I Wasn’t a Good Mother to my Brothers.

Teenage me.


I was not a good mother to my brothers.  There, I said it.


They were a great deal younger than me and I, in large part, raised them until I left home in the 11th grade.  I woke them up and got them ready for school each day, I did their laundry,  I took them to church without fail (and parent-less) multiple times a week, and I slept with them in my bed more often than not because they needed comforting.


But I was not a good mother.


Why?  Because I wasn’t their mother.  I was a teenager, and one who hadn’t been modeled any gentle-parenting examples.  No teenager should have to shoulder the responsibility of raising siblings in that environment.  So I, unqualified for the job and overworked, did the only thing I knew how to do, the only thing I had been shown.


I fussed, and I bribed, and I threatened, and I nagged, and I yelled. 


I didn’t treat them with respect, that’s true.  I didn’t know how to show anyone respect yet in my life, because I had never seen respect, never even witnessed it.  I loved them, and I cared for them, but I didn’t know how to raise them.



So, no – I was not a good mother to my brothers.  And I never claimed to be.  But I was an excellent sister.






  1. But it gave you great training for being a GREAT mom to your own kids!
    Dawn recently posted..Does God Withdraw His Love from Sinners?My Profile

  2. You’re wonderful
    Kayla G. recently posted..Short, But Sweet LetterMy Profile

  3. Sometimes I wonder if we had the same mother ;)
    I too raised my 2 little sisters, only…in my infinite wisdom at such a young age, I decided, if I was going to raise children…why not raise my own, and so at 15, I had me my very own baby…..lol!
    STILL trying to be a good mother…18 yrs later!
    Stacey recently posted..Pursuing ManMy Profile

  4. Speaking as someone who was raised by two sisters that weren’t good mothers: you were still better than nothing. My sisters were 9 and 10 when I was born and they were more mothers to me than my mother ever was. They each moved out in 11th grade as well so I was alone when I was 8 and it sucked and I felt like an orphan even though I shared a house with my two parents. I missed my moms.

  5. We work with children in Costa Rica and see a lot of siblings raising siblings. This is such a good insight. Thanks for your courage to share that. xo
    Leslie recently posted..Will This Crying Ever Stop? What To Do When Our Children CryMy Profile

  6. Oh, those days. And we are still excellent sisters :)
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  7. I somehow managed to post that without finishing my thought…

    I think raising Brother is the reason I’ve never wanted kids shooting out of my own loins. In my mind, I’ve already done that…and I don’t want to do it again. Especially from scratch. Eek.
    Of course, now I have the Steps…but that’s a little different because they aren’t full time.
    Neffer recently posted..Suwannee LakeMy Profile

  8. Whoa! I could have written this post and so needed the release of being reminded that I wasn’t supposed to be their mom, just their sister, despite the circumstances.
    Melissa recently posted..Reaching for God sized dreamsMy Profile

  9. this brought back some memories. I had step sisters who were much younger, and I was just an immature teenager with them… which is just what you would expect. But I do feel awful about the times I got angry or didn’t support hem like I should.
    ed cyzewski recently posted..Maybe I Don’t Need a Break from the Baby After AllMy Profile

    • My daughter isn’t a perfect mother to her brothers, either. But I’m so thankful for the gentleness that she oftentimes shows them and the patience I can see her learning now. I can only hope that it serves her well one day if she’s a mother. Of course, she’s not quite a teenager yet, and they have a lot of annoying years ahead of them still. :) But I hope she doesn’t have too many eldest sibling regrets like some of the rest of us.

      Thanks for the the comment, Ed.

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