Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

The following is a PSA for grandparents (especially grandmothers):

Disclaimer: Before you read this please know you were a good mom. Our childhoods? MAGICAL. You did the very best you could the only way you knew how, and it was PERFECT. We felt your love every single moment of every single day and we wouldn’t change a thing!

Now, there are a few things we (meaning your daughters and daughters-in-law) need you to know to make OUR lives (and hence, YOUR lives) a little bit easier and more enjoyable.

1. We are still your daughters.
We still need the same things we needed from you when we were little girls. Namely your love, support, and praise. This will never change. You will always be our moms and we will always need you in ways we can’t explain.

2. We do not want your advice.
We know this sounds crazy.

We know you have good ideas.

You’ve been through this already!

You’ve done the teething and tantrums. You’ve lived through potty-training and a child adjusting to kindergarten. You’ve managed that weird obnoxious stage that happens at the end of 4th grade. You’ve muddled through middle school and puberty and high school and boyfriends and driving and applying to college.


But we are telling you . . . YOU HAVE ALREADY HAD YOUR TURN!!!

We desperately need to figure this out on our own. To find our own way. Our own methods.

Our little families are different from yours. Times are different now. We are navigating different challenges.

And maybe this sounds harsh but, it really isn’t about you anymore.

When we call you for advice, we mostly want you to ask questions and figure out what WE think is best and then tell us it sounds like a really great, well-thought-out plan.

Because your advice?

It always sounds like criticism.

We know that’s not true. We know you are well-intentioned.

But somehow, your advice makes us feel BAD. And we already feel like failures nearly every single moment of every single day.

When you tell a story about potty-training while we are in the middle of potty-training?

Or you tell a story about how you handled tantrums or feeding issues or whatever while we are navigating those issues?


Tell those stories to your girlfriends or your sisters or your neighbors, but please don’t tell them to us.

3. Follow and support our rules.
We read a lot of books. And Facebook stories. And Pinterest posts. We know there are A LOT of varied (possibly crazy) methods out there.


We are navigating it all and trying to figure out what works best for our little families.

We need your support here even when you don’t agree. 

Breastfeeding until age four? Formula feeding? Baby wearing? Baby-led weaning? The family bed? Cry-it-out methods? Organic foods? Homemade baby food? Store-bought baby food? Teaching an infant to swim? Baby sign language? Montessori preschool? Gluten free? Dairy free? Food allergies? Carseats? Rear-facing carseats until age two? Time-outs? Technology? ADHD? Extreme-child parenting? Free-range parenting? Competition sports for a three-year-old?

Oh, my goodness. WE KNOW.

We are taking in all the rules. All the methods. All the advice. All the studies. All the things we read and trying to make our best-informed decisions for what works for each individual child and our own family.


Don’t throw out all the rules at grandma’s house.

Please don’t feed our children junk or tree nuts because you don’t buy into whatever diet we’ve chosen to follow.

Please don’t give them ice cream five minutes before we come to pick them up for our 6 p.m. dinner.

Please don’t buy them an abundance of gifts if we are focusing on a simple, frugal Christmas.

Please don’t say things like, “Well, your mom doesn’t like this or do that, so I can’t give it to you,” or whisper, “Don’t tell Mommy,” when you pass candy to our two-year-olds on the sly.

Please don’t discipline our children while we are standing right there in the room.

Please don’t try to circumvent our discipline or somehow “make up” for the consequences we’ve doled out to our children.

This undermining makes us feel stupid and awful and unimportant and, well, ANGRY.

We are constantly second-guessing ourselves already and WE NEED YOU TO SUPPORT US AS THE MOMS!

4. Ask a lot of questions.
Those rules? Our methods?

Just ask.

Ask things like, “What meal works best for your family when you come over for dinner?” then give a couple of options.

Say things like, “We’d love to come to a few soccer games this season. Would you be okay with that? Are there any dates that work best for you?”

When we have a new baby ask something like, “What is the best way I can be helpful to you? Would you rather I come hold the baby so you can get out of the house or take a shower? Or would you rather I come help with dinner or errands or laundry so you can snuggle the baby on the couch?”

And when it comes to the holidays, we’d sure appreciate an attitude like this, “I’ve already had my turn. I want YOU to have a special holiday with your little family and make some of your own memories. We’d like to be a part in any way we can. How would YOU like to celebrate Christmas together?”

Follow up with questions like, “What day works best for you?? Would it be easier if we scheduled it on a different weekend? Would you like to exchange gifts or would you rather we just plan a special day together? Is there anything I can bring? Or any help you need?”

5. We need your praise. 
If you take anything away from this lengthy rant (that probably has a few women crying), please remember this: on the inside we are still like insecure 12-year-old girls.

We NEED you to see how hard we try. We NEED you to see our goodness. We NEED you to point out and celebrate our successes.

You are our mothers and we need you to really see us and respect our new role as moms. 

The very best gift you can ever give is saying something like this, “You are a really good mom. I just love watching you be a mom to your little ones. Your kids are amazing. I don’t know how you do it all. I am so proud of you!”

We’re serious. That’s all we need!

We will cry all the tears over praise like this coming from the women we admire most: our moms.

You may also like: 

Dear Mom, Thanks for Still Mothering Me in This Exhausting Stage of Motherhood

So God Made a Grandma

To My Mom: I Get It Now

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here!

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

Her View From Home

Millions of mothers connected by love, friendship, family and faith. Join our growing community. 1,000+ writers strong. We pay too!   Find more information on how you can become a writer on Her View From Home at https://herviewfromhome.com/contact-us/write-for-her//

Going to Church with Kids is Hard but We’ll Keep Showing Up

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young daughter in church

Going to church is hard with young kids. It used to be something I looked forward to. It’s something I’ve always valued deeply and needed desperately. It’s the one place that will always be home regardless of what location or building it’s in or what people attend. Church is my sanctuary. But it’s become a battle with the kids’ resistance, my tired mind and body, and my lack of ability to actually listen to the sermon. Going to church is hard with young kids. It’s become normal for me to lie down in bed on Saturday night thinking, with dread,...

Keep Reading

I’m Praying for My Teenager in These Challenging Years

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy holding a smartphone and wearing headphones

In my mid-40s, I began to long for a baby. We didn’t get much encouragement from friends and family. My husband is a high-functioning quadriplegic, and I was considered way too old to start a family. But our marriage was stable, we were used to obstacles, we were financially prepared, emotionally experienced, and our careers were established. I began to paint my own sublime mental portrait of parenting tranquility. What could go wrong? At 48, I delivered a healthy baby boy, and he was perfect. We adored him. The baby we had longed for and prayed for, we had. And...

Keep Reading

When Motherhood Feels Like a Limitation

In: Faith, Motherhood
Ruth Chou Simons holding book

Twenty-one years ago, my husband Troy and I welcomed our first son into the world. Two years later, I gave birth to another boy. And again two years later, and again two years after that. A fifth boy joined our family another two years later, and a final son was born 11 years after we began our parenting journey. If you were counting, you’re not mistaken—that’s six sons in just over a decade. We were overjoyed and more than a little exhausted. I remember feeling frustrated with the limitations of the little years with young children when I was a...

Keep Reading

I Obsessed over Her Heartbeat Because She’s My Rainbow Baby

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother and teen daughter with ice cream cones, color photo

I delivered a stillborn sleeping baby boy five years before my rainbow baby. I carried this sweet baby boy for seven whole months with no indication that he wouldn’t live. Listening to his heartbeat at each prenatal visit until one day there was no heartbeat to hear. It crushed me. ”I’m sorry but your baby is dead,” are words I’ll never be able to unhear. And because of these words, I had no words. For what felt like weeks, I spoke only in tears as they streamed down my cheeks. But I know it couldn’t have been that long. Because...

Keep Reading

Here on the Island of Autism Parenting

In: Motherhood
Son on dad's shoulders looking at sunset over water

Hey, you. Yes, you there: mom to a kid on the spectrum. Well, you and I know they’re so much more than that. But sometimes those few words seem so all-consuming. So defining. So defeating. I see you when you’re done. That was me earlier today. I had to send a picture of a broken windshield to my husband. I prefaced the picture with the text, “You’re going to be so mad.” And you know what? He saw the picture, read my text, and replied, “I love you. The windshield can be fixed. Don’t worry. Just come home.” I think,...

Keep Reading

Round 2 in the Passenger Seat is Even Harder

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy behind the wheel, color photo

Here I am, once again, in the passenger seat. The driver’s side mirrors are adjusted a little higher. The seat is moved back to fit his growing teenage limbs. The rearview mirror is no longer tilted to see what’s going on in the backseat. Yellow stickers screaming “Student Driver,” are plastered to the sides of the car. The smile on his face is noticeable. The fear in mine is hard to hide. These are big moments for both of us. For him, it’s the beginning of freedom. Exiting the sidestreets of youth and accelerating full speed into the open road...

Keep Reading

We’re Walking the Road of Twin Loss Together

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother and son walk along beach holding hands

He climbed into our bed last week, holding the teddy bear that came home in his twin brother’s hospital grief box almost 10 years earlier. “Mom, I really miss my brother. And do you see that picture of me over there with you, me and his picture in your belly? It makes me really, really sad when I look at it.” A week later, he was having a bad day and said, “I wish I could trade places with my brother.” No, he’s not disturbed or mentally ill. He’s a happy-go-lucky little boy who is grieving the brother who grew...

Keep Reading

Somewhere Between Wife and Mom, There Is a Woman

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman standing alone in field smiling

Sometimes, it’s hard to remember there is a woman behind the mom. At home, you feel caught between two worlds. Mom world and wife world. Sometimes it’s hard to balance both. We don’t exactly feel sexy in our leggings and messy mom bun. We don’t feel sexy at the end of the day when we are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from being a mom all day. The truth is we want to feel like ourselves again. We just aren’t sure where we fit in anymore. RELATED: I Fear I’ve Lost Myself To Motherhood We know the kids only stay...

Keep Reading

Until I See You in Heaven, I’ll Cherish Precious Memories of You

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Toddler girl with bald head, color photo

Your memory floats through my mind so often that I’m often seeing two moments at once. I see the one that happened in the past, and I see the one I now live each day. These two often compete in my mind for importance. I can see you in the play of all young children. Listening to their fun, I hear your laughter clearly though others around me do not. A smile might cross my face at the funny thing you said once upon a time that is just a memory now prompted by someone else’s young child. The world...

Keep Reading

Friendship Looks Different Now That Our Kids Are Older

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two women and their teen daughters, color photo

When my kids were young and still in diapers, my friends and I used to meet up at Chick-fil-A for play dates. Our main goal was to maintain our sanity while our kids played in the play area. We’d discuss life, marriage, challenges, sleep deprivation, mom guilt, and potty-training woes. We frequently scheduled outings to prevent ourselves from going insane while staying at home. We’d take a stroll around the mall together, pushing our bulky strollers and carrying diaper bags. Our first stop was always the coffee shop where we’d order a latte (extra espresso shot) and set it in...

Keep Reading