So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I’ve been secretly dieting. Counting calories, checking carbs, and weighing food. I’ve become rather obsessed with how many steps I take in a day, and I usually wake up before the sun (and my kids) to walk.

At the moment, I’m rather consumed with my healthier lifestyle, and I will talk the ear off of just about anyone who will listen. That’s right. I’m not keeping it a secret from everyone. If anything, I want to shout it from the rooftops. I want to share my experience with others to make myself more accountable … and to brag a bit. You see, I’ve lost 25 pounds, and I feel fantastic!

So, who am I keeping it a secret from? My children.

At the ages of four and six, they have absolutely no idea what the word ‘diet’ even means, and I want to keep it that way. Right now, they are both active and healthy and don’t need to worry about cutting calories or the number on the scale. 

They are naturally energetic, preferring to run wild outside than participating in any indoor, sedentary type of activity. Even when my son watches television, he spends the time bouncing on the sofa or jumping off the coffee table. If I put my Fitbit on either of their wrists for the day, I’m sure it would put my step count to shame.

They are not adventurous eaters by any means, but we talk about healthy foods and how important it is to eat vegetables. Although they still prefer junk food, they know they can’t always eat treats.

I know there will be a day when I need to talk to them about what it means to be on a diet and how to lose weight in a healthy way. But, today is not that day.

Today, I don’t want them to worry about eating an occasional ice cream cone or an extra slice of pizza. Instead of dreading the temptation of an Easter basket filled with jelly beans and chocolate, I just want to hear their squeals of excitement. Today, they just need to be kids.

So, as I resist the urge to stuff all of those jelly beans into my mouth, I’m on my own. I don’t tell them I’m on a diet. Instead, I tell them things like “Mommy is trying to be healthy” and “Mommy needs to get more exercise, so I can keep up with you.”

It’s hard keeping it a secret, though. My son wonders why I won’t get an ice cream when we go out for a treat one night. I’m sure he sees me glancing longingly at his. My daughter tries to share her bowl of pretzels with me during a movie, but I say no and glare at my bowl of carrot sticks instead.

It would be easier for me if I told them I was dieting – maybe they would stop offering me their treats, and I wouldn’t be tempted to eat the heads off of all of their marshmallow peeps. But for now, I will keep it a secret.

I will continue to gradually change the dialogue in our house to contain more phrases like: being healthy, exercising, and eating until you’re satisfied.

I will insist that they eat healthier snacks (most of the time) and try new foods.

I will model by example and let my kids see me jogging next to their bikes or kicking the soccer ball around the back yard.

I will let them see me all red-faced and sweaty after I get off of the treadmill, so they remember that being healthy can be hard work sometimes.

What I won’t do is let my kids, especially my daughter, hear phrases like “I can’t eat that,” “I feel fat today,” or “I can’t believe I gained a pound this week.” I have no desire for those ideas to echo through her head in a few years when she becomes more aware of her body and more likely to fall victim to comparing herself to unrealistic images in magazines.

I know that one day this will get easier, but right now it is hard. Hard to lose the weight and hard not to talk about it. However, I know with certainty that I do not want to pass on my weight loss struggles to my kids.

So when I step off of the scale only to find my daughter standing behind me, no matter what number just blinked up at me, I turn and smile. And when she hops onto the scale, I tell her, “Wow! You are growing so big and strong! So healthy! But, I know a better way to tell. Race you to the living room.”

She yells “Ready. Set. Go!” as she flies out of the room. I smile, sneak a glance at my slimmer profile in the mirror, and run after her. I am happy to have lost the weight; however, it will make me even happier to raise a girl who would much rather run and play than pause to reflect on her own weight.

Sarah Clouser

Sarah is a current stay-at-home mom. After years of teaching high school English, she is enjoying focusing on her two children while learning to slow down and look at the world through their eyes. She has learned more about dinosaurs and princesses in the past few years than she ever thought possible. She recently started writing about parenting on her blog,

Don’t Let Anyone Rush You, Mama

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother with two kids at home relaxing

From the moment our children are born, other people make it challenging to stay in the present moment—they start asking questions that look forward instead of at the now we are in. Can you believe how big she’s getting, where did your newborn go? Oh my goodness, he’ll be walking any day now! Are you thinking about preschool? What will you do when they’re both in school? What will you do when your baby goes to college? While these questions may come with good intentions, they’re not helpful at all. We moms need to be allowed to be fully in...

Keep Reading

Dear Child, God Sees All of You—And So Do I

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mom and young son painting together

Math has always come easily to him. Even from the beginning stages when we counted wooden blocks on the living room floor, the numbers just came to him. “How many blocks are there?” I asked him, pointing to the scattered row of blocks. I expected him to count them. He was only three or four years old. “Six,” he answered promptly. “Yes . . . but how did you know that?” I asked hesitantly. He had not taken the time necessary to have counted them. “Three and three are six,” he replied. And on it went. The math came easily,...

Keep Reading

Kids Crave Your Time, Not Fancy Things

In: Kids, Motherhood
Dad and daughter with basketball smiling

I have four kids, and like most parents, I’m doing my best to give them a happy childhood, but we’re not really an activity family. Don’t get me wrong, we love a good day trip to the local water park or a night out at the movies, but with several different ages and a tight budget, activities or outings are rare for us. Sometimes I end up feeling bad about it, like our kids are missing out, but then I take a deep breath and realize that some of the best moments come from the simplest of things. Lucky for...

Keep Reading

Dear Kindergarten Graduate—Wherever Life Takes You, I’ll Always Be Your Safe Place To Land

In: Kids, Motherhood

I cried on your first day of kindergarten. Did you know that? I held it together through the getting ready and the goodbyes—but once I had waved one last time and was pulling out of the parking lot, the lump in my throat poured out as hot tears down my cheeks.  How could you be starting kindergarten? You, my precious firstborn baby. We had some growing pains as we adjusted to a new routine. The school days were so long. I spent my days missing you and you spent yours missing me. We were apart from each other more than...

Keep Reading

The Secret to Slowing Down Time Is to Notice the Moments You’re Living In

In: Kids, Motherhood

Dear current self, You’ve heard a lot of mothers admonish you to slow down and enjoy every moment with your children. They’ve warned you with phrases like “before you know it,”  “in the blink of an eye,” and other cliché’s that haven’t really hit you, but they will. Soon, they will. I am writing you now because I’ve seen you trying to wrap your mind around the how-to—as if holding time in your hand is a skill anyone has successfully mastered. I’ll save you the suspense. It can’t be done. It is inevitable. Your kids are going to grow up....

Keep Reading

You Don’t Have to Celebrate a Holiday Just Because It’s On the Calendar

In: Kids, Living

I switched on the computer, adjusted my chair, then quickly swiveled back around again toward my husband, “Are you sure? You don’t mind?” “Me?” he made a swift waving motion as if swatting a fly. “Psht. Yeah, I’m fine with it. You?” He lifted his head and locked our eyes a little more securely, “Are you sure?” “Yes,” I said firmly, without hesitation. “OK, good,” my man turned back to his phone, “Love you.” “Good,” I confirmed. A rush of relief swept through me as muscles I didn’t even know were tense suddenly relaxed. A bubbling surge of energy had...

Keep Reading

I’m Raising Wild Boys

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boy and toddler smiling at each other, color photo

Yesterday my boys (two and eight) were playing outside in our cul-de-sac—running, yelling, tackling each other . . . all the normal stuff. One of the neighbor moms was out as well, looking on as her son joined the fray.  “I need to send him over to your house for a week or two,” she joked, “so he can get more in touch with his boyness.”  “No, you don’t want to do that. My boys are wild things,” I quickly replied. And I wasn’t joking. My sons are rough, tough, primal beings.  Moments before this conversation, my oldest was ramming...

Keep Reading

A Big Move Brings Big Emotions For Little Kids—Here’s How to Help Them Cope

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood

It doesn’t matter how outgoing or funny or charismatic your kids might be, the possibility of uprooting their little lives and relocating to a new city is terrifying for any parent. Add a global pandemic into the mix, and it’s an idea that feels almost insurmountable.  But when my husband got a job offer we couldn’t refuse, we packed up the car and drove our two kids (eight and four) west from Pennsylvania to the great state of Arizona. The decision weighed heavily on me, and I wasn’t prepared for the avalanche of mom guilt that followed. But as I’ve...

Keep Reading

My Kids May Never Be Professional Athletes, But They’ll Be Strong, Confident Adults Because of Youth Sports

In: Kids, Motherhood
Tween boy playing hockey, color photo

I have pivoted 180 degrees over the last few years on one major bone of contention in our household of four, which includes two sporty kids who love ice hockey and baseball: the rationale behind our, in my opinion, excessive expenditure of resources on our sons’ youth sports careers, and whether this makes any sense.  Neither of them is NHL or MLB bound. Or at least the chances, statistically, are extremely minuscule. And yet, we have directed an inordinate amount of our life savings as well as our precious time to not only club sports, but also private lessons, to...

Keep Reading

Food Allergies Won’t Stop Her—How My Daughter Is Teaching Me to Be Brave

In: Kids, Motherhood

Dear daughter, I know sometimes you wonder if you’ll ever do normal things without me hovering over you. Double and triple-checking your snack labels and drilling you about whether your allergy meds are packed and ready. It’s a lot for you to carry, physically and emotionally. But you’re so strong, sweet girl. Flexible, too. You can do this because you were built for it. And someday, someday, you’ll see it: that this story is yours because you carry it with grace. You don’t complain much, and when you do, you follow it up with a wise comment, saying this sort...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids


Proven techniques to build REAL connections