So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I was talking with a friend recently. One who is a great mama. Her babies are healthy and clothed and fed and loved. And lovely. She is married and totally in love. And this mama was talking about staying home. About how she doesn’t love it. Not at all. About how she never has. It’s been a constant struggle. But how she feels like she’s sort of stuck in it. 
 
And I remembered. I remembered feeling that after number one. And then, after number two. And then again, after number three. 
 
I remember that I always questioned if I was supposed to feel so conflicted if indeed, I was making the right choice. I wondered if I was doing my babes a disservice by being home with them if I wasn’t absolutely truly, madly, deeply in love with the situation. 
 
But everyone told me I was supposed to love it. Everyone would say, you’re so lucky or it’s such a luxury. And deep down, I would resent those statements. I know that doesn’t make sense. And some moms will think, “ummmm really?” But it didn’t feel that way to me when I was missing making an income, being social and “using my brain” at work {and yes, I know very much that SAHMs use their brains}. It didn’t feel that way when I was exhausted at the end of every day. It didn’t feel that way when every moment, I held in anxiety that I wasn’t the very type of mother they needed me to be. 
 
And then, cancer happened in my life. And now, after cancer, I find myself pretty content with staying home. Maybe it’s because of a perspective shift. Or maybe it’s because I believe that the right very flexible arrangement will come my way when it’s time. Maybe because I realized through treatment that I have no desire to spend even 25 hrs a week in an office at this stage. At their stages. And yes, I realize, what a “luxury” it is to have that option. 
 
Also, after having a life changing diagnosis… A period of time with my life, flashing before my eyes… I determined that the times I’ve felt happiest as a mom — where I’ve felt the most secure with myself — is decisions made have been for me, for my kids, for our family. Not because it was the popular thing. Or the easiest thing. Or because of someone else’s opinion. I was being the mom I wanted to be. The mom that I believed my kids needed me to be. The mom that I needed me to be. 
 
Let me assure you of one thing that I know for certain: life is too damn short, mama. It’s too short to mom someone else’s way. To make everyone else miserable while making your existence completely invisible. To take your feelings out of the equation. Just because you think it’s what sounds best for your kids.
 
It is hard. Motherhood is. If you dispute that, 100%, well, then we will just have to agree to disagree. Because I believe it is hard. But motherhood is also beautiful. Messy. Full of joy. Hilarious. Comforting. Challenging. Life-affirming. Spiritual. Loud. Monotonous. Infuriating. Freaking incredible. And a lifestyle and humanstyle I am so amazed I get to live. 
 
But it’s full of choices. Choices on birthing. Feeding. Diapering. Sleeping. Pacifying. Swaddling. Circumcisions. And that is just in the first week of the parenting gig. Then you have discipline. Screen time. Chores. Responsibility. Religion. Sex discussions. Sports. Activities. Driving. Drinking. School or no school. Organic or conventional. Staying home or not. One kid or five. 
 
Sheesh. Just thinking about it all makes my head spin. 
 
And then, thinking of what everyone else thinks about it all. Jeeeeeezaloo. That’s. Exhausting. 
 
So let’s try to not. Let’s try to not hafta consider what everyone else thinks of what they think our parenting choices look like from a distance. Let’s try to start. To start being the moms we want to be for our own family. Making the decisions that we make with our spouses because of our vision for our life together. The decisions we make based on the personalities and strengths of each child we have. And recognizing that the things, sometimes, that make mama or daddy happy or content, are what make our children great. And make them “our people.” Little extensions of us. Children, I believe, are sent to us to make our lives better… more spontaneous… more whimsical… more fragile. Not broken… or scary… or like watching the sand slip through an hourglass… hopeful for the next day and then the next but never feeling unstuck.
 
So hear this, mama who feels like she’s stuck at home. Mama who feels like she’s getting pressure to wean her two year old. Mama who feels like the co-sleeping she loves so much has to be a secret. Mama who feels like the Hostess Powdered donuts she gives her two-year-old every morning must never be seen. Mama who wants her kid to have screen time every day so she has sanity. Mama who wants to pop a beer every day at her desk before she goes home to her kiddos. Mama who wants her twelve-year-old to mow the lawn and clean the house. Mama who wants to give her daughter a talk about abstinence or the pill. Mama who feels like there’s pressure for your child to look a certain way. Mama who wants to teach your kiddo about Jesus. Mama who wants to talk to your kids about Love being Love. Mama who feels like she can’t wait for high school to end. Mama who feels like she will crumble when it does. Mama who feels like she is alone. Mama who has become a grandma. And is trying to navigate motherhood, in a whole new way. 
 
