We’d only been married six months. He was still in law school. We were still in debt. Massive debt. 

We were still getting into the groove of marriage. We were still learning to be roommates and best friends and lovers. We were still figuring out how to survive in the “and in health” part. We definitely weren’t ready to make it in the “and in morning sickness” part. 

We were still learning how to share with each other. We definitely weren’t ready to share with a baby. 

But there it was, a positive pregnancy test. 

And in a flash, our entire life changed. One little pee changed everything about life as we knew it, or were learning to know it. 

My husband came home the next day with grocery bags full of “the top 10 foods pregnant women should be eating.” He spent the whole day googling instead of studying. He spent the whole day researching instead of listening to his professors. He is rational and calm and collected, but he wasn’t ready to be a dad yet, either. 

I don’t remember everything he brought home that day, but I remember the tuna fish. I hate tuna fish. Like, get-out-of-my-face-and-into-the-trash-can-next-door hate. As soon as I saw it, I took off, out of the house and down the sidewalk. Our poor neighbors. Heaven knows what they thought. I imagine them peeking through their blinds like the crazy neighbor on Bewitched on the phone with her best friend documenting our every move: 

“OK, and the wife just starting running down the sidewalk. I dunno. I mean . . . she’s still in her work clothes. It looks like she’s wearing heels. Oh she’s gonna—she’s gonna fall. Ohhhhh! Oh, OK. There she goes. She just collapsed on the pavement. I knew she couldn’t get far.

“Ohhhh, OK. It’s getting good now. Eeeeeeeeee! He just came out of the door after her. Girl, I wonder what it is. I hope they aren’t having marital problems already. I really do. But, just between me and you, she never cooks and he’s home at really odd hours, so I wouldn’t be shocked. 

“She’s still on the ground. I don’t. I can’t hear anything. Maybe I should go help them. I can’t remember her name though. Amber? Maybe it’s Amber. Or Abby? I’ve never met him. Honestly, I don’t even think he has a job. Maybe he goes door-to-door. He always has a backpack. Gahhhhh . . . they’ve been sitting there a while. Poor things. 

“OK, OK, OK, it looks like they’re hugging now. She’s crying. Awwww, she has mascara everywhere. I wonder what kind she uses? I want to make sure I don’t buy that because it is ALL over her face. 

“OK, he helped her up. They’re walking back inside. I’ll call you later and let you know. Yes, yes. Yeah, so OK, I’ve gotta go. The meatloaf is in the oven.”

Click.

I don’t know what I was trying to run from: maybe tuna fish, maybe responsibility, maybe the weight of the unknown crashing on my body that I knew wasn’t going to be skinny much longer. I don’t know. But I ran, and I waved my arms around and I screamed “I don’t want to eat tuna fish!!! I’m not eating it and YOU can’t make me!” Thank goodness I’m not dramatic, never have been. 

Nine months passed. 

Five hours of labor passed. (Yes, it was a ridiculously easy birth. Feel free to hate me.)

Two days in the hospital passed. 

And we brought our tiny baby boy home. I was terrified of him. I was terrified of how small he felt. I was terrified of how he cried, how he turned red when he screamed, how he wouldn’t sleep. I was terrified of the way he ate. Or didn’t eat. I didn’t know! I couldn’t tell! How are you supposed to tell whether or not they are getting enough in their bellies?!?!?!?

I was terrified of his poopy diapers. 

I was terrified of trimming his fingernails. (Genuinely terrified. The first time I tried to buy baby fingernail clippers, I left Babies”R”Us with empty hands and eyes full of tears.) 

I was terrified of everything on WebMD. (Our pediatrician actually banned me from the entire internet after hearing my list of concerns.)

Now I’d love to tell you that everything just “came to me.” That everything suddenly felt natural. That everything just magically settled into place when that baby was in my arms. 

A good writer would do that. But I’m not a good writer, I’m an honest writer. So I’m gonna lay it all out for you.

Nothing got easier. Not marriage, not motherhood, not figuring out our tangled finances. Definitely not driving around in the middle of the night trying to get that baby to go to sleep. 

The truth is, we made a lot of mistakes as first-time parents. A LOT. And we still make a lot of mistakes as third-time parents, five years down the road. 

We aren’t sure that our son is at the best school for him. We aren’t sure that time-outs and chore charts and flash cards are benefiting him whatsoever. We aren’t sure how to deal with temper tantrums and back-talk and spoiled bratty attitude. We aren’t sure which sports to put him in, how many is too many, and if he has any eye-hand coordination whatsoever. We aren’t sure that he can survive on chicken nuggets alone. 

We aren’t sure of much. 

And you probably won’t be either. 

Every day is so different. Every day is so gray. Every day is so subjective to change. 

You can be sure you’re going to mess a lot of things up. You can be sure you’re going to make mistakes. You can be sure you’re going to sit there and scratch your head, and Google things, and get a lot of unwanted calls from teachers that will make you question every parenting decision you’ve ever made. 

But you can also be sure you’re going to love that baby like crazy. You can be sure that little one is going to fit right into your family, and become your family and become your whole world. You can be sure God gave you this baby for a reason, for a purpose. 

You won’t be ready. 

Parenthood isn’t really about that, though. Parenthood is about being willing: to make mistakes, to get back up, to try and try again, to love and to love more, to give your time and then give your grace and then give your last bite of chocolate cake. 

Go ahead and read the books, take the birth classes, register for way too much stuff. You still won’t be ready. And it’ll all be ok, because none of us were either. 

But you will be just what that baby needs. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Amy Weatherly

I want women to find one thing in this group: fulfillment and freedom in the fact that they are loved and worthy, and that they have an essential role to play in God's kingdom. I want them to rest in the knowledge that THEY MATTER. They are absolutely essential to God's master plan. And as they begin to sink into their roles, and memorize their lines, I want them to take a deep breath, and discover the courage to step out onto that stage. Follow Amy on her group page In & Out Beauty by Amy.

