Dear Mama, In case you forgot the magic…

This weekend I got to experience magic. One of my best friends invited me and a few others to be there for the birth of her first baby. I’ve never seen birth – except my own.

It was magic. Birth is magic. It is terrible, it is messy, and it is brilliant. After 24 hours of hard labor and zero results, my friend had gotten a epidural. She cracked jokes as she nibbled graham crackers between pushing contractions. What a bad ass. She was so strong and so powerful…I have never seen her so beautiful. Her husband stroked her head and held her hand as she used all her strength to bring new life into the world.

We cheered her on like it was the World Cup. At one point we offered to leave the room and the midwife looked at us intently, “No, she needs you – she pushes harder when you encourage her.”

“This is how it used to be,” she said, “Women gathered, supporting each other during birth.”

As she gave the final push, Flora Milo became, and I watched her dear parents also become. They will never be the same. We all burst into tears as this tiny being was placed on Allie’s chest. Magic. Blood, sweat, and tears, had brought them to this moment. Crushed hearts, tragic loss, health battles, and doctors that said this moment would never happen…yet here they are.

Beautiful Flora and Mama

And here is this baby who says I beg to differ.

And we cry, because magic.

As I held this precious one, I thought of my own babes when they were brand new earth-side…and my heart hurt. I remember the magic. I remember the simplicity of eat, sleep, eat, sleep.

My Malachi, 9 years ago

That night I was looking for pictures, and I came across Facebook posts from 2 and 3 years ago. My heart sank. Their precious tiny faces.  Oh how I miss it! How’d it go by so quickly? The moment didn’t seem special when I was in it. It seemed stressful and hectic. It seemed like something to survive until everyone was finally in their beds, fast asleep.

I was disturbed by the regret that gripped my heart. What was I worried about then? I was worried about my pant size and whether Scout would ever stop throwing tantrums. I was worried about the budget and whether or not my floor was clean. I was worried about me.

My babes, 3 years ago.

How am I ever going to stop worrying so much about me??

I have somehow misplaced this magic. This magic that lives and breathes and wakes up in my house every morning.

Haven with her big hair and puffy eyes. She sometimes is cute, other times she growls in response to our cheer with clenched fists and an arched neck. Her eyes say DO NOT SPEAK THESE GOOD MORNING words to me.

It will get better when you can have coffee dear-heart, hang in there.


Magic is the smell of Oaklee after a bath. It is all of us dancing in the living room to Shakira and Robin Thicke after movie night. Magic is when Haven sings to Bob the cat about how she wasn’t trying to hurt him. It is Scout crying because Malachi got in trouble. It is that four kids ask to have sleepovers together on their bedroom floor.

Sibling Sleepovers


There is magic happening all around me every day…why do I miss it?

Sometimes there is no coffee strong enough. Sometimes I look inside my bottom fridge drawer and witness things a person can never un-see. Sometimes it’s the whining and the bickering and it’s the constant of eat, clean, eat, clean. Sometimes it’s that life is painful and it feels like it is closing in from every side.

It’s the constant, persistent, wondering if I am doing this. all. wrong.

It’s the wondering if I can really raise these children into the incredible adults I know they can be. Will they be kind? Will they be strong? Will they be healthy?

I think about my friend giving birth.

Could it be that the process and pain of labor isn’t really over? Our mother hearts are in the wringer daily. With each transition and every stage of growth – our minds often scream, “I CANNOT DO THIS.”

And we lose the magic…

for good reason.

Because it is damn. hard.

Birth isn’t that magical when you’re doing it. It is a lot more like pain and really really hard work.

But, we are not doing it alone. We are a sisterhood. A sisterhood of flawed mothers doing our very best.

So my friend, wherever you are at, and whatever your story,

As one flawed mama to another,

I want to take your hand and say LISTEN TO ME. YOU ARE A BAD ASS. You are DOING IT!! This is HARD, but you are CAPABLE. Look at the amazing children you are raising…WOW! Look at how STRONG you are…

Because we can most definitely, certainly do it better together.

Mama, YOU are INCREDIBLE. Look at you.

Childhood is magic. It is terrible, it is messy, it is brilliant.

Lets cheer each other on like it’s the World Cup.


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17 responses to “Dear Mama, In case you forgot the magic…”

  1. These are beautiful words and ring so true. Thank you for your honesty and your encouragement. From one mama to another: you are doing this right ❤️

  2. Wow! It is so true and I yearn to slow life down just enough to notice the magic. I tocan be hard on myself for not doing it right or not appreciating what’s right in front of me as much as I should, but I am learning to focus on the little things everyday… in those moments I am finding great joy!

  3. I heard that when in labor you push so hard that you poop. Wouldn’t the be embarrassing?

  4. Every mother everywhere should read this! Wonderful post and yes it is bloody hard! 💪💪

  5. Thank you for this post. I beat myself over how much I was wrapped up in the chores of baby-rearing and not as much in the joy of it. I learned my lesson. My baby is 12 now, and I am soaking in every moment of her life now. Every new mom I meet, I tell her to enjoy the kid more than doing the chores – its ok if the house is messy. If the baby has not been given a bath. If the baby is spitting up all over the living room upholstery. The baby moments are all that matter.
    Thanks again.

  6. Ahh the sweet reprieve of bedtime. But with bedtime comes the memories of the day. The moments that were. I often have to remind myself that today will come to an end and the boys will wake up as adults with kids of their own tomorrow. Birth is indeed magical. It has a way of making time disappear before our very eyes 🙂

  7. Don’t knock it till you try it 😜💩 Haha. Actually I was worried about that – but as weird as it sounds you don’t even notice and it’s cleaned up before you even can.

  8. Oh that is reassuring and good to know

  9. Wow thank you so much for posting this. I had the worst morning with my son that left both of us in tears, we ended things calmly and lovingly but this just hit home. Thank you.

  10. So glad Bee, I’ve definitely had mornings like that 👊Hang in there friend!

  11. Thank you sweet Jessica for your innate wisdom and encouraging words to all the MOMS out there! You are gifted with beautiful insight and being able to put them into wonderful prose! I truly appreciate your gift and you!! Aunt Gay

  12. Thanks Aunt Gay, love you!

  13. No truer words have ever been spoken. I’ve had these feelings raising my 6 and still do at times even as they’ve become amazing adults. What wonderful people they’ve all become! Now I have those feelings for grandchildren. Their all so precious! I love who you are Jessica and all your realness 🙂
    Thank you for marrying my son and being some of my grandchildrens momma!

  14. I just found you on Facebook and read your “Dear Kids, when I fail” and cried. I cried because you wrote every single word I feel. I actually thought of printing it out and putting it in a frame in my kids room. I have 2 sons a almost 4 year old and a almost 1 year old. These words hit me right in the heart and are what I feel everyday when I wake up. I notice that time is just moving so fast and I wonder if I am doing it right. Thank you so much for your words. I also have a suggestion if you haven’t already, i think you should put all your stories in a book. It would be a great book to give to a new mom or a not so new mom to let her know that she is not alone in her anxiety or fear or her lifetime of second guessing herself.

    Thank you………

  15. Also, now I am reading everything you have on your site and feeling inspired:)

  16. Thank you! So good to hear!

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