Motherhood

moth·er·hood

/muh·thr·hud/

The nurturing of children from the deepest places of your heart, rooting for them to be their best selves while allowing grace when they (or you) fall short; tired, proud, overwhelmed, joyful, amused and busy—often simultaneously 

Here’s How to Help Your Kids Fight a Cold Naturally and Quickly

Here’s How to Help Your Kids Fight a Cold Naturally and Quickly

Oh no… The dreaded sneeze, sniffle, or fever has made its first appearance. Immediately your mama’s mind fills with questions: Are they getting sick? What kind of sick is it? Where did they get it? Did we expose anyone else? Are their siblings acting sick? Can I keep them from getting it? Can I avoid getting it? Do I need to cancel our upcoming plans? How long will we be quarantined? How can I help my kids fight a cold? And then, the most important question that we will cover today: What can I do to help kids fight a cold naturally and cure it quickly? I’m not a doctor, but I will say that over the course of the last seven […]

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Have You Waited Too Long to Thank Your Mom?

Dear Mama, I’ve been cleaning up the Christmas tree this week, sweeping pine needles and thinking of the things I’ve never said to you. They are the very things no one says to me, that I would so love to hear. I’m late telling you what I’m about to write. Really late. I have grandchildren now. But I hope that “better late than never” holds. Thank you for all the years upon years of Christmases when you decorated the house and the tree, cooked the holiday meals, shopped for the gifts, set it all up, took it all down, and cleaned it all up by yourself. Christmas is a lonely time for mothers, I think. So much to do, and so much

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To the Mom Who Feels Like It Never Ends

These are the words I have found myself speaking over and over in my head: the bills. The chores. The driving. The working. The hustle and bustle of each day. They can often seem never-ending. Sometimes, like the other day while loading the dishwasher, I even let the actual words slip out of my mouth. “It never ends.” As I uttered those three small words so effortlessly, they echoed in my ears. It was almost as if the words were on repeat. Because, the truth is, the words are an accurate reflection of how I’ve been feeling on a regular basis lately. I’m tired. I’m worn out. I’m overwhelmed. I feel each and every syllable of this phrase, as I try to

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How One Secret Santa Saved the Day

How One Secret Santa Saved the Day

I was sitting in the parking lot of the grocery store waiting for the hour I could visit my daughter in the hospital when I got the second call. I recognized the number from a voicemail I had received the day before, so I answered the phone. A man said, in a very low, gruff voice, this secret Santa said, “Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas! You have a package under the Courtyard at Sherman Oaks sign.” Then he abruptly hung up. I was annoyed. I was angry. I was in the midst of the most devastating time of my life and this freak was prank calling me. My eight-year-old daughter was across the street in the inpatient psychiatry unit at UCLA medical

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Making Peace Not War With the Elf on the Shelf

To the Mom Who Loathes Elf on the Shelf

I want to have a very serious conversation with you today, friends. I want to talk about something I hate with the passion of 10,000 blazing suns. Something that is, for all intents and purposes, supposed to bring joy to the hearts of children everywhere. A newfound holiday tradition that should be yet another joyous addition to our Christmas repertoire. But I hate it. And I’m going to go ahead and go out on a limb and say that parents everywhere are with me on this one. I hate that blasted Elf on the Shelf. I hate him. I get the concept. It was birthed from a stroke of mom genius that morphed into marketing brilliance and has since become a parenting nightmare.

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How to Show Your Adult Children You Love Them

How to Show Your Adult Children You Love Them

When you held that tiny baby in your arms and your heart overflowed with unconditional love, you probably never thought you would read an article like this. It can be pretty surreal to discover you are the parent of adult children. Your roles have changed for good. They no longer come running to you when they skin their knees, or someone calls them a name at school. They are adults. Full grown, mature adults. With the dynamics in your relationship changing, it can sometimes be hard to know what the rules are. If you can’t phone their work to give their boss heck for being so mean to them, how will they ever know you love them? It actually isn’t complicated, but

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How to Create Christmas Magic as a Boy Mom

Here’s How to Create Christmas Magic as a Boy Mom

Several years ago I got this message from Mandy, one of my favorite boy moms: “Am I seriously the only boy mom who has dreams of decorating together at Christmas only to be faced with three boys totally not interested? Just needing some female sympathy.” Well, here’s your sympathy, Mandy. Glad to oblige. It’s hard to sympathize these days, when almost all of my memories of our four-boy-house-Christmas are sweeter than a Leo’s peppermint stick, the kind in the blue tin that my grandmother kept on her coffee table from early November until late January. That’s what the years have done, made me a sentimental amnesiac. But I also feel that lightly singed sensation of having survived something. So I thought it

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10 Tips to Enjoy a Road Trip with Kids

10 Tips to Enjoy a Road Trip With Kids

My husband’s family lives in Canada, so we are well-acquainted with the undertaking of a long road trip with kids. With small children in tow, an estimated 18-hour trip can easily stretch into 26 hours on the road one way. If it isn’t little bladders or tummies demanding frequent pit stops, it is a temper erupting due to being restrained or a little mind bored of counting clouds in the sky. We have set guidelines to avoid dependence on screens until absolutely necessary. We all know that once they come out, there is no going back… even with toddlers. Rather than an endless stream of movies or video games from the onset of an excursion, we attempt to keep the kids engaged

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little girl holding up a colorful construction paper turkey for thanksgiving as a sweet gesture amid the mayhem of motherhood

Mommas, Allow Thanksgiving to Nourish your Soul

Mayhem ran amuck as I scurried to get my children ready for an appointment. I barked orders to my older children while attempting to subdue my toddler, who gleefully ran away from me naked as a jaybird. “Are you brushing your teeth?” I yelled up the stairs, still struggling to put a diaper on my son, which was about as easy as wrestling an alligator. When he was finally dressed, I popped him on my hip to deter any further escape, and hurried upstairs to check on my 5 and 6 year olds. Do you think they were obediently dressed and ready for the day? Nope, of course not. In normal 5-year-old fashion, the toys I had neatly put away the night

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This Is How Toy Rotation Saves Your Time and Sanity

This Is How Toy Rotation Saves Your Time and Sanity

Have you heard of toy rotation? Ever consider giving it a go? We think it is a great way to help you and your family make time together! What is toy rotation? Put simply, toy rotation is when you replace your kids’ toys on a scheduled plan. For example, you may switch out the toys every two weeks. To some, this may seem a little bizarre. But trust us. There’s a method to the madness! How can toy rotation save your sanity? Can swapping toys out make that much difference? It certainly can! As parents, we all know how frustrating it is to spend time tidying up after our kids constantly. If you think about it, the more toys kids access, the

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multiple hands held open on top of each other holiday a small paper cutout of a family

Want to Support an Adoptive Family? What 10 Adoptive Moms Want You to Know

The boys were ages 5, 7, and 9 when my daughter Summer and son-in-law Josh brought them home to America—three brothers from Uganda who had known significant trauma. I love these grandsons even though they don’t carry my DNA. In the eight years the boys have belonged in our family, Summer has shared books and helped me become more aware of early childhood trauma. I still see the side effects of trauma in my grandsons, but I’m amazed at the healing God is producing and how far these three have come. I believe it’s important that we who are on the fringes of adoption and foster care have a better grasp of the journey—we being the family, friends, and church family members.

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newborn baby attached to mother's chest in a blue sling, one of the joys of being a new mom

The Joy Series: The Unexpected Joys of Being A New Mom

I am not going to lie, I did not have motherhood on my life’s radar. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it wasn’t until a couple of my closest girlfriends, feminists, and boss babes in their own right had their babies that I thought, “Maybe I should have a kid too.” “Should we try to have a kid?” I asked my husband, jokingly. We had no idea how our lives would change by meeting our little boy within the following year, but I can’t deny I was surprised by the joys of being a new mom. It isn’t easy and can be exhausting, but don’t let social media fool you: Being a new mom is not all hard, not all struggling,

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teenage son hugging mother from behind outside

The Joy Series: Parenting a Teen Is Hard, But I’ve Found Gratitude Among the Grumbles

Motherhood at any stage is a joyful experience, yet with each stage comes its own challenges. We’ve moved from diapers to building blocks to car keys in the blink of an eye. Parenting a teen is similar to dancing: the music changes often, and we can either change with the music or sit it out. I have found joy in choosing to adapt to the music, and meeting my son right where he is, in that moment. Meeting My Teenage Son Where He’s At Even though life seems to rush at us with so much to do, I love being able to share it with my son. Meeting him where he is has allowed me into his world. He shares his hurts

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Teen girl wearing jean vest and flower skirt sitting on the pavement outside a building at daybreak smiling at the camera

Kids Setting Boundaries—If We Can Do It, Why Can’t They?

My boys have been on a long journey to healing since their dad’s passing. Some days have been harder than others, but overall they have found a new normal, a new happiness, and have found so much good in their lives since it was turned upside-down nearly four years ago. In that time, I have faced a lot of criticism from perhaps well-meaning people, but harmful just the same. I have had to learn how to work through the trauma, overcome its effects, ensure my kids are healing, and move on with my life. It has not been easy. It took me a long time to realize that much of my healing was in my own hands—by way of boundary setting. It’s

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man with arm around woman, both with crestfallen faces

Making Peace with the Unexpected Grief of Miscarriage

The roses I received for Valentine’s Day sat withered on my countertop for weeks. My eyes stung every time I looked at them, but I couldn’t seem to throw them away. It was the only tangible evidence I had from my pregnancy that ended too soon. A life that I fell in love with and cherished—more than I ever knew was possible. Those roses looked so different when they were presented to me. Peach, with hints of green. Subtle and lovely. The tightly bound buds were delivered to me by the cutest little hands, purchased by bigger, quieter hands. I’ll never forget the equally eager smiles. That bouquet held so much promise of beauty. The perfect representation of the new life growing

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7 Faith Podcasts That Will Encourage Every Mom

These Faith-Based Podcasts Will Encourage Every Mom

Ever heard the phrase, “It takes a village,” about raising kids? Well, with three young ones who are only getting older and more complicated, I need a whole village to myself! Shoot, each kid needs their own village. Each child is so different; this means different methods of raising, different temperaments, and different responses. They are not cookie-cutter versions of my husband or me. Motherhood is all new territory every day and every year, with every child. After talking with several friends who have older kids, I’m pretty sure the adversity during the toddler and elementary years are just the calm before the storm. Before I had children, I started filling my village with people, books, sermons, devotions—you name it. In recent

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Moms-Be-Sure-to-Make-Memories-That-Will-Last-a-Lifetime

Mom, Be Sure to Make Memories That Will Last a Lifetime

I recently traveled through Northeastern Georgia as we headed to the mountains of North Carolina. We have the privilege of enjoying the autumn in the tranquil and beautiful land between the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Observing the burst of color in the month of October leaves one in awe of the beauty of creation. While heading to our final destination, we spotted a Fruit Stand – Corn Maze – Hayride – Bakery – Ice Cream Store and Pumpkin Patch. Yes, these were all there in one location. With fare like this, we had to stop and see which of these we couldn’t live without. Parking in an absolutely full lot, alongside another load of pumpkins being delivered from the

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