It’s Okay Momma, I’ll Help You Be Brave


As we were hugging tightly under the bedspread, pretending to tremble with fear he told me monsters were coming and we had to hide together. I asked him if we would be okay and he whispered to me “It’s okay momma, I’ll help you be brave.” 

As we started to go higher on the swing and spin in circles, I told him I was feeling nervous and he shouted back to me, “It’s okay momma, I’ll help you be brave.”

As we approached a racing slide I told him I was unsure because it was tall and fast. He ran by, grabbing my hand and bringing me alongside him, saying “It’s okay momma, I’ll help you be brave.” 

first day of preschool


Never in my life have I needed to be this brave.

At three years old, this boy has few inhibitions. He is an adventure-seeker and lives for the thrill of pushing boundaries and trying new things and yet, he’s still my little boy who wants my body close as assurance.

Once he gets up the courage to try something new, he looks back to me for the look that serves as a reminder that he is seen and safe, and then bolts off with uncanny courage. 

I want him to know that as strong and bold as he is, it’s also okay to be nervous and scared. 

In our time together, I often take the role of the “scared” one and let him talk me through the scenario at hand. He always helps me to be brave with the comforting squeeze of the hand or a look of validation. He may not know that momma is just pretending to be scared of monsters and tall slides. He may not know that I get so much joy from this play and the comfort he provides me in his response. He may not know that I’m actually a big fan of thrill myself, and in these situations, I’m not as nervous as I let on. 


toddler and mom playing
Picture via Orione @ Pexels

But there are moments he truly makes me braver than I’ve ever been. 

What he doesn’t know about are the times he has helped me to be brave without my asking. 

He doesn’t know about the times I’ve had to whisper to myself “It’s okay, be brave” in new situations as I watch him grow. 

He doesn’t know how much his adventurous, outgoing, fun-loving spirit has impacted my own growth as a woman and his mom. 

He makes me brave on the first day of school when I linger at the window to make sure he’s okay and catch him having fun with new friends as I walk to the van and leave without him.

He makes me brave when we are at the playground and he walks up to a new friend to introduce himself and I am left with no control over how that child will respond and accept him.

He makes me brave when he’s walking with his new friend and having a conversation, a conversation between just the two of them, and I realize that he will forever have conversations and thoughts that I will never know the details of.

He makes me brave when he tries a new activity for the first time and I sit back and watch him struggle his way to a new understanding.

Before becoming his mother, I knew I would learn and develop new aspects of myself through the journey of motherhood. 

I knew I would learn how to function on less sleep and I would develop my own parenting style.
I knew I would juggle schedules and groceries and little humans.
I knew I would learn to love in a way I hadn’t known before.

toddler boy crawling


But I didn’t know how many times motherhood would require me to tap into new bravery. Not the bravery required to go on a tall roller coaster or hold the snake at the zoo, but bravery to fully be myself and fully be his mom while giving him the space to fully become who he is and will become.

Motherhood requires us to be brave enough to give our heart and soul to another person without expecting them to respond in any certain way. 

Motherhood requires us to be brave enough to guide and lead without criteria for the response.
Motherhood requires us to be brave enough to live as best as we can while watching our children blossom into their own individuals.

So in those moments, when my son has no idea how much he is forming and changing me, I remember that sweet voice saying “It’s okay momma, I’ll help you be brave” and I know that’s a truth that will be with me for a lifetime.

For more information on what our kids can teach us and what we can teach them, click here.