I was a very young mom when I had my first child, just 17. Teen pregnancy was something whispered about in 1989, but I noticed the stares. Because of those stares, I wanted to make sure I did everything right. I wanted to have the perfect kids so that people would see that a young mom could succeed.
If I could go back and do things differently, I would relax more. I wanted my son to be the smartest at preschool. In T-ball I wanted him to be the best player. He was pretty smart and could beat me at Memory by age 3, but as for sports ... well, he was more interested in staring at the clouds than catching a ball.
I wanted to be seen as the perfect mom. I kept my house spotless.
I started writing and publishing and tried to become a success. By this time I lived 2,000 miles from those who knew me as a teen mom, but that didn't stop me from striving. I didn't go to enough nature walks or play catch too often, because I was too busy keeping my world in order.
What I know now is my world will never be perfect. My to-do list will never be done. My son has grown and has a family of his own. He's not perfect. I'm not perfect, and perhaps some of our favorite memories are from when we forgot there was a world out there we were trying to impress ... and just enjoyed being together—laughing, loving and enjoying life.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the blessing of children and the gift of motherhood. Help me be the mom my kids need and not the perfect mom. Help me keep my priorities straight and resist the pressures to do it all. Thank you for being the perfect parent and showing me what it means to truly love!
Tricia Goyer has written more than 35 books, including both novels that delight and entertain readers and nonfiction titles that offer encouragement and hope. She has also published more than 500 articles in national publications such as Guideposts, Thriving Family, Proverbs 31 and HomeLife Magazine.
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