So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

We are not a co-sleeping family. For those first several weeks of life, our babies slept in a bassinet next to our bed. But through the rest of their infancy—the chunky thighs and hungry midnight tummies and the newfound freedom without crib rails—our children have slept in their own beds, with rare exception.

My reason is simple: I do not sleep well (if at all) with a child next to me.

Selfish, much? 

Maybe.

But the rewards of lying awake listening to an angry, sad little child in the next room for several nights outweigh by far, in my opinion, the literal *years* of restless sleep with a kicking toddler and the stress of trying to convince an older child to sleep alone.

That said, grace to the co-sleepers. Whether by choice or exhaustion—you do you.

But, I digress.

Aside from my own desire to actually sleep at night, another motivator exists for our insistence on this issue.

Someday our children will not sleep under our roof.

This sounds like a great reason to let the little kiddos crawl in at 3 am, but I am convinced that though we parent in the present, we parent FOR the future.

One night, my husband and I were watching TV in bed when our son shuffled quietly into our room and said, “I can’t sleep because I’m scared. I see scary things whenever I close my eyes.” His lip started to quiver as he anxiously twisted our throw blanket around his fingers and blinked the tears away.

“I think you’re overly tired,” I replied, not unkindly. “It’s after 11:00. I want you to get back in bed and don’t get back up unless it’s an emergency.”

He turned to leave and I called after him, “You can always read your Bible if you are afraid and can’t sleep.”

He didn’t say anything.

And we didn’t hear from him again until morning when he woke up well-rested and happy.

Now.

I understand that reads harshly. Reading it back to myself now, I can almost feel the heat from tender mamas who would never say such things to their children. I get it.

But here’s the context of my reply to him: We had spent the whole day together. I was kind, we connected. I listened to his stories and praised his pitching arm. My son was safe, loved, fed . . . and tired. He had already been into our room more than once and . . . I know this kid.

I know when he is actually scared and when he has worked himself into nervous anxiety because he needs to sleep and his brain is hyped up on too much screen time. My cool demeanor was me not joining the chaos; but rather being the voice of reason.

Also? He is 10. His years under our roof will continue to dwindle. Someday he will lie awake in a bed under a different roof and his dad and I will not be just up the stairs. Kids do not just magically inherit mature coping skills when they leave us. They learn them slowly under our care. 

When he has worked himself into exhausted anxiety during finals week at college, or the night before interviewing for his dream job . . . 

When being an adult is hard, and providing for a family is overwhelming and stressful . . . 

I hope he reaches for his Bible and finds his strength in the Lord.

I hope he sometimes tells himself, “I’m just tired” and looks those scary faces in the eye while he falls asleep. 

When my husband and I moved our boys downstairs to make room for their coming baby sister, they were nervous. After being just across the hall, the basement seemed so far away. What was that sound? And would we hear them if they called to us? And what if they felt sick?

After many reassuring talks and a very compassionate dad who slept downstairs with them for the first few nights, it was time for them to trust beyond their angst.

We put our parental foot down and we realized something:

This wasn’t us AGAINST them.
This was us FOR them.

For them becoming confident and trusting.
For them learning to be afraid and stay anyway.
For them developing coping skills that will last a lifetime.
For them leaning into Jesus in the scary places.

I chatted with my 10-year-old one morning about being afraid at night. I asked him what he ended up doing to be able to fall asleep.

“I prayed,” he said, looking up at me. Then, shyly, he looked down and said softly, “Then I told myself that I am a child of God. And I fell asleep.”

I sent my son back to bed when he was afraid. And I don’t regret it for a second.

Sara Frank

My name is Sara Frank.  I am a stay-at-home mom of four in a small town in Nebraska. I love good coffee and look forward to that quiet glass of wine with my husband after all the kids go to bed. Find me on Facebook at Frankly, Sara

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

10 Tips to Banish Teenage FOMO

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen with red hair smiling

Do you ever feel like the whole world is having a party—and you weren’t invited Maybe you worry about being included in the right groups or invited to the right sleepovers. Maybe you envy the relationships you see at school or youth group or feel jealous of the perfect social media posts showing others making memories together. If you’re a teen in 2022, you’re probably well acquainted with the fear of missing out. Knowing or wondering what you’re missing or who is getting together without you can leave you feeling lonely. It can leave you lonely and a little blue....

Keep Reading

I’m So Thankful For This Little Family

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Toddler boy and infant girl, color photo

I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, and praying for a life like I have now. Praying for a man to love me, to be loyal to me, to want a family with me, to provide for me, to show me what stability felt like and what it felt like to not ever have to worry . . . and here he is right in front of me. I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, praying for a house I could make a home and raise my family in. Here it is right in front of me. But most of...

Keep Reading

How I Like My Coffee

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter drink coffee

I like my coffee with hazelnut creamer and a dash of almond milk. I like my coffee cold and neglected on the countertop because I’m busy soothing my new baby boy, the one who has made me a mother. In my long robe and slippers, I pace the kitchen floor and hold my swaddled son close to my heart. When his fussing grows quiet, I can hear the ticking of the big clock in the den. The dawn slowly reveals itself, brightening the kitchen in increments. It’s hard to imagine keeping my eyes open until he’s ready to nap again....

Keep Reading

Compassion Holds My Heart

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Child hugging mother

I lean my head in through the window of his van. The first thing I notice is the funny smell. Like cigarettes. And maybe body odor. The second? His tired, wrinkle-lined eyes. They’re dull, lethargic even. My daughter scrunches up her nose. I give her that look and try to hide my own misgivings. But Compassion climbs in the car with me.  And as the taxi driver guides the car toward our destination, I ask him about his story. Turns out he’s been driving all night. Till 5:30 this morning. Taking people home who were too drunk to drive themselves....

Keep Reading

I Was the Girl Who Ran Away From God

In: Faith
Woman standing in grass, black-and-white photo

I was the girl. I was the girl who’d do anything to get high as a teenager. I was the girl who craved love and just wanted to be wanted. I was the girl who wasn’t afraid of anything. I was the girl who stopped believing there was a God. I was the girl who said I would never go back to church. I was the girl who was certain none of it was real anyway because I was wasting my time going places like that. I was the girl who let the heartache and disappointment of this old world...

Keep Reading

I Prayed for You Before I Knew You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, color photo

Baby, I have prayed for you—even before I knew who you would be.  I prayed I would be a mom one day when I was too little to know what I was praying for and again when I really thought my body would not be able to carry a baby. I prayed for you.  I prayed every day as you grew in my belly that you would be healthy, happy, and strong.  I prayed at every doctor’s appointment and scan that I would hear your heartbeat loud and strong.  I prayed for your arrival—for you to be safe and for...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, I Miss You

In: Faith, Grief
Grown woman and her mother, color photo

Dear Mom, Yesterday I went over to your house. I was hoping you would open the door, but Daddy greeted me with his sweet smile. Yes, he still has a mustache. The one you hate, but I did manage to trim it up for him. I cut his hair too.   We talked about you over coffee and waited for you to join us, but you never did. He’s doing his best to do this life without you in it, but his eyes are clouded with memories and mixed with pain. He misses you, Momma. RELATED: I Didn’t Just Lose...

Keep Reading

Spaghetti Sauce Faith

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Mother and little girl holding a bowl of spaghetti, color photo

It was Sunday afternoon, and I was loading my grocery cart higher than I ever had in my life. My husband and I, along with our two kids under two years old, had been living with his parents for three months. We moved from our Florida home to look for a house in Georgia, and they graciously took us in. This was the day I loaded up on groceries—filling an empty refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. My shopping list was all the things. I needed to buy the smallest of table ingredients like salt and garlic powder to the big things...

Keep Reading

Dear Introverted Mom, Take that Break

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman outside with book and food

I am alone, in a hotel room, 20 minutes from home, lying back in the crisp bed, feet propped up on billowing white pillows. A good book is in my hand. The large window beside me overlooks the Mississippi River as the sun slowly sets and people unwind for a southern Louisiana evening in downtown Baton Rouge. I’ll probably order room service for dinner. I spent the afternoon at the coffee shop across the street, sipping on a deliciously caffeinated beverage carefully made to my liking. I ate a delicate snack filled with fruits, fancy lettuce, and expensive cheese while...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime