So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

I’ve seen a lot of talk about the fact that we only get 18 summers with our kids. We get reminders along the way about all of the things we’ll miss and that’s it’s all over in a snap.

I respect the mournful tones of other parents in the tender letting-go stages of parenthood, and others in the brand new, bone-tired stages and everywhere in between. But I honestly don’t wish for time to slow down. There are beautiful things about every stage, and I like moving through each one.

I’ve felt the length of every second of every day nursing a newborn every hour on the hour, feeling both the joyous bond and the bondage of the season where I felt like my body was not my own.

I’ve felt the excitement of big, toothless smiles and first teeth peeking through the surface, and all of the helplessness while trying to soothe their irritable process.

I’ve held a baby on an airplane with my new-parent anxiety in overdrive.

I’ve been through the trenches of potty training and toddlerhood, wondering if we’ll ever get to leave the house without armfuls of things and scheduling our lives around nap times.

I’ve felt the pride and sorrow of walking a child into their first day of kindergarten, and I’ll do it again this year, for the last time.

I’ve sat through parent-teacher conferences figuring out ways to best help an unruly young boy finish worksheets.

I’ve watched the sweetest sibling friendship develop as brothers fight over video game controllers one minute, and laugh all night in bunk beds the next.

I see my future as I prepare them to live without me.

I find myself in the glorious middle. Everyone walks, talks and pees in the potty, and we can get our shoes on and leave the house at any point of the day. My oldest is in his last year of elementary school, and my youngest is starting kindergarten. I’m going back to work since they will both be in school full-time, and I’m happy about it.

I am enjoying the progression of parenthood and all of the new stages that come with it. I am more relaxed than I have ever been. Not because I’m doing it perfectly, but because I love watching them blossom into who they’re going to be. Every day they surprise me with something new, and it’s mostly good.

There are plenty of things to cherish along the way, and new challenges to come, especially as we enter middle school next year. But I choose to savor this parenting stage as it is today, as it slowly flows into the next. I love looking back to appreciate how far we’ve come while staying aware of what’s ahead.

This lesser-maintenance phase is my life water, and I’m happy to adjust around my kids accordingly, as I always have. We all currently like each other and we are growing together and moving forward.

There are stages that I wish lasted longer, and others that I’m glad were over before we knew it. There will always be complications along the way, and when it comes time to turn them loose on their own, I will deeply mourn the loss of their daily presence. There’s just no way around that one.

But even then, we will be growing into new phases of life, and our family will evolve just like it did in all of the seasons before. Call me crazy, but I’m enjoying the scenery. I don’t want time to slow down, I want it to keep on moving.

Even when I’m a grandma.

Audra Rogers

Audra Rogers was a news photojournalist in her former life, but stopped to smell the roses by moving back to raise her family in the same small town where she grew up. You can read more about what Audra's up to on her blog RealHonestMom.com

Every Time the Doctor Says, “It’s a Girl!” My Heart Grows a Little More

In: Kids, Motherhood
Sisters sitting on park bench

When I’m in the grocery store with my girls, I always get comments. My oldest girls are walking near the cart with my two-year-old running up and down the aisles. “Three little girls! Wow! God bless you, Momma!” Then they look in my cart and see the car seat holding my nine-month-old. “Is that a baby boy in there?” “No, another girl!” I reply. I get a variety of responses when people realize I have four girls under the age of seven. “Wow, you’ve got your hands full!” “Going to try for a boy?” “You are truly blessed—your girls are...

Keep Reading

Raising a Child with a Severe Food Allergy Affects the Whole Family

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy looking at ice cream cone

I saw something recently that said, “It’s National Ice Cream Day today!” and I cannot stop thinking about it. Now I know that sounds silly, but as a mom of a child with a severe dairy (and egg) allergy, I must admit at times it makes me sad (and more often jealous if I’m being completely honest) when I know my son is going to miss out on another fun or “normal” thing that other kids his age are experiencing, like actual ice cream and ice cream parties. If I continue to be honest, I get jealous when I see...

Keep Reading

So You’re Not the Fun Parent…So What?

