So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

My oldest son just entered the teen years and started high school this year. This was really tough for me as a mom. After his first orientation, I was in tears. I was in tears mainly because I had one of those epiphany moments. I realized something. Somehow time had gone by so quickly, I was nearing the end of the stage having him in my care each and every day.

I may have complained at times, but I’ve loved every moment of it. I realized at this point there was nothing I could do to slow down time. That made me sad.

I also felt like I wouldn’t be good during the high school stages.

I am great at connecting with little kids. I can hug, kiss, and play with them all day.

RELATED: Dear Mom, This Is What I Need You To Remember Now That I’m a Teenager

But the high school years terrified me. I felt like I was gonna lose that closeness, that secrets would develop. For the first time, there would be friends I don’t really know. That I couldn’t control the environment he was in. This terrified me, and all I could do was pray.

I started praying on the first day of school and have every single day since. Praying for connection with my high school child and that he would make great friends, make good choices, stay encouraged, and stay safe.

As he becomes older, I’ve seen so many changes in his personality. He has his own opinions, thoughts, and views. For the first time, they don’t only mimic mine.

I love having conversations with him. We have probably formed a closer relationship than we ever had. I didn’t think this would be possible.

What was the key to this? Honesty.

I decided to not just play the mom role, attempting to reply to every situation with what he should or shouldn’t do or what he should or shouldn’t feel. Instead, I chose to be honest in my feelings and struggles and look for ways to relate.

RELATED: The Secret to Parenting Teens? Listen and Repeat.

This has opened the doors to him sharing many parts of his life I don’t believe I would have otherwise known.

When he tells me, “This kid is really getting on my nerves, he’s annoying, and I don’t want to be friends with him.”

The mom side of me says, “That’s not very nice. Be nice to him, he needs friends, too!”

The honest side of me says, ” I feel like that too as an adult. There are people who irritate me. Some people are just annoying. I still try to be nice, but some people I just don’t want to deal with . . . it’s OK if you don’t either.”

When he talks to me about girls, friends, teachers, sports, and so on, I reply with honesty and a little bit of advice.

It is importantthe lessons he learns from issues he experiences as a teen carry over to adulthood. They don’t particularly change . . . they are just different. The illusion for children can be that life just gets easier. Teaching my child to be honest about how he feels is very important to me. Not having positive feelings all the time is OK.

RELATED: My Son Is Not Mine To Keep

My husband and I constantly share feelings of frustration, annoyance, and discouragement even in adulthood. My son has space to realize life can be challenging. This is something that will empower him also.

I’ve noticed many teen parents feel a great deal of pressure to only tell their children how things should be and give them advice, standing on their holier than thou platform. Unfortunately, this is not effective for freeing communication.

I believe our children desperately want to hear me too, you’re not alone, and I get it from their parents.

Just like other relationships in our lives, those simple words can open up doors for anyone to share their hearts . . . including our teens.

Previously published on the author’s blog

Jehava Brown

Jehava Brown is a mother of 3 boys, and a wife to her college sweetheart. She is a full-time lifestyle blogger with a passion for her friends, family, and is a foodie at heart.

You’re Not a Bad Mom, You’re a Work in Progress

In: Motherhood
Mom hugging child

I’m kind of hard on myself as a mom. In fact, most days if I were to grade myself on some sort of official motherhood report card, I think I’d give myself a “Needs Improvement,” which isn’t all bad. Nobody’s perfect, and the idea of working on being a better mom is great—important even—but I’m realizing more and more that when I see myself as a mom, I tend to focus on the bad. The things that need improving. All the little mistakes add up, and overall, I end up feeling like a bad mom. Nobody tells me this. It’s...

Keep Reading

I Would Relive Every Moment of Sorrow Just To Hold You

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding infant, black-and-white photo

As I sat there rocking my child to sleep, I caught my mind wandering to the past. Not my recent past but my before . . . Before my son was born. Before my stressful pregnancy. Before my positive pregnancy test. Before . . . when I was praying every day for a miracle—six years back. Infertility is a messy journey that few (and many at the same time) are chosen to take. It’s lonely and heartbreaking and dark and will make you hate yourself at times. You feel helplessness and anger and despair. RELATED: This is Infertility Your relationships...

Keep Reading

I’m Giving My Kids the Summer Fun I Never Had

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys playing in the waves on the beach, color photo

I love that my kids hate school. Stay with me here . . . Yes, I absolutely love that year after year, my boys cannot wait to ditch school for summer break, that they endlessly bemoan the academic year and cannot wait for June.  I love it because it is normal. I love it because it means they enjoy being at home and implies that I make summers fun for them, or, rather, allow summers to be fun for them. I love it because I always dreaded summers when I was growing up. Dreaded them with knots in my stomach...

Keep Reading

So God Made a Mother With a Willing Heart

In: Motherhood
Mother and daughter smiling, color photo

You may have heard it said that God only gives special children to special parents.   But, when God made the mother of a child who has special needs, the Lord did not need a special mother, the Lord needed a mother who was willing. God needed a woman who would say yes to an assignment that many choose not to accept. The Lord knew she wouldn’t feel qualified to raise a child with special needs, but that didn’t matter because God would equip her every step of the way. Since there is no such thing as a perfect mother,...

Keep Reading

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

No Screens Before 7: How Our Family Broke Free of the Screentime Habit

In: Living, Motherhood
Kids using smartphones

“We still have three more minutes!” my 7-year-old says, bouncing with Christmas-like anticipation and excitement. “Well,” I say, looking from him to his 9-year-old sister, “what could you do for three minutes?” “Leg wrestle!” they exclaim and run to the carpeted living room. This life-filled exchange was not happening in my home just a couple of months ago.  In spite of my best efforts, screen time had taken over. Both the kids and I would slip into this zombie-like, space-time vortex. I would look up and know it wasn’t healthy, but it was just so easy to just keep on...

Keep Reading

You Don’t Have to Lose Yourself to Be a Good Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman brushing wet hair

There is nothing wrong with losing yourself in motherhood. Diving in head first, serving your kids and spouse endlessly, never asking for a break, being proud for providing an amazing childhood for your kids, and allowing mom to become your entire identity. But what if you don’t want that?  When did this become the standard of motherhood we are all expected to achieve? Why does society say the best mom is the one that’s 110% physically and emotionally available for her kids all the time and never does anything for herself? Why are you less of a mom if you...

Keep Reading

10 Tips to Banish Teenage FOMO

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen with red hair smiling

Do you ever feel like the whole world is having a party—and you weren’t invited Maybe you worry about being included in the right groups or invited to the right sleepovers. Maybe you envy the relationships you see at school or youth group or feel jealous of the perfect social media posts showing others making memories together. If you’re a teen in 2022, you’re probably well acquainted with the fear of missing out. Knowing or wondering what you’re missing or who is getting together without you can leave you feeling lonely. It can leave you lonely and a little blue....

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

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime