So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

I woke up early this morning. Heck, I’m always up early with a 10-month-old, but this time was eerily familiar. I heard the baby whimpering on the monitor, so I trudged my tired body out of bed. But before I picked him up, I turned into my closet to grab a heavy sweatshirt to ease the winter chill.

When I walked into that closet, I remembered a time from the past. A time, not so long ago, when freedom was a part of my day. Just two years prior, I woke early nearly every weekday morning to head to the gym. It was always cold on those mornings, so I would do the same thing as I did this morning.

I’d grab that sweatshirt.

My two older girls would still be sleeping peacefully in their beds, husband too.

I would exercise my aging body for an hour and still have time to shower, have a cup of coffee and get my girls off to school.

Life was good.

But now, life has changed. Freedom is gone for a while. I don’t sleep. I don’t exercise. My hair is finally coming back after I lost so much of it with this pregnancy. I’m wrinklier than I remember. Older, too. “Over half-way to 70” is what they tell me.

Life is different.

I put on my sweatshirt and headed into my baby boy’s room. He greeted me with the sweetest smile and raised his arms for his mama to rescue him. We sat down on a chair in the dark and rocked back and forth, just as we have for the past 10 months.

And I thought back to that time just two years ago, when I didn’t know I’d become a mom to this boy. I was so happy then. I had two, beautiful, healthy growing girls. A little money in the bank. I was truly in the best shape of my life.

And then, two little lines told me life would change. And a doctor told me life would change again when we would add a boy to our perfect family.

I was excited. I was scared.

I didn’t know how to raise a boy. I have three older sisters. I come from a family of very strong women. I know how to do that. I know how to raise independent, brave, kind females.

But boys? I wasn’t sure.

Could I be the mom this guy needs?

Of course, I can.

I didn’t know I needed this boy, until the doctor placed him in my arms on the late afternoon in March.

I didn’t know I needed this boy, until his first smile greeted my face.

I didn’t know I needed this boy, until we snuggled in that rocking chair for another midnight snack.

I didn’t know I needed this boy, until his tiny hand fit into mine.

I didn’t know I needed this boy until I heard him say “mama” for the very first time.

I didn’t know I needed this boy until he stole my heart. 

So far, it seems, raising a boy is much like raising a girl. Love them harder than you’ve ever loved. The rest will fall into place.

Two years ago, life was good. I was so happy then, but it’s even better now. I only wish we all would have met sooner.

Baby boy, thank you for completing our family. I love you more than I could have ever known.

Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

As Another School Year Begins, Remember Mama: You Know Your Child Best

In: Kids, Motherhood
little girl holding a first day of kindergarten sign

Dear mom buying school supplies and feeling overwhelmed, Stop and pray. Ask God to help you envision each child as the young adult they can be. Write out your goals for that child . . . fair warning, there will likely be very little academic success in your goals. You may even have to go back and write those in. Take a deep breath. Keep this list of goals nearby. Go back and read them when the world is telling you your child doesn’t stack up somewhere. They aren’t reading as fast, they’re not “getting” math, their handwriting is wonky,...

Keep Reading

Every Time the Doctor Says, “It’s a Girl!” My Heart Grows a Little More

In: Kids, Motherhood
Sisters sitting on park bench

When I’m in the grocery store with my girls, I always get comments. My oldest girls are walking near the cart with my two-year-old running up and down the aisles. “Three little girls! Wow! God bless you, Momma!” Then they look in my cart and see the car seat holding my nine-month-old. “Is that a baby boy in there?” “No, another girl!” I reply. I get a variety of responses when people realize I have four girls under the age of seven. “Wow, you’ve got your hands full!” “Going to try for a boy?” “You are truly blessed—your girls are...

Keep Reading

Raising a Child with a Severe Food Allergy Affects the Whole Family

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy looking at ice cream cone

I saw something recently that said, “It’s National Ice Cream Day today!” and I cannot stop thinking about it. Now I know that sounds silly, but as a mom of a child with a severe dairy (and egg) allergy, I must admit at times it makes me sad (and more often jealous if I’m being completely honest) when I know my son is going to miss out on another fun or “normal” thing that other kids his age are experiencing, like actual ice cream and ice cream parties. If I continue to be honest, I get jealous when I see...

Keep Reading

So You’re Not the Fun Parent…So What?

In: Kids, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman reading book while two play in background

I’m not the fun parent in our household. Of course, this comes as no surprise to me but it still stung when my 8-year-old said to me rather bluntly the other night, “Daddy’s way more fun than you.” And while the rational part of my brain knows better than to take this kind of comment to heart, my super-sensitive, highly emotional primitive brain did the exact opposite and ran with it.  Daddy is the more fun parent. I’m the stricter, more rigid, and more uptight parent. I’m not the type of parent who, in the spur of the moment, will...

Keep Reading

Mine Is the Shy Kid

In: Kids
Girl sitting on side of playground

I’m the mom of one really shy child. But not your quintessential shy kid. I don’t mean she is “slow to warm up,” because my daughter might not warm up at all. And I don’t mean that she’s only shy until she gets to know you. There are friends and family members she still hides from or won’t talk to. What I mean is my almost-4-year-old struggles so much with her shyness that it’s hard for her to interact with most people. Especially her peers. I’ve Googled more than you could ever imagine about this topic: How shy is too...

Keep Reading

In This Magical Place Called Kindergarten

In: Kids
Kids at elementary school circle time

It’s hard to put into words what happens in a classroom in the course of a year. Especially a kindergarten classroom. For many children, this is their first experience away from home, from their place of comfort and security—the place where they can always be themselves. But teachers are a special breed—especially teachers of littles. And they step into this substitute role with the biggest hearts and the most love to give. They take this unknown, intimidating place and then transform it into a magical, wondrous adventure. A classroom, a community, a family. A place where these little people can...

Keep Reading

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

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.