The Forty-Four-Year-Old Kid (Con't)
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

On Being a Mother

Forty-six years into it, I’m still working on being a good mother. I’ve had a lot of jobs over my (blessedly) long life, but being a mother is the hardest. It’s also the most important.

Here are some of the lessons I have learned.

  1. There is no perfect mother.
  2. There is no perfect child.
  3. You can still aspire to being either (1) or (2).
  4. Have important (but easy) rules while they grow up, like
    1. Two cookies at lunch; three cookies at dinner.
    2. Soft drinks only on the weekends (except at friends’ houses)
    3. Limited TV on school nights. (If my children were young now, it would be “No phones at the dinner table and no phones in the bedroom overnight.”)
    4. “Ask your father.” doesn’t work.
    5. Two serious sports a year is enough.
  5. And once they are grown up
    1. Don’t call them.  Wait for them to call you.
    2. Unconditionally love whoever loves them.
    3. Be careful what you ask.
    4. Manage your expectations.

If you are lucky you will eventually be rewarded with grandchildren. They’re a lot easier.

Happy Mother's Day


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I chuckled at your wisdom. Thank goodness for grandchildren and a more relaxed relationship! and happy Mother's Day. I'm sure you earned it Judy.

Still the Lucky Few

Great lessons to live by! Not all mothers and mothers-in-laws can live up to the four points in "Once they are grown up" section. Very wise thoughts!


I would LOVE it if my mom called me. But I get it, it's delicate. I vow to call her more!

John Kirsch

If being a mother is the hardest job in a woman's life, being a father is the hardest in a man's. And being a single father -- that is, the custodial parent in a split family -- is maybe the hardest of all. You walk a tightrope between male and female parental responsibilities, being in charge of everything from school work and sports and finances to going to the supermarket and doctor's appointments. And the job doesn't end with the child's adulthood. Remnants of responsibility continue late into the single father's life. P.S. There is German proverb, "To become a father isn't difficult, to be one is very difficult". (It's catchier in the original: "Vater werden ist nicht schwer, Vater sein sehr".)

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