So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Dear Mama,

Raising little ones is hard. Rewarding. Hilarious. And often lonely.

But you’re not alone.

I know that today you’ve acted as accountant, personal shopper, expert in conflict resolution, motivational speaker, events manager, and salesperson.

Tell me you didn’t use expert marketing skills to get those peas into your kid’s mouth!

Despite your many talents, you think your brain is shriveling while you change another diaper or wash another dish. These tasks fill your every moment and provide as much mental challenge as brushing your teeth this morning.

If you managed to brush your teeth this morning.

Someone suggested you play podcasts while you cook. Maybe then you can stimulate grown-up thoughts. But the play button instantaneously sets off your kids’ screaming, whining, or arguing.

Test my theory, if you’re not sure.

I know you plug your toddler’s mouth with a pacifier and enjoy a few hard-earned minutes of quiet. The price for this survival mechanism: avoiding the disapproving looks of strangers and loved ones alike.

How could you risk your child’s orthodontic future?

Mind you, they’re well-meaning strangers and loved ones. Like the sweet grandma at the park yesterday who told you to “cherish every moment”. You had a heart check and wondered do I not appreciate these moments?

Let me ask you: did you cherish the 30 minute battle of wills with your four-year-old that morning? Did you treasure the 10 seconds it took your toddler to create wall art with his own poop?

But before you could respond to Grandma, you had to excuse yourself and stop your toddler from stripping down to his birthday suit on the playground.

Again.

Trust me, I know you cherish your kids. But maybe not every moment of parenting.

And that’s OK.

You feel like an idiot when you can’t participate in a conversation about current events. It’s not that you don’t care if America is made great again or that you’re indifferent about tax reform. Of course you’re concerned about nuclear weapons and North Korea.

But your own little dictator lives in the next room, and his demands are directly tied to the play button on your podcast app. So you may not be sure if love trumps hate, but your little dictator trumped the world news today.

You have an audience every time you pee. If you presume to “go” alone, a chorus of wailing serenades you outside the door.

Only you are capable of dressing dolls, reading books, and wiping noses. You might sneak off to the bathroom while a perfectly willing Daddy is sitting two inches from your daughter on the couch. Is it laughable to imagine she’d ask him to assist her pressing need to fix dolly’s shoes?

I know you do your best to keep track of your kids at all times. Even so, your toddler might have wandered by himself into an elevator yesterday.

Oh, wait—that was my kid.

I know you work all day and have little to show for it when you fall into your bed, exhausted.

You’re too tired for sex but worried what will happen to your marriage if that exhaustion persists very long. You compare yourself to other women . . .women who look younger, more energetic, or in better shape. They don’t seem frazzled or stressed out. They don’t walk around the grocery with their shirts inside-out or food on their pants.

Mostly those women don’t have little kids.

Or they’re some of the few moms who have it figured out. You envy those moms. You know—the ones whose kids aren’t throwing fits on the floor of the grocery aisle?

I know you’re sorting through controversial issues like sleep training and vaccinations. Just like me, you fear choking, night fevers and bullies. When you look into the not-so-distant future, you worry, “How will they handle puberty and adolescence? How do I talk with them about issues like racism and homosexuality?”

A little further down the road, you’re thinking about college tuition and weddings. “How can I support them as they grow up and pursue their dreams?”

You want the very best for your kids, even though you’re pretty sure they’re sapping the life out of you right now.

Hang in there. I know you love them.

But it’s OK if today, you were just trying to survive till bedtime. That doesn’t make you a bad mama. Just a human.

I get it, because we’re in this together.

Sincerely yours,
A fellow mama

You might also like:

Because One Day, She Will Have to Walk Away

Why Tired Mothers Stay Up So Late

To My Last Born Child – This is It

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here! 

#tiredmoms #parenting #motherhood

Nicole Baldonado

Nicole Baldonado is a social worker and missionary in L’viv, Ukraine. She and her husband love raising their two kids in an intercultural lifestyle. Nicole writes weekly at jnbmission.com and can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/jnbaldonado or Twitter at NBaldonado.

I Want My Kids To Know God’s Always There

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding cross in the palm of her hand, color photo

A few months ago, my friend lost his dad. And it impacted our community profoundly. Because he loved SO BIG. Everywhere he went, he couldn’t help but talk to and engage with people—sharing a joke to make them smile or offering a compliment to build them up. He was a connector. And in all the connecting he did, he was quick to remind everyone he encountered that our hearts are ever connected to a God who loves us. It had become his thing to pass out little wooden crosses to those he happily chatted up as he went about each...

