An Open Letter to the Mothers of Preschoolers:

Fun boy hanging on the rope, child's notebook page

Do you know what the hardest part of having a newborn was for me 11 years ago?

A two year old.

One day I answered the corded phone in the kitchen (yes, I’m that old) and made sure my two year old followed me. It was my mom, who lived more than 1000 miles away checking in on my chaos and her two grandchildren. My son was less than two months old, tucked safely in a bouncy seat in the other room.

I missed my mom a lot and hearing her voice was such a comfort. After a minute or so on the phone, I realized my two year old had left the kitchen. I put my mom on hold and ran to find my busy child. I had a new baby in the house and my two year old was what some might call A HANDFUL. Perhaps you know this stage?

I rounded the corner and found her leaning over her baby brother. She wasn’t hitting him and I sighed in relief. She ran off as I got close. But as I turned to head back to the phone, I noticed a strange red drool coming from my baby’s mouth out of the corner of my eye. My first thought was that he was bleeding.


My toddler tackled me from behind, “I share Momma!”

My baby smacked his lips and I sat in the middle of the floor and cried. I wondered how close my newborn came to choking and how close I was to shaking some sense into a two year old. My mom eventually hung up.

I have chased a two year old through a quiet library, screaming at the top of his lungs, both of us crying the whole way home.

I have whispered threats in the middle of the grocery store, bribing and begging my way down every aisle.

I have hung my head in shame after learning my three year old educated the church nursery staff on the details of his momma’s private parts.

I have packed my dinner in a To Go Box because we simply couldn’t make it through a meal in public with a two and four year old.

I have hated some days and longed for the quiet house that comes with the sacred nap time hour.

And for as many challenging days I had while mothering little people, there were three times as many that were simply good. Sweet chubby hugs, chocolate kisses, little hands in mine, the brilliant moment of teaching something new, watching little minds grasp and grow, counting breaths, stroking sleepy heads, the wonder of everyday.

But this letter isn’t a reminder to LOVE EVERY MINUTE  and LIVE IN THE MOMENT because one day it will all be gone. You get that. You’ve watched your tiny bundle turn into a toddler, you’ve packed away little onesies and big memories and I know you know your children are a precious gift from God. But honestly, there are some moments we don’t ever want to relive, there are some phases we won’t miss and there are some burdens of guilt we don’t need to carry.

You are normal. Yes, this season is beautiful and amazing. But it is equally hard. What you do in your boring, every day tantrum- filled life is important. You are molding, you are shaping. You are raising children who will eventually be able to wipe themselves. God willing.

I made a lot of mistakes. I was too hard and too soft and too human. And I probably only did two things right: I loved my little children and I loved God and did my best to introduce and intertwine the two.

With the end of every phase, another one lurks around the corner. [We are currently in the “my-tween-son-constantly-makes-noises stage and my teen daughter tells-him-what-to-do-phase. My mother in law warned these stages could last for years. Sweet mercy.] As your children get older, you will go from physical exhaustion to emotional weariness, and like it or love it not, you will get there one preschool day at a time.

Today, I have kids who are simply lovely. They are smart and funny. They care about others and are growing in grace. They can also point out a mullet a mile away, create an argument out of thin air and sometimes they make fun of grown women who wear puppy sweaters, so clearly my work isn’t done.

Yesterday my day was full of sarcastic laughter with my 11 and 13 year olds. We had intimate conversations about good stuff and mature discussions about current events. I realized how much they have taught me about motherhood and life. From their preschool days, they taught me humility and how to lay down my pride, they reminded me life isn’t always in my control and to trust God more. And today they teach me to let go a little more, to trust them, to laugh, to be ready for deep conversations, and mostly to be present.

So, momma of a preschooler or two, you are establishing routine, building character, teaching right from wrong. You are tired. Your days are long. But your every day hard work is purposeful and one day you will be my age in a quiet house. Your car will be filled with stinky tween boys and giggling teen girls. And you’ll remember these preschool days… and smile. And possibly high five someone that you made it.

Until the next phase hits.


An older momma cheering you on


    • 1.1

      Cindy Robertson says

      boy, that sure hits home as i have a 13 yr old boy, 4 yr old girl and a 2 yr old boy… and i am working on homeschooling my 4 yr old daughter… thanks for the hope and encouragement when some days it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel..

      • 1.1.1

        Sarah says

        Thanks! My son is almost 3 months old snd my daughter just turned two…crazy making and sleepless nights. Good to focus on the spiritual importance of raising them.

  1. 2


    :0) Thank you! I am just hitting the 3-year-old-starts-really-testing-you stage and the 17-month-old-thinks-he’s-climbing-Mt. Everest-stage….trying to face the “duty of the moment” and finding your words encouraging. The days are long, but the years are short for sure!!

