So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

We all have role models, people we respect and desire to emulate, people who inspire and challenge us to grow. Sometimes these role models are older than us; sometimes they’re fictional characters; sometimes it’s our mom or older sister or even a celebrity. I grew up with a generation of girls to whom the Pink Power Ranger was the end all and be all. There are a lot of little girls in this country who pray nightly to wake up magically transformed into Queen Elsa herself.

My role model is someone a little different. She’s barely 3 feet tall, doesn’t have all her teeth yet, and still poops her pants on a daily basis. She’s my toddler daughter. Allow me to share with you five reasons why my daughter is the person I want to be.

  1. She’s brave- Sometimes this involves great feats and daring escapades like climbing things that my momma brain sees as totally un-climbable. But she doesn’t see those things as an obstacle from which to shrink; she sees them as minute challenges, and up she goes. Other times her great courage involves much simpler things like going over to a lonely-looking child and taking them a toy or saying that she’s sorry after bumping her baby sister in the head. How much more would we accomplish…how much more would we live if we all tried new and even scary things with the reckless abandon of an almost two-year-old? How much better would this world be if we all strove to be kind rather than safely tucked away inside our comfort zones? How much more would love and forgiveness abound if we apologized so readily?
  2. She’s confident- My daughter is wide open. She runs, dances, and bounces her way through life, not caring who’s watching and unaware that most people suppress the free-spiritedness that she so openly displays. I’m told that I was like that once, and she’s inspiring me to be like that again. How much more fun is it to go through life knowing who we are and living joyfully from that place rather than trying to suppress ourselves or, worse, trying to be someone else?
  3. She’s warm and welcoming and kind- I don’t know how, but, for the most part, my daughter is an innate sharer. Instead of hoarding her toys, when friends come over she makes sure that everyone has something to play with. She’ll take food off her own plate and give it to someone else. She’s even been known to take food out of her own mouth and offer it freely to others, though we’re trying to curb that one. She inspires me to strive to make our home one where everyone feels welcome and cared for. She inspires me to give me best to every guest who walks through our door, keeping nothing back to selfishly enjoy alone later.
  4. She owns her junk- From toots to general naughtiness, if she did it, she owns it. None of this hiding and pretending; openness is her way. 
  5. She’s a helper- Nothing makes my girl come running like asking her if she’d like to help Mommy (except for maybe the promise of mangoes which are her very favorite). She loves to help. We’re currently remodeling our kitchen, and, if you’d been here in our home today, you would’ve found my little girl right beside me while I took down the old wallpaper boarder. She sprayed the water, and I scraped the wallpaper off. How many times have we remained silent when someone asked for help, hoping someone else would volunteer and take the pressure off of us?

None of this is to pat myself on the back. These 5 things have very little, if anything, to do with me and very much to do with who my daughter is at heart. I don’t say any of it to make myself look like the world’s greatest mom. I say it because, in a world of political rants and hatred and anger I think we could all learn a little something from the little people in our lives. We don’t have to search far and wide to find a good role model; often times, we only have to look down right about knee-height.

Amy Ledyard

Amy is a follower of Jesus, wife, and Momma living in the Carolinas. A former nurse, she is now staying home to be a full-time Mom, growing her lifestyle blog http://www.astoldbyamy.com/and keeping in touch with her creative side in pursuing her new favorite hobby: photography. Amy loves swimming, pretty much anything outdoors, a good cup of (decaf) coffee, traveling, and quality time with the ones she loves. She and her husband have an ever-growing list of places to visit, and Amy hasn't given up hope of one day living overseas.

Dear Kindergarten Teacher, I’m Giving You My Baby

In: Kids
newborn baby swaddled and sleeping

I just dropped my daughter off for her first day of kindergarten, and you couldn’t have been more wonderful. You caught her eye from across the playground and immediately waved. You greeted her by name with a warm smile, and you were totally OK (encouraging, even) with me hanging around for a while before actually leaving her. You looked me in the eye, smiled and greeted me happily, and pretended not to notice when I started tearing up while introducing myself. (Thank you for that.) My daughter was the first of your students to arrive, and you chatted with her...

Keep Reading

Childhood Is Messy with Imagination and I Want to Remember It All

In: Kids, Motherhood
Toys on bedroom floor

Sometimes I take random photos on my phone of my son’s bedroom or what he has built with his LEGOs. I do this because I know how quickly things change while he is this young. What he builds with LEGOs is always evolving, becoming more intricate and sophisticated. When I look around his room and see everything that is there, it’s like a snapshot of the season we are in. And all I want to do is capture each season. Capture what life looks like for us, for him. I envision showing him these photos when he is grown, maybe...

Keep Reading

God Bless the Middle School Teachers Who Love Our Tweens and Teens

In: Kids, Teen, Tween
Middle school students smiling

I keep seeing articles about kindergartners heading off to school for the first time, and parents are feeling all the things kindergarten parents feel. I’ve been a middle school teacher for my entire career, and I know for sure that middle school parents are feeling all the feelings too. We teachers are ready to receive your babies in middle school too. In our neck of the woods, middle school starts in sixth grade. Fifth graders were at the top of the pyramid in elementary school, but they arrive in middle school as the little ones. In the eyes of the...

Keep Reading

6 Things the Parent of a Child With Medical Needs Learns

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child holding baby doll

My 9-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a few months before her 2nd birthday. She uses a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to watch her blood glucose levels and a pump that administers insulin. Before these amazing pieces of medical technology, we were pricking her fingers up to 10 times a day and giving insulin injections at about the same rate—ouch! There are many parents out there with children with special medical needs. One mom I know has to give her autistic son enemas every day because of digestive issues. Another mom has a child with highly specialized dietary...

Keep Reading

As Another School Year Begins, Remember Mama: You Know Your Child Best

In: Kids, Motherhood
little girl holding a first day of kindergarten sign

Dear mom buying school supplies and feeling overwhelmed, Stop and pray. Ask God to help you envision each child as the young adult they can be. Write out your goals for that child . . . fair warning, there will likely be very little academic success in your goals. You may even have to go back and write those in. Take a deep breath. Keep this list of goals nearby. Go back and read them when the world is telling you your child doesn’t stack up somewhere. They aren’t reading as fast, they’re not “getting” math, their handwriting is wonky,...

Keep Reading

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

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.