I counted. Our house has eight decent-sized rooms for comfortable living and sleeping. A cushy couch room opens to the eat-all-the-things room. There is even a room with piles of toys like an un-guarded dragon lairpuzzle pieces and doll clothes sliding down the detritus amid old Pop-Tarts wrappers and floppy, day-old carrot sticks.

Our abundance is overwhelming. Eight rooms, five people.

The math shouldn’t be hard. And yet, we aren’t being efficient with our space. Like Naomi before me, I have three little Ruths following me from room to room.

“Wherever you go, Mommy, I’m coming too. Your cozy spot on the couch shall be my cozy spot; your apple slices shall be my apple slices.”

I love them. But I wonder, did Naomi ever want her space, too?

I decided to repaint my nails this morning, so I sat on the bedroom floor with Pandora crooning on my phone. Were I to hang out a banner and hire a band, I couldn’t have broadcasted my position more clearly.

RELATED: Every Mom Needs a Place to Hide

In five minutes, my daughter was hip-to-hip with me, painting her nails too. And here came the boys. One to read belly-down on the carpet, the other carrying LEGOs to build in my company. Even the cat slinked in, claiming a chair with a tail-flick.

At that moment, I realized: I was Velcro Mommy. I should have enjoyed the presence of their tiny bodies, their happy words, and their little stories.

But I wanted to be alone.

As an introvert, this time of constant together has been hard. I rejoice when I need to take out the trash or put a letter in the mailbox. A few stolen seconds with the stars. Peace.

Scary things are happening. We made the decision as parents to keep the news off. My children know about the state of things, but they don’t have the full scope, and I’m fine with that.

But I think some of the world’s anxiety has seeped under their skin. A cloud of unknowing sits heavy on us, and I think it has sprinkled a few of its ill-fated drops onto their heads.

They want to be close. Always.

And yes, Daddy is there in full force, dishing up fried eggs, leading LEGO building, and loving on them relentlessly.

But when they get hurt, where do they run?

There is a hurt they don’t even know they have. They feel the sting of it, but not the source.

Life has altered, crashed to a halt. But the halt comes bearing more stress and harder work than before. It’s confusing to me, why would I assume it wasn’t confusing to them?

RELATED: Dear Child, I Know This is Hard On You Too

My daughter flops on the couch next to me while I read, toting a well-worn Big Nate under her arm.

She says, “I’m going to read here. The light is better.”

But I know she is saying, “I need to be close. I’m feeling things bigger than I understand.”

My son’s feet pad into my room as I make the bed and I hear, “Mommy, what are you doing?”

But I speak Velcro now. He’s actually saying, “Things are scary, Mommy, but you’re making your bed like its another normal day. Things will be OK today, right?

My other son finds me eating a late lunch and scoots his chair next to mine and says, “I’m still a little hungry, can I have a bite of that?”

I know that translates to, “I may be big enough to make my own lunch, but I’m not big enough, yet, to be all on my own. You’re still here to help me, even though things are different, right?”

I’d like to say that understanding the why makes me better. But I struggle with it.

Those sweaty limbs, sticky from playing outside come and adhere to me. I hear the snatch of Velcro binding them to me.

“Wherever you go, Mommy, I’ll be there too.” And I let them because it’s scary.

But taking out the trash and mailing letters are still my favorite parts of the day. Under starry skies and the rustle of the trees in the darkening skies, I feel my Velcro burden un-clasping.

RELATED: Fix Your Eyes on the Faithfulness of Our God

In the stillness, I hear another attachment, so quiet it’s more like a loosening than a binding–I peel off the Velcro of mom-ness and tether myself to the binder of the universe. 

“I’m tired of mom-ing, always being a helper. Is it going to get any easier?” I ask.

But, my God is good at speaking Velcro, too. He knows what I’m really asking, and He answers.

“Yes, things are going to be OK. I’m going to help. I’m still here, too.”

The words float in a breeze that lifts a strand of my hair in the moon’s light, solemn with joy.

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

Katie Cervenec

Katie is a mom to boy/boy/girl triplets this side of heaven and one perfect baby boy who she can't wait to see again. She spends her days picking up socks, precariously balancing life, and picking up more socks. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

Her Future Will Not Be My Broken Past

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter hold hands by water, silhouette photo

Forty years ago, you were an innocent child. You were brought into this world for a purpose. Your innocence is robbed before kindergarten by a trusted relative. You are broken and bruised by those entrusted to protect you. You are extremely emotional in your childhood, but no one listens to understand. As you grow into your teenage years, emotions are bottled up out of fear. You lean into promiscuous behavior because that is the only way you know how to get men to love you. Because of abuse that no one took you out of, you stay around those who...

Keep Reading

You Came between Us

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Toddler between mom and dad under sheet

Right in the middle of our deepest love, you came—just between us. A silent, unseen surprise. A mysterious miracle of incarnated love and joy. From that sacred moment that we couldn’t imagine being any sweeter, came you. Sometime in the middle of all the daily goodbye hugs, my stomach began to grow and you came between us. This beautiful bundle of life blossoming right inside of me. And we were in awe of every single tiny formation of you. In awe of who you were, excited by who you’d be, in awe that you were ours. You came between us...

Keep Reading

I’m a Mom Who Reads and is Raising Readers

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom with infant daughter on bed, reading a book, color photo

Since childhood, I’ve been lost in a world of books. My first true memory of falling in love with a book was when my mom read aloud Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. With each voice she used, I fell deep into the world of imagination, and I’ve never seemed to come up for air. My reading journey has ebbed and flowed as my life has gone through different seasons, but I’ve always seemed to carry a book with me wherever I went. When I entered motherhood and gave my whole life over to my kids, I needed something that...

Keep Reading

God Redeemed the Broken Parts of My Infertility Story

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two young children walking on a path near a pond, color photo

It was a Wednesday morning when I sat around a table with a group of mamas I had just recently met. My youngest daughter slept her morning nap in a carrier across my chest. Those of us in the group who held floppy babies swayed back and forth. The others had children in childcare or enrolled in preschool down the road. We were there to chat, learn, grow, and laugh. We were all mamas. But we were not all the same. I didn’t know one of the mom’s names, but I knew I wanted to get to know her because she...

Keep Reading

I Look Forward to the End of a Work Day for a Whole New Reason Now

In: Motherhood
Dad hugs toddler at home

Those minutes matter. Whether it’s 5 or 15, every single second of them counts. Unless you’ve been there, it’s impossible to explain. I’m not sure there are any words that could really create the right picture. But believe me when I say those minutes count. I’m talking about those final minutes leading up to that door opening and some form of relief being on the other side. Those minutes you never thought would come. Those minutes mean you made it through another day, and there is (possibly) some relief in sight. This is a new experience I wasn’t quite ready...

Keep Reading

I Had to Learn to Say “I’m Sorry” to My Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom hugs tween daughter

My two oldest kiddos are at the front end of their teen years. I remember that time in my own life. I was loud, somewhat dramatic, I let my hormones control me, and I never—ever—apologized. This last part was because no one ever really taught me the value of apology or relationship repair. Now, I could do some parent blaming here but let’s be real, if you were a kid whose formative years were scattered between the late ’80s and early ’90s, did you get apologies from your parents? If so, count that blessing! Most parents were still living with...

Keep Reading

I Didn’t Know How Much I Needed Other Mothers

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two mom friends smiling at each other

I read somewhere the other day that when a child is born, a parent is too. In my first few months being a mother, I’m learning just how odd that sentiment is. In an instant, I became someone new. Not only that, but I became part of a group I didn’t realize existed. That sounds wrong. Of course, mothers existed. But this community of mothers? I had no idea. It took us a long time to get where we are today. Throughout our journey with infertility, I knew in my heart I was meant to be a mother. I knew that...

Keep Reading

5 Things Your Child’s Kindergarten Teacher Wants You To Know

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child raising hand in kindergarten class

I am a teacher. I have committed my life to teaching children. Of course, before I began this career, I had visions of standing in front of a group of eager-eyed children and elaborating on history, science, and math lessons. I couldn’t wait to see the “lightbulb” moments when students finally understood a reading passage or wrote their first paper. And then I had my first day. Children are not cut out of a textbook (shocking, I know) but as a young 23-year-old, it knocked me right off my feet. I was thrown into the lion’s den, better known as...

Keep Reading

I Wasn’t Sure You’d Be Here To Hold

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother with newborn baby on her chest in hospital bed

I stood naked in my parents’ bathroom. Even with the tub filling, I could hear my family chattering behind the door. I longed to be with them, not hiding alone with my seven-month round belly, sleep-deprived, and covered in pox-like marks. For three weeks, I’d tried Benadryl, lotions, and other suggested remedies to cure the strange rash spreading over my body. No luck. By Christmas Day, my life had been reduced to survival. Day and night, I tried to resist itching, but gave in, especially in my sleep. At 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m., the feeling of fire ants...

Keep Reading

To My Wife: I See Your Sacrifice

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Family of 3 sitting on floor together at home

Selfless. No other word more clearly depicts your commitment to your family. Motherhood is drastically different than you dreamed of your whole life—the dreams of what sort of mama you would be, of how much you would enjoy being a mother even on the tough days. Since day one of our relationship, you’ve been selfless. Since day one of being a mama, you’ve been selfless. Your love for your family shines through on the brightest and darkest days. But on the dark days, it shines the brightest. I can’t count the hours of sleep sacrificed, the tears cried, the time...

Keep Reading