So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

New parents…you can’t possibly know.

I just found this picture behind another photo in a frame and I’ve unearthed a memory. I see young me about 3 weeks into my mom journey and I couldn’t possibly have known.

In fact I’m glad I didn’t.

I was working so hard and was so consumed with figuring out this tiny creature. I’m smiling and behind that smile I remember being so worried about how I’d feed her during church that day. It seemed impossible. Maybe because of those crazy bib overalls. I’m not a planner.

And there was always so much to think about…

Was she eating enough?

Why didn’t she sleep?

What was I supposed to do with her when she was awake? She would just look at me…like now what?

Was she happy?

Seriously, shouldn’t she sleep more?

The first day we brought her home no joke we couldn’t even figure out what to do with her when we ate. So we put her in the center of the table and just looked at her over supper.

We couldn’t possibly have known.

There was so much more ahead of us.

We couldn’t have known how it would be to eventually leave her with someone else while we went back out into the world. How we would have fun with part of ourselves while the other part counted the minutes until we were with her again. We were forever changed.

Or how amazing it would be to hear her first word. How we would keep a running list and gloat over it as if no child had learned to speak before.

Or how hard it would be to send her off to her first day of school….how I would watch the clock and worry over if she’d made friends or had enough to eat or had maybe been a little sassy.

Or how I would wake up over and over worrying when she was on her first sleepover (OK all sleepovers to this day, I like my people in their own beds) wondering if she was cold or homesick or safe.

Or how we would watch in amazement as she walked onto the stage for the first time, taking her talents from our living room into the actual world…how she had become this whole separate person.

Or how we’d send her to middle school and then high school as she grew as tall as us and began this whole life we were only watching, suddenly on the sidelines cheering her on but no longer playing in the game.

Or how we’d bury the pit in our stomachs and hand over the car keys. And that we’d survive a crash (or two).

Or how we’d start to prepare our hearts for her leaving us to go into the world, even as that does not seem like it will really happen.

Because we can’t know how that will feel.

Just like we couldn’t possibly have known the love we had for this tiny baby would do nothing but grow right along with her.

All we could handle was wrapping our minds around this gift and keeping her alive.

And that’s pretty much still true today.

But I’ve learned it’s what is right in front of you that matters. We can’t possibly know what is coming next. And worrying about it or trying to predict it can steal the joy of what is right in front of us.

I look at young me and in addition to wanting to tell her to lose those horrible bib overalls, I want to tell her it’s OK.

Your baby will eat. You’ll not only figure out how to feed her in church but also pretty much anywhere.

You’ll even survive her future attempts to go vegan. It will be a whole thing.

And someday all she’ll do is sleep…you’ll actually have to pry her from her bed.

And this journey you’re on will be so much fun. There will be bumps but you’ll all be OK.

Because you already know the secret. It’s the only thing you really need to know.

You know how to love this baby…this child…this crazy teenager.

You know love. And because of that so does she.

You’ve got this mama…even when you feel like you don’t. Because you have love and that love will see you through all of it.

This article originally appeared on Amy’s Facebook page: Hiding in the Closet with Coffee

Amy Betters-Midtvedt

Amy Betters-Midtvedt is a writer, educator, mom of 5 crazy kids, wife to a patient husband, and lover of Jesus. She writes along with her friend and former teaching partner Erin over at Hiding in the Closet With Coffee. Our mission is to help parents find sanity and joy, and we know sometimes joy is found hiding out in the closet with coffee, or hiding out on Facebook — come and join us both! You can read more about us here. You can also find us hiding out over at InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

Mothering One Day at a Time

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding daughter in matching shirts, color photo

As I sat with my growing belly, full of anticipation for the arrival of my firstborn, the possibilities were endless for this little girl. Maybe she would lean toward the arts and be a dancer, writer, or musician. Or maybe she would take after her great-granddad and become a scientist. And maybe one day she would be a mother too. Dreaming about the future was fun and exciting. But then she surprised us with an at-birth Down syndrome diagnosis. Special needs were never included in my dreaming sessions.    All of the sudden, my hopes and dreams for this new...