  2. 4


    This made me so happy! We are struggling with a bright, strong-willed, and lovable two-year-old who is ready for potty training, but has now dug his heels on so well we are back to diapers. He brings me so much joy every day, but this is a new age a d we are adjusting. We also have a 10-month-old who has been walking for a month, bringing on a whole other set of challenges! I never envisioned being a stay-at-home mom, and I am trying to fit starting a business into the mix. This is exactly what I needed to hear and it calms me to read it. It also makes me very proud to be home teaching my kids during this time of their lives.

    Thank you.

    • 4.2

      Regina says

      My children are 20, 18 and almost 17. The most important job I ever had was being a mom. No one will love your kids the way you do! Not even your parents. It’s a hard job that often goes unnoticed. But it’s the best job in the world! My kids are God fearing amazing young adults now. All either in college or about to graduate. As I reflect I am so thankful that I am the one that got to watch each of their first steps and hear their first words. You are important. We forget that often. As for your strong willed child, I had one. Still do. And he is amazing. Read Dr. Dobson’s the strong willed child. It changed our lives! Take lots of pictures and don’t forget to print them. Pictures capture moments that can take you back! Congratulations on being the most important person in your kids lives. The most precious memory I have is when my husband was saying to my kids while he was hugging me, she is my wife. My kids all jumped in on the fun and said no dad she’s our life! Remember that even if you never hear it!

      • 4.2.1

        Gay Rushforth says

        I made it through too…some, nay most, of that had me chuckling and nodding in agreement.

        My babies are now adults, three men; 24, 23 and 19 years old. The eldest msde me a grandmother, just over three years ago, and I’m going through it all again – I’m a ‘stay at home nanny’ and I have the benefit of experience, allegedly.

        I write this reply to challenge a comment, in the nicest possible way. My grandson is the light in my day, even though he’s turned my ordered life upside down, he is the reason I leave my bed on a morning. I adore my children, my grandchild I worship, I didn’t know it was possible to love anyone the way I love my children. So, please don’t say that nobody can love your child more than you, ‘ not even it’s grandparents’, even though it’s partly true, we don’t, we love them more.

  3. 5

    Kristen says

    Thank you! This tickled me and reminded me to enjoy this stage while its here. Your blog has been a blessing to me. Thank you!

  4. 8


    Thank you! Loved this. I have an 8 and 4 year old, and my youngest loves to push boundaries. I feel like I’m constantly failing him, so this just gave me a little strength to get through the day!

  5. 9

    Liz says

    I’ve told my husband so many times this past year that I need someone who’s been there and remembers what it’s like to cheer me on and tell me I will make it through this alive! Ha. That’s just what you did for me this morning. Thank you!

  6. 10

    Ashley says

    This letter was for me! My status on fb 2 days ago was for everyone to help me in prayer. I have a almost 4 year old and a 1 year old. And they are very spirited…to put it lightly.

  7. 11

    stephanie says

    As i sit here, weary from my sweet almost 2 yr old, my heart is soothed! Someone gets it and I am not alone!!! My days are long and hard and I often find myself wishing for the next stage. This is a great reminder to know that what i do matters..whether it be changing diapers or taking scissors away that he is trying to stick into my hair dryer, sitting in a dr’s office waiting for a new onset of hives to be looked at or taking the anti itch cream away for the third time this morning, or teaching him to pray, or hearing “peas and tant to”. 3rd child of mine…I will survive this stage!!!

  8. 12

    Andrea says

    I have a 13 yr old girl with emotional land minds I try hard not to step on, a 9 yr old stand-up comic/lawyer, and a 2yr old shadow missing a mute button. Somedays I don’t even want to get out of bed, but then when I look over and see the 2yr old who climbed in bed with us (yet again) – I realize there is nowhere to hide. :)

    THANK YOU for your honest letter – of just LIFE – it is so disheartening and so hard when you see all the other Supermoms – and you don’t even have a cape (even if you did it would be at the bottom of the dirty clothes pile).

    Being a mom is not always pretty, or easy, or fun – but it is SO worth it!

    Thanks again!

  9. 13

    Jana says

    Thank you for this! I have a 3 year old, a 2 year old, and a 6 month old….so my days are long. This letter was a great way to start my day. Now I’m going to try to sneak in 5 minutes of Bible study before making beds and going to the park. My heart is a little lighter now! :)

  10. 14


    Thank you for this! I have a 4 1/2 year old boy and twin 2 1/2 year old boys – my house and heart are full, to say the least. This was really comforting to me and I thank you for your honesty and encouragement. Some days I feel like such a failure, so it’s good to know that other Christian women out there get frustrated too, don’t always focus on God and being godly, and fail sometimes. We also love God, love our kids and wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thanks for sharing!

  11. 15

    Pamela says

    Thank you so much for not saying “you’re going to miss this.” At times that’s the most discouraging thing said! Thank you for the encouragement to keep on keeping on. It’s sometimes hard to see past the mundane! ~Mommy to a 5, 3, 2 yr olds, and a 3 month old.

