Don’t get me wrong, dads matter, too. But since I am a mom, God talks to me about being a mom, so here’s something I learned recently.
There is a Christian homeless shelter in our area that helps people recover from addiction and get the training they need to become active in the job market and in life. I have been supporting them financially for years, but have never taken the opportunity to visit them, until a week or so ago.
It was a yummy free breakfast on a very rainy summer day. The speaker was a gentleman who was doing well in one of the programs. He was working and had reconnected with his family. It was a great story.
As we toured the facility we were given the opportunity to meet and hear the stories of other participants in the other programs.
The one thing I kept hearing from the men as they shared their stories was how unnutured they had felt by their mothers. Some had mothers who had left. Others had mothers who stayed but were really harsh. They had stories of fathers that they didn’t like, too, but none of that seemed to affect them as much as the pain caused by their mothers.
I have not done any research to see if the anecdotes I heard that morning are corroborated by research. But I am pretty sure that the reason God prompted me to attend that breakfast was to remind me that I need to be more nurturing to my son.
I love him deeply and get so scared about his future sometimes that I can be really hard on him, wanting him to learn the skills he needs to succeed.
Love does include discipline. But, I am noticing, especially for my son, the closer to adulthood he gets, a mom’s encouraging words are very important. They help him as much or more than reminders of what he did wrong (because he already knows and is beating himself up over it).
I know a lot of you moms out there are very nurturing. Keep up the good work. And thanks for being such a good example to those of us who can lean a bit more towards drill sargeant.
Also, I know a lot of you moms out there are single parents so have to fill the role of both father and mother. I will be praying for extra grace for you – that must be so hard!
So now I still acknowledge something that went wrong, if it is becoming a bad habit. But I also try to do more acknowleging of what is going right. I am doing better about acknowledging the fact that even if something went wrong, it has went right in the past, and/or I believe that it will go right in the future.
I am also trying to do a better job of coaching him onto great ways to spend his time – not demanding, but also not just sitting back and letting him flounder with no ideas at all.
I’ll still fail somedays, but I will get back up and try again. Wouldn’t it be great if the homeless shelters shut down due to a lack of disillusioned, lost, hurting people?
Thanks God for patiently training me to be a better mom. And thank you to all of you who shared your stories of pain so that hopefully my son won’t have that same story to tell. Your pain has helped someone. I hope that gives you just a bit of joy – that your pain was not for nothing.