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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)

TITLE: Mom to Mom
By Kristen Hester


Please donít judge me. Iím just an imperfect mom doing my best.

Donít be disappointed in me when you arrive at my house unannounced and witness a chaotic mess. Did you know we built a tepee in the living room today and painted pictures for sick children? There may still be dirty dishes on the table and toilets that need scrubbing...and flushing, but we had fun today. At least until you arrived and shook your head at my mess. So please donít be disappointed, but instead offer an understanding nod.

Please donít condemn me when you see me lose my temper and yell just a little too loud at my children. You didnít see the hundreds of times today that I responded calmly and correctly. You donít know how very tired I am because during the night I comforted someone after a nightmare, nursed a baby and tended to a sick child. You saw me at a weak moment, but you did not see the hours and hours that led to this moment. So please offer an encouraging word rather than a clicking tongue.

Donít fault me when I get my son a new plate of food because his mashed potatoes touched his green beans. I know you think this is the wrong thing to do, but we have battled his compulsive behavior for years. You werenít there when we bravely stood our ground against what we considered indulgent whims until dinner was a dreaded event. For the peace of the family, we finally obliged his odd requests. He smiled and said ďthank youĒ and we enjoyed a pleasant meal. It is true, for this one child, I have chosen not to fight this battle any longer. But donít fault me for this decision, because you didnít sit at my table for seven years before making it.

Donít shake your head at our schooling decision. I know you have chosen a different method, and you feel confident that yours is superior to our method. But I assure you that I love my children also. We have prayed about our choice and feel this is best for our family. So, just because we have made a decision that is different from yours, donít assume I am wrong and you are right. Iíll extend you the same courtesy.

Donít criticize me because my childís grocery sack puppet looks like a Picasso with itís tangled mass of red yarn hair, crooked eyes, and purple, misplaced nose. She did it all by herself. After all, it was her assignment. She was so proud of her imperfect project until she arrived at school and observed the others, which looked professional. It is not my goal for her to be the 2nd grade valedictorian, but rather to grow into an independent, creative and spiritually mature adult. So, when my childís work isnít as impressive as your childís, remember we have different goals.

Donít tease me when my children arrive at church in mismatched clothes. You donít know how vain I can be regarding appearances and impressing others. Yet, the Lord is dealing with me on this. My daughter dressed herself and chose those clothes. Though I am cringing on the inside, it is a step in spiritual maturity that I allowed her to wear that. So please, if you think about it, pray for me rather than tease me.

Donít judge me because I give my child a pill every morning so he can attend school. I know you think that if I would just discipline my child or change his diet he wouldnít need medicine. You werenít there when specialists, doctors and teachers worked hard to convince me the medicine was necessary after I tried everything else. I finally see my son smile, complete his homework and have pride in his achievements. Then you suggest that perhaps I could try this or that, not knowing Iíve already tried ďthisĒ and ďthat,Ē with no results. So please donít pretend that your one-minute diagnosis will solve something weíve battled for many years.

I have a confession. I already doubt and second guess many of my parenting decisions. Daily, I am disappointed that I donít meet my own expectations. Mom to mom, what I really need from you, my Christian sister and comrade, is support, encouragement and prayer. Iíll return the favor.

