So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

Raising a daughter is hard. And easy. And terrifying. And rewarding. All at the same time. 

I’ve been circling around this in my head for weeks, in my heart for years. While my daughter is little in the eyes of some, I can feel the tide changing and know my 8-year-old is on the brink of something new. The days are fading when the biggest worry is what doll to play with or if we want to swing or slide at the park. It scares me to know what is coming and know it is my job to prepare her. But I am capable

I have often described my daughter as a fireball, she is strong-willed and feisty. It makes for an interesting family dynamic, but I honestly love it. 

RELATED: Please Don’t Write Off a Strong-Willed Child—Recognize the Beauty Behind Her Passion

On the contrary, I was timid, quiet, and stuck to my mom’s leg for most of my childhood. She was like an oxygen tank for me. I couldn’t do too much or go too far without needing to get back to her.

I was prepared for it to be the same with my own daughter, but truth be told, we are more like magnetsstuck together some days or failing to connect on others. 

Though it has taken time, I have realized it is my job to turn myself around to guarantee the connection. Because no matter what, I shouldn’t force my sweet girl to change who she inherently is to make my life easier. And as long as I stubbornly hold myself up to my daughter, the more awkwardly we dance like magnets, never really connecting. 

So how am I working on turning myself around? Well, the most helpful inspiration has come from an unlikely source . . . a body book, one I bought on a whim to make talking about all this growing up stuff easier. 

Snuggled in bed, we dove into a chapter about the importance of exercisenope, I haven’t worked out regularly in years. How to make healthy food choicespolished off two boxes of Girl Scout cookies in the last week. The importance of not judging yourself against other girls (women)yep, do that one pretty regularly.

RELATED: To My Daughter When I Fail

So basically, a book written for 6-8-year-olds gave me a huge wake-up call. If I want my daughter to do these things, feel these things, believe these things . . . I have to model them for her.

While this was not a new epiphany, and I’m sure not the author’s intended purpose for writing the book, the timing was undeniably perfect. 

Years ago, when life was all about me, I made lots of foolish choices with limited consequences. Drink all night, sleep all day, with a side of fast foodrepeat, repeat, repeat. And you know what, it affected no one but me. But now I have six little eyes watching me (no, my daughter is not an alien, I have two boys as well) and I know I need to turn myself around. 

Enough self-deprecating inner dialogue, it will become hers. Enough comparison to other women, she will do the same. Enough eating garbage and feeling like garbage, she will feel the same.

Raising a daughter is hard. Because it has forced me to look at myself. I feel my own sadness and know I don’t want it to be hers.

Raising a daughter is easy. Because I’ve been there and know how amazing growing up a girl can be.

Raising a daughter is terrifying. Because boys. That’s all.

Raising a daughter is rewarding. Because I see her grow. Because I see her strength. Because I see her bright future.

RELATED: Because One Day She Will Have To Walk Away

And despite me thinking sometimes I have nothing to do with it, I know I am helping her get there. And she is helping me get there, too. One body book chapter at a time, we will get there together. 

(Side note. The next chapter is about body hair. Wish me luck. And humor. And maybe a side of wine. )

Previously published on the author’s blog

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

Rose Howes

Rose is a wife and mom of three. Retired (for now) from teaching, she has found time to do more of what she loves: writing, photography, and spending time outside in the beautiful Tampa sunshine. This mom is on a mission to find her happiness and spread joy to others along the way! Follow along at or Rose Bloom Blog on Facebook.

I Buried My Heart with My Baby but God Brought Me Back to Life

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman in a sweater standing outside looking at sunset

Recently, my world felt as if it were crashing around me. I was so angry I think my rage could have burned a small village. Unfortunately, that rage was directed at God though I knew that wasn’t what I needed to be directing toward Him. He owed me nothing then, and He owes me nothing now; however, my heart was shattered, and for a while, it seemed as if my faith was crumbling with it. I stopped going to church. I stopped praying. I stopped all positive feelings and allowed myself to succumb to the pain and the anger. When...

Keep Reading

Dear New Mom, God Is Only a Whisper Away

In: Baby, Faith, Motherhood
New mother holding baby on couch, eyes closed

While we were waiting to adopt, I would wake up in the middle of the night panicky. My mind would wander to the thought of suddenly having a baby. With groggy eyes and a cobwebbed mind, I would ask myself, “Could I get up right now to go soothe a crying baby?” And then the insecurities would flood me as I thought through the difficulty of dragging myself out of bed to give milk to a fussy newborn. I didn’t know if I could.  With each application sent to agencies and social workers, the possibility of adopting a baby became more...