To all the mamas… Any and all of you questioning yourselves as mothers because you are playing the game of comparing your ways to others’… To my dear, sweet mama friend who is feeling stuck. And unhappy. You can mom your own way. Got it? You can mom your way. You can. And slowly, once you get the hang of it, you will start to feel free. Content. And proud of the mother you are. Because you will stop judging yourself by the mother you aren’t. You will start loving mothering. You will find the joy. And you will stop feeling stuck. 
 
You can mom your own way. And maybe, you ought to start, today. 
 
 
 httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd2TnFj66qo

Ashli Brehm

Ashli Brehm = Thirtysomething. Nebraska gal. Life blogger. Husker fan. Creative writer. Phi Mu sister. Breast cancer survivor. Boymom. Premie carrier. Happy wife. Gilmore Girls fanatic. Amos Lee listener. Coffee & La Croix drinker. Sarcasm user. Jesus follower. Slipper wearer. Funlover. Candle smeller. Yoga doer. Pinterest failer. Anne Lamott reader. Tribe member. Goodness believer. Life enthusiast. Follow me at http://babyonthebrehm.com/

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

No Screens Before 7: How Our Family Broke Free of the Screentime Habit

In: Living, Motherhood
Kids using smartphones

“We still have three more minutes!” my 7-year-old says, bouncing with Christmas-like anticipation and excitement. “Well,” I say, looking from him to his 9-year-old sister, “what could you do for three minutes?” “Leg wrestle!” they exclaim and run to the carpeted living room. This life-filled exchange was not happening in my home just a couple of months ago.  In spite of my best efforts, screen time had taken over. Both the kids and I would slip into this zombie-like, space-time vortex. I would look up and know it wasn’t healthy, but it was just so easy to just keep on...

Keep Reading

You Don’t Have to Lose Yourself to Be a Good Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman brushing wet hair

There is nothing wrong with losing yourself in motherhood. Diving in head first, serving your kids and spouse endlessly, never asking for a break, being proud for providing an amazing childhood for your kids, and allowing mom to become your entire identity. But what if you don’t want that?  When did this become the standard of motherhood we are all expected to achieve? Why does society say the best mom is the one that’s 110% physically and emotionally available for her kids all the time and never does anything for herself? Why are you less of a mom if you...

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 Know It’s Just Summer Camp but I Miss You Already

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Kids by campfire

You would’ve thought I was sending you off to college. The way I triple-checked to make sure you had everything you needed and reminded you about the little things like brushing your teeth and drinking plenty of water about a thousand times. You would’ve thought I was sending you to live on your own. The way I hugged you tight and had to fight back some tears. The way you paused before leaving just to smile at me. The way I kept thinking about that boyish grin all the way home. The way I kept thinking about how you’re looking...

Keep Reading

I Want My Boys To Become Men of Character

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boys with arms around each other by water

I’m a single mama of two young boys. As a woman raising young boys, I’ve thought a lot about how I want them to act—as kids and adults. We joke around that I’m not raising farm animals, and we don’t live in a frat house. I’m trying to plant seeds now so they grow into men with positive character traits. They burp, fart, spray toothpaste on the sink and somehow miss the toilet often, but I’m trying to teach them life lessons about what it means to be great men and gentlemen.  Interactions with other men provide opportunities for us...

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

The Kids are Grown—Now What?

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Middle aged couple at home smiling

Between video chats with our son stationed overseas, our daughter flits in and out our door from college while the shoe jungle by the front door and lack of peanut butter in the house are proof our youngest adult son is still under our roof.  Our kids are now independent—almost. Gone are the days of diapers, endless food preparations, naps (well, not for me), and announcing everyone’s daily schedule like a calendar drill sergeant. After years of simultaneously spinning multiple plates on various body parts, we managed—by God’s grace—to raise three kids to adulthood. We made it! (High five!) We...

Keep Reading

Until There Was a Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother looking at son and smiling, color photo

I never believed in love at first sight . . . until there was a boy.  A boy who made my heart whole the first time he looked at me.  A boy who held my hand and touched my soul at the same time.  A boy who challenged me and helped me grow. A boy who showed me that, even on the worst days, the world is still a beautiful place.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything A boy who reminded me how to laugh until tears ran down my cheeks. A boy who tested my patience...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Heart Remembers These Sweet Moments Forever

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and baby laughing

Motherhood gives you all the feelings. It’s hard not to be utterly thankful for and grieve the little things of your last baby, trying to take in all of the firsts and lasts. Every bin of clothes and baby gear packed up produces a tiny crack in a mother’s heart, breaking just a little bit more each time she says goodbye. It’s not that she needs those baby clothes, but it’s the memories each outfit held that are difficult for her to let go of. She does not want to forget those beautiful moments. When she looks at that bin...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime