Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

I’m worried that I won’t remember. Peter leaves for LA in 2 and a half weeks and I’m worried I won’t remember all of the little things about having him as my son. I have an absolutely terrible memory, always have. It has its good points. I rarely hold a grudge because I generally don’t remember what heinous wrong was perpetrated in the first place. I don’t stress about getting things done, about lists of endless chores, because I find it impossible to carry it all around with me, all the time. I do things as I remember to do them, sometimes a little bit late, and guess what? Hardly any horrible consequences have occurred as a result! …but not my baby boy…I don’t want to forget a single thing about the past 18 years that I’ve gotten to be his Mom…every single day… 

The worst part is how endless so many of these precious days seemed at the time. Running after 4 kids and trying to keep hold of who I was amidst the 4 emerging personalities that were quite literally on top of me each and every day. I have been the center of their worlds. What an unbelievably exhausting role…and what an unappreciable privilege. It’s really too bad that no matter how many people told me, I was incapable of seeing how one day it would be over.

I have 4 more years until Jake & Luke will head off into the world and just one year later, Hannah will pack up the car and head off on her next great adventure. The confusing part is that this is 100%, exactly what is supposed to happen. This is the goal, and I will thank the good Lord every day if and when each of them make it to this moment. This is also the moment that all those years of selfless parenting turns inward and I become selfish and unbearably sad that the most difficult, exhausting, often thankless job I have, and will ever have, is over. Because in addition to difficult, exhausting, and thankless, this job is rewarding, joyful, oftentimes hilarious, and most of all, it fully encompasses my identity. Peter, Jake, Luke, and Hannah’s Mom is who I am, and I like it that way. I remember the first time someone referred to me as Peter’s Mom instead of Mindy. It was the strangest feeling. I was immediately aware of the shift taking place, and I loved it. 

I’m aware that there are those who are terribly conscious of retaining a piece of themselves only for them, to preserve their identity, in many instances to avoid this very moment. No one who knows me would accuse me of being all about my kids. I love my husband, I have solid, wonderful friendships, and I’ve rarely passed up the opportunity for a quick massage, a few days away with my cousins, or a happy hour with friends. Some call it balance. Yes, I think I have a certain amount of balance. …but now I lay awake in bed at night in a panic…that it’s all going to be over…and I missed it. Of course I love our kids, but I also really like them. They’re the people I’d choose to be with if I were stranded on a desert island. It’s one of the greatest parts of raising kids that I’d never thought of. These kids have all of Pete’s and my best qualities, also some of our worst. They’re familiar to me in a way no one else ever will be.

I detest change. I’m fully aware that my job description includes letting go, and I’ve talked a big game. You have to let your kids go and explore the world. You have to let them make mistakes and take risks. You have to let them make their lives outside of you. I know this. I just didn’t know how much it would hurt. I didn’t know how much I’d given each of them of myself and how hard it would be to let those pieces walk out the door. I’m fully aware that my job will never be over, that my kids will always be my kids. I’m fully aware that I’ll hopefully be a Grandma one day and the joy of watching my kids raise their kids will be overwhelming. I’m so excited to see who they become. I know we’ve done the best we can for them.

But for now, as I pack for Peter, my first baby, who’s been my right hand since the first moment he held onto mine, I just want to remember. I want to remember every single minute.

*This article was originally published on Facebook

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

Mindy Humphrey

My name is Mindy Humphrey. I'm the mom of 4 kids, Peter 18, Jake & Luke 15, and Hannah 13. My husband Pete and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary this October. 

Brothers Fight Hard and Love Harder

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys play outside, one lifting the other on his back

The last few years have been a whirlwind. My head has sometimes been left spinning; we have moved continents with three boys, three and under at the time. Set up home and remained sufficiently organized despite the complete chaos to ensure everyone was where they were meant to be on most days. Living in a primarily hockey town, the winters are filled with coffee catch-ups at the arena, so it was no surprise when my youngest declared his intention to play hockey like his school friends. Fully aware that he had never held a hockey stick or slapped a puck,...

Keep Reading

Stop Putting an Expiration Date on Making Memories

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and son in small train ride

We get 12 times to play Santa (if we’re lucky). This phrase stopped my scroll on a Sunday evening. I had an idea of the direction this post was going but I continued on reading. 12 spring breaks 12 easter baskets 20 tooth fairy visits 13 first days of school 1 first date 1-2 proms 1-2 times of seeing them in their graduation cap and gown 18 summers under the same roof And so on and so on. It was essentially another post listing the number of all the monumental moments that we, Lord willing, will get to experience with our...

Keep Reading

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

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

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 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