Listen to Your Mother

Listen to your mother. How many times have I heard THAT over the years? Probably hundreds.  How many times have I actually listened? My guess is 39ish, and definitely zero before the age of 17.  Had I have listened, I would be up a full case of Miller Lite (instead of having to pour it into the grass, can by can, next to the deck), a not-so-broken heart, more eyebrows and better posture.


{Me & Little Kathy}

Well, I’m listening now.  In fact, I listen to a lot of mothers.

My grandma, who tells the story of faith. How in the early years her and grandpa were so poor they didn’t know how they’d feed their 5 kids. Yet grandpa, a carpenter, would never push someone for payment if they didn’t have the money. He’d do the work, and tell them to pay when they can. The end of the month would come, the bills would stack up, and the first one they would pay would be to the church.  No matter what.  And somehow month after month, they’d get buy. A long forgotten check would show up in the mail or a neighbor would stop by with a little cash.  They believed God would provide if they gave to Him and others faithfully. And they were right.


{Lil Lil & Big Sis}

My sister, who teaches me about expectation. If you expect life to play out a certain way, more times than not it won’t. If you open your heart and mind to possibility, life can turn out far greater than you would have ever planned.

My friend Amber, who hasn’t compromised who she is just because she’s a mom. When other women lose themselves to motherhood, Amber knows exactly who she is.

My mom, who from a very early age showed me what unconditional love and support looks like. She gave me the confidence to pursue any dream I had, because she was my biggest cheerleader.

My Aunt Peg, who taught me that motherhood doesn’t begin or end with your legal children. Motherhood can take shape amongst the people of Rwanda, the high schoolers in your town, or complete strangers along the way.

Amber_Molly_Megan {My runner-who-happen-to-be-momma-friends Amber & Molly. & Me.}

This weekend, my very pregnant friend Courtnie and I went to hear the “Listen to Your Mother Show”, a national series of live readings by local writers in celebration of Mother’s Day.  A mix of bloggers, novelists, journalists and comedians, the evening was so delightful.  Some stories the women shared were of heartbreak, illness and loss while others took a hilarious poke at the absurdity of being in charge of another human being.


{Courtnie & Me showing team pride at the MLB All Star Game}

Like I said, I listen to a lot of mothers. Here is what I heard from these wise women:

“Bullying is not okay, even if you wrap it up in a bow and call it concern.” –Sarah Manley

“As they get older, the questions get harder. So does wishing there was an owners manual.  There isn’t.  So I wrote my own.” –Greta Funk

“Maybe that a-hole who cut you off in morning traffic was really there to tell you to slow down. Maybe the people who come into our lives aren’t random at all.” –Molly Shalz

“Sometimes things go wrong, but I’d rather experience that than never try anything at all.” –Sarah Guthrie

“Believe, believe, believe. It is as it was ordained to be.” –Dani Stone

“If you care about someone, you have to meet them where they are.” –Michelle Burdick

“The average number of close friends people have is two. I have more than that. I am blessed.” –Rita Arens

“Just when you think you have it all figured out, the universe will point its finger and laugh. Especially if you are being smug.” –Laura Seymour

“You don’t fight the way you do for someone you don’t love.” –Ashley Austrew

“The good, beautiful, perfect life in the family picture isn’t real.  Mom just wiped her son’s nose with his sisters backup panties, and dad just farted.” –Leslie Kohlmeyer


How incredible are these little nuggets?! The Listen to Your Mother Show is all across the country – I highly recommend you go see it if they are in your town.  You won’t be sorry!


Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mommas out there, especially those in my life. Those with newborns, grown children, kids who’ve left too soon, or babies that are being prayed into life – thanks for your inspiration, your guidance, and most importantly your love.

And for the love of Elvis, LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER!! LISTEN!!


What is one thing you’ve learned from a mother?

If you are a mother, what is one thing you want your kids to learn from you?

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8 thoughts on “Listen to Your Mother

    • I LOVE this!! And I didn’t know you had a blog!!! Where have I been??!! Totally spending the rest of my work day reading your pages!

  1. Beautiful post! When I ask my mom how she did it all, she always says that she “just did” because she had to, because she loves us and because it’s worth it!

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