She sat in my living room and told me that she became a latch-key kid at the age of five. I could not even imagine a five-year-old coming home to an empty house every day, but I know many of you have a similar story. You grew up having to be a parent to yourself. Maybe your mom was an addict or emotionally distant or worked day and night. For whatever reason, you never experienced being mothered in a nurturing way.
Now you are married and have kids of your own. You want to offer something more for your own kids, but you don’t even know what more looks like.
I want you to know that you are in a very special position in your family history.
I’m so excited for you! Do you realize you’re a pioneer? You’re going someplace new that maybe the generations behind you never explored before. You’re shaping a new kind of home that will make your kids smile when they think about it from the perspective of adulthood.
If there have been generations of brokenness in a long line behind you, now is your opportunity to break that cycle, with God’s help.
Pioneers have to work harder than people who take the worn-in path, but please be encouraged. If you wake up every morning and look for ways to be a good mom, you are doing great work.
You don’t have to do everything perfectly –how could you? But you can push forward with these actions: Feed your kids well. Make sure they’re clean and have clean clothes. Talk to them kindly. Read them Bible stories. Discipline them gently but firmly when they disobey you. Snuggle with them often. This is the stuff good moms are made of.
And relax a little bit –kids will forgive your trials and errors, if they know you’re working in their best interest. If you say you’re sorry and try again the next day, they’ll forgive you as often as you’re willing to humbly apologize for your shortcomings.
God will give you wisdom in bite-sized pieces. He’ll help you all day long and all night long. He’s got you in his hand, so don’t ever feel like you’re pioneering all by yourself.
And even though you’re forging a new kind of family, don’t think that you have to do everything perfectly. There’s not a mom alive who has her whole act together. We’re all working at it, and really all that matters is that you keep working at it. Like the old proverb says, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
High five to you.
You’re doing good work –shaping a new generation of kids who will know what it’s like to be loved and cared for at home.
Don’t give up, sister. I see you.