So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

This is written to the moms of littles. The moms holding a baby in a front carrier (or in their bellies still) while also chasing toddlers, catching them before they run in the road or tumble down the stairs. The moms wrestling a one-year-old on the changing table in the Target bathroom while the ice cream melts in their cart. The moms wiping endless boogery noses and endless dirty butts, so much so that they are unfazed anymore by their children’s bodily functions. The moms up all night breastfeeding, changing pee-soaked sheets, and getting kicked in the kidney by their three-year olds.

The moms who never, ever get a break.

I know who you are. I know your life. I was you for a long time. I know how it feels in August, and then again in early January, and in the spring, when moms of older kids are celebrating. Their kids are going back to school. They raise their glasses in joy and pride that they survived the long weeks of noisy bickering over the iPad and wrestling matches that ended in bloody noses. They aren’t sure how they did it, as the days were long and exhausting, but finally the time has come to drop off their loud (but loveable) little buggers and enjoy a celebratory (and much deserved!) alone trip to Target, Starbucks in hand.

I know how you feel about those moms. You sort of want to chuck your lukewarm coffee at them don’t you? How dare they whine about being stuck in the house with their kids for a week or two or even a whole summer? I know, because that’s how I used to feel.

So I don’t begrudge you for it.

I know your life is one continuous loop of Groundhog Day. Up three times during the night, coffee at 5 a.m., chasing toddlers, nursing babies, maybe showering (probably not), cooking dinner, falling asleep on the couch, and repeat. Every day. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year.

I know what your days look like. I know that there are weeks when there’s no difference between Saturday and Wednesday and that you’re up at 4 a.m. some mornings, longing for the days of your youth when you didn’t know this was an an actual time to be awake.

I see you.

I see you, mom at the grocery store on a 25 degree day. I know how much work you put into bundling up that little boy riding in the front of the cart. And I see the baby in her carrier, wrapped head to toe in a blanket covered in spit up. I know you’re probably cold too, but a coat and hat for you was just another thing to worry about. You can’t imagine a grocery store trip without them hanging off of you. What must that be like?

I know there’s no break in your future. There’s no change coming anytime soon.

I know you won’t say things like, “Oh no. How will I manage all the kids home all day for the entire break?!” Because that’s your reality. That’s your every day. Seven days a week. 12 months a year.

I hear you.

I hear the resentment in your voice. I hear the jealousy.

I know you.

I was you.

I remember hearing comments like these and wanting to spit fire at these moms. Moms who had hours. HOURS to themselves every day. HOURS of quiet, with no one saying “Mommy” and demanding more milk–the blue bowl not the green one!–or asking you to play Candyland and watch Thomas the Train one more time. HOURS of personal space, of no one touching them, climbing on them, sucking on their nipples, watching them pee, and puking in their hair.

How dare they?!

How dare they complain about a two-week stint of having their kids around when come January 3, they can shower again. They can think again. They can be something other than a butt-wiper and crumb sweeper between the hours of 9 and 3. They can sit at their computer (like I’m doing now) and use their brains again.

I hated them and longed to be them. And now I am one of them. And I, too, wonder how I’ll “get through” the long winter break. And I joke about it on social media and laugh about how much wine I’ll drink after the long days stuck in the house with my three kids.

I got to the end of that tunnel, mommies. I saw the light. And it was glorious.

So I don’t begrudge you, moms of littles. If you want to hate me right now, you go right ahead. No hard feelings on my end. I’ll be here, waiting for you. And when you get to the other side and bring that last child to school in a few years, let’s get a coffee. My treat.

Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson is a freelance writer who is known on social media as The 21st Century SAHM. She is an assistant editor at Sammiches and Psych Meds, staff writer and social media manager for Scary Mommy, and is the author of I Brushed My Hair Today, A Mom Journal for Mostly Together Moms. Follow Karen on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/21stcenturysahm/, Twitter https://twitter.com/21stcenturysahm , and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/the21stcenturysahm/

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

The Only Way to Freeze Time Is to Take the Picture—So I’ll Take as Many as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two kids sitting in wagon, color photo

Life ebbs and flows. Seasons come and go. One of the reasons I take so many photos is because they are the only way to make time stand still. They provide a nostalgia that can’t compete with anything else. They help us remember the exact moment captured and show us how fast time is fleeting. It doesn’t matter if their texture is glossy or matte. It doesn’t matter if they are in a frame or on a screen. It doesn’t matter if they are professional or if someone’s thumbprint is in the upper corner. All that matters is the moment...

Keep Reading

For the Love of the Game and a Little Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Several baseball players with coach, color photo

When your babies are babies, you think the days are never going to end. You’re so filled up with love for them, but oh momma, you are sooo exhausted. One day runs into the other, runs into the other, and so on. Those days are filled with feedings, diaper changes, sleepless nights, and milk-drunk smiles. You get all the firsts. The first smile. The first laugh. The first words. The first crawl. Before you know it, they’re walking. Walking turns into running. But hold your breath momma, these are the good old days. These long days and even longer nights...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime