I’m here to give encouragement to young women of all kinds.

I write to all of you, whether you’re married, single, up to your ears in children, or not.

You have this in common: you’re twenty-something-ish,  you’re a female, and you’re quite, quite sure you’re making a huge mess of everything.

Your romantic life and/or marriage feels like it’s in a shambles. Every day is full of irritations and possibly screaming fights. Or maybe it’s full of…nothing. Mr. Perfect has not yet made his appearance. Something must be wrong with you.

Your career is nothing like what you thought it would be. Instead you have a gazillion dollars of student loans hanging from your neck while you sit in a gray cubicle too many hours a week. Or maybe you’re home with the children and the student loans hang around your neck, which is a super terrible combination to endure. You must have gone wrong somewhere.

Your home is absolutely coming apart at the seams. The carpet is old and dirty, none of the appliances match, and you can’t find where that smell is coming from. You really should be better at this. 

Your children appear to be hooligans in the making. You are fully convinced your efforts to parent are wasted, because obviously if you were doing it right you’d have angels and happiness and possibly unicorns dancing in and out of rainbows all day.

encouragement for wives and mothers


Dear friends, you are wrong about all of this. This is the encouragement you need.

I’m willing to guarantee that you feel like a mess and a failure, but in reality you’re doing just fine. 

I’m about to turn forty in a few weeks, and I had the luck to come of age when Pinterest wasn’t a thing. I wasn’t assaulted with perfect images of clean houses or twenty-nine crafts to do with my toddler on a rainy afternoon.

When it rained my toddlers and I muddled through the day, watched a lot of Baby Einstein, ate some crackers, and took a nap.

Guess what– those toddlers are now 13 and 11 and they’re becoming truly wonderful people. They were not emotionally stunted by my lackluster crafting schedule.

I didn’t feel like my house needed to look like a showcase, because Instagram wasn’t reminding me sixty-two different ways of how beautiful a home can look when actual people don’t live there.

Waaaaay back in the day, Facebook was used for fun things like pregnancy announcements and requests to borrow a chainsaw. We finally all got smartphones and then things got ugly, when we could show the world our children’s perfect Halloween costumes or how matchy-matchy our living room sets were. Date nights turned into an opportunity to prove how deeply, madly in love we are with our partners.

Welcome to my real life. This is how my coffee table looks most days.
Girls, I’m forty years old and my coffee table looks like this every day. We never get it all together. NOR DO WE NEED TO.

Let’s blame the smartphones

I think that’s when things began to go seriously downhill. I blame the smartphones for it all.

And you, my sweet sisters, are doing the hard work of becoming adults with a constant assault of this nonsense in your faces all day long. No wonder you feel tired and ashamed and mismatched.

What you need is a double dose of encouragement, right?

You’re doing great, I promise. You’re loving your family, you’re taking great care of your home, and you’re working really, really hard. Show yourself some grace and choose some reasonable standards instead of that nonsense on the screen. Go find an older friend and inhale her perspective like the breath of fresh air it will be.

Tell her you’re going crazy and you need some help. She’ll remember how hard early girlyhood can be, and she’ll help you straighten things right out.

And if all else fails, don’t forget to nap and eat some crackers when it rains.

Young moms– I wrote a book just for you! There’s a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse is chock full of ridiculous stories and encouragement to get you through your days. Plus, there’s a ton of biblical advice in there, too. Click here to buy from Amazon!Encouragement for moms! There's a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse

15 Comments on Encouragement for Young Wives and Mothers: You are doing a great job. You’re not goofing this up at all. Pinky Promise.

  1. Bri Harrison
    September 5, 2016 at 11:21 am (1 year ago)


  2. David
    September 5, 2016 at 11:34 am (1 year ago)

    I was going to forward this to my daughter-in-law but then I remembered that she is only two years off forty.

    Our coffee table still looks like that but the reason these days is visiting grandchildren.

  3. Jessie Clemence
    September 5, 2016 at 11:38 am (1 year ago)

    It’s funny how fast the years accumulate! I still can’t believe I’m almost 40. Good luck with the coffee table thing.

  4. David
    September 5, 2016 at 11:40 am (1 year ago)

    It takes a few days to locate all the smaller bits of Lego after Reuben has visited. I find most of them with my feet. Perhaps I should get some slippers.

    Happy 40th birthday when it arrives. I can’t believe I’m nearly 60 (next year). At least Marilyn got there before me.

  5. Jessie Clemence
    September 5, 2016 at 11:43 am (1 year ago)

    Yeah, I cross the line before Eric, too. By five weeks exactly! He doesn’t rub it in too badly, though.

  6. David
    September 5, 2016 at 11:45 am (1 year ago)

    I try not to rub it in!

  7. tammy @ faithhopelovefood.com
    September 5, 2016 at 7:56 pm (1 year ago)

    This is exactly what I needed to read right now. Thanks for the encouragement and tears.

  8. Jessie Clemence
    September 5, 2016 at 7:58 pm (1 year ago)

    You are welcome! I think? 🙂

  9. tammy @ faithhopelovefood.com
    September 5, 2016 at 8:06 pm (1 year ago)

    Yes….I needed to hear that I am not alone in how I feel. By the way…My table looks similar!!

  10. Jessie Clemence
    September 5, 2016 at 8:09 pm (1 year ago)

    I keep telling myself one day the coffee table will be clean. Still waiting!

  11. Lex De Weese
    September 5, 2016 at 9:49 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank you, friend! This is a pep talk so many in my world need–myself included! Everything feels like the end of the world in the season and I’m so thankful for people like yourself to remind me that I’m not as close to the edge as I think and it will all be okay!
    Thank you for the words!

  12. Jessie Clemence
    September 6, 2016 at 11:44 am (1 year ago)

    You are so welcome. It’s my spiritual gift– talking other women off their ledge. (I spend WAYYY too much time on my own ledge. I can spot the signs a mile away.)

  13. memyselfandkids.com
    September 6, 2016 at 11:01 pm (1 year ago)

    Passing along the wisdom to the youngins. Way to go ole wise one!

  14. Jessie Clemence
    September 7, 2016 at 1:50 pm (1 year ago)

    Hey, I had a super weird dream about you and the family last night! Mrs. MMK was driving us all around Kalamazoo (you and the boys were stuffed in the backseat) because you were all moving here. We were looking for good houses. 🙂 I’m not even kidding!

  15. memyselfandkids.com
    September 7, 2016 at 9:19 pm (1 year ago)

    Wow, I don’t even know what to say. Definitely interesting.