Sunday, May 8, 2011

You Are Just Like Your Mother... and other things I wish were true!

Maybe you read my title and got the wrong idea - people say that phrase as an insult, but in reality there is no other person I would want to be like.

Before I tell you why, I want to tell you a little bit about my mother - in - law.

Eileen did not have an easy life, a difficult father, mentally challenged sister who had to be institutionalized and an older sister who was killed by a drunk driver when she was 18. When her dad died, she was only in High School but attended school and worked a job to help support her mom and sister. She became a Christian during this time, but found it hard to share her faith with her Mom. She longed to be a wife and mother but didn't get married until she was 33. After her three sons were born (the middle one being the best!) and she was busy raising them while caring for an aging mother, her husband developed diabetes and had many complications from it. She was married just 20 years when she woke to her husband dead in their bed. Cam was just 16 years old. She had 3 boys, no husband, a high school diploma - jobs were hard to come by. But work she did - cleaning schools, selling pizzas, cashier at a bookstore - anything to provide for her family. And by doing all this she raised 3 sons who are responsible, loving, Christian men. I loved my mother-in-law!

But no one can replace your own Mom. I tell myself that all the time with 3 boys, I am glad I have a daughter!!!

My Mom was the most practical, patient, tender-hearted, giving person I have ever known - any good trait I have, it is because of my Mom. I always wanted to be just like her. One day she dropped me off at Kindergarten, I entered the school and quickly walked down the hall and out the side door - so as she was pulling out of the parking lot, there I was ready to go back home with her! She had 4 kids (the 2nd one being the best!), worked full time as a nurse, kept a beautiful house, was a tremendous cook and crafter, a great friend and wife - but I remember her most as a mom. She made you feel like you were the most important person alive and that you could do anything. Her selflessness is a great reminder to me how God wants us to be. And speaking of God - she became a Christian at the age of 55 - she was the perfect example of how you can't be good enough to get to heaven - if Sallie wasn't going to heaven without Jesus, then nobody was!

Years ago my sister-in-law asked her to speak at MOPS about her secret to being a good wife and mother - today I share with you some of her notes:

"Dinner - important to have dinner together. Time to regroup and share what has happen in your day. It should be a pleasant time - don't tell Dad all the bad news of the day. Encourage your kids to invite their friends. Try not to feed the kids before husband gets home. Have kids eat a little of everything. Have the baby sit at the table - grind up dinner to feed to him - that will lead into table food. Take turns saying the blessing - we like to hold hands.

Table - make an attractive table - centerpiece, tablecloth, candles, don't be afraid to use your good dishes. Use serving bowls - don't serve from your pots and pans. Come to the table dressed - boys should wear shirts. This is a good time to teach table manners - thank yous, please, ask to be excused.

Morning Person - decide on dinner while cleaning up the breakfast dishes. The longer you wait the fewer choices you have and eating out is expensive. Casseroles are easy and allow you to have a break before dinner - since it is in the oven cooking. Clean up as you go - empty the dishwasher as soon as it is done. Make sure it is empty before a dinner party. Making lists help you accomplish more in your day.

Cleaning - I don't have a spotless house, I just keep it picked up and everything has a place. - remember - keeping up is easier than catching up. As soon as dinner is done, clean up the dishes, then you have the rest of the evening to relax.

Children - get children involved in housework - you don't do them any favors by doing everything for them. At times I felt guilty for working, but I raised children who can cook and clean for themselves. Praise children as they work.

Grocery Shopping - Keep a running list, check the ads, shop on a full stomach. I use coupons, but a bargain isn't a bargain unless you need it. Buy in bulk if you have a place to store it. When making a meal double it and freeze the 2nd one. Have a leftover night - have everyone make up their own plate and microwave it.

Dinner Parties - make lists, make things ahead of time. If friends offer to make something, let them. If you take a dish to a friends hosue, make sure it is ready to serve. Set out dishes before a party and put a label as to what will be in it - makes set up easier. Include children in setting up, name cards, etc.

Parting words - Hope some of these tips have helped you. Remember, it should be a family time, a sharing time, and a time your children will remember when they have children of their own."

Just typing up my Mom's words make me miss her all the more - her words were tried and true.  I am so blessed to have had such a wonderful example - I hope when people see me, they think - "you are just like your mother "- she was the first one to make cents and sensibility!!


  1. love this post! your mom was clearly one of the best, of course I can think of one other I would put in front of her :) you are a lot like your mom Mary but with a little dash of boppie to keep things exciting :0 love you!!!

  2. Would have loved to have met her, somehow I feel as if I already have....through you and Boppie!

  3. I love this post. Its very sweet. I had to laugh at the one tip from your mom..."come dressed to the dinner table, boys should wear shirts". Scott has this rule too. The boys often spill on themselves and try to remove their clothing at the table, I'll allow it if it means they continue eating, but Scott being the more civilized type will not allow it. (he also doesn't let them pee in the grass--but I feel that's the only benefit of having boys). What would your mom say to that? ;)


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