Motherhood: Fully Initiated

By Jenny Harris

You know you’re a Mom* when . . .

You can wipe nose—that is, someone else’s nose. Sans-tissue. Without gagging.

You mentally congratulate yourself when you sneeze: “Good job on not peeing! That’s three dry ones today.”

You now know what to say—and what not to say—to new parents:

Say: “Wow, he/she (insert correct gender) is perfect.” Statements about other people’s babies should infer awe, wonder, and respect.

Do not say: “Wow, he/she (insert incorrect gender despite obviously gendered blanket) looks like (insert animal likeness).” While it is true that newborns are wrinkled, birthmarked, off-colored, and hairy, each is perfect to his or her parents.

All bodily parts and functions are open topics, all of the time. Has your child inquired about house guest’s nipples? Did you record actual footage of her first poo? Are bras, pads, and deodorant sources of mystery and awe? Yes, to all of the above.

You know effective stain removal methods for the top four offenders*: 1) newborn poo, 2) red berries, 3) toddler poo, and 4) that weird grime on the inside of your husband’s collared shirt.

You practice patience but frequently fall short. You pray over your children and yell at them in the same day. You’ve been humbled by their words and crazed by their tears.

Sometimes when your kids nap, you journal about them and count down the minutes until they wake up. Motherhood is just that amazing.

Sometimes when your kids nap, you hide under a blanket and weep. Motherhood is just that hard.

You’ve given up sleep, sociality, and (occasionally) sanity for your children. And oh, how you cherish the sacrifice.


“To all of our mothers everywhere, past, present, or future, I say, ‘Thank you. Thank you for giving birth, for shaping souls, for forming character, and for demonstrating the pure love of Christ.’ . . . Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are.”

Jeffry R. Holland, Behold Thy Mother

*I said, “You know you’re a mom”, but then I painted a picture of a married, biological stay-at-home mother of young children living in a first-world country. I guess what I really meant was, “You know you’re ME …”. To all other mothers (or will-be mothers), I say YAY!

** Stain solutions for the top four offenders: 1) for newborn poo: Dawn dish soap. 2) for red berries: a soak in white vinegar, warm water, and laundry detergent 3) for toddler poo: a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and Dawn 4) for the weird grime in hubby’s collar: Pine sol

Jenny Harris

Jenny Harris

Jenny is a star-gazing, book-clubbing mother of two. She has a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, which is mildly comical (but also a boon in parenting and relationships). Her kids will attest that she's crazy about reading aloud, time out of doors, and creative play. Her family's goal is the “abundant life,” as prescribed by Jesus. You can read more posts by Jenny here.
Jenny Harris

Jenny Harris

Jenny is a star-gazing, book-clubbing mother of two. She has a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, which is mildly comical (but also a boon in parenting and relationships). Her kids will attest that she's crazy about reading aloud, time out of doors, and creative play. Her family's goal is the “abundant life,” as prescribed by Jesus. You can read more posts by Jenny here.

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  1. Happy Mother’s Day Jenny dear. Kurt’s highlight of his quick trip to Utah was being with you and your little girls. Seriously. I think if you had turned your head at the right moment Lucy would be here with us:)! Take care sweetie and know You are an awesome mother (just like your mother and sisters and sister in law too:)!😘

    1. Oh, Happy Mother’s Day, Betsy!! We were SO pleased to see Kurt, and we long for the day when we get to visit you all! You’re one of the mothers that I look to as a mentor. Love you!!

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