So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I am organized. I am efficient. I have my stuff together.

This is part of my daily mantra.

I include this in my mantra because there was a time when I was a hot mess. And while it was hard at the time, I learned so much about myself as a mother and as a woman that I wouldn’t take it back.

The moment I realized I was a hot mess is etched into my memory. It was my rock bottom moment.

I had just picked my son up from pre-k and he was wearing a sticker reminding parents of picture day the next day (thank you to his amazing teachers).

Seeing the picture day sticker, I realized that my son needed a haircut. Bad.

So we drove to the nearest Supercuts with a grumpy baby sister in tow for a quick haircut before dinner.

As he was getting settled in the salon chair, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I almost cried. I was wearing maternity pants, had baby boogers on my shirt, a messy top knot (not the cute kind), and no makeup. I looked exhausted and beaten.

And I was.

I had two kids under five. My 8-month-old was nursing like a newborn during yet another growth spurt and wasn’t sleeping through the night. I was working from home and we had just moved from the East Coast to the Midwest away from all our family and friends.

I realized how little I was taking care of myself. Brushing my teeth and putting on clean-ish clothes was the best I could manage on any given day. Between work, kids and a new home, I was frazzled and stressed.

I knew I wasn’t taking care of myself but I told myself I had babies and I wasn’t supposed to be taking care of myself right now.

But at that moment in the Supercuts mirror, I realized the way I looked was a reflection of how I felt on the inside.

When I got home I had a good long cry and then decided I needed to make some changes. I needed to start taking better care of myself.

I remember somebody telling me that in times of economic downturns, sales of lipstick and nail polish skyrocket. Whether this is true or not I have no idea, but the theory is that these small purchases help women feel better during times of stress.

So, the next day I woke up and put on a cute pair of jeans and a top without baby boogers on it. I did my makeup. The only people who saw me that day, and most days, were the teachers in the car line. But I wasn’t doing it for them. I was doing it for me. For the first time in what felt like forever, I felt better.

That little bit of positivity felt like so much. And it motivated me even more.

I threw my maternity pants out and drank more water. I did yoga for the first time since my oldest was born.

Instead of focusing on all the things that needed to get done, I started focusing on gratitude. Gratitude for the big things and the small things in my life.

And the amazing thing was that I started to feel better. I started to feel like myself again.

That one moment at Supercuts, when I saw myself as I really was, was a powerful moment in my life. Through the process of becoming myself after babies, I learned the power of gratitude and mindset. I learned that with enough mental fortitude we can talk ourselves out of, or into, anything. And a great lipstick can go a long way.

Jill

Jill is a work-at-home mom to two sweet and crazy kiddos. Her goal is inspire other moms to get organized and simplify their lives with uncomplicated strategies to manage their finances, home, and life. You can find all her tips and tricks at https://organizationaltoast.com.

I Want My Kids To Know God’s Always There

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding cross in the palm of her hand, color photo

A few months ago, my friend lost his dad. And it impacted our community profoundly. Because he loved SO BIG. Everywhere he went, he couldn’t help but talk to and engage with people—sharing a joke to make them smile or offering a compliment to build them up. He was a connector. And in all the connecting he did, he was quick to remind everyone he encountered that our hearts are ever connected to a God who loves us. It had become his thing to pass out little wooden crosses to those he happily chatted up as he went about each...

Keep Reading

As My Children Grow, I Miss It All—Even the Sick Days

In: Kids, Motherhood
Toddler on mom's shoulder

I whisk my daughter through the doors of urgent care and cradle her head as I stand behind three other mamas clinging to their babies. We’re each rocking in different ways but moving nonetheless. The silent, comforting rhythm of motherhood. I see sad, sick eyes from the babies with their heads nestled into the necks of their mama. I’m tired from the sleepless night, and I shift from foot to foot. There is hushing and humming and back-patting. A pacifier drops to the floor. All of a sudden my daughter feels heavy. A vague sinking feeling comes over me, like...

Keep Reading

Life with Autism Is Full of Ticking Time Bombs

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother, father, teen daughter, color photo

Many of us who live with autism are familiar with the comings and goings of the ticking time bomb—one that disappears for periods of time, so much so that we might forget about it. Then, suddenly, this bomb drops at our doorstep in the form of a returning or new obstacle, so intense that it causes us to pause our lives, alter our plans, maybe even change our current paths. For our family, the new challenge has been sudden, piercing, sporadic screams. Not constant, not even often, thankfully, but jolting nonetheless. So here we were, in the midst of our...