  12. 17


    Thank you.
    I needed this.
    I have two three year olds I love desperately, and yet some days I want to run away from.
    I have a 13 year old who teaches me grace, and peace, and beauty every single day.
    ~Heather @ The Welcoming House Blog

  13. 18

    Kristin says

    Your words were a balm to my weariness today. My almost-3-yr old and 20 month old are the joy and exhaustion of my life. Last night I had one of those brimg home my dinner in a to go box meals while the rest of my family enjoyed their meal. As a friend recently reminded me, “The days are long but the years are short”.

  14. 19


    I loved every word of this post and honestly it is so comforting to know that other moms do have wild, unruly toddlers like mine once and a while. We are all in this together, there are great moments as a mom, but there are some tough ones too. My 3 year-old threw a big throw down, knock out tandrum at church last Sunday. I was mortified, didn’t know what to do, so I walked her quietly out of church and dealt with the situation. I was so frustrated, I’m not sure I even responded to our pastor when he told me it was no big deal. Thank you for your encouragement and your words of truth. Loved it!

  15. 20


    Thanks for the mama wisdom, Kristen. I have a one month old and a 23 month-old at home, and my, oh my are my days busy, but oh so sweet. My husband gets how tired I am most days and is thoughtful enough to wrangle up his brother and take my toddler to the park while the wee baby naps away, allowing me a little peace and quiet. It’s blissful & such a blessing!

  16. 21

    Melissa Raupp says

    I was just feeling down. You see my days of TGIF are gone. My “spirited” 4 year old does not go to preschool on Fridays so it’s more like OMGIF around here. I love her with all my heart but it makes for a long, battle filled day with her and my 2 year old who has had my full attention for 4 full days. So I will go forth today knowing that Monday is just a few days away and that their Daddy will be home all weekend. Thanks for always keeping it real and I will TGIM on Monday:)

  17. 22


    Thank you for this! We have a 14 mo old who is into everything and a baby on the way. I’m so worried about my life come January when I have an 18 mo old and a newborn but I know that others have made it before and so will I. Thanks for sharing your heart. P.S. Where do yall live? I just moved back home to Southeast TX in May so we could be closer to family. Sounds like yall aren’t too far :-)

  18. 23

    Kelly says

    Have a 16 year old..a 13 year old & an 11 year old..all girls…all sooooooooo totally different it’s mind blowing until you look at these 3 BEAUTIFUL young ladies…& yes still say a prayer or two for me & hubby because YES, we have a handful…& right now in the most of power struggle #1,000 & counting I am thankful for your posts!

  19. 24

    Judith White says

    I am now a Grandmother of 9 and only wish when I was raising our 5 children
    there had been someone like u around to encourage me! Keep up the encouraging
    words for all the Mothers out there:) Through leaning on our Lord for wisdom
    and for His peace & grace you will make it through these “trying” years & if u
    can all believe this: these are the BEST years with your children because you
    have the ability to always know where and what they are doing almost all of
    the time:) Please, please enjoy each phase in their lives, the years go so quickly,
    this is from a Mother who has been there & knows!!:)

    • 24.1

      Jane H says

      Oh Judith, I was thinking the very same thing. I have 8 grandchildren…one little boy who lives with us with his mom. He is 3 1/2 and very active and loving and smart. But his mommy does get tired. I now have so much more patience, but so much less energy. I am sure that God has the timing of all of this under control, but some day it seems kind of topsy-turvy. Enjoy your babies, ladies. When my mom said that it really goes by so quickly, it never seemed like that to me….but now I can see.

  20. 25

    Niki says

    I just sat here and cried. I have twin 4 year olds! And I’m there. 2’s and 3’s weren’t my hardest times, 4’s have been taking my patience and throwing it against the brick wall. I had such nice little boys -and now I have these fit-throwing, nasty talking little guys. I am really tired and I have been crying a lot lately. I had been given this prayer answer that I was to homeschool and so now that I’m in week 2 of not a phenomenal homeschool pre-k, I just cry more. But thank you! I know the little stages that were so hard are long over and we’re on new adventures and I’m trying my hardest to just enjoy this crazy crazy ride! :)

  21. 26

    Audrey says

    Thank you for cheering us on. I have a 7 month old and a 3.5 year old who is the only one in his preschool class who refuses to use the toilet. (God bless his teachers.) Your encouragement brought tears to these weary eyes. Blessings right back acha, tween momma!

  22. 27


    As a mom w ho’s moved past the tweens into the twenties, I commend you — well said. Perhaps I’ll write an Open Letter to Parents of Tweens as a result of your inspiration :) Blessings to you this good day.

    • 27.2


      As a mother of a pre-teen (12) and a teen (14) I’d love an Open Letter. There are definite days when I need to find the right perspective!

      And as that Mom, I too want to add my encouragement to parents of toddlers and between… it is a very tiring and physically demanding age! Be gracious to yourself! Let the truly unimportant stuff go, and some of the important stuff too.


  23. 29


    Yes, to all of this…When my Shea and Ethen were little, like ages not quite two and not quite three…those were some days, right there (age almost 15 and 16) now…even when my own Kristen was a toddler (now age 9)…wow…When I see a young mum struggling with anything now, I just don’t say a word…I just do what I see needs done…I’ll sweep a floor, change a bum, what evs…some of the hardest parenting days are the early ones…bless all you young mamas out there.

  24. 30

    Kim says

    Amen is all I have to say! My daughter is 4 1/2 and my son is 19 months old and while these stages are long I cherish those kisses and their hands in mine knowing one day it just won’t “be cool” to be with me. I love my alone time but I know right now is more important for them to have me and if all I get is 5 minutes alone in the bathroom for that day, that’s ok. They are only this age once and I want to try to get it right, even if I don’t feel like I am , I am trying and I am human. Thank you for your words…love the truth!

    • 31.1

      kristen says

      Hi Laurel, I don’t moderate comments and just looked through several pages of spam and couldn’t find your comment. I’m really sorry about that!

  25. 32

    Sophie says

    A couple months ago I was walking my three-year-old to pre-school when he didn’t want to go. He walked slower and slower then simply refused to budge. I was tired & desperate to get him to school so I could go home and have a couple hours where I could actually hear my own thoughts. He started shouting, I shouted back, he ran from me and hid in the bus shelter. We had his scooter, three bags and a lunch box; I simply couldn’t carry him too. I screamed at him to move, he didn’t and I burst into tears and just sat on the curb sobbing as the time ticked past 9.30am when we were supposed to be at school. I will be forever thankful to the mother who walked past us & saw what was going on. She scooped my son up & carried him all the way to school for me while I shakily carried all our things & her daughter ride happily ahead on her bike. She never said a word about what she thought, no judgement, just complete support at a time when I truly needed it. I went home after that, sobbed on the phone to my son’s behavioural support worker (he has a few long-term issues), eventually composed myself and decided that was the lowest point I would allow myself to reach. Raising little people is truly the hardest thing we will ever do.

  26. 33


    Awesome!! I ditto eveything here- with a 15, 13, 10, and 7 year old! I was just having a similar conversation with a mom of little ones. Hearing the honest truth is far better than the “enjoy these days, they don’t last long!”. Knowing that we all struggle through the busiest stage of life -and survived- is the best encouragement ever.
    I love my frieds who are walking me through the “high-school-boys-know-everything-and-mom-and-dad-are-stupid” stage :)

  27. 35

    Michelle says

    I suddenly long to live in Texas so you could be my friend and mentor in person. Thank you to your encouraging words and real life sharing instead of a “pinterest” perfect version. You are an inspiration to me daily… And often provide a good cry… I hope you have a fantastic day filled with many great stories for you to share later.

  28. 36


    Thank you. THANK YOU. I have two toddlers, and somedays… It’s just such a comfort to hear this and such a “hug” for my day. Can I post this over at my blog, I like to share something extra fun/inspirational/uplifting on Fridays (not that the other days are uninspired, hopefully :)

  29. 37

    Lisa Hutson says

    And then one more day, you will be in a car all by yourself. They will be mobile. Which I believe is the scariest stage of all. They have no idea that they are not indestructible. But you do. And then, the next day, they are gone all together. Don’t blink, moms. Don’t you dare blink.

  30. 38

    Hannah says

    Thank you. Thank you for not saying, “Oh, these years will fly by” or “Cherish these moments” or “They’ll be teenagers before you blink.”

  31. 39

    jocelyn says

    Thank you for this. I have 4 children a son that is 11 a daughter that is 7 a son that is 4 and a daughter that is 3. I also work full-time. Needless to say choas is my middle name along with sleep deprived and cant find my own head. Lol. I find even thpugh i am in stage (why cant i go to the park by myself); (justin beiber fever and makeup and why cant i have a cell phone); ( mommy i can say my abc 100x a day); ( and i wanna go to school, dont go to work, mickey mouse clubhouse over and over again) i love it but sometimes stress gets the best of me. Happy to know others are choas and its ok! Thank you!! God bless!

  32. 44


    “I have chased a two year old through a quiet library, screaming at the top of his lungs, both of us crying the whole way home.”
    This line immediately caught my attention because my fourth-born child, my only son, did this to me when he was two. I had NEVER suffered such humiliation! LOL My girls were always so obedient and wonderfully mannered. My boy is a MESS. Lol And as I was giving him a talk through gritted teeth at the vehicle, he shut the van door on my fingers. I boo-hooed the entire way home, feeling like a failure. It’s a funny memory now, though! He’s four, and he’s a lot better…. although still ALL BOY.

  33. 45


    Thank you so much for sharing this. I know it “just a phase” but some days it feels too hard and I despair it will last forever. I know it won’t but knowing that isn’t enough when the 2.5yo is bickering with the 6yo because they are hungry and the 10mo wants to nurse. They are growing up fast and I can make it! Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement!

  34. 46


    My two-year-old turned three yesterday! Booyah! Thank you for the words of encouragement. With a five-year-old, now three-year-old and a third daughter on the way, I can never hear these words enough: “I made a lot of mistakes. I was too hard and too soft and too human. And I probably only did two things right: I loved my little children and I loved God and did my best to introduce and intertwine the two.”

    What a relief to be reminded that our job is both simpler that we think and so demanding that we cannot do it at all apart from God. Thank you for that reminder!

  35. 47


    My goodness. You just perfectly described my life right now. I have a 4 year old and a colicky 4 month old. My days are spent quieting a crying babe ad entertain ing a 4 year old who has to know the who, what, when, where,why, and how of everything, and trying to understand why mom has to spend so much time with this new baby. I am lucky if I get a shower, or change out of my pajamas. Thank you for sharing your wise words my ears needed to hear them.

  36. 48

    Mary Wong says

    I am a grandmother to a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old. My heart flies every time I am with these darling angels. But the same heart aches when I see my daughter’s sleepy eyes, tired body and frustrated mood.
    I just want to hug each and every one of you. It is not easy. But I know you can do it. And it is so worthwhile and rewarding (maybe when you look back!). On my children’s birthdays and Mother’s Day, I am thankful that I am a mom. My children make my life complete. After all these years, if I were to choose again, I still would choose to be a mom.
    Keep up the good jobs. To these little ones, you are the world!!

    • 48.1

      Sarah says

      I’m sure you probably won’t see this, but your comment was so perfectly amazing. My mom tells me this all the time. Your daughter is blessed to have you!

  37. 50


    Oh wowsers. As a mama of a 4 year old girl (who’s vocabulary and attitude sometimes make menwonder if she’s going on 14) and a 1 year old boy who is equal parts adorable, funny, ridiculously stubborn and insanely daring… I needed this post! Thank-you!

  38. 51


    It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one who has had that “Oh Good Lord, my baby almost died” moment because of something the older sibling did when I wasn’t looking. My second daughter is just over ten months old and I am amazed and humbly grateful every single day that my four-year-old didn’t somehow manage to harm her. She loves her sister, but there are still things she just doesn’t understand. Thankfully, God’s eyes are open and his arms are holding even when mine can’t! I’m just waiting for the day the baby starts walking and then we’re in for a whole ‘nother ball game! The four year old has no idea what’s coming. :-)

  39. 52

    Stephanie S says

    I so needed this today – Thank You! I have two daughters, age 4 and almost 2. It was a particularly hard weekend and this was just the “recharge” I needed :)

  40. 53

    Kim says

    No idea why I teared up at the end! But thank you, that was very sweet! Blessings to you, too, on your mothering journey!

  41. 55


    My kids ages range from almost 12 to 2 and I have to say I agree with every word. I also have chased screaming toddlers through the Library, and an old-enough-to-know-better child just this past weekend. The early phases are SO hard and so exhausting and so boring, but I do look back at them a little wistfully now and then because they were such simple days. This season is physically easier but yes – emotion weariness is the perfect word for it. And I too have sat back and marveled at how that long string of seemingly meaningless days turned out to accomplish something hugely significant.

  42. 60


    As a mom on the mission field who tries to juggle my three year old, my eight year old and ten 21-32 year old mission team members coming in and out of our home all the time (and a team of twenty from the States who are here for two weeks to build our church, Praise the Lord!), I appreciate your encouragement. Some days I think my kids have a better relationship with the iPad as mommy just does one more thing…

  43. 61

    Jessica says

    Thank you for this! Glad to hear I’m not the only one who gets frustrated and weary of the preschool years! I have a very testy 3 year old daughter, an ever exploring 15 month old daughter and I’m 8 months pregnant with a little boy! Its just nice to hear from someone who has “been there done that” and made it through the tough times!

  44. 62


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  48. 68

    Laurie C says

    When you have an only child and live in the middle of nowhere, some days you feel like you are the only one. This helped so much. It made me laugh, nod, and sigh. thank you for this. It was great.

  49. 69

    Amy says

    That was so encouraging. One of my preschool aged sons is really into telling people about private parts right now so your comment struck home and made me feel normal : ) Thanks for taking the time to write it.

  50. 71

    Julie says

    I teared up as I read this. I have four little girls and frequently feel overwhelmed, so this was very encouraging. We are very much “that family” in stores and restaurants. Good thing to read as we start the new year!

  51. 72

    Daisy says

    I am a mom to four, my oldest is 26 and my baby is 3! When I see my youngest, Josiah, being willful or stubborn for example, I just look at his big brother Levi and remember how he was the same at that age and he grew into an amazing young man.
    I think having such an age gap between my older and younger ones has helped me to really see how quickly the time goes, and I am more able to just live in the moment with my littles….most of the time. :0D

  52. 73

    Mom of 2 says

    I have a 3 year old son and a 1.5 year old daughter and this post just made me tear up with relief and encouragement. So, thanks.

  53. 75

    Breanne Dufresne says

    I cried when I read this and my only son is just 5 months old. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  55. 77


    Oh my goodness!!!! From the depths of my soul…THANK YOU!!!!! I am a momma to teens all the way down to babies. I have a toddler that has seriously brought me to tears and almost had me packing my bags for the looney bin.. BUT with the help of God, HE has taught me so much in all her tantrums, mood swings and demands. That she is mighty and she is fierce and she is HIS! Reading this post just now, was like you were writing about me. I am so grateful that I found your blog today. Keep being an inspiration to the weary moms of the world. :)

  56. 79

    Crystal M says

    Thank you. This was like a much-needed hug from a best friend. <3
    I have a 2 year old & a 3 year old, & I've read many letters/articles addressed to moms of young kids, but think this is my most favorite, ever. :)

  57. 80

    Michele says

    As a first-time mom of an eight-week old, this was wonderful. Yes, I’m treasuring every moment, but I’m also sleep deprived and unsure what to do most of the time. Thanks for the reminder that what I’m doing IS important, and also that I don’t have to feel guilty for wanting to just get through some of these moments and not ever have to repeat them!

  58. 82

    Kristin says

    My “baby” turns 2 today, and I’m 18 weeks pregnant. I’m terrified of the 2nd baby. But thanks for this encouragement, you made me cry :-)

    • 82.1

      Karen Beach says

      I am 56, mother of three wonderful men, ages 33, 31 and 26. I laughed and cried at all of this. How I wish I had been able to read this 30 years ago, with one throwing up and the other breastfeeding, crying about my inadequacies as a mother. My best advice to other parents feeling this way is that you do the best you can with the information you have at the time. Lots of prayers and tears later, I believe I did a good job.

  59. 83

    jennDeVO says

    THIS made my morning,day.. I’ve been dealing with a sick 8,year old with no answers to what’s making him sick until his Dr. Gets him referred to a specialist. I also have a5 almost 6 year old daughter… They are great kids with their own unique ways… I cherish EVEry moment.. this read was very touching, inspirational… Thank You.. I’ll be following u from now on…

  60. 84


    I saw you re-posted this on FB yesterday and my goodness how amazed I still am how God works, knowing what we need when we need it. I’ve shed a lot of shame-filled tears this week (I know, shame isn’t right . . . was just in a bad place, ya know?). I told my husband I wasn’t cut out for this (kids are 4, 2, and 6 months). He reminded me that if I wasn’t, God wouldn’t have had me be a mom. :) Thank you for speaking words of peace out of a place of “I’ve been in the trenches” and not saying to just enjoy each moment (I’m so done hearing that, though I know people say it from a good heart). Thank you for realizing that wasn’t what I needed to hear, but that I needed to hear it will be different eventually (not “better” just different), we all (mostly) make it through, and we all have those “oh my goodness I can’t believe this is happening” moments. Hugging you right now from hundreds of miles away!

    • 84.1

      Sarah says

      I’ve shed a lot of shame tears too, sister. I have 9- and 7-year-old boys, and 4-year-old twin girls, and that monkey in the middle especially has had me at my breaking point (and I him) more times than I care to recall. Grace, grace, grace. Sufficiency. An understanding of our struggles. Oh, what a God to know us so intimately – good, bad, and ugly – and love us anyway, plus send lovely sisters in Christ to encourage us!

  61. 85

    Sarah says

    I just read this for the first time and I have to thank you. Candor is always more helpful and lends itself more readily to a testimony than those well-intended comments about enjoying moments. Some moments are just plain not enjoyable! I’m so thankful He works all things for my good, even if those ‘things’ include twin preschoolers wreaking havoc on our house and my back, a very needy middle child freaking out about, um, anything, and an eldest who has started dabbling in pre-adolescent mouthiness – all while Dad’s away for two weeks! But there is grace in every season if we’ll just receive it. And there’s always another momma who has been there and survived, thank God! Great letter, thank you.

  62. 87

    Stephany Hill says

    Man did I need this today. Thanks for the reminder my chaos is normal. Love your page it give me that heaven on earth feel.

  63. 88

    Kathleen says

    Loved this! I raised three children who are now 31, 28, and 25 and now get to watch my 11 month old grandson twice a week. God’s grace everyday. :)

  64. 89


    THANK YOU! With five kids (ages 9mo, 3, 4, 6, 8), I’m more than a little overwhelmed. Every day, I look back and see the mountains of mistakes I’ve made and it is so discouraging. I’ve had more than a few of those collapse-and-cry moments. :(

    I absolutely love what you said – “there are some moments we don’t ever want to relive, there are some phases we won’t miss and there are some burdens of guilt we don’t need to carry.” So often, we are buried under messages of “enjoy every minute,” which are well-intentioned but sometimes just add to the guilt I carry because I honestly don’t enjoy every moment (seriously… diapers? I don’t enjoy diapers. or potty training. or cleaning up after sicknesses. or… yeah, I know I don’t need to go on). But I do enjoy many moments – maybe even most moments. And I know it’s worth it. It’s just that a lot of my days feel more like surviving than savoring.

    Anyway, thank you for this wonderful message! I really appreciate it. :)

  65. 90


    Thank you for writing this post (even though it was a while ago), its what I needed to read. My girls are 3 and nearly 6, I love them dearly but being a stay-at-home Mum is hard work. There are days when they drive me to tears and I can’t wait for them to go to bed (when they eventually do), hard work and all, I wouldn’t trade – in this time with them. :)

  66. 91

    Jennefer says

    beautifully written… great reminder of what’s important!
    Heartfelt “thank you” from a mommy of a 3 yr old and a 10 month old, who’s all the things you described :) (Mainly, tired haha)

  67. 93

    Sonya says

    Thank you so much! Balm to my weary soul. If I hear again how it’ll be harder when they’re teens/this is the best time/just wait… grr!

  68. 94

    Keylea says

    Thank you for not reminding me to ‘love every minute’ or ‘live in the moment’. It is so good to hear someone who gets it instead of more expectation in my already very full life.
    Four kids (ages 2,3,4, and 11) and a dog!

  69. 95

    Clarine says

    thank you for sharing this wonderful experience. i am a full time working mom of 3 1/2 year old boy and 1 1/2 year old baby girl. my life was turned upside down when they came in our lives. definitely they are our bundle of joy and there are times they made me cry for various reasons. may it be extreme sadness or extreme happiness. love them so much but sometimes hate them, with all the things i cant do as i normally do before. but at the end of the day. its the feeling of sooo much love and appreciation to God that he had given us this wonderful little beings, their smile, giggles, laughter, calling me mommy even as they are dreaming, as well as sleepless nights when they are ill and countless tantrums and crying over something they are not supposed to play around. i for sure will treasure all of the toddlers and preschoolers memories forever. thank you for your encouragement and for reminding me that this will not last forever and so this should be treasured and give value.

  70. 96

    KWolff says

    Thanks for this! I am currently living with a 16 year old who sometimes acts like a 4 year old AND a 4 year old who sometimes acts like a 16 year old! When your oldest & youngest are 12 years apart you tend to forget some of the challenges that came with those preschool years. Add to the mix a teen & tween girl and you have chaos at times! :) When my youngest starts pushing buttons I forgot I had, I remember that these days to go by so quickly. I take a deep breath, hug him a little closer and thank God that he didn’t give me more than I could handle.

  71. 99


    I love the honesty of this article. I have a 6 year old followed 19 months later by his sister and also a almost 2 year old. I can totally relate to the skittle in the babies mouth. I was certain my daughter was going to have shaken baby syndrome as my son loved to “help” swing her in the baby swing and we aren’t talking gently. Thanks for the reminders today and the affirmation that we really don’t have to love EVERY minute. I just wrote on my blog last night (although I wrote is couple years ago but never published it) an article called Excuse Me While I Raise My “Problem Child”. It was nice to read this article the day after publishing that. Thanks again


  72. 100

    Robyn says

    This is just beautiful and very touching to me, I have 2 boys 4 and 2 and a little girl 4mths. Days are long and hard and I can relate to almost all of your stories. Thank you for your honesty and sharing.

  73. 101

    Kaz says

    Thank you for this!

    Its my sons 4th birthday today, hes currently playing on his leappad while his 18 month old sister has a nap…bliss after a exhausting day! *He also fed his sister something he shouldn’t of when she was a few months old*
    This really touched me as i know they are both growing up each breaks my heart at times and i feel really awful getting frustrated with them! When did these tiny little bundles grow up to be such adorable and energy draining children? Thank you for this post reminding me its okay for being human! and to enjoy the time i have left with them! GB you! X

  74. 102

    Maureen Rodgers says

    I am 53 & a Mother of three adult children & 6 grandchildren including 9 month old twins.
    I still worry.
    I still wonder if I’m doing the right thing sometimes.
    I want to give advice but I hold back because unwanted advice is not needed. Sometimes even wanted advice is not needed & I’ve learned to be OK with that.
    My eldest daughter had her 34th birthday today.
    My son’s fiancee is in hospital due to an ectopic pregnancy.
    My eldest daughter is upset because she & her husband have been trying for a second child & nothing is happening as yet.
    Their hurts & pain get bigger as they grow – it was easier when you could cuddle them & kiss them better.
    I made mistakes but as I knew better, I did better.
    I’ve cried many times in front of them & behind closed doors but I’ve laughed with them too. Now I laugh with my grandchildren. The cycle has started over again. That’s as it should be.
    I see my children doing the same things I did but with a different twist. the same mistakes, the same learning, the same tears, the same laughter – but it’s not really the same because this is their experience.
    The love you have for your children is indescribable.
    The love you have for your grandchildren is also indescribable but in a different way.
    God bless & keep my children & grandchildren – the loves of my life!

