What makes my family strong?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

by Tara Pringle Jefferson

Me. Finally recognizing my value and what I bring to my family helps make us, as a unit, so incredibly strong.

Let me explain.

When I was just starting out as a mother, I didn't quite understand the role. I was terrified because everything just seemed so hard and as a young mother in particular, it seems like people were waiting for me to fail.

Raising a human is a daunting task for sure, but I let that fear propel me for a number of years. Every time my kids cried I was right there before the tear hit their cheek. They needed food? I'm heading to the store. They fell down? I've got the Band-Aids right here. I put myself second for so long. I could find myself worn out from the daily grind of motherhood but I refused to stop and take inventory of my needs, of how far down the list I had allowed myself to fall.

I realized then that my family was slipping, even though I thought I was giving them everything I had. I was trying to keep too many balls in the air and they kept dropping. So I made some changes. I began getting up before my kids so I could start the day with a fresh mind. I would put them to bed a half-hour early during particularly crazy weeks. I began taking one-on-one dates with my kids, to ensure that I could see them as individuals. It wasn't until I began to prioritize and put my needs a little higher on the list that I would have characterized my family as "strong."

Tara Jefferson is a hardworking mom of two and blogger at TheYoungMommyLife.com. She's also the author of Make It Happen, a career guide for young mothers. 

This post is part of our series on supporting young moms, as a follow up to our Mama's Day Our Way blog series