"Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard planted by the water; it was fruitful and full of branches because of abundant water."
My mother was a very strong woman when she was young. It was only through her wisdom and devotion that I survived the emotional pressures of my early childhood.
To keep her family fed, Mom found a job at a fish cannery. She was required to work unpredictable hours; many times she would be called at three or four in the morning. I marveled at her ability to hold a job and do the shopping, cooking, housekeeping, and laundry under such stressful circumstances.
Despite the difficulties, Mom was tremendously successful in the two areas of parenting that matter most:
1. She convinced my brother and me that she loved us.
2. She understood that attending the local evangelical church was important for her children. Mom would not go with us (Sunday was her "catch-up" day), but she insisted that my brother and I get involved. She pulled back the blankets every Sunday morning and ordered us to get ready for church. We often complained and moaned, but to no avail.
Now I am so thankful for her insistence. It was in that little neighborhood church that I was introduced to Jesus Christ and eventually invited Him into my heart. A few years later, Mom came to know Him, too.
You may be facing your own difficult circumstances as a mother right now. Perhaps your kids' childhoods aren't turning out the way you'd planned. But don't worry about achieving perfection as you raise your children. Cast your "anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7) and your kids. Show your children your love and teach them to love the Lord. A mother who accomplishes that is doing just fine.
From Dr. and Mrs. Dobson's book Night Light for Parents.