In: Kids, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman reading book while two play in background

I’m not the fun parent in our household. Of course, this comes as no surprise to me but it still stung when my 8-year-old said to me rather bluntly the other night, “Daddy’s way more fun than you.” And while the rational part of my brain knows better than to take this kind of comment to heart, my super-sensitive, highly emotional primitive brain did the exact opposite and ran with it.  Daddy is the more fun parent. I’m the stricter, more rigid, and more uptight parent. I’m not the type of parent who, in the spur of the moment, will...

Keep Reading

Mine Is the Shy Kid

In: Kids
Girl sitting on side of playground

I’m the mom of one really shy child. But not your quintessential shy kid. I don’t mean she is “slow to warm up,” because my daughter might not warm up at all. And I don’t mean that she’s only shy until she gets to know you. There are friends and family members she still hides from or won’t talk to. What I mean is my almost-4-year-old struggles so much with her shyness that it’s hard for her to interact with most people. Especially her peers. I’ve Googled more than you could ever imagine about this topic: How shy is too...

Keep Reading

In This Magical Place Called Kindergarten

In: Kids
Kids at elementary school circle time

It’s hard to put into words what happens in a classroom in the course of a year. Especially a kindergarten classroom. For many children, this is their first experience away from home, from their place of comfort and security—the place where they can always be themselves. But teachers are a special breed—especially teachers of littles. And they step into this substitute role with the biggest hearts and the most love to give. They take this unknown, intimidating place and then transform it into a magical, wondrous adventure. A classroom, a community, a family. A place where these little people can...

Keep Reading

Summer Goes by Too Fast

In: Kids
Boy lying on bench at park, color photo

To my oldest, As our summer vacation nears an end and we begin school supply shopping, I think about all the things we didn’t get to do together this summer. I instantly feel mom guilt. All the plans I had made? Only half of them done—if that. RELATED: Remember When Summer Lasted Forever? All the books I was going to read to you at bedtime? Only a couple short ones. All the creative art we would do? Maybe just one time. The fact is, I let time slip away from me. I was too focused and anxiety-ridden about work, my...

Keep Reading

Going on Family Vacation with Young Kids is Work That’s Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom with two young kids on airplane

Our routine will be a mess. Our toddler won’t sleep in a new environment. Our baby needs all of the gear. The flight could be a disaster. I went through a mental checklist of reasons why this kind of family vacation would be hard. It was a pretty convincing list if I’m being honest. I considered throwing a pity party dedicated to the concerns I shoulder as a mother. A few days later I felt a wave of conviction wash over me. I was dreading a trip that was meant to be a blessing to our family. Any kind of...

Keep Reading

I Want To Raise Good Sisters

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four girls sitting on a rock in the forest, color photo

My current dilemma: how to teach four little girls how to be good sisters when I have no idea what I’m doing? I was an only child growing up, and a tomboy at that. It was a lonely, quiet childhood. I remember wishing for a sister, but knowing that with my single mom, it wasn’t going to happen. So, the sister thing is a big mystery to me. I’ve noticed (admittedly with some envy) adult sisters together and their inside jokes, shared history, and language known only to each other. I’ve read about sisters in books. The relationships between the four...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Just Love You, I Like You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boy standing at bridge, color photo

My growing child, my heart often aches when I look at how big you have gotten. You aren’t a baby anymore, you’re a whole kid. You are your own person, with your own thoughts and feelings. You have your own friendships, and interests.  Parts of me realize you don’t need me the same, but deep down I know you need me all the same. And I’m realizing, that in all of these changes, my love for you is also a like.  RELATED: Being Your Mom is the Greatest Honor of My Life Because now we can connect in a whole...

Keep Reading

Having the Tools To Parent a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder Changes Everything

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child playing with water in tube

My heart leaped into my mouth as Soccer Mom, with her matching foldable chairs and ice-cold Gatorade, glared at me. I wanted to explain how hard I tried to be a good mom, to raise a kind human, but I swallowed the words so I could vomit them at my 5-year-old son on the ride home.   Didn’t he know that pushing another child was unacceptable? Hadn’t I taught him to use gentle hands?   RELATED: To the Special Needs Mom Who Sits Alone Despite implementing the parenting books that promised me a new kid by the week’s end, I often wondered...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.