Posts Tagged ‘mother’

The Mom I Wish I’d Been

Saturday, May 11th, 2019

What good does wishing do, right? I’m not whining and beating a regret drum, I promise. Simply reflecting on a few ways that I might change if I were given my mom days again. I’m in a great and happy place today. My kids are grown, I like all 3 of them and the people they’re married to and I’m proud as proud can be of every single one of them.

But if I were wishing…

I wish I had relaxed more.

I was wound up banjo tight for most of my mothering days. I worried too much, held on tighter than I needed to and managed to invent nonsense reasons to get all stressed out. Looking back, I wasted so much needed energy on crazy stuff that NEVER HAPPENED!

I wish I’d taken better care of myself.

I worked myself into a frenzy most days. Which was not only tough on me, it was hard on my kids. I could’ve sat reading another story instead of mopping my way to bed. Kids just don’t stay little long. The housework never leaves!

I wish I had chilled out more.

I confess, I was high strung. I didn’t need to be so intense but my personality is just like that naturally. I am pushy, bossy and well….a bit queenie like. I suppose I wanted to make some kind of perfect life for everyone (didn’t work) but if I had it to do over again, I’d let all kinds of stuff goooooooooo.

I wish I had forgiven myself more.

I tried so hard to get it right that inevitably I messed some things up. When I fell short, I took it hard. I beat myself up and challenged my capabilities to extreme. It was a dumb form of self-punishment. I didn’t deserve any of it.

I wish I’d shown more grace.

I could point out that I did not mother like my own mother and puff myself up for that tiny victory but the truth is….I was tough on my family many times and missed opportunities to show grace. Not always but enough that it stings a little to think back on.

I wish I had given my kids more jobs.

I didn’t want to throw all my work onto my kids like my mom did me. I thought I was protecting them from a life of slavery. The reality is that I raised up kids who couldn’t do a lot of things (not everything) once they moved out. I learned way too late that jobs around the house are very important character builders. It doesn’t kill anyone to help out in a family.

I wish I hadn’t compared myself to other moms.

Who cares? Who gives a rip, really? What works in my house may not in yours and vice versa. Stop worrying about who does what better. It absolutely will not matter once they leave your nest. Just ask your grown kids. No one cares. Beverly Goldberg’s kids will grow up and leave and so will Mommy Dearest. Note: Please don’t whip your kids with a coat hanger.

I wish I’d have known how quickly time would fly.

People told me, I didn’t listen. When you’re in the trenches of being a mommy to a pile of kids, the days are l o n g! But dang it, the years just whiz on by. I would love to have all three of my kids sleeping under my roof just one more night. It is the peace-y’est my mama heart has ever felt.

Wishing just doesn’t cut it though. My course has run. I won’t mother the same ever again and that’s okay. I’m not in a war with what I did or didn’t do. I’m confident that what my kids needed, I provided. My role in their lives was to be the best mama I could and to love them unconditionally. I tried to do just that. I believe each of them know I could’ve done better but none of them hold any shortcomings against me. Life goes on whether we are good at it or not.

I feel privileged to be a mother and even more so that I have made it to the other side…..I’m getting ready for my new role as a grandmother! October can’t get here fast enough! I cannot wait to look into the face of my 1st grandbaby! Who will this person be? How much love can I smother all over him or her?

Look out world! I hear this is where the parenting thing takes a back seat and grandparent life takes off like a rocket ship! I AM READY!!

Growing My Own Wings

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Two weeks have gone by since we brought home our puppy, Beck. I’ve been consumed with him and every living moment has pretty much revolved around him in some way or another. He’s 9 weeks old and no matter where I take him…..people gasp and come running over to meet him because there’s something really special about new puppies and babies.

He’s our empty nest baby.

You can laugh, it’s okay. I know something inside me needed him. I have a deep wild desire to be needed, by someone or something. A dog at this age in my life seemed to be the healthiest direction for me to go. So, here I am…mothering the cutest yellow lab ON THE DANG PLANET!

In 2 weeks, my oldest will marry his dream girl. In 2 1/2 months, my middle will marry her true love too and the baby…well, she’s been married almost 2 years! It’s a lot. All coming at me rather fast. But, I’m ready. I’ve been preparing for these days my whole life. Still, mama’s don’t stop being mama’s. My role has been evolving and revamping for the last 6 – 8 years.

