So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

What does it mean to parent a strong-willed boy?

It means picking your battles, because there are endless battles.

It means when he decides at seven months he’d much rather learn to walk than crawl, you’ll spend what feels like an eternity breaking your back as he  your hands to walk, until he takes his first steps 2.5 months later.

It means after taking his first steps, it won’t be long until he is going full speed all the time, yet you certainly won’t regret it like they say because your back needed the break. 

It means officially giving up that precious afternoon nap at two years young, after you’ve already spent several months prior taking car rides just for 30 minutes of quiet time.

It means even without naps, bedtime can still be a major struggle, and there will be periods where you’ll have to again use car rides as an effective strategy to get him to sleep at night.

It means you secretly sigh in relief when he wants to watch TV because you might have a break from the busy day he’s laid out. 

It means he’ll decide when the time is right for things like giving up the pacifier and becoming potty-trained.

It means he’ll have his own ideas and want to figure things out for himself.

It means basically pushing anything on him before he’s ready is not likely to end well—“in his own time” will become your mantra. 

It means he’ll carve his own path, and though it won’t always be the one you had planned and it may be the less desirable route, it just might offer a marvelous view. 

It means he’ll want to immediately be an expert on anything he tries, even things not at his skill level at the time.

It means when he can’t master those things right away, he’ll scream and cry out of utter frustration, but he won’t give up.

It means you’ll teeter on the edge of give and take, and the line between off-limits and acceptable will often become so faint you’ll wonder if it even exists.

It means there will be times when you do have to darken that line, and it will provoke an epic meltdown.

It means you’ll learn to think outside the box as much as he does just to keep up with him.

It means he interprets the word “no” as “try it another way”.

It means you’ll have to become a professional negotiator/distractor. 

It means he’ll have an answer for everything, like when he wants to take the dog to the zoo and you tell him she would scare the animals with her barking, so he recommends taking bricks to stack in front of the animals so she can’t see them.

It means you’ll try not to overreact when he does something completely off the wall, knowing your reaction will only make him want to do it more. 

It means as he gets older, things will get easier in some ways and harder in others.

It means there will be days you try everything from being firm to offering options, yet still, there will be power struggles.

It means your patience will be put to the test daily and though you’ll get quite good at staying calm in the midst of a storm, you, too, will reach your breaking point.

It means you’ll have to remind yourself God made you this boy’s mama for a reason, and you have everything it takes to raise him well.

It means as independent as he is, he will still need you, and the two of you will find a balance in the beautiful chaos that is your life. 

It means despite everything, you’ll develop a love of his strong-willed nature, knowing it is exactly what makes him him, and you wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.

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

Amanda Dayton

Amanda is the mom of a strong-willed boy and wife of a husband who keeps her balanced. Her blog Motherhood Awry was inspired by life’s crazy way of doing its own thing and tossing our plans out the window. She enjoys drinking coffee, dancing like no one’s watching, and hiking. You can follow her at: Facebook - @MotherhoodAwry Instagram - @motherhoodawry

Look beyond the Labels for What You Don’t See

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three kids sitting on parents' laps smiling

I’ve always said that labeling someone with high- or low-functioning autism, or any disability for that matter, isn’t ever truly accurate. You may see an extremely smart girl who seems “normal” but you don’t see everything. You don’t see how the noises hurt her ears. You don’t see how the bright lights hurt her eyes. You don’t see how hard she struggles to fit in. You don’t see how she struggles to understand the social cues. You don’t see how seriously she takes what you say even if you’re joking. You don’t see the struggles when she’s having an overwhelming...

Keep Reading

When You Look Back on These Pictures, I Hope You Feel My Love

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four kids playing in snow, color photo

I document your life in pictures. I do it for you. I do it for me. I do it because I want you to know I lived every memory. And loved every moment. When you go back through the thousands of moments, I hope it sparks something deep inside of you. Something that perhaps your heart and mind had forgotten until that moment. And I hope that it makes you smile.  I hope the memories flood and you remember how much each moment was cherished.  I hope each giggle and secret that was shared with your sisters at that moment sparks...

Keep Reading

For the Parents of the Kids Who Don’t Fit the Mold

In: Kids, Motherhood
mom hugging her daughter

This one is for the parents of the kids who don’t fit the mold. I see you holding your kid together with nothing but love and a prayer as they cry or feel defeated and you wish the world would see your kid like you do. I see you wiping away their tears after they were yet again passed over for all the awards and accolades. There is no award for showing up for school despite crippling anxiety or remembering to write down assignments for the first year ever. So they had to sit clapping again for friends whose accomplishments...

Keep Reading

Let Your Kids See You Try and Fail

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter sitting on floor knitting together

Let your kids see you try and fail at something. That’s what I did today!  My daughter wanted to take a knitting class together. I said sure, naively thinking the skill would come pretty naturally. I’m usually good at things like this.  Guess what? It didn’t. Although she picked it up easily and was basically a knitting pro within five minutes, the teacher kept correcting me, saying, “No, UNDER! You need to go UNDER, not OVER.” She was kind enough, but it just wasn’t clicking. I started to get frustrated with myself. I normally take things like this in stride...

Keep Reading

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

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

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