An Open Letter to the young mom in the fast food shop with a two-year-old and a newborn:

My heart went out to you as you tried to just get a fast sandwich and small drink to have a little break or enjoy a quick lunch in peace. But your two-year-old was teasing his sister in the baby carrier and ran all over the shop. And as the line behind you increased, the toddler spilled the drink and then ran out the door.

My heart went out to your little boy as he ran out the door but then stood right by the door. I knew he was afraid and he didn’t go farther. It was his cry for help. See me, mommy? I’m needy. My little heart doesn’t know how to say, “I feel ignored. Baby sister takes you away from me. I used to feel so special. Now the only attention I receive is when I do wrong things. I don’t want to but my heart cries out through my insecurity. Please help me.”

My heart went out to you, young mom, because I want to say, “I know this is overwhelming. You may be depressed. For sure you’re exhausted. You’re uncertain about this new path. One child was hard. Two is harder. You want to give your little boy the attention he needs but it just feels easier to let things go.”

My heart goes out to you wanting to encourage you to be consistent in disciplining. Yes, consistently give a consequence to your little boy. Even though you’re exhausted and it just seems easier to let it go; to think, “Oh, he’ll learn someday,” don’t be lax. Take the littlest bit of energy you have left and get up to help your boy to obey. The dividends will pay off.

My heart goes out to you when you only see your little boy’s disobedience and not his cry for help. But see his need. Give the hug. Talk to him without frustration in your voice. Use moments when the baby is happy or doesn’t need you to sit down on the floor and play with that little boy. The house doesn’t need to be perfect. Use your boy’s nap time to take a nap yourself. Take care of yourself.

I was once that young mom with a toddler and a baby. I was once that needy mom with two needy children. I was once that frustrated mom who felt trapped and tied down. But if I can learn to find joy, so can you. I learned to be consistent in giving consequences. I learned to value time with a needy little girl. And I learned to receive God’s forgiveness when I didn’t receive His empowering help.

And in the midst of my need, God was faithful and showed Himself kind. Young mom, God loves you and wants to help you. Cling to Him and see His answers. You won’t be a young mom for long, even though right now it seems like forever. Some day you’ll look back with longing and remember the good times. Enjoy what you can and trust God for the future. 

Someday that toddler will graduate from college or get married or hand his newborn baby over to you, and you’ll be so thrilled. Someday he’ll rise up and called you blessed.

An open letter to that young mom: don’t lose hope (Tweet that!)