Keep Reading

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

I Know It’s Just Summer Camp but I Miss You Already

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Kids by campfire

You would’ve thought I was sending you off to college. The way I triple-checked to make sure you had everything you needed and reminded you about the little things like brushing your teeth and drinking plenty of water about a thousand times. You would’ve thought I was sending you to live on your own. The way I hugged you tight and had to fight back some tears. The way you paused before leaving just to smile at me. The way I kept thinking about that boyish grin all the way home. The way I kept thinking about how you’re looking...

Keep Reading

I Want My Boys To Become Men of Character

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boys with arms around each other by water

I’m a single mama of two young boys. As a woman raising young boys, I’ve thought a lot about how I want them to act—as kids and adults. We joke around that I’m not raising farm animals, and we don’t live in a frat house. I’m trying to plant seeds now so they grow into men with positive character traits. They burp, fart, spray toothpaste on the sink and somehow miss the toilet often, but I’m trying to teach them life lessons about what it means to be great men and gentlemen.  Interactions with other men provide opportunities for us...

Keep Reading

Until There Was a Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother looking at son and smiling, color photo

I never believed in love at first sight . . . until there was a boy.  A boy who made my heart whole the first time he looked at me.  A boy who held my hand and touched my soul at the same time.  A boy who challenged me and helped me grow. A boy who showed me that, even on the worst days, the world is still a beautiful place.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything A boy who reminded me how to laugh until tears ran down my cheeks. A boy who tested my patience...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Heart Remembers These Sweet Moments Forever

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and baby laughing

Motherhood gives you all the feelings. It’s hard not to be utterly thankful for and grieve the little things of your last baby, trying to take in all of the firsts and lasts. Every bin of clothes and baby gear packed up produces a tiny crack in a mother’s heart, breaking just a little bit more each time she says goodbye. It’s not that she needs those baby clothes, but it’s the memories each outfit held that are difficult for her to let go of. She does not want to forget those beautiful moments. When she looks at that bin...

Keep Reading

I Want You To Miss Your Childhood One Day Too

In: Kids, Living
Kids jumping off dock into lake

What I miss the most about childhood is owning my whole heart. Before I gave pieces of it away to others who weren’t always careful with it. And some, who never gave the pieces back. I miss my knowing. My absolute faith that my mother’s arms could fix just about everything and what her arms couldn’t, her cookies could. When my biggest grievance was not getting my way. I miss feeling whole, unblemished. Before words cut me. Before people had taken up space in my mind, created permanent movies that were ugly and still play on repeat at times. Before...

Keep Reading

No One Told Me It Was the Last Time You’d Be This Little

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young son playing in ocean

No one told me it would be the last time I rocked you to sleep. A cry in the night, the haze of a dimly lit room, our rocking chair worn brown. We were the only ones in a little world. No one told me it would be the last time I carried you on my hip. The way my body shifted—you changed my center of gravity. Your little arm hooked in mine, a gentle sway I never noticed I was doing. No one told me it would be the last time I pushed you on the bucket swing. Your...

Keep Reading

The Only Way to Freeze Time Is to Take the Picture—So I’ll Take as Many as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two kids sitting in wagon, color photo

Life ebbs and flows. Seasons come and go. One of the reasons I take so many photos is because they are the only way to make time stand still. They provide a nostalgia that can’t compete with anything else. They help us remember the exact moment captured and show us how fast time is fleeting. It doesn’t matter if their texture is glossy or matte. It doesn’t matter if they are in a frame or on a screen. It doesn’t matter if they are professional or if someone’s thumbprint is in the upper corner. All that matters is the moment...

Keep Reading

For the Love of the Game and a Little Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Several baseball players with coach, color photo

When your babies are babies, you think the days are never going to end. You’re so filled up with love for them, but oh momma, you are sooo exhausted. One day runs into the other, runs into the other, and so on. Those days are filled with feedings, diaper changes, sleepless nights, and milk-drunk smiles. You get all the firsts. The first smile. The first laugh. The first words. The first crawl. Before you know it, they’re walking. Walking turns into running. But hold your breath momma, these are the good old days. These long days and even longer nights...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime