So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

The high-pitched distress cry of my two-year-old wafted in the open window, rose above the gurgling, clanking cacophony of doing the dishes, and reached my ever-alert mommy ears.

My baby girl was hurt.

I had sent my three kids (ages 2, 4, and 6) outside to play on this warm, rainy, fall day. They needed to get some energy out, and I needed to get some chores done. I had cracked open the window so I could hear their joyful laughter as they splashed through the puddles in the yard and driveway. I knew the bliss was only temporary. What I didn’t know was what would strike first: argument or injury.

Apparently injury.

I turned off the water and rushed to the kitchen window to assess the urgency of the situation. Bae was soaked from head to toe. Her face sported a mud mask. Her right foot was missing a boot.

My conclusion? She’d tripped out of her shoe, face-first into the menacing puddle she was currently slogging out of. I kept the corner of my eye on her through the window as I wrestled off my kitchen gloves and searched my memory for where I’d left my shoes. I was almost ready to run to her rescue when the activity in the yard recaptured my full attention, stopped me in my tracks, and melted my heart.

Sometimes I’m a helicopter mom, and other times I let my kids run free. One day I guide them patiently through the steps of a good apology, and the next day I scream at them to “JUST STOP FIGHTING!” I occasionally melt down about all my mom-failures. I always worry if I’m doing it right. Somedays, like this one, I’m proud of who my kids are becoming.

As my sweet baby slowly zombie-stomped, arms outstretched, towards home and safety, Big Brother ran to the rescue. He stooped in front of her and encircled her in a great big hug. Then as he stepped back and reached out a loving hand to flatten her disheveled hair, Big Sister joined the first response team.

She knelt down and pulled her own hat off her head. With it, she gently wiped the dirt, splatter, and tears off of Bae’s face. Then she peeled off Bae’s water-drenched sweater and handed it to Big Brother. Removing her own jacket, she draped it lovingly over Bae’s slumped shoulders.

Tucked under the protective arms of her siblings, my two-year-old princess was escorted down the driveway, up the steps, through the front door, and into my waiting arms. As I ran her a warm bath, I cradled her in my arms. By now her cries had subsided to whimpers. I bent my ear towards her shivering lips to try to make out the quiet words she was repeating.

“Thank you, Brother. Thank you, Sister. I love you.”

As her tears dried, mine began to flow. When I set her down in the warm water with a basket full of toys, I looked away from her growing smile into the beaming faces of my big kids. Somehow I managed to choke out the words, “I’m so proud of you.”  Off they ran, with joy in their hearts, to play together as I monitored Bae in the tub.

No, I’m not a perfect mom. No, my children aren’t perfect either. They fight and squabble and get into mischief just as much as any other kid – or dare I say, more. But life is filled with stress and smiles. With fighting and hugging. With love and tears.

I don’t know the key to raising good kids. All I know is I’m striving for the perfect balance. And sometimes I strike it. So on good days I’ll continue to teach them how to share. And on bad days I’ll continue to ignore their shouting from the other room as they work out their own fights. I’ll continue to helicopter, and I’ll continue to send them outside alone. I’ll always worry about doing it all right. I’ll always try to be a better mom. And I’ll always rejoice in the bright moments when my kids exceed my highest expectations.

Because these are the days I see a glimpse of the amazing people they’re becoming. These are the days they show their true colors. The days they make my heart soar.

Thank you, Brother. Thank you, Sister. Thank you, Bae.

I love you.

Sara Estabrooks

Hi, I’m Sara!  A former teacher, sometimes artist, Catholic wife, and mom of 3 (with one on the way).  I’m here to open wide the doors of my heart and let you in on my joys, my struggles, my questions, and my life lessons.   My goal is to grow in kindness, love, and prayer, and invite you to grow along with me.  I'm moving forward step by step every day, and I'm so happy you're joining me on this journey. You can find more from me on my blog: To Jesus, Sincerely.

These Are the Sick Years

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom kissing head of sick toddler

I’m still in the trenches of toddlerhood, and yet, I already know I will look back on my daughter’s preschool years with affection for what it is: sweet, fun, curious, and undeniably precious. What I won’t miss about this stage is that it’s germy. SO germy. The preschool years bring endless crud into our home. Crud that is heartbreaking when your beloved child’s body is working hard to fight it off, but that also works its way into other bodies. The adults in the home who have jobs and responsibilities, run the entire household and have just endured the emotional...

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

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 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

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

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

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!


Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime