We recently sat down with Leslie Means to talk about her journey, wealth of knowledge and everything else in between.
Leslie Means is a former news anchor who has turned her passion for motherhood and writing into a thriving online community.
Her View From Home, founded by Leslie in her tiny closet, has grown into a powerful resource for mothers seeking insightful and encouraging advice on a variety of topics, including marriage, relationships, grief, faith, and life.
With 2.5 million monthly readers, the website has become a go-to platform for women looking to connect with others and share their experiences.
Leslie Mean’s latest project is her book, So God Made a Mother: Tender, Proud, Strong, Faithful, Known, Beautiful, Worthy, and Unforgettable–Just Like You. The book features emotional essays from women of all ages and stages, including renowned authors such as Amy Weatherly, Jess Urlichs, Kathy Radigan, and Kelly Cervantes. So God Made a Mother offers readers a relatable and powerful perspective on motherhood, celebrating a mother’s purpose and worthwhile addressing the challenges and joys of the role.
Living in Nebraska with her husband Kyle and three children, Ella, Grace, and Keithan, Leslie Means is a dynamic and inspiring leader in the motherhood space. She continues to manage Her View From Home while writing her monthly newspaper column and running a popular collection of faith-inspired clothing and lifestyle products. Leslie is a voice for mothers everywhere, and her impact on the lives of women and families is undeniable.
We recently had an insightful and uplifting conversation with Leslie Means, a woman who has created a platform that empowers and inspires mothers around the world. Leslie’s unique perspective on motherhood, faith, and her wealth of experience and insights into motherhood, Leslie is a dynamic and inspiring figure in the motherhood space and a voice for mothers everywhere.
Leslie, you are releasing your new book So God Made a Mother on April 18th 2023. What inspired you to write this book?
We’ve known for years we were going to write a book, but we were waiting for the right time and the right title. In April of 2020, during a soak in the tub (where all the best ideas come), it hit me: So God Made a Mother is a perfect title for this book. We have similar titles on our website that resonate with millions of women—God Gave Me Sons, God Made a Grandma, So God Made a Mother, etc—and we knew we needed to create a book with the same title.
In each chapter, the reader will resonate with the vulnerable, brave, beautiful new stories written by Her View From Home writers and I lead the read-through. We used characteristics of mothers— tender, proud, strong, etc—to divide each section, so no matter what chapter you’re in, you’ll see yourself in these stories.
We hope the readers gather with friends around kitchen tables, coffee shops, in the carpool lane – and talk about the stories on these pages, and share their own stories as well.
How has motherhood changed since you first became a mother?
Oh goodness, where do I start? My oldest will be 15 this summer, so yes, motherhood has changed over the years. I think the pandemic forced us all to look at our lives a little closer, you know? When I first became a mother, we weren’t talking about the tough parts of parenting—the stress, the mental health struggles, the overwhelm of it all. Now, mothers are opening up and they are better about asking for help. These women are brave and they’re helping countless other moms, just by sharing their own stories.
What unique perspectives do women of all ages and stages offer to readers through your book?
We joke and say anyone who is a mother, who knows a mother, who has a mother should read this book—but it’s true. The beauty of these stories and this book is every mother will relate to the words on these pages. Even if you aren’t raising teens or babies, even if you’ve never experienced devastating heartbreak, even if you’re a grandmother and the days of raising kids are long gone, you will see yourself in these stories and the incredible words the authors share.
Could you tell us more about Her View From Home, what it is and how it came about?
Sure! Her View From Home is a contributor-based website. We share real, vulnerable, powerful, bittersweet stories about motherhood, marriage, faith, grief, and relationships. We’ve had 1000s of writers share their stories with us—and millions of readers! It’s a story-based website. We
don’t want controversy and no one on our site claims to be an expert. We’re mothers, women—who’ve been through and are currently in the trenches of life, and we love sharing our experiences with others. It’s a community, really—it’s like a big hug, to let you know you’re not alone.
It started 12 years ago, well—41 years ago I suppose.
I grew up on a farm in the middle of Nebraska. We didn’t have a lot of money or many neighbours, but we did have wide open spaces and room for imagination. Tom Brokaw filled our living room each night and on Fridays, I watched Barbara Walters interview celebrities, dignitaries, and notable people. Even at a young age, I was fascinated with the lives of strangers. I wanted to know their stories. As a young girl, I spent hours in my room, immersed in books that took me to worlds so unknown to me. But I never felt small. The internet wasn’t accessible yet, and no social media existed – but I knew the world had something special to offer me and everyone in it.
I earned my broadcast journalism degree from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and spent seven years in the TV business, as a reporter, anchor, and talk-show host. But I left TV when my girls were little. On paper, that was a foolish move. My job was wonderful, the people were kind and yet, I knew something was missing. I knew there was more to my journey.
I left TV to work at our local chamber of commerce. I bawled the first day, thinking maybe I had made a mistake. But I quickly learned the ropes from my first female boss. She encouraged me to chase after my dreams, and when I found myself missing the TV world, I combined the skills I learned from the business world and TV to create Her View From Home.
And now, Her View From Home is 12 years old! It’s an incredible honour to help these women share their stories.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received as a mother?
Gosh, the best advice? Great question. I don’t think it was ever an actual phrase, but more action. I learned how to be a parent from my own parents. They worked hard and taught me to love others well, be kind, work for what you want and never give up.
Could you tell us more about HVFH’s best-selling “So God Made A Mother” t-shirt and why it’s become so popular?
Sure! We launched our online shop a few weeks before Covid hit. Ack! Talk about a terrifying time but we knew it would work when people were buying—even during hard times! The shirt—it’s the title. It’s the sentiment. Right there in a few words. Whether it’s on a shirt, mug, or a soon-to-be bestselling book, moms get it. So God Made a Mother, tender, proud, strong, faithful, known, beautiful, worthy and unforgettable—just like you.
You mention faith being an important aspect in both your book and HVFH; how does faith play a role in your life as a mother?
Yes! Thanks for asking about this one. I believe Her View From Home and So God Made a Mother is what it is because of God. Hands down—the end. There’s no way I could do this on my own. I talk a lot about “God’s Whispers” in our writing community. I believe He wants me to do this—to create this community that is changing lives. That said, I love that our site isn’t a teaching or preaching community (our book isn’t either). It’s a place for women to share their stories. Period. If your story includes an element of faith? It’s welcome. If your story doesn’t include an element of faith? It’s welcome. Everyone has an important story to tell—and we can learn from those who are different from us.
Is there any advice for new mothers that you would like to share with our readers today?
I was just talking to a mom about this question today. When my first daughter was born, social media was still new—heck, blogs were new. I can’t imagine raising a new baby with all the noise of today—the filtered accounts, the pressure new moms must face. It’s OK to ask for advice, and it’s definitely OK (and good) to ask for help. And don’t forget, YOU are their mama, and no one can love them better. Trust your instincts, and love as only you can—and you’ll be OK!
What made you decide to move to Nebraska and raise your family there?
I was born and raised here, I grew up in the same home my great-grandfather purchased in 1901. He lived in that house, and then my grandfather grew up there, and my father did as well. Now my sister and her family live there. We are proud of our heritage—that’s certain. But I thought I would leave. Nebraska was too small for me (or so I thought). My husband and I came back to this state (after living in Houston for a couple of years) for my television career. But once we had kids, we didn’t want to leave. We’re both close to our families and they all live within an hour’s drive. I couldn’t imagine raising my kids away from them.
But if I didn’t have the internet and Her View From Home, I would desperately miss the connection with people from all over the globe. That’s the beauty of owning an online business. My internet friends have become dear friends, and they are just a plane ride away. I’m able to live in a place with wide open spaces and fresh air and be around family, and I’m still able to connect to people everywhere. That gift is never lost on me.
Are there any other books or projects you’re working on at the moment or in the near future that we should be aware of?
We think So God Made a Mother can be the next Chicken Soup for the Soul series. We don’t see this as the only book—we think it’s just the beginning. So God Made a Grandma, So God Made a Boy Mom, So God Made a Sports Mom and on and on. You can see it, right? We can too. We think this is what the world needs right now—and sometimes, I believe, it can be even bigger than our Her View From Home community.
How did Covid-19 affect Her View From Home as an online resource for mothers seeking advice on various topics such as marriage and faith?
Oh, Covid. The online world has changed dramatically in the past few years. But I’m proud of us. We stayed neutral—and continued to provide a platform for mothers to share their stories without arguing and bickering and clickbait. In a time when the world was fighting, we were a big hug for the readers.
In what ways did this pandemic bring out the best in mothers across America?
Mothers are no longer afraid to talk about the hard stuff. These women are brave and vulnerable and frankly, the pandemic opened our eyes to the community and how much we need it.
Can you tell us more about the importance of community when it comes to parenting?
You know, it’s funny—in my early years of motherhood, I was so ingrained in growing Her View From Home, I didn’t make time for mom friends. I was stubborn. I convinced myself I didn’t need that community and could do it on my own.
But of course, I was desperately craving that connection—which is why I started the website. Moms can’t do this alone. The older I get (and the older my kids get) the more I realize I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing and I need these women to come alongside me and say, “Hey, I don’t know either, but I do know you’re a great mom, you love your babies, and we’re going to do this together.” There is an incredible bond that forms when moms are able to put down their barriers and ask for help. We can do it on our own—yes. But it’s just so much better if we have support.
Other than writing, what hobbies or activities do enjoy doing apart from being a mom?
I love spending time outdoors with my family or by myself. I’m online for many hours each day so I’ve had to learn to set boundaries. I usually try to go for a run at the end of a workday to recharge and focus on what’s most important.
I also love movies and can often watch something like You’ve Got Mail, over and over again—because I know the feel-good ending and sometimes, with the noise of the internet, a person just needs peace.
Lastly, can you tell us something surprising about Leslie Means that not many people know?
Ha! This question is great. Um, I can stand on my head? We didn’t have cable as a kid, so I watched a lot of news and game shows. I used to watch the Price is Right and spent that time on my head. I’m talented—clearly.