Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

I’m really good at articulating what’s wrong in my life. Sometimes my husband has a string of texts of the crazy and frustrating things our kids do throughout the day. Without a single positive note. I’m an intense and demanding person. And that doesn’t bode well with motherhood. And often times life is self-fulfilling. I am negative so I create more negativity.

Then a while back, I read something about taking my focus off my kids’ behavior. If anyone knows where this is at, please direct me to the article because I can’t seem to find it! When I find myself getting frustrated, wanting to yell, or seriously considering my decision to procreate, I just look at my kids.

I really just look at them. Because they are tiny humans that have been on this earth for 6 short years. Or 3 short years. Why do I expect them to act like they have been here for 33 years? It doesn’t make sense.

For Sam, I like to hold his hand. They feel so big to me. I remember that time (when he was learning about directions) when he asked me to trim his fingernails, because the “east side of my nail is weird.” I remember the day he was born and those huge eyes looking at me. My heart melts and I try to turn a situation where I wanted to discipline, into a moment of education. Where I teach him what he said was disrespectful and tell him why is was. Instead of saying in frustration “go to your room, you are being disrespectful.”

I remember learning and trying out new words. Putting them together to make new meanings –often times I was likely disrespectful because I didn’t understand the impact of my words. Education is always more effective than discipline. ((in my book anyway…))

For Olivia, sometimes I have to look a bit harder. We are so alike, we can be like fire and ice and we are both a little on the explosive side. I look at her beautiful freckles she’s getting on her cheeks and nose. I wonder at that huge personality stuffed in that perfect little body. What is she going to do with herself? And how can something so small walk and run and jump? Isn’t it amazing? I think back to the night I was crying because motherhood had defeated me that day, and Olivia asked “Mom, how are you doing?” And I told her I was sad. And she listened. That sweet 3-year-old listened to my heart. She deserves my patience and me teaching her and guiding her, rather than my frustrating comments and sighs.

When she starts to demand my attention every 20 seconds (NO LIE!) and I get overwhelmed just by being in her presence, I try to sit down and cuddle her. Because she’s likely feeling ignored. I remember wanting one on one attention. Where I was the most important thing in the world to my mom at that moment. That’s special. So I try to create the special time, rather than shush her and tell her to find something else to do. It’s hard, but I try.

And although Timothy is still too young to frustrate me much, I know he will have his days. And when he does, I will remember that moment when, about 3 in the morning, he did not want to sleep after I nursed him. So I lay with him on the bed and he climbed around my body a bit. Then he snuggled on my pillow, his face just inches from mine, and his body parallel to mine, and he fell asleep. I couldn’t move, I just didn’t want the moment to end.

But I’m not perfect at the “education and listen rather than discipline” approach. I ask forgiveness and try again in the next opportunity.

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 now!

Order Now

Stephanie Keller

I am wife to Jake -- the modern day superman. He truly is my better half. I am mother to Sam, Olivia, and Timothy. I love them fiercely! I like to say they grow up too fast (and some days not fast enough!) I am a lawyer by education, but now a stay at home mom. I stay sane with my three littles by sewing and blogging. I'm beginning my first year of homeschooling and I'm scared. I hope you enjoy reading about my journey through life! Follow me on Instagram at

When Your Kids Ask, “Where Is God?”

In: Faith, Kids
Child looking at sunset

How do I know if the voice I’m hearing is God’s voice? When I was in high school, I found myself asking this question. My dad was a pastor, and I was feeling called to ministry. I didn’t know if I was just hearing my dad’s wish or the call of God. I was worried I was confusing the two. It turns out, I did know. I knew because I was raised to recognize the presence of God all around me. Once I knew what God’s presence felt like, I also knew what God’s voice sounded like. There is a...

Keep Reading

Go Easy On the Parents Who Refuse to Skip Naps

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two little boys and their sister walking down a gravel road, color photo

Greetings from a mom who is done with napping children. It’s great to have the flexibility during the day for longer activities, meeting friends for playdates, or day trips to faraway places. It’s a new life . . . the life without naps. The freedom to make plans and keep them. But not that long ago, I was something very different than the flexible, plan-keeping, up-for-it woman I am today. I used to be the mom who refused to skip my child’s nap. Yep, that one. Here’s the thing, for a lot of parents, It’s so much more than just a...

