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  • Stacy Sanchez

Motherhood: Caffeine, Messy Buns, and Doggy Slippers

And Sarah declared, ‘”God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me.” Genesis 21:6 (NIV)

“Ooohh, the joys of motherhood,” I said, wearing the same clothes I’d had on for the last two days, adorned with a coffee spill, a messy bun plopped on the side of my head, and doggy slippers.

This is my all-too-familiar response to my daughters-in-love, when they regale me with the latest antics of my precocious grandcherubs. (I’m no longer “mothering,” but my attire is the same. I’m a writer, same uniform.)

I remember those long, exhausting days well. My husband and I raised four children: three boys and one girl. Which are easier to raise? Depends on the day and how much caffeine was available.

I believe my nine grandchildren are God’s living thank-you note to me for keeping my kids alive.

Sometimes motherhood is hard — really hard. No one told us it would be this hard. But would we have listened if they had? Does God give us just enough hubris to convince ourselves we will be the one woman in history who will do motherhood well? He did me. I was going to be the best mother EVER! And my children would NEVER ____ (fill in the blank).

Oh, I can now assure you, they nevered.

Let’s be real. Motherhood will be one of the hardest things we ever do. Especially, if we are doing it right. Thankfully, there is a lot of joy and laughter in the mix. Oh Lord, help us to see the joy in the middle of the muddle.

“Sarah declared, ‘God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me’” (Genesis 21:6 NIV).

Sarah had the right idea: in her joy over the miraculous birth of her son, she wanted people to share her knowledge of the goodness of God. Part of the joy of motherhood is in relating to other mothers, in both the good and the challenging.

The result of those kind of interactions can be a time of mutual encouragement, just in knowing we are not alone in our reality.

So please laugh with me. This is a list of just some of the things I never thought I would say as a mom. It’s not an exhaustive list. I’ve said some doozies. I’d love to hear some of the things you never thought you would say. Leave them in the comments so we can laugh with each other.

I’m sorry the preacher is boring you, but stop fluffing my arm fat like a pillow.

Stop popping the heads off your sister’s Barbies and telling her zombies ate their brains.

Just because you are a boy doesn’t mean you can pee outside just anywhere. The church has a bathroom for that.

No! You may not make a bomb!

No time to brush your teeth. Hurry up! Chew this piece of gum.

Please stop shoving Coco Puffs up your nose and chasing the kids around the house while blowing them out. (Said to my husband.)

Why did you wipe boogers on the wall? Because I never told you couldn’t? Well then, gather ‘round children. Hear ye! Hear ye! New rule: you may never wipe boogers on the wall. When you move out, you can wipe whatever you want on your walls. Just don’t invite me over.

No, I’m not putting money away for your college education. I’m saving for my therapy bill.

When things get hard, remember to laugh, or you’ll pull your hair out. Wigs are expensive. Spend that money on coffee.

Lord, help us to laugh at ourselves. With every diaper change, every dinner cooked, every tear wiped, at every cross-country meet we attend, may we be “Jesus with skin on” to our children and exemplify your unfailing love. And if our children do not turn out as we had hoped, and the path they take looks nothing like how we imagined, help us even then to realize our purpose is in you and not an outcome. By the way, thank you Lord for my own mom! She’s pretty awesome.



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