Our fall favorites are here! 🍂

I walked upstairs after a long week of being sick. I knew it wouldn’t be pretty since I hadn’t been in the kids’ rooms for days. I expected some dirty clothes on the floor. Maybe a bin of LEGOs dumped out and the basket of doll clothes scattered across the room.

I stopped at the first threshold.


Naked Barbies, baby dolls and stuffed animals littered the floor. The art table was covered with papers and the drawers of crayons were dumped and scattered. I spotted a basket of folded laundry overturned on the bottom bunk, an upside down bin of ponies was peeking out from under a bed skirt, and everything was overlaid by a funny smell coming from the turtle aquarium on top of the dresser my daughters share.

I turned slightly to peak into my son’s room next door. It hadn’t escaped the toy tornado that had ripped through the upstairs while I had been stuck in bed. Army men, toy dragons and superhero figures fought a vicious battle for space among the ruins of a wooden block city. Board books and wooden puzzle pieces peppered the remaining space, and after hearing a tapping noise I spotted my son in the corner using his plastic hammer to beat on a bucket once full of sea creatures.

“This is ridiculous. Crazy! How did it get this way? Why, just why?”

A blonde head covered in curls popped out from behind the door. “We were playing, Mama.”

“You’re going to have to pick all of this up by yourselves! I’m not touching all of this mess!”

I sighed again, louder this time, added an eye roll, and turned down the hall toward my oldest daughter’s room.

She’s a pre-teen now, and I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. I cracked open her door and looked around.

The bed was made. Her tablet, charger and headphones were on the comforter next to an open novel. There was a bag of toiletries on her bedside table, some journals on her desk, and various hair implements and jewelry scattered on her dresser next to a picture of her and her cousin.

I looked around at the room devoid of the chaos of childhood toys. There were no dolls to pick up. There were no coloring books or LEGOs. I stared at the one lonely stuffed animal propped against her pillow, the last one left after she decided she was too old to keep the rest.

I shut the door quietly and turned back toward my younger children’s rooms.

“Here baby, let me help you clean.”

Because these days are rushing by, and you’re changing and growing faster every moment. Yesterday you were my infant and tomorrow you’ll be my teenager. Yesterday I rocked your little body close to my heart, and tomorrow I’ll sit on your bed trying to get you to share your heart.

So I’ll gladly pick up blocks today because one day soon there won’t be any more blocks to clean.

I’ll help you put away your dolls today because soon you’ll trade fixing their hair for fixing your own. Instead of dressing them up for a ball or a doctor visit, you’ll be dressing yourself for a date.

I’ll gather the superheroes, put away the sea creatures and organize the art supplies.

Today I’ll clean up the plastic tools, because tomorrow I’ll watch you using real ones.

I’ll pick up after you today, because “we were playing” is a good reason for mess—and I realize that one day soon, I’ll wish you still liked to play.

So today I’ll help you clean, because tomorrow you won’t need me to.

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 now!

Order Now

Sandra Samoska

Sandra Samoska is a stay at home wife and mom of four beautiful children. She enjoys writing about her faith, family, and how her family has grown her faith on her blog Outnumbered. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

To the Parents Facing a Child’s Illness: You Are Strong

In: Grief, Kids, Motherhood
Toddler with cast and IV looking out window

If you are the parents who just sat for hours in a cold doctor’s office to hear that your child has a life-threatening illness, you are so strong.  If you are the parents who can’t bring yourself to decorate or celebrate the unknown because you don’t know if they’ll ever come home, you are so strong.  If you are the parents who travel or relocate to deliver your child in one of the best hospitals with hopes it will change the outcome, you are so strong. If you are the parents who learn all the medical terminology so you understand...

Keep Reading

I Am a Mother Evolving

In: Grown Children, Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Mother and child walking by water in black and white photo

Those who mean well squawk the refrain— “The days are long, but the years are short.” They said I would miss it— little feet and newborn baby smell nursing in the wee hours with a tiny hand clutching mine. Tying shoes,  playing tooth fairy,  soothing scary dreams. They were fine times, but I do not wish them back. RELATED: Mamas, Please Quit Mourning Your Children Growing Up I rather enjoy these days of my baby boy suddenly looking like a young man in a baseball uniform  on a chilly Wednesday in April. And my Amazonian teenage girl  with size 11...

