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.