I yelled on the way to school today.

I wish I could say I was shouting at a driver who cut me off at the stoplight that always seems to get us. Or that I was growling at the never-ending construction impacting our commute.

But that wouldn’t be true, because I yelled at my kids.

And it makes me feel like complete garbage because…who does that? 

We’d had a bad morning—actually, I’d had a bad morning after a bad night—and it boiled over when we were finally loaded into the car and one of the kids announced he didn’t have his hat. I darted back into the house to rummage through the basket of cold weather gear, my temperature rising.

We’re always rushing around before school—I’m always rushing around before school—and it never seems to matter. So often I feel like that fabled hamster stuck in his infernal wheel, spinning helplessly through the morning routine while the kids sit idly by chewing the breakfast I provided. Sandwiches made, homework signed, jackets, boots, and backpacks—then we fly out the door at the last possible second (past it sometimes) and I feel weary again and again.

I suppose it should come as no surprise that I lost my temper.

But I realized something this morning in the surly silence that followed my ranting: I’m doing too much.

Friends, we’re doing too much.

I don’t need to pack lunches every morning, because my kids are old enough to help pack their own lunches or (the horror!) eat hot lunch at school.

I don’t need to wake my son up three different times before he slithers out of bed with a scowl, because he’s old enough to have an alarm clock and get up to it on his own.

I don’t need to track down coats and hats and gloves that have been scattered to the four corners of the entryway by careless children after school, because they have eyes in their heads and legs on their bodies and they can round them up on their own.

I don’t need to make their lives so easy, because it’s not doing them—or me—any favors.

Motherhood is first and foremost about sacrifice. We sacrifice our bodies for nine months. We sacrifice our sleep for their sustenance. We sacrifice our time and our talents, sometimes even our careers and hopes and dreams for their wellbeing, ten times out of ten, always ahead of our own. It’s beautiful and redemptive and absolutely right, this desire to nurture our children—but it can become a monster of our own creation if it spirals out of control.

This morning, that monster reared its ugly head inside my minivan, and I’m putting it back in its place, effective immediately.

Maybe we’ll be late for school. Maybe the homework won’t get done. Maybe the sandwiches will have crusts.

So what?

I can’t do it all. I won’t do it all.

We should not do it all.

And maybe that’s sacrifice at its finest.

Maybe we’ll be late for school. Maybe the homework won’t get done. Maybe the sandwiches will have crusts. So what? I can’t do it all. I won’t do it all. We should not do it all. And maybe that’s sacrifice at its finest.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn has served as Editor-in-Chief of Her View From Home since 2017. A long time ago, she worked in local TV news and fell in love with telling stories—something she feels grateful to help women do every day at HVFH. She lives in flyover country with her husband and five kids but is really meant to be by the ocean with a good book and a McDonald's fountain Coke. 

God Gave Him Bigger Feelings

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy on playground, color photo

He came home from school last week and asked, “Why do I get so angry but my friends never do? Why am I not the same?” And it broke me. Because he is passionate and intelligent and kind and intuitive and beautiful. He didn’t always seem different. We never paid attention to how he would line everything up in play. And we would laugh it off as a quirk when he would organize everything dependent upon shape, size, and color. He was stubborn, sure, but so am I. And then COVID happened, and we attributed the lack of social skills...

Keep Reading

We Have a Big Family and Wouldn’t Change a Thing

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four children in front of Christmas tree, color photo

I have just had my fourth baby. A baby who wasn’t expected but very much wanted and very much loved from the moment we found out. When we told people we were expecting, the response was underwhelming. The stream of intrusive questions would then ensue:  You already have your hands full, how will you cope with four? You’ll need a bigger car! Where will they all sleep? Don’t you own a TV? You know how babies are made right? People seemed to have such a strong opinion about me having a fourth child. RELATED: We Had a Lot of Kids...

Keep Reading

As a Mom I’m Far From Perfect, But I Hope You Remember the Joy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Happy mother and daughter on the beach

Sometimes, I think about the future when you are grown and I am gone. When all that’s left of me are photographs and memories. I know what the photographs will show. I took most of them, after all. But the memories I’m less sure of. I wonder what will stick with you after all that time. How will you remember me? One day, your grandkids will ask you about me. What will you say? Will you tell them I was always distracted? Will you remember that I looked at my phone too much? Will you tell them I didn’t play...

Keep Reading

Being a Daycare Mom Can Be So Hard

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Woman holding boy on couch, black-and-white photo

Dear daycare mom,  I know it’s hard.  To get yourself up before them, to make lunches, to pack the bags, to get yourself ready.  To go into their rooms, where they are peacefully sleeping, and turn the lights on.  To struggle to get them breakfast, get them dressed, and get them out the door.  I know it’s hard.  To have a morning rush when all you want to do is snuggle up on the couch and ease into your day.  RELATED: When a Mom is Late To Work To feel like you are missing out on their childhood at times...

Keep Reading

The PB&J that Saved the Day

In: Kids, Motherhood
Table with three plates of PB&J sandwiches, color photo

It was one of those days.  One of those days when your pants are too tight, you wake up with a headache, and the kids’ rooms are disasters at 8 a.m. It was one of those days when I had to physically go into Target for our groceries since I didn’t have time to wait for pickup—I think that alone should sum up exactly the kind of day it was.  The kids were hangry. The toddler was, well, toddler-y. RELATED: Toddlers Are Human Too—And Sometimes They Just Need Grace Two minutes into our shopping trip, she had kicked her light-up rain...

Keep Reading

One Day He’ll Love Another Woman More than He Loves Me

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, color photo

To Benjamin, my 16-month-old son, I am everything. I am the first person that boy looks for when he wakes up in the morning and the last person he wants before he goes to bed. If he is in a room full of people he loves and I am not there, he will search for me.  If he has a problem, mommy is the solution. I am the answer to his cries. I feel confident in saying that I am the most important person in that little boy’s little world. I love it. It is an honor and a privilege...

Keep Reading

To My Sister, Thank You For Being the Best Aunt To My Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood
Aunt with three young kids

“Do you have the kids’ basketball schedule yet?” you texted the other day. I sent back a screenshot of the calendar, and within an hour you responded telling me which game you’d be coming to. It was a simple exchange, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude for your love for my kids in that moment. It’s something I think often but don’t say nearly enough: thank you for being such an amazing aunt. Truly.  I know it’s not always convenient. You live three hours away and have a busy, full life of your own—but still, you show up for your niece and nephews...

Keep Reading

In Defense of the Stubborn Child

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy hanging over dock, color photo

“Lamp. Lamp. Laaaaamp,” my 2-year-old son screamed while stomping his feet. Tears were running down his face and snot was dripping dangerously close to his mouth. I put on what I hoped would be a soothing, motherly tone, “Okay, just calm down.” While trying to maintain eye contact, I slowly reached toward the tissue box. This must be what the greats like Jeff Corwin, Steve Irwin, or the Kratt brothers feel like when facing a volatile animal in the wild. The sound of a tissue being pulled from the box caused the crying to stop abruptly. His eyes flitted toward...

Keep Reading

Dear Stepdaughter, You Aren’t “Mine” but I Love You as My Own

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter hug

First off, I love you. I wasn’t there the day you were born or when you got your first tooth. I wasn’t there when you took your first steps or learned to pee in the potty. But, I have loved you since the day we met, and I’ve been there for every moment since. I’ve given you baths and eventually, taught you how to shower on your own. I’ve brushed your hair, clipped your nails, and taken care of you when you’re sick. I’ve tucked you into bed and kissed you goodnight, held you when you’re sad, chased away your...

Keep Reading

I Was Meant to Be a Boy Mom

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and three boys, black-and-white photo

When you’re a little girl, you dream of the day you can pass all your Barbies and dolls on to your daughter and continue that same form of make-believe, to play dress up, do their hair, and go shopping with . . . at least I did.  You grow up, fall in love, get married, and decide to start a family and all those same emotions come rushing back about all you’ll do with your baby girl. You cut open that cake and the blue frosting peeks through, and you’re so excited that you forget all those girl dreams. You...

Keep Reading