Keep Reading

As My Children Grow, I Miss It All—Even the Sick Days

In: Kids, Motherhood
Toddler on mom's shoulder

I whisk my daughter through the doors of urgent care and cradle her head as I stand behind three other mamas clinging to their babies. We’re each rocking in different ways but moving nonetheless. The silent, comforting rhythm of motherhood. I see sad, sick eyes from the babies with their heads nestled into the necks of their mama. I’m tired from the sleepless night, and I shift from foot to foot. There is hushing and humming and back-patting. A pacifier drops to the floor. All of a sudden my daughter feels heavy. A vague sinking feeling comes over me, like...

Keep Reading

Life with Autism Is Full of Ticking Time Bombs

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother, father, teen daughter, color photo

Many of us who live with autism are familiar with the comings and goings of the ticking time bomb—one that disappears for periods of time, so much so that we might forget about it. Then, suddenly, this bomb drops at our doorstep in the form of a returning or new obstacle, so intense that it causes us to pause our lives, alter our plans, maybe even change our current paths. For our family, the new challenge has been sudden, piercing, sporadic screams. Not constant, not even often, thankfully, but jolting nonetheless. So here we were, in the midst of our...

Keep Reading

In Motherhood, Grace Makes up the Difference

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young child

Today, I have been the mean mom, the tired mom, the overwhelmed mom, the anxious mom, the impatient mom, and the want to turn in my mom card mom. Mostly, I’ve felt like the I have no clue what I’m doing mom. I have raised my voice 47 times, told children to “suck it up, buttercup” 36 times, and have intervened in approximately 83 sibling disagreements. I have rolled my eyes 59 times, sighed 148 times, and visibly showed other signs of impatience, well, way too many times. RELATED: I’m a Good Mom, You Just Caught Me in a Bad...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, Your Best Is Enough

In: Motherhood
Mom and young boy with backpack

I am my own worst enemy—I forget to let myself off, give myself time, free myself of guilt.  I am a stay-at-home mom, but I am not a superhero.  For the most part, I absolutely love, treasure, and soak up every happy, special, tough, gritty moment of motherhood. I am forever grateful for this journey. But I also feel extremely guilty any time the load builds a little too high. I forget that I too am allowed emotions, time off, and forgiveness.  As a rule, I don’t snap. I am a patient parent. I discuss and I cuddle and I reason...

Keep Reading

I Know My Friends Aren’t Bothered by My Messy House, but I Am

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Sad woman by laundry pile

My house screams at me. It screams to clear off the kitchen counters, to put away the clean clothes, to organize the shoe collection in our entry, to gather up the scattered toys, to sweep the crumbs up, to place the throw pillows back on the couch, to clean off the table—you get the idea. Everything in my sight speaks volumes to the state it does not want to be in, for the chaos it is imposing.  Keeping home is a labor of love and never of balance for me. Everything that is cleaned, made, or organized will always get...

Keep Reading

I’ll Never Be Ready for My Son To Let Go of Me

In: Motherhood, Tween
Tween boy and mom

The arts-and-crafts tote overflowed with cylinders of petrified Play-Doh, crispy-bristled paintbrushes, and Elmer’s glue bottles with clogged applicator tips. Underneath it sat a stack of spiral notebooks with homework from previous years: simple fractions, facts about fossils and chlorophyll, vocabulary words neatly written on blue lines. Star Wars characters were sporadically doodled in the margins.  None of its contents had been touched in years. Yet, the very second I tipped it upside down into the garbage dumpster—unwittingly blasting a flume of silver glitter into the garage ceiling—I felt deep, aching sadness and enormous regret.  When did fuzzy pipe-cleaners become nostalgia-worthy?...

Keep Reading

To the Emotional Mom of a High School Senior, Enjoy It

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Teen girl in graduation gown, color photo

Dear moms of high school seniors, I see your posts on social media, and I sense your excitement, mixed with anxiety and a bit of sadness (if we are being completely honest). I notice your photos of all the lasts, and I celebrate your child’s accomplishments with you. I see you, and I know you because I have been you, twice now.  I feel the almost palpable sinking feeling that hits in the pit of your stomach when you think about them moving on to the next stage. How is it possible they have grown from such a tiny, helpless...

Keep Reading

Dear Preschool Teachers, I’m Going to Miss You So Much

In: Child, Motherhood
preschool teacher sitting with kids on her lap

Dear preschool teachers, There’s just no other way to say this— I’m going to miss you so much. You are the first adults outside of our family to spend your days with my children, and watching your relationships grow and develop this year has been the most bittersweet privilege. I’m going to miss the bright smiles that light up your faces every time my kids come bounding toward you on good days, and how tenderly you hold their little hands and guide them away from me on the tough ones. RELATED: Dear Preschool Graduate, I’m So Proud of You I’m...

Keep Reading

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

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections