On Becoming A Great Mother: I Learned From The Best

Disclosure: This is sponsored post on behalf of Hallmark but the content and opinions are my own (as always).

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was so scared of what life as a mom would be like. I was terrified of screwing up because I was simply not ready and in no financial position to be bringing forth life. But I’ve made it this far because of the women who have come before me and the ones who walk beside me in the journey of motherhood.

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Me and my mom, circa 1986

My Mom: The first one to hold me and love me more than she loves her own life. As I’ve gotten older, I realize I’m more like my mother than I thought I’d be. We have the same “love fiercely” parenting philosophy. I’m the first to holler when my kids make me proud and I work overtime to protect their childhood and allow them the room to grow and express themselves. I’m kind and generous, just like her. We’re nurturers through and through. She’s a willing (some might say “eager”) babysitter, a supportive voice in my ear and a fervent prayer warrior. Thank you, Mom, for all you have done and all you continue to do.

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My Grandma Marietta:

She is no longer with us, but man, did she teach me a lot about self-acceptance. She used to tell me all the time how perfect I was, how everything about me was just like God intended and that I shouldn’t spend a lot of time wishing to be different. My grandmother had a some rough periods in her life as a mother, but she managed to do her very best to ensure her kids got all the love they need. Add in the fact that she practically served as my second mom, as she watched us after school and on Friday nights and there is nothing I could say that would capture how much she meant to me. In her arms was home.

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My grandma Louise and I after my graduation from graduate school!

My Grandma Louise: 

I really need to sit down with her and get more of her life story, because from what I’ve heard from her and others, she was a tough cookie who worked hard and didn’t take no mess from other people. I remember when I was a newly pregnant college junior and I was nervous to tell her about the baby. She called me and that conversation really helped me turn the corner. “Don’t feel bad,” she told me. “Hold your head up. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. These things happen.” She went on to ask how I was feeling, if I was excited, and if I thought I was having a boy or a girl. She never passed judgment about me or my husband and she remains a supportive and engaged Gigi (great-grandma). She helped raise my dad into the type of man who could successfully parent three girls.

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My mother-in-law (right) helped shape the man I’m madly in love with. Will always be in her debt.

My mother in-law, Theresa:

This is where it gets difficult, because I’ve never actually met her. She passed away the year before I met my husband and I can tell she was the biggest love of his life. I credit her for instilling such magnificent values into her children. My husband is a hard-working, humble, extraordinary man and I know that’s because of her parenting. I’d imagine she’d be very proud of the man her son has become and how amazing he is at parenting his own children.


If you haven’t taken the time this year to tell the special moms in your life how loved and appreciated they are, you’ve still got time. (There’s always time.) Hallmark is running a “Put Your Heart to Paper” campaign to encourage you to share how you feel; I guarantee those women will feel amazing after reading your words. (This is one of my favorite videos from the campaign. Now, off to mail some cards!)

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