Our fall favorites are here! 🍂

Sometimes it’s not complicated.

When my oldest started holding the book closer to her face, I made her an eye appointment. When she got a strange rash on her neck, I called the doctor. When she announced she hated reading, I reached out to my teacher friend and asked for advice.

They say it takes a village, and sometimes it’s easy to know when to call on the village for help.

But sometimes it doesn’t feel easy.

When my toddler reached her second birthday and we still couldn’t understand most of what she was saying, it didn’t feel easy. I tried to convince myself that she was only two. That kids start to talk at different stages and that she was still within the “normal” range. That she would talk when she was ready.

But something in my mama brain kept nagging at me, telling me that it wouldn’t hurt to get her some help. That the sooner we got started, the better it would be for her. Still, was I jumping the gun to put my barely two-year-old in speech therapy?

How could I know if my child needed help or not?

The time came for the baby to start solid food. Yet, after a month of trying everything, she still refused to open her mouth for the spoon and every feeding felt like a frustrating wrestling match. Was it supposed to be this hard?

An article I read listed the symptoms of childhood anxiety. Several of them reminded me of my oldest. What do I do with that? Should I just keep going as we have been? Am I making up problems where there are none?

My toddler is painfully shy. Painfully. She hates crowds and new situations. She cries at the suggestion that she should sit at the table with other kids at her toddler art class. She cries when someone comes to our door. Is this a phase? Is this normal “stranger danger” or is it more? Is it behavioral? Sensory? Do I wait for it to pass or push her to new experiences in hopes that it will help?

How could I know if my children needed help?

It felt like I couldn’t.

I guess it never occurred to me before I became a mother that there would still be so much I wouldn’t know. As if the simple act of creating a child would somehow endow me with all the answers.

But it turns out, children are complicated. And raising them is complicated.

And sometimes it feels impossible to know if my children need more help than what I am giving them or if they are just going about the business of growing in their own way.

It’s in these moments that I began to realize “the village” they are referring to isn’t necessarily just for the sake of the children.

Instead, I think it’s for the parents. For the moments when we realize just how much we don’t know. Because the beautiful thing about the village is that I don’t have to know it all. I’m surrounded by people who can help, even when I’m not sure whether I need it or not.

When I talked to some friends about my concerns with my toddler’s speech, they pointed me to an amazing FREE resource for speech therapy. Not only is it helping with her speech, it’s helping with her social skills and shyness. The pediatrician referred me to a therapist to help with the baby’s feeding challenges. The local bookstore carries books on childhood anxiety. A friend at book club loaned me a pile of books on infants and sleeping, and also recommended a magic sleep suit. An online group sharing recipes is giving me ideas for how to get my toddler to eat a vegetable. The list goes on and on.

There’s still so much I don’t know. And I’m sure that, as my parenting journey continues, there will be still more that I don’t even know I don’t know.

But what I do know is this: sometimes you can’t know if you need help until you let yourself be helped.

When in doubt, lean on the village.

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

Megan Launchbaugh

Megan is a Nebraska native who is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. She spent eight years working in the education field before studying to become a Licensed Massage Therapist. Most recently she has begun exploring stay-at-home-mommyhood while raising her two daughters in a blended family with her amazing husband. She loves taking pictures, ordering books from Amazon, wishing she could play the guitar, and planning what she will go back to school for next. She blogs about authenticity and raising authentic children and, when she isn't cleaning up toys or folding laundry, she can be found writing in her own little corners of the Internet. Keeper of the Snacks: Mommyhood Unedited http://www.keeperofthesnacks.wordpress.com/ Connect with Megan: Facebook http://www.facebook.com/keeperofthesnacks Twitter @keeperofsnacks

I Am a Mother Evolving

In: Grown Children, Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Mother and child walking by water in black and white photo

Those who mean well squawk the refrain— “The days are long, but the years are short.” They said I would miss it— little feet and newborn baby smell nursing in the wee hours with a tiny hand clutching mine. Tying shoes,  playing tooth fairy,  soothing scary dreams. They were fine times, but I do not wish them back. RELATED: Mamas, Please Quit Mourning Your Children Growing Up I rather enjoy these days of my baby boy suddenly looking like a young man in a baseball uniform  on a chilly Wednesday in April. And my Amazonian teenage girl  with size 11...

Keep Reading

Kids Need Grace and So Do Their Moms

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Woman touching child's forehead

We were having a hard morning. Our house was overrun with toys, I hadn’t had a chance to get dressed, and my stress level was increasing by the minute. To top it all off, my 3-year-old was having a meltdown anytime I spoke to her. Even looking in her general direction was a grave mistake. It was one of those days that as a parent, you know you’re really in for it. I was quickly losing my patience. My frustration began to ooze out of me. I snapped orders, stomped around, and my attitude quite clearly was not pleasant to...

Keep Reading

As a Nurse, This Is How I Prepared My Daughter for Her First Period

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Woman wearing sunglasses with hands on the sides of her face and smiling, black and white photo

I don’t remember my first period, which means my mother had me well prepared. This doesn’t mean I was okay with it. I remember feeling awkward and tense each time. And honestly, for many years, shopping for feminine hygiene products filled me with unease. But wait a minute! There shouldn’t be anything shameful about something that will recur for about half of a woman’s life! Who decided it was to be a sensitive subject? Aren’t we all supposed to show empathy toward each other when it comes to this?  I say, pass the Midol around, sister! I knew the time...

Keep Reading

With Grandkids, It’s The Little Things

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Nine children sitting on a couch together

We had just pulled into the driveway when our youngest grandtwins, 3-year-old Ellis and Brady, came running out the front door and down the steps to hug us. “Let me see your earrings, Grandma,” Ellis said, reaching up to pull me down to his level. “The green M&Ms!  I told you, Brady!” “Those are the ones our brother Adler picked out for you!” Brady yelled as he ushered us into the house and started going through the tote bag I always carry for them, filled with favorite books from our house and three little bags of snacks in the bottom....

Keep Reading

Childhood Is Not a Race

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Two young girls playing in creek bed, color photo

Sweet child, I know you want to grow up. You want to get older and do more and more. I see you changing day after day. You are no longer a little girl, but you’re turning into a young lady. You’re becoming this wonderful person who leads and cares for others. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. But don’t rush out of your childhood. It’s this beautiful season where wonder and discovery live. It’s this beautiful time when you don’t have to carry the weight of adulthood. It’s this beautiful time. Savor it. Slow down and enjoy it. Breathe in...

Keep Reading

There’s Something Special about Band Kids

In: Kids

There is something incredibly special about band kids. The hours of practice that begin in elementary school. It’s the squeaking and squawking of a new alto or the flutter of early flute days, high-pitched honks from a trumpet, constant and consistent tapping . . . drumming on everything. And gallons of spit too, until one day a few years down the road, you realize all that practice time has turned into an incredible melody and skill. The alarm that goes off at 5:35 a.m., and before most people are awake, band kids have sleepily found a quick breakfast bite, grabbed...

Keep Reading

You’ll Grow So Much In Kindergarten and I Can’t Wait to Watch

In: Kids
Two young children in backpacks walk toward a school building

On her seventh day of school, my kindergartener doesn’t cry. It was a long road to this day. For the first six days of school, we experienced varying degrees of screaming, clinging, running back inside our house and slamming the door, and expressing general displeasure with the whole idea of school. “I wanna stay home with YOU, Mommy!” “But Charlotte, you are bored out of your mind every day of the summer. You hate it.” “No I don’t. I LOVE IT.” “Well we can spend every afternoon after school and all weekend together. You’ll be tired of me in five...

Keep Reading

Six Feels So Much Bigger

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little girl with horse, color photo

Six . . . Six is only one number more than five,  one grade, one year . . . but it feels so different. Five is baby teeth and new beginnings. Five is venturing out into the world, maybe making a friend. Meeting a teacher. Learning to ride a bike. Six took my breath away. Six looks like a loose front tooth—tiny and wiggly, soon to be replaced by a big tooth, one that will stay forever. Six looks like a bright purple bike zooming down the driveway. RELATED: When There Are No More Little Girls’ Clothes Six looks like playing...

Keep Reading

There’s Something Special about Football Boys

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Football captains lined up at 50-yard line, color photo

There’s something about football boys.  Maybe it’s the sunrise practices when the heat is too strong mid-afternoon. Or maybe it’s the late nights lying in their beds, studying game film long after practice has ended and once their homework is done. Maybe it’s the way they look under the Friday night lights, with pads over their broad shoulders and light reflecting off their glossy helmets.  Maybe it’s intangible, something that can only be felt deep in the heart as you watch them run through the paper banner, past the cheerleaders and fans, and onto the field. Yeah, it’s true, there’s...

Keep Reading

Your Kids Look For You on the Sidelines—Do Everything You Can to Be There

In: Kids, Motherhood
Parent watching soccer game from the sidelines

After putting in a full busy week, with countless other parents, we flocked to the sidelines to cheer our little youth athletes on this weekend. In our particular case, we were up by 5:30 a.m. on a Sunday and not back home until around 6 p.m. Each time this happens, I always think back to my own parents and the parents of my friends and think God bless the parents who always show up. I see them in a whole new light of heroism now. Sometimes I drive 30 minutes in one direction to watch one kid play one sport,...

Keep Reading