So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

When I became pregnant with my first, a life-long dream came true.

I was going to be a mom.

That’s the special thing about the first born, they are the ones who initially make the dream of having children a reality. They are the answer to prayers, the long awaited, the one missing piece of the puzzle. The second child is just as special, the miracle of pregnancy just as precious, and they are an answer to another prayer: a second baby, a sibling, a growing family.

Can we talk about what no one talks about? The unspoken lining of “the dream coming true?” It’s hard. The day to day with a baby (and/or toddler, children) is challenging, both mentally and physically. Baby’s are hard, they are tiring, and they can be frustrating. There are days where I feel so chiseled down it is hard to see above the diapers. And threenagers? There is no reasoning with a three-year old, I assure you. The days are long, but my to-do list is longer, and I all too often have nothing left to give to my husband by 5PM. Your children may be older and your challenges different, but the chiseled feeling is universal. 

Those are the times when I feel joy-deflated and I know I am not showing up the in the best possible way for my kids. They deserve better. When we are not the best version of ourselves, we most certainly cannot be the best mom (wife, or friend for that matter).

The best gift we can give our kids and our families is to take care of ourselves. This may look differently for you than it does for me, but the end result is the same. We are happier. We are more fulfilled. We have more to give.

I can identify 4 things I need to-do daily to feel refreshed, four things that are good for the soul: quiet time, healthy living, dressing up and a break.

1. Quiet time alone. I repeat alone. When I’m able to avoid the TV, the iPhone or the computer and just sit with a book or devotional, I always feel a weight off my shoulder and renewed energy.

2. Healthy living. Who has ever ordered Dominos and then felt like the worst excuse for a human being of all time? When I stay away from the junk and make exercise a priority (by the way, I can come up with every excuse not to hit the gym) I feel confident and have more energy.

4. Dress-up. And when I say ‘up’ I mean ditch the yoga pants. There really is no reason to wear workout clothes unless we are working out, right? When we look good, we feel good. 

5. A break. I love my kids but I need time away from them. A few hours to ourselves can be life-changing. I remember how gratifying it was the first time I drove a car alone after having a baby. So whether it’s your husband taking the kids for the afternoon, a family member staying over, or if you can grab a sitter, get away, get a break. Get a pedicure.

This list may look different for you, but I encourage you to identify your “Me List” and start checking it off on a weekly basis.

The parenting dream can be tough. Let’s take care of ourselves and stay joy-filled. We are better people when we are happy and fulfilled. We are moms. And that is a gift to our families that you just can’t beat.

To living the dream my friends.

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

Lauren Kauffman

Lauren is a Texan, Missouri-grad, now turned Denverite. She is a mom to two little boys who make her tired. And happy, mostly happy. The phrase "bless your heart" and the word "y'all" are daily parts of her vocabulary. She writes over at Happy Haven Blog about her journey creating a happy home and family life. You can also follow her daily adventures at Happy Haven Blog's Facebook page:

My Kids Don’t Like to Read, but They Do Love to Learn

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two children reading with each other, color photo

I fell in love with books during a war while my kids lost interest in reading during COVID. Between 1975 and 1990 during the Civil War in Lebanon, my mom, an avid reader, was determined to make me one despite many odds. Once every few weeks, starting when I was about 10, she and I would make the half-hour trek by foot from our apartment in Beirut to a place we called the “book cave.” It was a nondescript space—about 15 by 20 square feet—tucked in the basement of a dilapidated building. Inside, it housed hundreds of books in various...

Keep Reading

Dear Teachers, Thank You Will Never Be Enough

In: Kids, Living
Kids hugging teacher

Growing up a teacher’s daughter has given me a lifetime of appreciation for educators. Of course, it’s true; I may be biased. I’ve been fortunate to have learned and been guided by many outstanding teachers, including my mother and grandmother, who passed those legacy skills onto my daughter, who strongly feels teaching is her calling. But if you’ve had your eyes and ears open in recent years, you, too, probably feel deep gratitude for the angels among us who work in the school system. So, as the school year ends, and on behalf of parents, grandparents, and anyone who loves...

Keep Reading

Before You, Boy, I Never Knew

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three boys playing in creek, color photo

Before you, boy, I never knew that little boys could get so dirty. Play so rough. Climb so high. Assess your risks. Make me hold my breath. Messes everywhere.   Before you, boy, I never knew how much my lap will make room for you. My arms will stretch to swallow you up in endless hugs and just hold you close. And love you to the moon and back. And back again. Snuggling and snuggling.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything Before you, boy, I never knew that there would be so much wrestling. And superheroes, and far-off...

Keep Reading

It Hurts Seeing My Kid as a B-List Friend

In: Friendship, Kids, Teen
Teen girl sitting alone on a dock

Kids everywhere are celebrating, or will be celebrating soon. They will be playing outside, enjoying warm summer days, bike rides with friends, and maybe even sleepovers. It’s summer—it’s fun, right? Sure, it is. And sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it isn’t fun for the kids you least expect it from. We have that issue, and I knew it was building for the past few weeks with our teenage daughter. She was moody (moodier than normal). Short tempered. Obviously frustrated, but not ready to talk about it. But it was when she came home on the last day of school, in tears,...

Keep Reading

Dear Hunter’s Mom, What I Really Want to Say

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler boy, color photo

Hi, I’m Krystal. I’ve wanted to say that every Tuesday and Thursday when I see you in the preschool hallway. I don’t know why I never say it. It might be because I’m afraid to. Maybe you just want to get the drop-off over with and get out of there. I get it. Hunter is crying . . . hard. People are looking . . . they always look. Your face is flushed, your jacket twisted. You are caught between trying to do what you are supposed to do and what you want to do. I can tell. I know...

Keep Reading

5 Money Tips to Set Your Kids Up for a Strong Financial Future

In: Grown Children, Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Father putting quarters in child's hand

As parents, we want to see our children become independent, but the transition to financial independence has unique challenges. I get it. I have three children of my own, and each of them deals with money differently. The transition can be especially difficult if you are a family that doesn’t talk openly about money. Regardless of whether money has been an open topic in the past, as your high school graduate moves on to the next chapter in their life, it’s important to help them start thinking about their financial future. College tuition, rent, and other expenses can be overwhelming...

Keep Reading

Don’t Tell an Anxious Child to Calm Down—Help Them Do It

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Child sitting against a wall with head in hands

She comes to me with teary eyes, a shaky voice, and stomping feet, “This is dumb! Everything is terrible! I’m never going to school again!” My 13-year-old daughter is prone to drama. It doesn’t take much for her to fly off the handle these days. One minute she’s happily crafting at the table and the next moment her mood has made such a drastic change I have whiplash from it. My first response is to say the easiest—and least helpful—words, “Just calm down.” But I know from my own experience that those words have never helped anyone just calm down....

Keep Reading

I’m Raising a Child Who Only Goes Full Speed

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little girl in yellow dress and sunglasses, color photo

If you’ve ever spent more than five minutes with my daughter, you will quickly see that she is always at a 10. Calm is not in her vocabulary or her existence in any form. From the moment her eyes open, she is on the move. Mentally, physically, all of it. Bedtime is when she shares her deepest thoughts and asks the kinds of questions no parent wants to deal with at the end of the day. And then, after what feels like hours of questions and songs, she’s on the fast track to dreamland and not even an earthquake could...

Keep Reading

I’m Still a Boy Mom Even Though I Had Girl

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom with son and daughter laughing outside

I am a boy mom. I’ve lovingly held that title since 2014 when my first son joined our family. My second and third children were also boys, which secured my moniker. Boys are great! The rough and rowdy energy to play in the dirt, climb trees, and make engine noises for every moving thing fits my personality. I love being a boy mom!  For six and a half years, I was only a boy mom. But when other parents talked about ponies and princesses, I didn’t feel left out. Trucks and dirt filled my heart so there was no room...

Keep Reading

Dear Kindergartner, This Is Just the Beginning

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little girl with backpack, color photo

To my future kindergartner, I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that I really just wrote those words. It’s hard to grasp that your last day of walking out our door and into your little Pre-K class is coming faster than we think. But it’s almost here and there are a few things I need you to know even if you don’t fully understand them. Things that go further than ABCs and snack time. Know that you are brave. You are probably one of the bravest humans I have ever met. Your fearlessness is often the leading...

Keep Reading