Keep Reading

Look beyond the Labels for What You Don’t See

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three kids sitting on parents' laps smiling

I’ve always said that labeling someone with high- or low-functioning autism, or any disability for that matter, isn’t ever truly accurate. You may see an extremely smart girl who seems “normal” but you don’t see everything. You don’t see how the noises hurt her ears. You don’t see how the bright lights hurt her eyes. You don’t see how hard she struggles to fit in. You don’t see how she struggles to understand the social cues. You don’t see how seriously she takes what you say even if you’re joking. You don’t see the struggles when she’s having an overwhelming...

Keep Reading

And We Rocked

In: Motherhood
Black and white photo of a baby sleeping

My belly had grown and stretched to make room for you. I simply couldn’t wait to see your little face. I sat in your nursery, which was nearly complete, and whispered all the thoughts, fears, and feelings that filled my mind. You kicked in response as if to remind me we were in this together. And we rocked. Everyone told me that babies sleep a lot. But not you. It was as if you didn’t want to miss one moment of this big, beautiful life. I was to my bones tired. You refused to sleep. We continued this merry-go-round where...

Keep Reading

Did I Make Caring for You My Idol?

In: Motherhood
Little boy sitting in lawn chair, color photo

When my disabled son, Lucas, was an adorable little boy, I thought (and declared loudly!) that as long as I was alive and well, I would care for him. I was his mother and no one could ever provide for him as I would. And I completely believed this up until about five years ago. It started with puberty as Lucas blossomed into manhood, shedding his adorableness, and my mental and physical health deteriorated as he grew larger and stronger and became aggressive at times. I whispered to my husband, late at night with tears streaming down my face after...

Keep Reading

When You Look Back on These Pictures, I Hope You Feel My Love

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four kids playing in snow, color photo

I document your life in pictures. I do it for you. I do it for me. I do it because I want you to know I lived every memory. And loved every moment. When you go back through the thousands of moments, I hope it sparks something deep inside of you. Something that perhaps your heart and mind had forgotten until that moment. And I hope that it makes you smile.  I hope the memories flood and you remember how much each moment was cherished.  I hope each giggle and secret that was shared with your sisters at that moment sparks...

Keep Reading

The Hardest Teens Sometimes Make the Best Adults

In: Motherhood, Teen
Collage of mom with teens, color photo

Hi, friends. Former middle school and high school teacher here, checking in. Can I let you in on a little something I learned as a secondary teacher? Here it is . . . sometimes the kids who really struggle as teens turn out to be the most amazing adults. Yep. Really. I’ve seen it so many times I felt compelled to share. One student I knew was constantly in trouble and getting me in trouble because I always stuck up for him. (And I don’t regret it.) He played jokes on teachers, gave substitutes a run for their money, left...

Keep Reading

For the Parents of the Kids Who Don’t Fit the Mold

In: Kids, Motherhood
mom hugging her daughter

This one is for the parents of the kids who don’t fit the mold. I see you holding your kid together with nothing but love and a prayer as they cry or feel defeated and you wish the world would see your kid like you do. I see you wiping away their tears after they were yet again passed over for all the awards and accolades. There is no award for showing up for school despite crippling anxiety or remembering to write down assignments for the first year ever. So they had to sit clapping again for friends whose accomplishments...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, You Gave Me Purpose

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, color photo

Dear daughter, Before God knit you in my womb, I was wandering around aimlessly, searching for a purpose. I had changed my mind several times about what I wanted to do with my life. I felt so much pressure to figure out what I truly wanted. I rushed into career ideas, only to realize I wanted absolutely nothing to do with any of them. I started grad school, only to quit in three weeks. I was crushed and defeated. I begged God to show me His plan, to give me a purpose. I begged Him to give me something I...

Keep Reading

When Mom Gets a Migraine Life Must Still Go On

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother has a headache, sitting on the couch with kids running around in blur

I can’t tell the story of paramedics from the angle from which they see things, but I can tell it from the angle of the person looking up at them—the one lying in the medically-equipped vehicle with lights flashing and siren audible. There are some lessons in life we learn by blindside—we are thrust into them. That was me that May day in the ambulance.  I had known about migraines; I had decades of first-hand experience with them. I knew vision could be temporarily taken. I have operated countless days with an invisible hammer continuously beating one side of my...

Keep Reading