They don’t need me to do what I did during their school days. No cupcakes for the class or to pick them up after band practice, but they still need me. They don’t need me to wake them up or to make macaroni & cheese, they just need me to grow my own wings.

It sounds crazy but children aren’t the only people to grow up. Parents are on a path of growth that no one seems to mention when sitting beside you at the basketball games or as you gather to pray for the youth group leaving for camp. Strangely enough, you don’t even notice you are growing — until you stand face-to-face with a young adult and hug them goodbye as they leave to go back to THEIR OWN HOUSE!

It all happens in baby steps.

Without meaning to, mama’s wrap all of who they are around the children they raise. I remember the first time I realized they were gone, like…really gone and not coming back. I was dancing around in my kitchen to Stevie Nicks belting out Landslide when I started crying at the words.

I knew they’d leave.



I’m not the first mama to let go.

So here I am reflecting back on them and realizing that while I was investing in them and teaching them confidence….God was hatching my own little sprout of wings. I can fly too!

What a gift to be a mother. I never knew all the things, so many things that would happen in my heart just by watching my children grow and go. I am so proud of each of them and I owe them all a huge thank you. I have courage to move forward and to take on the next great things to come in my life. I have my own wings and I’m excited to use them!

She’s My Mom Too

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Birth mothers aren’t the only women who can fill the space known as mother. Not that the job of MOM is a frivolous space filler. No, Mom’s are the first love of every child and the base foundation for who we are and who we will become. At least, that’s what I believe. Even Mom’s who fail at mothering influence their children.

Moms are very important whether they want to be or not.

I had a mom that loved me growing up and I plan to talk about her more this week. Today I want to tell you about the other very important mom God gave me. He knew exactly who to pick to love me through my adult life. He carefully & strategically placed her just so, for my benefit and that of my children. She is my mother-in-law, Mary (Nana – to us).

I felt nervous to meet the woman behind the man I was falling hard for back in the late 80’s (89). Thoughts of, “Would she like me? Would she think I was good enough for her son?” all swirled around in my young naive mind. After all, moms think pretty highly of their boys and this mom had two. She didn’t have “girl” relationships. She had sons. Girls are a whole different creature and I would be the first “real” girl to join the ranks already set in place within this family unit.

See why I was nervous?

Without knowing every family detail, I was smart enough to understand his worth to her and I wanted to be important enough to her to be considered special enough to him — to be a part of all of their lives.

Whew, still with me? I know, it’s complicated.

I still remember the very first time I saw her, she was standing at the door of the Sunday School building at their church. She was tall and beautiful. The first thing I noticed was her big happy smile. Her face wore every inch of joy that her son was there. She was warm and kind and I instantly felt like I was always a part of her family. She has a way of doing that to people. I just happened to be the lucky one her son picked to bring home that Sunday. He probably had plenty of other choices. 😉

That day was a pivotal moment in my life. It was the day that I knew who I belonged with, my forever family. She played a giant role in that and over the last 26 years…..God has used her in a million ways to make me a better woman, wife, mother and friend.


God had a plan for me (and I don’t just say that to be preachy) and for my life. Not only did it involve loving a man like my hubby but it included a special family (NOTE: I did NOT say a perfect family — they are pretty close though). His family would become mine. (Dear Single Ladies, You WILL marry his family. You will. You will. You will. They do not disappear after you say, “I DO”. So, love them or leave them…now!)

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During my short dating period and wedding planning, Mary was my partner in crime. She was right there helping me make big decisions and I felt confident that I could trust her to help me cherish my wedding day forever. She made my wedding flowers, helped create a beautiful headpiece (I used hers from her own wedding) and she enlisted her long list of friends to step in and do much of the grunt work for our special day. Nothing was left undone or too stressful (maybe they protected me from all the crazy things happening) even when the oven broke during the rehearsal dinner supper….all still went as planned. Frozen lasagna for all. Her coolness in that situation was perfect. We still laugh about it today.

We won’t even go into the frosting of my hair the week of my wedding. (It came out green)

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I had no idea that I’d be moving in with my mother-in-law during my first year of marriage. A honeymoon baby and constant morningdaynight sickness (yes, it’s real) catapulted me in her direction. Completely God’s doing because what newlywed wants to share a house with 2 generations of “parents”? Really? But, it was a great time of really getting to know each other and building a relationship that I may have never had. I was paying close attention to what a wife and mother looks like in watching her live her life in front of me. I’m so grateful for her in so many ways. This time in her home was Wife/Mom Boot Camp for me.


I feel I owe her for much of my wife & mom skills. I won’t blame her for my shortcomings. I’m perfectly capable of blowing it without any help from anyone else.

The babies came, the jobs changed and my young family moved far away from her….she continued steadfastly to be a shining light in my life. Her love for me and her encouragement has always been with my best interest at heart. Even when I disagreed with her (only a few times, Nana..hehe). She has prayed for me, laughed with me….felt my hurts and shames. She’s felt proud of me and probably frustrated with me too. She’s forgiven me, extended to me unending grace and trusted me with one of her most cherished possessions….her oldest son.

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She’s understood me when I didn’t even understand myself. Why? Because somewhere along her life….God decided that He was going to give her, me. A girl who needed everything she had to offer. A girl riddled with flaws and foolishness. One, who loved herself and needed just the right guidance here on earth to point her in the right direction.

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She’s more than a mother-in-law to me, she’s my Mom too!

I love you Nana! You are the best Mom, Nana & friend in the world.

Goodbye Mama

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

A person can only go so long keeping a lid on their emotions before they fall apart.  Today was the opening of the flood gates.  I couldn't hold it together when I realized how helpless I was on the side of the road with a flat tire.  I've managed to handle all that's happened with a tight grip but now I feel rather emotional.

My mother passed away late Monday night at 11:30pm.  She was only 64 years old.  Her independent life was stopped short by 2 different cancers and a failing heart.  I think I knew this would be the outcome when she first called me with the news of her colon cancer.  She was certain she could beat it.  I went along with her because that's the relationship we had.

She bossed.  I listened.  laugh

I think I've been walking around taking care of things in a numb shell.  Every once in a while the tears sneak up on me and the memories of her fill my brain.  Then I remember that she is gone. I will never see her on this earth again and I hate that.  I know all the "she's in a better place" thoughts.  It's true.  Nothing gives me more comfort than knowing she is in heaven now.  It was like a therapy for me to watch her dying and praising God along the way. She ministered to me in her death process.  

I didn't grow up with a Christian mother.  The night I accepted Christ as a young teenager, I couldn't even come home to share the good news.  I felt she would ridicule me and make hurtful comments.  So, I kept it all to myself.  It was a sad time in my life. I wished for years that she could know the peace and love of Christ.  It would take her longer to find Him than I'd hoped.  She had nearly died from a massive heart attack and almost lost her house in Hurricane Charley when God became a priority to her.  I'm so grateful for the ones who reached out and led her to the Lord.

This last month she could no longer sit up or use her arms and legs but I heard her whisper prayers and talk to God over & over while I sat by her side.  Each time I heard her speaking to a God that she clearly knew personally…..I felt stronger!  I felt braver!  i felt peace!

I have no doubt that she is at peace in eternity with God.  I don't have to hurt for her but it's only natural that I miss her and wish to speak with her one more time.  Mama's don't just exit your heart when they pass away.  I'm absolutely blown away that God orchestrated it the way He did and allowed me to be there with her when she took her last breath.  For an instance, I wanted to make her stop and stay….but I knew that wasn't my choice.

Only God makes the decision of who goes and who stays.

Goodbye, Mama.  I love you and I'll miss you.

Carol Sue Staton  July 6th, 1949 — July 15th, 2013 

1000 Miles To Go

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

The strange number on my phone this morning should've jarred my brain to the reality of my mom's condition.  I've been home a few weeks while she's been in a rehab hospital trying to make a comeback.  Only that's not how the call went when I answered it.  The doctor was straightforward with the news.

My mom is too weak to keep going like this.

I knew this would happen eventually but I had my heart set on her improving after all she has been through.  The lady is a fighter!  I'm so proud of her for the dogged determination to beat it all.  This year has been one issue after another and through it all she has kept. on. going.

