Mon | Dec 5, 2022

‘Let go of the hurt to be a good mother to your children’

Published:Sunday | May 8, 2022 | 12:10 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Today is being celebrated as Mother’s Day, and while many will be showering their moms with gifts, special dinners and just showing them love and appreciation in various ways, teacher and author of Girls Like Me, Marcia Yetman, wants to address the scars that are still yet to be healed.

In an interview with Family and Religion, Yetman, while acknowledging that parenting is hard, said mothers doing it from a wounded, scarred place, whether a father is present or not, have even more challenges.

“Sadly, many times dad is the source of the wound. Oftentimes those of us who have not travelled the road of restoration in a healthy, godly way leave a trail of hurt and pain behind us,” she noted.

Pointing out that hurting, scarred people do not always relate to others in the healthiest of ways, she shared that wounds can cause mothers to unknowingly “bleed” on their children as they pass on generational trauma, causing children to develop an unhealthy way of coping with life’s challenges.

“Parenting is where mothers learn the ‘art of war’. We fight for our children sometimes from even in the womb. Numerous mothers can testify how they were advised to abort their babies for a number of reasons. There are ‘warrior’ moms who dared to believe and act otherwise because they listened to God rather than man. However, it’s hard for a wounded warrior to fight effectively,” she said.

The challenge, stated Yetman, is for mothers to be healed and rise above their trauma or wounds so they can parent from a more wholesome place. The healing process, she stressed, has many similar elements for all. “My encouragement is to begin with forgiveness. Forgive the offenders and forgive yourself. Unforgiveness breeds bitterness and pollutes the spirit. It can eat you alive and distort your present reality. It can foster a toxic home environment,” she said.

Yetman warned that children can taste the bitterness in their soul and be poisoned themselves, which can lead to them fighting battles they were not meant to fight.

“It is also important for mothers to know that we are not defined by our trauma, Yetman said, adding that neither are they the sum total of their mistakes.

“It’s important to let it go and move on ... not an easy feat, but necessary. Our children need to see us doing that, so they can pattern said behaviour. Understanding whose we are and who we are can help to recalibrate our mindset. For me, that begins with a relationship with Christ,” she pointed out.

Today, amid the celebration, Yetman is recommending that mothers let this be the beginning of “a new thing”. She stressed that mothers should not be afraid to ask for help, and reminds them that they are not alone in their quest for healing.

“Mothers understand where you are because they have travelled that road. The goal is to parent from a place of peace. We pray that our children will see the imperfect us because we are imperfect. They will see how we rise despite our flaws, and they will also appreciate the effort we make to help them acquire the tools necessary to be better men and women than us,” she said.