I Had to Learn to Say “I’m Sorry” to My Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom hugs tween daughter

My two oldest kiddos are at the front end of their teen years. I remember that time in my own life. I was loud, somewhat dramatic, I let my hormones control me, and I never—ever—apologized. This last part was because no one ever really taught me the value of apology or relationship repair. Now, I could do some parent blaming here but let’s be real, if you were a kid whose formative years were scattered between the late ’80s and early ’90s, did you get apologies from your parents? If so, count that blessing! Most parents were still living with...

Keep Reading

5 Things Your Child’s Kindergarten Teacher Wants You To Know

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child raising hand in kindergarten class

I am a teacher. I have committed my life to teaching children. Of course, before I began this career, I had visions of standing in front of a group of eager-eyed children and elaborating on history, science, and math lessons. I couldn’t wait to see the “lightbulb” moments when students finally understood a reading passage or wrote their first paper. And then I had my first day. Children are not cut out of a textbook (shocking, I know) but as a young 23-year-old, it knocked me right off my feet. I was thrown into the lion’s den, better known as...

Keep Reading

To the Extended Family That Shows Up: We Couldn’t Do This Without You

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Family visiting new baby in a hospital room

This picture—my heart all but bursts every time I see it.  It was taken five years ago on the day our daughter was born. In it, my husband is giving her her very first bath while our proud extended family looks on. It was a sweet moment on a hugely special day, but gosh–what was captured in this photo is so much more than that. This photo represents everything I could have ever hoped for my kids: That they would have an extended family who shows up in their lives and loves them so deeply.  That they would have grandparents,...

Keep Reading

You’re Almost Grown, But You’re Always Welcome Back Home

In: Kids, Motherhood
Teen in room studying with computer and smartphone

Dear child, In the days before you could walk or talk, there were times when you would wail—when my rocking and shushing and bouncing were seemingly futile—but it didn’t matter. Each day and night, multiple times, I always picked you up and welcomed you back into my arms. As a toddler and a preschooler, you had some pretty epic meltdowns. There were times when you would thrash and scream, and all I could do was stand by and wait for the storm to blow over. Eventually, you would run to me, and I would welcome you back with a warm embrace....

Keep Reading

No One Warned Me About the Last Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn baby, black-and-white photo

No one warned me about the last baby. When I had my first, my second, and my third, those first years were blurry from sleep deprivation and chaos from juggling multiple itty-bitties. But the last baby? There’s a desperation in that newborn fog to soak it up because there won’t be another. No one warned me about the last baby. Selling the baby swing and donating old toys because we wouldn’t need them crushed me. I cried selling our double jogger and thought my heart would split in two when I dropped off newborn clothes. Throwing out pacifiers and bottles...

Keep Reading

Parents Are Terrible Salespeople for Parenting

In: Kids, Motherhood
Tired mother with coffee cup on table, child sitting next to her

As the years of fertility start to wane, many of my childless peers are confronted with the question, “Should I have kids?” With hesitation, they turn to us parents who, frankly, seem overwhelmingly unhappy. They ask sheepishly, “Is it worth it?” We lift our heads up, bedraggled, bags under our eyes, covered in boogers and sweat and spit up, we mutter, “Of course! It’s so fulfilling!” It’s like asking a hostage if they like their captor. Sure, it’s great. We love them. But our eyes are begging for liberation. Save me, please. I haven’t slept through the night in years....

Keep Reading

Soak in the Moments because Babies Don’t Keep

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Roller coaster photo, color photo

I love marking the moments, the ones that count—making a note and storing them for memory. But I often miss out on them when it comes to our oldest. ⁣ ⁣The day he wanted to be baptized, I was at home with another kiddo who was sick. He called me from church excitedly, emphasizing he was ready and didn’t want to wait. I couldn’t argue with that, so I watched him go underwater through videos my husband and sweet friends in the congregation took. ⁣ ⁣On the day of his fifth-grade graduation, we found ourselves at the pediatrician’s office. Instead...

Keep Reading

Sometimes a Kid Just Needs a Sick Day

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy outside, color photo

My middle son stayed home from school today. He said he was sick. I’m not sure that is the truth. I was lucky enough to have a mom who was an amazing caretaker, especially when you were sick. She pulled out all the stops. A cozy clean space to be, a thermos with ice cold juice by your side, Mrs. Grass’s soup, and Days of Our Lives on the screen while she tidied up the house. It was the best feeling in the world to be home and cozy with my mom when I was sick. It felt cozy and...

Keep Reading

Sometimes We Need Someone to Just Sit With Us in Our Struggle

In: Kids, Motherhood
Sad woman sits on floor, black and white image

Early this morning, I told (yelled is more accurate) my sons to get up with the same furious ferocity I use every morning when I realize they should be ready to go, but are still unconsciously snoozing away. One son lazily said, “I’m up, Mom” (even though he was very much not up). The other son, who typically has no problems getting up, had overslept and immediately freaked out, thinking he would be late to school. He proceeded to have a mini-meltdown from the dark recesses of his bedroom. That overflowed into the hallway where I found him lying face-down,...

Keep Reading

Daughter of Mine, Do Not Let the World Extinguish Your Fire

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young daughter, color photo

Daughter of mine, I see the fire behind your eyes. Do not let it die. Daughter of mine who runs wildly and loves freely and whose anger is always whipping silently just under the surface like a pilot light, ready to ignite with one tiny spark. Do not let it die. RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine Daughter of mine, one day you will become a woman, and the world will try to steal you and mold you and tell you who to become. Do not let it. It will try to fit you in...

Keep Reading