Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

What will I do when you’re gone?

In my not-so-finest moments of being a stay at home mom, I’ve fantasized about how wonderful life will be when my 2-year-old goes to school. To be honest, how much “better” I’ve convinced myself life will be. And if I’m extra honest with you? I’ve verbalized to my son how “I can’t wait for you to start preschool” in moments of sheer exhaustion.

RELATED: I Need You to Nap But I Miss You When You Do

Nevertheless, I fantasize. Oh, the chores I will accomplish. Oh, the exercising and years worth of self-care catching up I’ll have the time for. Let’s not forget the friend’s breakfasts I can have, and hot food I’ll indulge in. Hello hot food, I was hoping we would meet again. I’ll get that oil change, that dental crown, those new pictures printed and hung up. Gosh, all the things I’ve whined about will be a possibility! Where do I begin?

I’ll shower without nursery rhymes and brush my teeth without a monkey on my leg. I’ll only have to make my bed once, too.

I’ll walk the neighborhood by myself and look out of my mind talking to you about what I see around me.

I’ll watch and play along with Drew Carey on zx instead of guessing what tools Toodles has to save the day for Mickey Mouse. I have no idea what cars and vacations cost any more, but I do know Goofy sure needs a rope to get baby bird down from the tree.

I’ll admire the table where we spent many lunches together just you and me.

RELATED: There Are 940 Saturdays Before Your Baby Turns 18

It looks so much bigger than I remember when crafts and plates were scattered everywhere.

I’ll sit by myself and imagine you were here, playing with raspberries on your fingers and fighting with me over what shape cookie cutter your sandwich should be today. I’ll look down at the crayon marks and glue we never managed to get off the wooden table and eat that quiet, peaceful, lonesome lunch I wanted so bad for years.

I’ll finish lunch and walk over to the playroom, where everything will be in its right place. You haven’t been home to make a mess of it. I don’t need to tidy. Lucky me?

I’ll run errands and mistakenly walk around the car to grab you from your car seat. I’ll grab that Publix shopping cart with a kid’s steering wheel.

I’ll be able to listen to Taylor Swift without complaints from the backseat peanut gallery.

I’ll come home, and you still won’t be here. I bet you’re having a great day with your friends. I’m confident you’re being a good sharer and even better friend to your classmates. I can’t wait to hear about it at 12:45. Gosh, the time has never gone slower—even slower than when you were in your LEGO phase and we had to play with them from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. only breaking for diaper changes and meals.

RELATED: I Hope I Loved You Enough Today

I get it now why moms are first in the carpool and at the daycares. Sure sometimes it’s for traffic, but I’m betting those moms sitting in their cars outside the school a half-hour early just miss their kids and want to feel closer to them.

Perhaps they’ll catch a glimpse of them running back inside from the playground . . . and they’ll feel whole again.

You’ll go to school, and I’ll go back to the me before you.

But what if I don’t want that me anymore? I take it back—every naive wish to be alone.

Oh, darling, what will I do when you’re really gone? I’m not ready to find out.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Jennifer Bailey

Stay at home mom enjoying one little boy and navigating parenting one trip to Target at a time.

He’s Slowly Walking Away with Footprints As Big As Mine

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Teen boy walking along beach shore

The true measure of a mother’s love is her willingness to wake up before the sun on vacation. On a recent trip to the shore, my youngest son begged to walk the beach at dawn to look for shells. So, I set my alarm, tumbled out of a warm, king-sized bed with extra squishy pillows, glared at my dead-to-the-world husband, and gently woke my 11-year-old. Without so much as a drop of coffee, we headed out into the morning, the sun still below the ocean horizon. With each step, I shed my zombie-like state and took in the quiet, salt-kissed...

Keep Reading

Are You Watching?

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little girl playing goalie at soccer practice, color photo

I brought a book to my 7-year-old daughter’s soccer practice. To be honest, I was looking forward to one hour of time when I didn’t have to do anything but sit. No one would be asking me questions, and no one would need anything from me. I wasn’t in charge. So, I set up my lawn chair, got cozy, and opened the book. But then I happened to glance up as it was her turn to run a drill. The coach was passing each kid the ball for them to kick into the goal. She stepped forward, kicked, and made...

Keep Reading

Dear Sully

In: Child, Motherhood
Little boy smiling holding parents' hands

Dear Sully,  Thank you for changing our lives! Many times when someone thinks about autism they think of it negatively. But I want to talk about autism in a positive light. I want to talk about what our son’s autism has taught us.  We wanted to write this letter to you, my beautiful boy, letting you know just how much you have changed our lives and the things you have taught us.  You have made us more compassionate toward others. You have shown us the ability to not judge others because you never know what struggles they are facing.  You...

