So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Mom, I won my race!”

Tears instantly sprang to my eyes as I sat in the parking lot 40 miles away from one of my twin daughters who just competed in a cross-country meet.

“I’m so proud of you! I knew you could do it. How did your sister do?” I typed quickly.

“She beat her personal best,” she instantly replied.

The truth was, I already knew she won the race, and that her twin sister did great, too. Knowing I was broken-hearted that I couldn’t go to support my girls, a dear friend texted me updates throughout the meet while I waited for my youngest daughter to finish a soccer scrimmage two towns away in the opposite direction. Every time I received a message, I hurriedly texted my husband who was boarding a plane across the country and dying to know how all three of his kids were faring.

We both wanted to be there to support our girls, but until they perfect cloning, sometimes it’s just not possible to be in two places at once.

So, I’m thankful to my friend—and all the other parents—who stood in for me, who cheered for my kids, who supported their efforts and accomplishments, because I couldn’t be there.

Last week, my mom friend who works in the city called me in tears. She missed her train and couldn’t get to her daughter’s soccer game. She normally calls in the grandparents, but they were away on vacation, and her husband was stuck in a meeting.

I knew what that guilt felt like, wanting to be there for your child but circumstances not allowing it. You watch the minutes tick by, wondering if you were the only parent not there and wishing teleportation was real.

So, the other parents and I sent her some video and updates every 15 minutes.

She rolled in just as the final seconds ticked off, and she was able to talk to her daughter about it even though she couldn’t be there.

I don’t know one single parent who doesn’t try to be at games, recitals, school events, or any other important activity for their kids. We want our sons and daughters to see our faces in the stands, hear us cheering loudly on the sidelines, and come up to us at the end for support and a hug after a tough game or congratulations for a job well done.

But sometimes, your job isn’t flexible enough for you to leave at 3:30 p.m. twice a week to make every after-school game. Or, you have three kids and your spouse travels, so you have to pick and choose based on carpools. Or, your work commute is more than an hour and despite your best efforts, traffic wouldn’t cooperate.

Not to mention that sports, in particular, has changed so much since we were kids. While there used to be one game on Saturday, there are now two to three per week, and sometimes more than 50 miles away.

It truly is a privilege when you can attend all your children’s activities.

So, thanks to the parents who cheer for the kids whose mom or dad can’t be there. Thank you for encouraging them when they strike out or offering a high-five for a big play. Thanks for providing them a snack before the event or snapping a photo during their solo. Thanks for sending play-by-play updates during a missed game or a video of the winning score.

Thanks for letting our kids know they matter when we can’t be there, friend.

And know there are parents who will do the same for you.

You may also like:

Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends

I Don’t Have Many Friends, But I Have True Friendship

My Dear Daughters, Friendship is So Hard

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

Whitney Fleming

Whitney is a mom of three teen daughters, a freelance writer, and co-partner of the site You can find her on Facebook at WhitneyFlemingWrites.

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

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

I Want My Boys To Become Men of Character

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boys with arms around each other by water

I’m a single mama of two young boys. As a woman raising young boys, I’ve thought a lot about how I want them to act—as kids and adults. We joke around that I’m not raising farm animals, and we don’t live in a frat house. I’m trying to plant seeds now so they grow into men with positive character traits. They burp, fart, spray toothpaste on the sink and somehow miss the toilet often, but I’m trying to teach them life lessons about what it means to be great men and gentlemen.  Interactions with other men provide opportunities for us...

Keep Reading

Until There Was a Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother looking at son and smiling, color photo

I never believed in love at first sight . . . until there was a boy.  A boy who made my heart whole the first time he looked at me.  A boy who held my hand and touched my soul at the same time.  A boy who challenged me and helped me grow. A boy who showed me that, even on the worst days, the world is still a beautiful place.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything A boy who reminded me how to laugh until tears ran down my cheeks. A boy who tested my patience...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Heart Remembers These Sweet Moments Forever

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and baby laughing

Motherhood gives you all the feelings. It’s hard not to be utterly thankful for and grieve the little things of your last baby, trying to take in all of the firsts and lasts. Every bin of clothes and baby gear packed up produces a tiny crack in a mother’s heart, breaking just a little bit more each time she says goodbye. It’s not that she needs those baby clothes, but it’s the memories each outfit held that are difficult for her to let go of. She does not want to forget those beautiful moments. When she looks at that bin...

Keep Reading

I Want You To Miss Your Childhood One Day Too

In: Kids, Living
Kids jumping off dock into lake

What I miss the most about childhood is owning my whole heart. Before I gave pieces of it away to others who weren’t always careful with it. And some, who never gave the pieces back. I miss my knowing. My absolute faith that my mother’s arms could fix just about everything and what her arms couldn’t, her cookies could. When my biggest grievance was not getting my way. I miss feeling whole, unblemished. Before words cut me. Before people had taken up space in my mind, created permanent movies that were ugly and still play on repeat at times. Before...

Keep Reading

No One Told Me It Was the Last Time You’d Be This Little

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young son playing in ocean

No one told me it would be the last time I rocked you to sleep. A cry in the night, the haze of a dimly lit room, our rocking chair worn brown. We were the only ones in a little world. No one told me it would be the last time I carried you on my hip. The way my body shifted—you changed my center of gravity. Your little arm hooked in mine, a gentle sway I never noticed I was doing. No one told me it would be the last time I pushed you on the bucket swing. Your...

Keep Reading

The Only Way to Freeze Time Is to Take the Picture—So I’ll Take as Many as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two kids sitting in wagon, color photo

Life ebbs and flows. Seasons come and go. One of the reasons I take so many photos is because they are the only way to make time stand still. They provide a nostalgia that can’t compete with anything else. They help us remember the exact moment captured and show us how fast time is fleeting. It doesn’t matter if their texture is glossy or matte. It doesn’t matter if they are in a frame or on a screen. It doesn’t matter if they are professional or if someone’s thumbprint is in the upper corner. All that matters is the moment...

Keep Reading

Did I Shelter You Too Much?

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom and tween daughter

I’ve made so many mistakes as your mother. From moving too much to letting you stay up too late, I know I should’ve done better. But of all the mistakes I’ve made, not letting you make your own was my biggest. It’s the one I regret the most. I only wanted your happiness. Keeping you safe and happy were my most important jobs.  At least I thought so at the time.   If you forgot your homework, I’d drive it in. If you were too tired for school, I let you stay home. If you didn’t want to speak, I spoke...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!


Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime