So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Hey kids, I love where you’re at right now.

Like, right this moment.

No, it’s not because both of you are tucked in bed, the sweetness of sleep wrapping you up like a down comforter.

It just quietly dawned on me that this stage in your lives is incredibly fun. In a few months, one of you will be in 4th grade and the other in middle school. We’re done with the toddler tantrum phase and have not yet launched into the teenage trauma one.

This middle space? It’s brilliant.

I read blog posts by moms who are worried about the baby years flitting by. Depressed because they are going to miss the cuddles and the pudgy fingers and kissable toes. Moms afraid they’re getting their last bouquet of dandelions presented to them with an earnest, “I wuf you, mommy.”

I won’t lie—I miss those moments, too. In fact, I’m one of those moms who writes those heartfelt, “Where did the baby years go?” posts.

But let’s be real—those years sometimes had me feeling like I was in a washing machine’s fastest spin cycle. For heavily soiled, grass-stained clothes. Swirling at the speed of lightning. There was sleep training and teething and mountains of laundry that smelled like spit-up and poop. There was diaper rash and flu season and spaghetti on the floor. And did I mention the poop?

Well-meaning older moms told me to enjoy every moment. But, that moment when one of you was screaming because your beloved blankie was MIA and the other decided to take a shower in a gallon of milk? Yeah, I’d rather not dwell on that moment.

People told me the days are long, but the years are short. At that point, I didn’t really give a rodent’s behind about the years. I just wanted the day to be over and done with.

This is going to sound like I’m vying for the laziest mom award, but here’s the thing: I love that you can do stuff by yourself now.

Like this Saturday morning, I woke up to the sweet symphony of spoons clinking against our trusty Corelle bowls. You had gotten breakfast for yourselves; I had slept in. I woke up feeling like a real human being and not just mama, the milk supplier or the pancake maker.

I love that I can tell you to go shower and—after three or four repetitions—it actually happens. And, miracle of miracles, you come down for dinner, relatively clean.

I love that we can play board games together. Not just Candy Land. But games that are actually fun for dad and me. I get to show you I have some swag with my smooth moves at Monopoly Deal.

I love that I don’t have to watch Dora and Mickey Mouse or listen to “Wheels on the Bus” playing on loop in the car. We can do movie nights with popcorn and pizza—things I’m personally devoted to, but with you both I have a perfectly reasonable excuse to indulge in.

I love that your jokes are pretty darn funny. And, you actually get puns these days.

I love that I still get to tuck you in at night. But, I don’t have to do the whole song and dance routine when I’m dog tired. Now I just pray with you and kiss you goodnight and let you read in bed.

I see more of your personality now. I catch glimpses of the grown-up you. When you tilt your head a certain way. Or use an impressively “big” word without even meaning to. Or show me how to use an app on my phone.

You need me less and less. I don’t mourn that. It’s how things are supposed to turn out, the natural course of life. It gives each of us (yes, even me) the space to grow and chase after our dreams. But I don’t believe you’ll ever fully, completely stop needing me. Or me, you.

I’ll give you a quick hug as you head off for school. There won’t be tears. We’re long past that. There won’t be little arms wrapping themselves around my neck. There won’t be the excited dash back to me when I pick you up from school.

Instead, there’ll be a nonchalant “hi” for me and a more enthusiastic “see-ya” to your friends. But I can see your shoulders relax in a way that says “I’m home”.

There’ll still be time for us to catch up. There’ll still be, “Mama, can you help me with this math homework?” We’ll talk about the highs and the lows and the in-betweens as you both help yourselves to crunchy apples and I sip my coffee.

Yes, there’s absolutely no question that those baby years were precious.

But that was then.

And this is now.

And now is just as good.

You may also like:

Dear Daughter As You Move On To Middle School

To My Middle School Son

The Kids May Be Grown, But Mom Is Still Their Home

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here! 

Susan Narjala

Susan Narjala is a freelance writer who shares her faith with authenticity and humor, and has been published on leading Christian sites. You can find her at and @susannarjalawrites.

Summer Goes by Too Fast

In: Kids
Boy lying on bench at park, color photo

To my oldest, As our summer vacation nears an end and we begin school supply shopping, I think about all the things we didn’t get to do together this summer. I instantly feel mom guilt. All the plans I had made? Only half of them done—if that. RELATED: Remember When Summer Lasted Forever? All the books I was going to read to you at bedtime? Only a couple short ones. All the creative art we would do? Maybe just one time. The fact is, I let time slip away from me. I was too focused and anxiety-ridden about work, my...

Keep Reading

Going on Family Vacation with Young Kids is Work That’s Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom with two young kids on airplane

Our routine will be a mess. Our toddler won’t sleep in a new environment. Our baby needs all of the gear. The flight could be a disaster. I went through a mental checklist of reasons why this kind of family vacation would be hard. It was a pretty convincing list if I’m being honest. I considered throwing a pity party dedicated to the concerns I shoulder as a mother. A few days later I felt a wave of conviction wash over me. I was dreading a trip that was meant to be a blessing to our family. Any kind of...

Keep Reading

I Want To Raise Good Sisters

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four girls sitting on a rock in the forest, color photo

My current dilemma: how to teach four little girls how to be good sisters when I have no idea what I’m doing? I was an only child growing up, and a tomboy at that. It was a lonely, quiet childhood. I remember wishing for a sister, but knowing that with my single mom, it wasn’t going to happen. So, the sister thing is a big mystery to me. I’ve noticed (admittedly with some envy) adult sisters together and their inside jokes, shared history, and language known only to each other. I’ve read about sisters in books. The relationships between the four...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Just Love You, I Like You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boy standing at bridge, color photo

My growing child, my heart often aches when I look at how big you have gotten. You aren’t a baby anymore, you’re a whole kid. You are your own person, with your own thoughts and feelings. You have your own friendships, and interests.  Parts of me realize you don’t need me the same, but deep down I know you need me all the same. And I’m realizing, that in all of these changes, my love for you is also a like.  RELATED: Being Your Mom is the Greatest Honor of My Life Because now we can connect in a whole...

Keep Reading

Having the Tools To Parent a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder Changes Everything

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child playing with water in tube

My heart leaped into my mouth as Soccer Mom, with her matching foldable chairs and ice-cold Gatorade, glared at me. I wanted to explain how hard I tried to be a good mom, to raise a kind human, but I swallowed the words so I could vomit them at my 5-year-old son on the ride home.   Didn’t he know that pushing another child was unacceptable? Hadn’t I taught him to use gentle hands?   RELATED: To the Special Needs Mom Who Sits Alone Despite implementing the parenting books that promised me a new kid by the week’s end, I often wondered...

Keep Reading

Dear Kindergartner, I’ll Always Remember You This Way

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and child touch foreheads

The first magical flickers of your strong heartbeat on a black and white screen— the reassuring evidence I needed to know you were gaining strength for this world. My belly grew, and I proudly went shopping for maternity clothes to cover it. I felt the first dances of your little feet, and it reminded me of butterflies taking flight— the movement of a true miracle. I’ll always remember you this way. The sounds of your first cries—music ringing in my ears. You were real, Earth-side, and wanting only to be loved. The softness of your skin, the way you smelled,...

Keep Reading

There’s No Instruction Manual for These Middle Years

In: Kids
Little girl smiling on porch

As a preschool teacher and a mom, I’ve always felt pretty confident in my parenting from ages birth to 5 years old.  I by no means am perfect, and I silently rejoiced the day my kids could pour their own cereal and turn on Netflix for themselves while I caught some extra sleep. Even though that’s probably not a proud mama moment to celebrate, it’s just the reality of parenting.  We both celebrate and mourn independence as our children need us less. And let’s be honest, oftentimes independence makes our daily lives easier. Yet it is bittersweet.  It feels like...

Keep Reading

I’m Halfway Through Raising Little Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two girls smiling outside

Today I stayed in my car a few minutes more than usual as my kids hopped out onto the hot driveway and ran inside. The cold air conditioning felt amazing after a long day at the local water park; so did the silence. Then it felt odd, so I turned on the radio. The song that started playing hit my soul: “Woah, we’re halfway there/Woah, livin’ on a prayer.” I’m always living on a prayer, but I also noticed we are halfway there. RELATED: Growing Up, You First Then Me Halfway through the year, more than halfway through summer, and...

Keep Reading

Kindergarten is the Start of Letting You Go

In: Kids, Motherhood

We’re physically ready for kindergarten. We’ve got the backpack, the school supplies, the school clothes, and the new shoes. We’ve talked about it all summer. We’ve practiced the skills he will need, and how to open everything inside of a cold lunch box. We’ve talked positively about it and imagined all the friends he will meet and the places he will go, and how kind and caring the teacher will be. We’re physically ready for kindergarten. But here’s a little secret . . . My heart? My heart can’t fully be ready for him to go to kindergarten. I know...

Keep Reading

The Truth about Puddle Jumpers and Toddler Drowning, From a Grieving Mom

In: Kids
Little boy in Puddle Jumper on waterslide

The very last video I have of my 3-year-old son, Levi, is of him bobbing up and down in a Puddle Jumper.  His little legs kicking underwater, his eyes the spitting image of his daddy, and his older sisters, his happy grin, and his little voice saying “Cheese!” This time-stamped video, counting down the precious minutes we had left until he would end up in this very same pool, less than two hours later.  But this time, it was without the Puddle Jumper. I understand the sense of panic building inside you to avoid my story or read it just...

Keep Reading