Keep Reading

She’s Stepping Into Her Own Self and I’m Learning To Let Her

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Smiling young girl

I was recently asked, “What age do you think your daughter will want to decorate her own room?” I was stumped by the question. I never considered that my 7-year-old daughter would one day replace the unicorn head hanging from her wall or the pink color scheme weaved throughout her furniture pieces. Of course, I knew her room wouldn’t stay that way forever. Still, I had never considered the magnitude of emotions I may experience when that day comes.   The first years of parenting a little girl are filled with externally swayed ideas of how they should dress and...

Keep Reading

You Fill Our Family With Laughter

In: Child, Motherhood
Laughing little girl, black and white photo

Little girl, Sometimes, you have a hard time finding your place. You joined our family at seven. You were so sweet but so unsure. There are ways you’re growing . . . changing . . . grieving . . . struggling. and we don’t always know how to help.  However, we listen, we talk, and we reach out to people who know more than we do. Despite all you are going through, there is a strength that always rises to the top. You are funny. And you find the comedy in everything around you.  RELATED: I Love the Laughter That...

Keep Reading

You Gave Him So Much More than a Haircut

In: Child, Motherhood
Baby boy with long hair, color photo

“Thank you for cutting his hair,” I’ve told Emily many times in passing, or lightheartedly over text. I wish I could show her what it actually means in my heart. “I’ll go in by myself,” he says. Instantly, my mind flashes from the achingly handsome 10-year-old standing in front of me to the toddler he once was. I see his 2-year-old self standing before me in our mudroom. Fresh from Kids Cuts, a soggy sticker on his T-shirt that reads “I GOT MY HAIRCUT.” A red and blotchy face from crying, eyes swollen. The buzz cut was the quickest way...

Keep Reading

Time Slips Like Sand Through a Mother’s Fingers

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Son kissing mother

I take a handful of sand and watch the granules gradually slip between my fingers. My 1-year-old digs in the sand, then puts the yellow plastic shovel in his mouth. I chuckle at the grimace on his face and dust away sand from his lips. It feels like yesterday my oldest boy had the same wispy blonde hair that turned platinum in the summer, sweet dimples on his hands and knees. Now, his hair has darkened and his legs have lengthened. And somewhere along the way, he stopped calling me Mommy, switching to a simpler Mom. I didn’t even notice...

Keep Reading

Tuck the Moon Inside Your Heart, Sweet Girl

In: Child, Motherhood
Little girl and mother at bedtime

Earlier this month, the astrophotographer Marcella Giulia Pace published the most amazing photograph that depicted 48 different colors of a full moon, captured over the course of 10 years. It is a stunning photograph, showing the moon bathed in the most magnificent ombre hues of reds, purples, blues, oranges, and browns. The colors of the Moon seen from the Earth.#NASAMoonSnap #NASAArtemis @NASAArtemis — Marcella Giulia Pace (@enrosadire) August 20, 2022 When I first saw it, I just stopped and stared at it for a long while, absorbing the nuanced grandeur of the image. How special it was that—for 10...

Keep Reading

I Know What It’s Like To Have a Difficult Child

In: Child, Motherhood
Little girl kneeling on deck, color photo

One Sunday morning during church, I was standing around bouncing my fussy premature baby around the cry room. This room is special—a place for nursing moms and moms with young kids to watch the live sermon on a monitor. I wasn’t alone, two other moms sat on the couches, and we were all chatting. A beautiful but tired mom sat with her little girl snuggled in her arms, gazing at the lights.  “She’s so chill. She’s like this all the time, much easier than my other son.”  I looked over at her with big eyes and a laugh, “I’m jealous!...

Keep Reading

His First Haircut Was the Start of Letting Go

In: Child, Motherhood, Tween
Toddler smiling and holding popsicle, color photo

My son has the most beautiful curls. I remember when his hair started growing as a baby and a little ringlet appeared. My momma heart was bursting with excitement. Yes, I will admit something as superficial as a curl made me squeal.  The kid just has adorable hair—and where does this wondrous flow come from? He didn’t inherit it from me, and his dad doesn’t have a curl to boot either. In a way, it’s become my youngest’s trademark.  The day came for his first haircut, and then his second one. I remember watching his curls fall to the ground...

Keep Reading