  75. 103

    Randi says

    With a 2yo daughter and a 3mo old son, this hit so very close to home and was a great read! Thank you for the smile

  76. 104

    Elisha says

    I simply LOVE this! My 5 year old son pushes EVERY button and challenges everything! He is smart, sweet, caring, sharing, and never stops moving! Whenever we are out in public, everyone always makes comments like, “I sure wish I had some of his energy”, or “he must be a handful!” On bad days, I can sometimes take those to heart a little too much. You feel like all the single women and other mothers just look at you and shake their head. It’s good to know that not all children sit still and say yes mam and no mam all the time! It’s nice that someone else acknowledges the never ending hard work that comes with motherhood! THANK YOU!

  77. 105

    Molly says

    I have a 19 year old, 15 and 14 year old and my 19 year old has had her boyfriend live with us on and off for the last 6 years. The hardest thing I find about parenthood is the judgement of others. I have done the best I could at the time for all 4 children. No one has the right to judge your decisions or your children based on a 10 second insight to their life. Do I have regrets? Absolutely! Would I change anything? Absolutely! The past is gone I can’t not yell when I shouldn’t have, I can’t say no when I probably should have, all I can do is keep loving these 4 ‘not so little people anymore’ with everything I have and everything I am while I make room for my first grandchild that is due shortly. Busting with excitement and ready to start all over again xx

  78. 106


    What a great post! It still made me think about making the most of the time we have. Such a design fault – the time when the kids are their most cute and cuddly, we’re at our most sleep deprived / overwhelmed with too many smalls.

  79. 107

    mandy says

    Wow…this really touched me. Im sitting here reading this and all the comments and i cant help but cry. I have a 3 yr old son, 3 yr old daughter both born the same year and an 8 yr old son. And boy my 3 yr old son i feel like i fail him everyday. Just seems to get harder and harder. And i have many days where i wish we could get through this stage sooner. I doubt my mom abilities on a daily basis. Im no supermom. And my family dont live close by where i could catch a break every now and then. No its just me and my kids. I know i can get through this with God by my side. Thanks for the kind encouraging words!

  80. 108

    Leslie says

    I am such a better mother now that I found a job. Another challenge of being an expat is that we end up in roles that we might not have expected… Stay at home mum was my unexpected role. I realised i do not have the parience to be an earth mother…

  81. 109


    As I sit in the parking lot outside my 3yo’s preschool dreading my first ever parent – teacher conference to discuss her “aggression towards other children” I needed to read this more than ever! Thank you for sharing and easing this mama’s anxiety!

  82. 111

    Bethany says

    Thank you for this! We have a 7yr, 6yr, 4yr, and 10month old. Our current preschooler is on his way of being the 1st preschooler to go the principal’s office! He is such a sweet little boy but LOVES to make people smile and laugh. That gets him in a LOT of trouble at school. I never want his kind and happy spirit to be broken. It is a fine line to walk with high spirited kids. He thrives on smiles and sometime I don’t know how we are going to make it through the next 13 years of school!!!

  83. 113

    Didi says

    Thank you!
    I started late, am the 44 year old mother of an almost 3 year old, who challenges me several times every single day, and it’s so true… I’ve learnt to hold on to and trust God more. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  84. 114

    Katie says

    How did you know?! I have a 4-year-old daughter (who acts like she’s 15 most days) & a 2-year-old boy, who desperately wants to keep up with his big sister. Some days, my heart is ready to burst wide open with love for these two little people. Some days – lately – I feel like every single parenting decision I make is a failure. :\ Thanks for not trivializing these -well – interesting years (to put it mildly!). Grace,grace,grace. So thankful for it. And for writers like you, who understand!

  85. 115

    Megan says

    I know you wrote this several years ago…but, thank you! I have a 4 month old and a very strong-willed little three year old. Yes, the hardest part about our baby is our little girl! Oh these days are long indeed. However, thank you for the encouragement that we will survive!

  86. 116

    Lindsey says

    I read this just after a long deep sigh and looking at my husband, who had just gotten home, and mouthed “I can’t do this”. The day hasn’t been particularly bad…just long. A 20 month old and a 3 month old. ‘Nuff said. Ha! Although, whike I was reading my 3 month old drifted off to sleep (finally!) and my 20 month old stood watching “MEMO, Mama, Memo!! (Finding Nemo, the new obsession.) Anyway, this was a welcomed, and God ordained, read. Thank you!

  87. 117

    Pamela says

    Thank you – I needed this. I am on a permanent emotional roller-coaster with my challenging 16 year old son. Thankfully so far my 13 year old daughter is mostly a ray of sunshine and giggles… not sure how long that will last.

  88. 118


    I love your mother! Thanks for sharing her wisdom. We are in the same stage – weird noises out of brother and miss I know what/how you need to be doing things from sister. *sigh* As much as a handful as the toddler stage!!
    Natalie, The Educational Tourist

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