Keep Reading

Kids Need Grace and So Do Their Moms

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Woman touching child's forehead

We were having a hard morning. Our house was overrun with toys, I hadn’t had a chance to get dressed, and my stress level was increasing by the minute. To top it all off, my 3-year-old was having a meltdown anytime I spoke to her. Even looking in her general direction was a grave mistake. It was one of those days that as a parent, you know you’re really in for it. I was quickly losing my patience. My frustration began to ooze out of me. I snapped orders, stomped around, and my attitude quite clearly was not pleasant to...

Keep Reading

As a Nurse, This Is How I Prepared My Daughter for Her First Period

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Woman wearing sunglasses with hands on the sides of her face and smiling, black and white photo

I don’t remember my first period, which means my mother had me well prepared. This doesn’t mean I was okay with it. I remember feeling awkward and tense each time. And honestly, for many years, shopping for feminine hygiene products filled me with unease. But wait a minute! There shouldn’t be anything shameful about something that will recur for about half of a woman’s life! Who decided it was to be a sensitive subject? Aren’t we all supposed to show empathy toward each other when it comes to this?  I say, pass the Midol around, sister! I knew the time...

Keep Reading

With Grandkids, It’s The Little Things

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Nine children sitting on a couch together

We had just pulled into the driveway when our youngest grandtwins, 3-year-old Ellis and Brady, came running out the front door and down the steps to hug us. “Let me see your earrings, Grandma,” Ellis said, reaching up to pull me down to his level. “The green M&Ms!  I told you, Brady!” “Those are the ones our brother Adler picked out for you!” Brady yelled as he ushered us into the house and started going through the tote bag I always carry for them, filled with favorite books from our house and three little bags of snacks in the bottom....

Keep Reading

Childhood Is Not a Race

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Two young girls playing in creek bed, color photo

Sweet child, I know you want to grow up. You want to get older and do more and more. I see you changing day after day. You are no longer a little girl, but you’re turning into a young lady. You’re becoming this wonderful person who leads and cares for others. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. But don’t rush out of your childhood. It’s this beautiful season where wonder and discovery live. It’s this beautiful time when you don’t have to carry the weight of adulthood. It’s this beautiful time. Savor it. Slow down and enjoy it. Breathe in...

Keep Reading

There’s Something Special about Band Kids

In: Kids

There is something incredibly special about band kids. The hours of practice that begin in elementary school. It’s the squeaking and squawking of a new alto or the flutter of early flute days, high-pitched honks from a trumpet, constant and consistent tapping . . . drumming on everything. And gallons of spit too, until one day a few years down the road, you realize all that practice time has turned into an incredible melody and skill. The alarm that goes off at 5:35 a.m., and before most people are awake, band kids have sleepily found a quick breakfast bite, grabbed...

Keep Reading

You’ll Grow So Much In Kindergarten and I Can’t Wait to Watch

In: Kids
Two young children in backpacks walk toward a school building

On her seventh day of school, my kindergartener doesn’t cry. It was a long road to this day. For the first six days of school, we experienced varying degrees of screaming, clinging, running back inside our house and slamming the door, and expressing general displeasure with the whole idea of school. “I wanna stay home with YOU, Mommy!” “But Charlotte, you are bored out of your mind every day of the summer. You hate it.” “No I don’t. I LOVE IT.” “Well we can spend every afternoon after school and all weekend together. You’ll be tired of me in five...

Keep Reading

Six Feels So Much Bigger

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little girl with horse, color photo

Six . . . Six is only one number more than five,  one grade, one year . . . but it feels so different. Five is baby teeth and new beginnings. Five is venturing out into the world, maybe making a friend. Meeting a teacher. Learning to ride a bike. Six took my breath away. Six looks like a loose front tooth—tiny and wiggly, soon to be replaced by a big tooth, one that will stay forever. Six looks like a bright purple bike zooming down the driveway. RELATED: When There Are No More Little Girls’ Clothes Six looks like playing...

Keep Reading

There’s Something Special about Football Boys

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Football captains lined up at 50-yard line, color photo

There’s something about football boys.  Maybe it’s the sunrise practices when the heat is too strong mid-afternoon. Or maybe it’s the late nights lying in their beds, studying game film long after practice has ended and once their homework is done. Maybe it’s the way they look under the Friday night lights, with pads over their broad shoulders and light reflecting off their glossy helmets.  Maybe it’s intangible, something that can only be felt deep in the heart as you watch them run through the paper banner, past the cheerleaders and fans, and onto the field. Yeah, it’s true, there’s...

Keep Reading