So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

“Mama did you tee-tee again?” my two-year-old asks, as he bursts through the bathroom door assessing whether my “potty time” had been successful. “Yes, son.” I replied, with less irritation in my tone than I actually felt. “Great job!” he exclaimed excitedly, and ran out of the room hollering, “I’ll go get you a sticker mommy!”  

Wonderful, I thought, with my eyes rolled heavenward. Instead of a sticker, could I just potty in private?

Before children, or even while I was pregnant, no one ever told me  I’d never go to the bathroom alone again. No one. Of course, now that I think about it, there’s a whole list of things no one ever told me.

For instance, no one ever said you’d better enjoy that hot cup of coffee now, because once Little One arrives you’ll either grow to love cold coffee or do without.

No one ever said baby wipes would become a closer companion than your own husband.

No one ever said grocery shopping would be more like training for some sort of Olympic event rather than an actual shopping trip. The only significant differences being there’s absolutely no hope of a gold medal, no recognition for a job well done, and a substantial mess on aisle 6 from the carton of blueberries slung from the cart, scattering like shot from a shotgun.

No one ever said there is no such thing as a stomach virus that only infects one member of the family, and no amount of frantic Lysol spraying or frenzied Clorox wiping will change this. It will run its course.

No one ever said you’ll never sleep through the night again. Ever. Well, actually one person was honest enough to share this with me; however, I didn’t believe him. At the time, I was eight months pregnant with my first child and propping up on five pillows in an effort to get any sleep at all. Surely it can’t be worse than this, I thought. I was wrong.

No one ever said that as a parent, you will string a series of words together forming sentences you never in a million years thought you would say. Things like, “Get the dog’s tail out of your mouth!” or “Stop licking the windows!” or “Why is there a toothbrush in the toilet?!”   

No one ever said there will always be some sort of unidentifiable, sticky and/or wet substance on your counters, clothes, face, hair, floor, car seat, sofa, or handbag.

No one ever said how much work would be involved with taking a vacation. That you would have to rent a U-haul just to carry all of the “essentials,” and the time actually spent with your precious family within the confines of the vehicle, will leave you wanting to jump from the car at the next light and hail a taxi to take you back home. Alone.

No one ever said getting everyone ready and out the door for church will be like running a 5k. You’ll be just as exhausted when you finish and sweating profusely.

No one ever said a time will come when eating PB&J at home will become preferable to going out for a steak. That eating out will morph into a totally new experience that involves no one actually eating anything, one drink knocked over dripping steadily onto your feet, two trips to the bathroom because we “just can’t hold it,” and finally dropping an extra $20 on the table in a conciliatory gesture to the server who is undoubtedly hoping he/she never sees your beautiful family again.

Yes, the list of things no one ever told me is long indeed. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you there’s another list no one ever told me about either, and it’s just as important to know.

No one ever said her sweet baby smell would be so comforting that you would close your eyes, press your face to her hair, and just breathe her in.

No one ever said his eyes would sparkle and dance when he looks at you, and his gaze would contain such adoration and pure joy just because YOU are his mom.

No one ever said that even when the deprivation of sleep feels acutely painful, her peaceful face as she sleeps so deeply cradled in your arms would soothe the ache and fill you with peace.

No one ever said his uncontained giggles, while showering his soft face with kisses, would make you giggle too.

No one ever said that her small hand clenched tightly around your one finger would give her a sense of security, and yourself a sense of belonging like you’ve never felt before.

No one ever said his boisterous high five when he finally tee-tees in the potty would cause you all to dance through the house in celebration.

No one ever said that there is a depth of love and emotion so intense it is simply too hard to put into words. It can truly only be felt in our souls. Perhaps, this is why no one ever told me.

Ginger Hughes

Ginger Hughes is the wife of a pastor, a mother to Ella and Elam, and a part-time accountant.  She is a Georgia native, but presently calls the foothills of North Carolina home.  She loves coffee, nature, and reading, but with two children under six, she struggles to find time in the day for any of the above!   She is a Christ follower and a fellow struggler on life’s journey who seeks to find joy in the everyday. Her passion for writing is fueled by the desire to offer encouragement, grace, and a deeper understanding that we are all God’s children, that we are not alone in our brokenness, and that we are all deeply loved.  You can read more of her writings at

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

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