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A Note from the Publisher – The Kids Issue

Erica Pefferman and her five kids

One of the things people find most interesting about me is that I have five kids. They always respond with “FIVE?!” with a mixture of awe and concern for my mental health. Yep. Five. I rather enjoy that moment when it happens. I feel somewhat like Super Woman. And the truth is, I’ve had to be a bit of a super woman to get them all raised but not in the way you might think. There were times when just getting through the day with feeding and sports activities and baths required physical amounts of endurance and strength. I drove a mini van that looked like Oscar the Grouch lived in it. One time I found an actual petrified half eaten cheeseburger stuffed into a storage compartment. But little did I know then that the hardest part was raising them in their tween and teenage years.  

I have grown a lot as a mother. I used to really think that my children were a reflection of me and my worth as a person. I needed them to look just right, dress just right, act perfectly, and if those things happened that meant that I was a good mom. I powered along this way for quite a while as my children struggled in different ways to live up to this impossible standard that I set for them and myself. Then, one day I happened to catch a bit of the Oprah Show with Julia Roberts on it.  

I will never forget that day. I was folding laundry when Julia hit me with the truth that would forever change how I parented. She said (and I’m paraphrasing) that we only have these kids on loan for a little while. That they come to us as unique individual humans with their own wills and souls. We get the privilege of helping them become more fully human as they get older, but they don’t belong to us. They aren’t our possessions nor are they what defines us as people. I was stunned. I remember sitting there thinking that directly challenged everything I had been taught by my parents and that I had been doing. But then something great happened. I believed it to be true, and me believing it to be true freed my children and myself from the confines I had put us in. 

I have the best stories of how my children have learned to be the adults they now are. They will make you laugh until you cry. I quickly adopted the belief in natural consequences. My children will be the first to tell you that while they can always come to me and I will support them through anything, I will not save them from their life lessons.  And that is how I have raised five kids as a working mother. I haven’t done it perfectly. I joke that everyone needs something to talk to their therapist about. But, I have raised five amazingly loving, kind, giving, funny and unique kids, and I am so proud of each of them. 

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