If I had to choose a trait of hers to take as my own it would surely be her STRENGTH.

I've cried my eyes shut today because after speaking with the doctor I called her room and she weakly answered.  I asked her if she was okay with the doctor's directive to go to Hospice.  She answered me with what little energy she could muster that broke my heart in two.  Her words will never leave my mind …

"Can I just go?"

I affirmed her with a joyful, "Yes, Mom….you can go!" and then I realized what she really meant.  Before we hung up she told me she loved me and wished me the best.  I tried not to let her know I was choked up because she doesn't need me melting down while a thousand miles separate us.  She has no more strength to hold us both up like she's done for most of my life.

I have no choice now.  My mom is dying and I'm nowhere near her to escort her there.  It's a rare thing for my hubby to be so far out of town that he can't get back but this is one of those weeks.  I plan to leave for Florida without him as soon as I can.  I don't want her to die alone.  I'm forever grateful to my Aunt Teresa and to my mom's very sweet friends who've stayed with her and helped her when I couldn't be there.  They are angels and I know that the love they've freely given my mom has been a blessing to her.

For all the history that is between she & I … nothing changes who she is to me, my mother.

Dear God

Thank you for my mother.

Thank you for her life.  

Thank you that she wasn't perfect.

Thank you for sharing her with me.

Thank you for the forgiveness that is between us both.


Twenty-Two Reasons I Love your Mother (Blog Hijacked by a Loving Husband)

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Twenty – Two Reasons I Love Your Mother

Kids, I thought it would be a nice if I were to share with you a few of the many reasons that I love your mother! I also wanted to share these reasons with those who read her blog.

1. Mom is not pretentious. She may wish she was different in some areas, but she doesn’t pretend to be someone she is not.

2. Your mother is classy, and always has been. It comes to her as naturally as breathing.

3. I love your mom’s ability to be satisfied with less. At times, my inability to provide your mother with the thing many other women owned or enjoyed have been, for me, a rather painful source of regret. Never once in our married life has Mom complained about not having what others had, though she certainly deserved much more.

4. I just love the fact that Mom considers me her best friend! Rightly or wrongly, she hasn’t really pursued other friendships to the degree that other wives usually do.

5. Your Mother is an excellent administrator: I love that about her! She brings a level of organization that keeps everything running smoothly.

6. I love Mom for bringing our son, Gavin into the world; the world is a better place because of him!

7. I love Mom for bringing our daughter, Ally into the world; the world is a better place because of her!

8. I love Mom for bringing our daughter, Gates into the world; the world is a better place because of her!

9. I love your mother for the joy she has brought into my life over the twenty-two years of our marriage. Mom was, indeed, the wife of my youth that Proverbs 5 talks about.

10. I love how your mom is not daunted by large tasks of any kind: whether it’s 15 loads of laundry or painting a living room.

11. Mom has a loyalty to her family that only a mother could possess! It’s easy to love her for that.

12. I love watching your mom retell a story related to our marriage or engagement, or giving advice to people about romance. She allows her love for me to show on her face as she speaks. It can take my breath away.

13. I love your Mother’s eagerness to sit and dream with me about our future.

14. I love how Mom is willing to help me pull out of my periodic times of discouragement and malaise!

15. I love spending time alone with your Mother, I enjoy spending time with her.

16. I really love how your Mom loves spending time with me.

17. I love to see your Mother fully enjoying herself! Interestingly, some of the other qualities (responsibility, industry) that make me love your Mom actually work against her, making it rather difficult for her to stop everything and enjoy life. When Mom does, though, I love being there to see it!

18. I love looking into your Mother’s eyes during those special times of communication and connectedness; there’s nothing more wonderful as oneness of heart, soul, body, and mind!

19. I love your Mom for enjoying hearing me talk to her…

20. I love how your Mother’s care for all of you is like magnetic north—it will remain there, unchanged forever.

21. I love how your Mother will go out of her way to show love to me in a language she doesn’t naturally speak herself. I love how your Mom looks, and smells, and feels,… oohhh,… enough said!? Right Gates??

22. Most of all I love how you Mother loves the Lord with all her heart and has been willing to follow Him no matter where He led her.

Honey, I love you with all my heart. Thank you for a wonderful 22 years!