

Keep Reading