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This article has been read 784 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 05/01/08
okay, WOW! I think you captured every single thing about being a "mom" right here in this piece. So special, all of this. You take every little issue and explain it, but in a way that only shows more of yourself. The transparency is amazing. A favorite of mine this week. ^_^
Pam Carlson-Hetland05/01/08
The first line says it all "...imperfect Mom doing my best." Aren't we all just doing the best we can? This is a very relevant article for our times--a head's up for all us Moms to encourage one another. Not everyone deals with the same issues we do and we need a little more compassion for those other Moms who have a lot on their plate. As you can probably tell, this hit me right where I live, too. Bravo for writing this significant piece and also for writing it so very well!!!
Shirley McClay 05/01/08
Wow... this resonates with me... I could add or remove one or two examples, but it still says the same thing. Wow. Amen and amen. Would love to post this on my door and make anyone who wants to come into my house and life... sign it! LOL... or just stick it on my forehead... whatever works.
Charla Diehl 05/02/08
This was so, so good! You have captured what we all need to learn--things aren't always what they seem and it isn't our place to judge anyway. So much of this struck personal chords with me. Thanks for saying it so beautifully from the heart.
Allan Morelos05/03/08
It's easier to judge than to encourage. Thanks for the exhortation. I love this piece. It sums up the struggles and the secret joys of a Christian mom. Great writing!
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/04/08
I enjoyed this wonderful message from an imperfect mom. (Aren't we all!) You laid out each case so well of a Christian mother asking for understanding and doing her best. The love of this imperfect mother for her children shines.
Peter Stone05/04/08
Superb writing, and the last paragraph is so me. Also agree completely about medication for those with disorders such as ADHD etc. Having taught children both on and off medication, I felt sorry for those forced to battle a malfunctioning brain without medical assistance.
Betty Castleberry05/05/08
Publish this! So many moms need to read this; those that are judged and those doing the judging as well. Great job.
Sheri Gordon05/05/08
Wow, this is really, really good. So many mothers question their parenting skills and decisions. This is something all mothers--and probably more importantly, non-mothers--need to read. Excellent job with the topic.
LauraLee Shaw05/05/08
I soaked in every word in this authentic, heartfelt plea. Your choice of words seemed very deliberate and careful--balanced. You managed to get a strong point across without crossing the line of bitterness. I can't tell you how many times I have felt these same emotions behind my own scenarios in parenting. Well done.
Willena Flewelling 05/06/08
So very true, and well written!

As a mother who has had to make a lot of decisions I judged as wrong not so many years ago, I can understand this one on many levels. We just DON'T know what someone else is going through, and so many decisions are only come to after much agonizing and prayer.
Jan Ackerson 05/06/08
Heartfelt, and wonderfully written. I really related to this, and could have added some of my own "pleases".
Joshua Janoski05/06/08
This piece says a whole lot about the struggles that mother's face daily.

I think every single one of us longs for people to just try and understand our situation rather than pointing a judging finger at us. I think all people, moms and otherwise, can relate to your plea.

Well spoken. You did a great job with this one. :)
Yvonne Blake 05/06/08
Beautifully done!
Being a mom is a 24/7 job that only another mother would understand...and sometimes even then, some don't.
You are doing a wonderful job and I'm sure you are making lasting happy memories and decisions that are best for your children.
Joanne Sher 05/06/08
Thank you, Kristen, for writing this piece. We have ALL been there - we all ARE there. Excellent. You should get this published, girl.
Dianne Janak05/07/08
This was great Kristen.. thanks... I am going to send it to my daughter with triplets..!! What great advice for ANY of us.. even and especially those with adult children now.. ! Being a mom is a lifelong job.. THANKS.. well done girl!
Debbie Wistrom05/07/08
Her pleas are heartfelt. Oh to walk a mile.....Great job with this.
Carole Robishaw 05/07/08
This was well-written, and obviously straight from the heart, with experience as the teacher. I sent the link to a special friend who walks in the same shoes.
Loren T. Lowery05/07/08
Excellent and wise. It reminds me of an old Indian saying I learned growing up. "Do not judge me until you've walked a mile in my moccasins." Great job!
Lauryn Abbott05/07/08
This was absolutely fantastic! It really is so much easier to judge, but in the Bible, we are strongly admonished to not do that. We never really know all sides of the story, do we?

I'm not sure if you intended this, but I really think this is a wonderful encouragement to so many moms who are struggling to cope with everything that comes their way and still be a "good" mom. Blessings to you!
Lyn Churchyard05/08/08
Kristen, this was just so good! I found myself nodding my head as I read. Having a granddaughter who was diagnosed with ADHD, I can appreciate your requests for other mothers not to judge your decisions. This would go well in a parenting magazine. Superb job.