Keep Reading

My Heart Isn’t Ready for You to Stop Believing in Santa

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy standing in front of lit christmas tree

“My friend doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, Mom,” my son said out of the blue the other day. We were driving in the car, and when I met his gaze in the rear-view mirror his eyes searched mine. Immediately, my heart sank.  This sweet boy, he’s our first. Thoughtful and smart and eight years old. A quick Google search tells me that’s the average age kids stop believing in Santa, but as his mom, I’m not ready for that—not even a little bit.  I can still hear his barely 2-year-old voice going on about reindeer as we lay together on...

Keep Reading

Motherhood is a Million Little Letting Gos and Fresh Hellos

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with child on her lap by the setting sun and water

I missed my grocery-shopping buddy the other day. Mondays are usually the days my littlest and I knock out our grocery list. In the past, we’ve dropped the kids at school and then headed to the store. I grab a latte, and she chooses a hot chocolate. But that day, they were all in school. That day, she sat in her kindergarten class, and I went to the grocery store. Alone. A new rhythm. A changed routine. A different season. I listened to a podcast on the drive. My podcast. Then I grabbed a drink. Just one. I got the...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, This Is My Wish for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugs three kids

To my kids, The world you’re stepping into is unlike anything I experienced at your age. It’s fast-paced, interconnected, and sometimes overwhelming. But within this chaos lie countless opportunities for growth and joy. My wish for you is that you find the perfect balance between embracing the modern world and staying true to yourselves. Change is one thing you can always count on. Embrace it because it’s often the motivation for growth. Embracing change doesn’t mean letting go of who you are; rather, it’s about evolving into the best version of yourself. Remember, you don’t need to have all the...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Stay Wild

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach, color photo

I can’t really put my finger on it. Or manage to find all the words. But there’s just something about that girl. Maybe it’s the way her hair sits tangled. Curled up at the end. The way she moves. Dances. As if everyone was watching. Or no one at all. RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine It could be the way she smiles. With her heart. The way only she can. The way she cares, loves. For everyone. For herself. You see, she is beautiful in the way only wild things are. The way they...

Keep Reading

You’re Becoming a Big Sister, But You’ll Always Be My Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Pregnant woman with young daughter, color photo

The anticipation of welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting and joyous time for our family. From the moment we found out we were expecting to just about every day since, the love and excitement only continue to grow. However, amidst all the preparations for the new addition, I cannot help but have mixed emotions as I look back at old videos and pictures of my firstborn, my first princess, my Phoebe—for she will always hold a special place in my heart. As the anticipation grows, my heart swells with a mix of emotions knowing we are...

Keep Reading

Cowgirls Don’t Cry Unless the Horse They Loved Is Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Loss
Little girls Toy Story Jessie costume, color photo

The knee of my pants is wet and dirty. My yellow ring lays by the sink—it’s been my favorite ring for months. I bought it to match Bigfoot’s halter and the sunflowers by his pasture. Bigfoot is my daughter’s pony, and I loved him the most. The afternoon is so sunny. His hooves make the same calming rhythm I’ve come to love as I walk him out back. A strong wind blows through the barn. A stall labeled “Bigfoot,” adorned with a sunflower, hangs open and I feel sick. I kneel down by his side as he munches the grass....

Keep Reading

Let Them Wear the Costumes Whenever They Want

In: Kids
Kids in costumes walking around living room

I have five children. My oldest is 18, and my youngest is 8. Over the years, I have bought quite a few Halloween costumes. It always starts in late summer—the kids start getting excited about dressing up and want to start looking online for costumes because they want to make sure they’re delivered on time. As the kids have gotten older, a couple of them have even planned out costumes a few years in advance. It’s always fun watching their excitement, and it’s always fun “sharing” the candy with them. One of the things I’ve always done is allow them...

Keep Reading

Boys Are Feral and Raising Them Is Worth Every Single Wild Moment

In: Kids, Motherhood
Muddy boy plays by water

Coming from a home with three sisters and practically swimming in an ocean of estrogen my whole life, I had no idea what to do with a boy. When I had my firstborn, boyhood was a complete mystery to me. Having boys and a girl, I can tell you that they require you to tap into two completely different sides of parenting. Both are hard in their own ways. But raising boys is just constant noises, weird smells, and bizarreness. If you’re a boy mom, you know exactly what I mean. My sister, mom of two girls, is always a...

Keep Reading