Keep Reading

In Motherhood, Grace Makes up the Difference

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young child

Today, I have been the mean mom, the tired mom, the overwhelmed mom, the anxious mom, the impatient mom, and the want to turn in my mom card mom. Mostly, I’ve felt like the I have no clue what I’m doing mom. I have raised my voice 47 times, told children to “suck it up, buttercup” 36 times, and have intervened in approximately 83 sibling disagreements. I have rolled my eyes 59 times, sighed 148 times, and visibly showed other signs of impatience, well, way too many times. RELATED: I’m a Good Mom, You Just Caught Me in a Bad...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, Your Best Is Enough

In: Motherhood
Mom and young boy with backpack

I am my own worst enemy—I forget to let myself off, give myself time, free myself of guilt.  I am a stay-at-home mom, but I am not a superhero.  For the most part, I absolutely love, treasure, and soak up every happy, special, tough, gritty moment of motherhood. I am forever grateful for this journey. But I also feel extremely guilty any time the load builds a little too high. I forget that I too am allowed emotions, time off, and forgiveness.  As a rule, I don’t snap. I am a patient parent. I discuss and I cuddle and I reason...

Keep Reading

I Know My Friends Aren’t Bothered by My Messy House, but I Am

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Sad woman by laundry pile

My house screams at me. It screams to clear off the kitchen counters, to put away the clean clothes, to organize the shoe collection in our entry, to gather up the scattered toys, to sweep the crumbs up, to place the throw pillows back on the couch, to clean off the table—you get the idea. Everything in my sight speaks volumes to the state it does not want to be in, for the chaos it is imposing.  Keeping home is a labor of love and never of balance for me. Everything that is cleaned, made, or organized will always get...

Keep Reading

I’ll Never Be Ready for My Son To Let Go of Me

In: Motherhood, Tween
Tween boy and mom

The arts-and-crafts tote overflowed with cylinders of petrified Play-Doh, crispy-bristled paintbrushes, and Elmer’s glue bottles with clogged applicator tips. Underneath it sat a stack of spiral notebooks with homework from previous years: simple fractions, facts about fossils and chlorophyll, vocabulary words neatly written on blue lines. Star Wars characters were sporadically doodled in the margins.  None of its contents had been touched in years. Yet, the very second I tipped it upside down into the garbage dumpster—unwittingly blasting a flume of silver glitter into the garage ceiling—I felt deep, aching sadness and enormous regret.  When did fuzzy pipe-cleaners become nostalgia-worthy?...

Keep Reading

To the Emotional Mom of a High School Senior, Enjoy It

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Teen girl in graduation gown, color photo

Dear moms of high school seniors, I see your posts on social media, and I sense your excitement, mixed with anxiety and a bit of sadness (if we are being completely honest). I notice your photos of all the lasts, and I celebrate your child’s accomplishments with you. I see you, and I know you because I have been you, twice now.  I feel the almost palpable sinking feeling that hits in the pit of your stomach when you think about them moving on to the next stage. How is it possible they have grown from such a tiny, helpless...

Keep Reading

Dear Preschool Teachers, I’m Going to Miss You So Much

In: Child, Motherhood
preschool teacher sitting with kids on her lap

Dear preschool teachers, There’s just no other way to say this— I’m going to miss you so much. You are the first adults outside of our family to spend your days with my children, and watching your relationships grow and develop this year has been the most bittersweet privilege. I’m going to miss the bright smiles that light up your faces every time my kids come bounding toward you on good days, and how tenderly you hold their little hands and guide them away from me on the tough ones. RELATED: Dear Preschool Graduate, I’m So Proud of You I’m...

Keep Reading

Don’t Let Anyone Rush You, Mama

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother with two kids at home relaxing

From the moment our children are born, other people make it challenging to stay in the present moment—they start asking questions that look forward instead of at the now we are in. Can you believe how big she’s getting, where did your newborn go? Oh my goodness, he’ll be walking any day now! Are you thinking about preschool? What will you do when they’re both in school? What will you do when your baby goes to college? While these questions may come with good intentions, they’re not helpful at all. We moms need to be allowed to be fully in...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections