Broken Home

By Reba Phelps


When my college aged bird left the nest our mother-daughter time was cut significantly. Our mother-daughter-daughter time was cut as well. Needless to say any time I have with both of my daughters under one roof is a treasure sent directly from above. They still argue and bicker just as they would if they still resided together. Most of the time it’s comical with no cause for alarm but one particular day things went south quicker than the blink of an eye.

My eldest daughter was telling me how another friend was looking for a place to rent and was becoming slightly desperate. I suggested that I could rent out her old room. The youngest was all for the possibility of having another person live in our house. I then took it a step further and said it would be really awesome to have a foreign exchange student or even a foster child.

Just thinking out loud. No harm no foul. My innocent mental offerings were quickly diminished when my eldest child dropped a bomb.

She said, “I don’t think they let foreign exchange or foster kids live in broken homes.”

Open heart, insert knife. Instantly it hurt my soul to hear these words come from what used to be my favorite child. How dare she say our home is broken? We have a happy house. Damn it. Immediately I expressed my displeasure with her assumption that we have a broken home after I’ve worked so hard to keep everything stable and happy since the unfortunate divorce incident.

After my animated expressions of disagreement she merely laughed and told me, “Look it up. I didn’t create this myself.”

Whole heartedly wanting to prove my college age know-it-all daughter wrong I sought the wise and timeless counsel of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Online, of course. According to this source a “broken home” is described as a family in which the parents are divorced. It truly didn’t sound as bad as I took it when my daughter labeled us. Taking my research a step further I looked up the word “broken” separately.

This is where my heart took another tumble.

Broken, by official definition, means; violently separated into parts, shattered, damaged or altered by or as if breaking.

This really made me stop and reflect about my broken home. While this past year has been full of challenges, it has also been full of new happiness and peace. It has been full of change and new routine but it has not broken us. This year has taught me to be a better mother and cherish every moment I have with my daughters. Above all, this past year has taught all of us to put our faith first and our problems last.

Just because Merriam-Webster defined our home as broken it doesn’t mean that we have to live broken lives. We never have to live according to the definitions given to us by others.

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

7 thoughts on “Broken Home

  1. Divorce does affect children, though we may not know it until they tell us when they are grown. But it is mainly one thing in divorce that hurts them most, the other things can be overcome. It’s the anger between the parents, or of one parent toward the other that causes the terrible pain in the children. Why do parents have to hold on to anger for so long. Another thing that parents should NEVER do and that is talk about the other parent. I see this in so many divorces. Children love both parents, and issues in a divorce should never be talked about in front of children. Don’t try to make children love one parent more than the other. Just let the children know they are loved by both mom and dad, and the divorce is because the parents just can’t live together any longer. NEVER talk about the other parent, unless it is something nice. Get along, the two of you brought the children into the world. It’s your responsibility to raise them in love and a happy home, or two homes if that is what happens. DO NOT damage your children when divorce happens.

  2. God corrected my broken home thoughts one night when I was on my knees at the bath tub while my two were splashing in bubbles. We had spent the better part of the holidays sick…. and me, lonely. Having to stay quarantined with them as a single mom got to me. I cried out to God wanting a “real” family….. HE OPENED MY EYES AND EARS THAT NIGHT NEAR THE TUB…. the laughter became music to my ears and I saw A BEAUTIFUL FAMILY- MINE!❤️❤️❤️

  3. Hi Reba! I just love your style of writing and all of your articles. I find myself laughing out loud or in a trance in which I can’t stop reading. Keep it up woman, you’re inspiring!

  4. You can host a foreign exchange student. We had single parents doing it a lot. I worked with an exchange student program for almost twenty years, and have hosted over 20 students in my home. It is a very rewarding experience for the student and your family.

  5. LOVE this article. Thanks for sharing. I’m a single parent and I refused to use the term “,broken hime” simple because my child’s Dad and I aren’t together. My son has said so many times he knows he’s lived SO much. So, how can a kid feel so much love, safety and cared for in a “broken home.”

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