What Can One Mom Do?

This momma’s heart is hurting

For our world

For our downtrodden – for anyone who does not feel safe

For justice

For my children

For every momma’s children, small-or grown

We need change. We all need to change. The quickest, most lasting change is what can happen in our home. What happens there affects the world outside of our home. In the process of setting the direction of how we lead our children, we are the “openers of eyes” to foster respect of others and service to others. It’s in this process that can take the opportunity to raise kids who are agents of change, and are “kinder than necessary.”

One of the family values we chose to nurture in our kids was “Service to Others.” You have to look for opportunities, and sometimes you create opportunities when you see needs. After helping with a Vacation Bible School at a trailer park in the small town we lived in, it just seemed that the kids who lived there needed some more help. My kids and I began visiting the community every week and we set up a Homework Help program. Many of the kids had parents who worked long days and did not have a handle on the language, so they were not able to help their kids with their homework. My kids were teenagers at the time, and it was not something we had them do because it was “rewarding” or that it “checked a volunteer box.” It was a way they could help others. It was a way they could build relationships with people that didn’t look just like them. It was a way to learn to be tutors. It was part of our pre-determined desire to instill a value in them of “Service to Others.”  They had to learn that some days no one would show up – it wasn’t about them. There were days they would rather be doing something else, but they had committed to put someone else above their own desires. These are great experiences that teach important lessons of “being available” to others.

I asked my grown kids to give me their feedback regarding that Homework Help experience. My son, Mitchell, commented that it “helped him recognize that those kids had more difficult circumstances, and what we did helped them.” He also remembered how fun it was to really get to know those kids, and not only tutor them, but play soccer with them. Mitchell also was able to use his coursework in Spanish to help the trailer park manager by translating for a resident who wanted to reserve the community room for a son’s graduation but was having difficulty communicating. My daughter, Megan, said that just being there was important for her. She realized how isolated she was – she didn’t live in that community and would never have had those interactions without the tutoring experience. “Because we were there every week, we were able to, in essence, tell them I DO want to help you, and be with you.” Megan especially felt it was rewarding to help the kids change what they thought was impossible for themselves. 

Mitchell also noted that he himself did not set up the Homework Help experience, but by being a regular part of serving there, he got a better bearing on how it COULD be done.

This kind of service has helped our kids have a bigger heart. My older son and his wife are taking the steps to become foster parents, continuing this value of “Service to Others.”

I currently live in Minneapolis, and I have seen the news coverage of families who went to the areas ravaged by unrest, and who were cleaning up the city alongside people of all backgrounds. There were also families packing food bags to be distributed to needy families.  Service begins with little steps of action. We will never know the difference we make, but nonaction will make no difference.

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

I know that many moms and dads are wondering what they can do right now to make things better in our world today. My advice is to just start somewhere. It’s okay to admit that you are clueless, and even a little scared. Please know that there are people out there who would love to help you in your quest to serve. Partner with organizations who are already serving needy areas-your church, or a community center- who know what the needs are better than you do. They know how to plug uncomfortable but willing people and families into service opportunities. Don’t just check the box that you gave money to an organization. You won’t even remember you did that in a month or so.

The first step is putting that stake in the ground to “make a difference.” Decide that “Service to Others” will be a foundational target in your family. Write it down, start conversations around this, and begin to look for ways to act that out. While you are at it,  bring some other families along with you!

“I find the meaning of my life in helping others
to see the meaning in their lives.”
Vikctor Frankl

Share this post

Related Articles

Map in My Lap

I got a GREAT gift for Christmas this year. It was something that I had hinted at for many years, and my husband finally took

Read More

Word Gifts

“Your words have power. Speak words that are kind, loving, positive, uplifting, encouraging, and life-giving.” -Unknown “Kind words can be short and easy to speak,

Read More

Ann Lahm

Author, Blogger

I love the opportunities to support parents and Moms in particular, that All Done Day has provided me.

Ann Lahm

My personal favorites
Make it Your Own



Become an All Done Day Blog Subscriber Today!

Receive the latest updates
from All Done Day!