Interview With an Expert

With Mother’s Day yesterday, I had mommin’ on the mind.  I thought it seemed appropriate to conduct a very professional, journalistic interview with the best mom I know:

Mine.

My mom and I look a lot alike, and we have similar mannerisms.  People ask us if we’re twins–and I guess, in a way, we are.  Except that she is unendingly patient, perfectly self-disciplined, and she has not an ounce of snarky sarcasm anywhere in her body. 

But other than that, we’re just alike. 

Well, except that she is humble and gracious and would never write her own blog, because that would be drawing attention to herself, and that just wouldn’t do.  And also I’ve never heard her shout at a bad driver.

Okay, so other than that, we’re just alike.

There are so many things my mom did right, I’d need a whole series of posts to record them all.  Instead, I thought I’d just get the details straight from the horse’s mouth.  (An unfortunate metaphor.  Mom, you are nothing like a horse.  Please do not withhold the free babysitting.)  I sat down and asked her the following questions…

So, who was your favorite, me or Reed?  *grin* 

I always hoped you’d each think you were my favorite.  [Note from Shannon:  See?  No sarcasm.   If my grown kids ever ask me that question, I will totally mess with them.]

So, how DID you keep a straight face through all my ridiculous drama?

I must admit I chuckled often behind your back!  However, I felt if the issue in question was important enough to trouble you, I should respect that and take it seriously on your behalf, to some degree.  I must admit, it was hard to be patient and understanding when you were in the 9th grade and you called me at work to ask me to come get you at school because your fingernail had broken.

Imagine you could give yourself of 25 years ago one piece of parenting advice.  What would it be?

Watch less TV.  Media then (and certainly now) is the greatest robber of family life.

What are you proudest of, as a mom? 

3 John 1:4 "I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth."

When you look back, what are the things you feel certain you did right? 

We raised you in church and in a Christ-centered home; listened a lot;  had lots of family discussions on various topics that came up (political, doctrinal, personal, philosophical, etc.); took many family trips together….even short ones count;  explained to you our reasonings for things (like when we had to say "no");  being lenient on the non-moral issues, like hair style, time spent on the phone, etc., so when we had to be strict on the moral issues you couldn’t say, "You don’t ever let me do anything!"

So, during my teenage years when you always waited up for me on the weekends, you said it was because you wanted to hear how my evening went.  But you were sniffing my breath, weren’t you? 

Absolutely!  Remember the night you came home chewing gum?  (You never chewed gum because of your TMJ.)  You didn’t know I saw through that, did you???

For the second half of my growing-up years, you were working outside the home.  I look back and am amazed at everything you accomplished.  How DID you do it? 

I have no idea!  I felt like I had to be Supermom, and as a result, I don’t even remember anything about the 1980’s!  I was incredibly busy.  I couldn’t have done it if God had not provided me with the energy I needed.

You’ve been a teacher for many years, so you’ve interacted with a lot of parents.  What are some of the more common mistakes you have seen your students’ parents making?

1.  Not realizing that all kids have a different personality at school with their peers than they do at home….even their own little darlin’! 

2.  Not discussing things as a family.  That’s how kids learn to make decisions and reason things out. They need to see their parents work through decision-making principles. 

3.  Not letting their children experience the consequences for their disobedience.

4.  Being too busy to spend time with their kids.

You’re watching your own kids raise children now.  How is parenting different for this next generation?  How is it the same? 

It’s not fair that your kids get to watch DVD’s while they travel!  You guys aren’t paying for your raising!  Seriously, the technology of today creates brand new risks and temptations for kids.  It scares me, and I fear it will continue to get worse as technology develops.  One of the worst things about the technology explosion is the lack of meaningful conversation in families.  Every person is plugged into something, and that is not good. 

The same? Kids still need the very same things y’all did and I did and every generation has:  unconditional love from parents, being grounded early in the truths of God’s Word, wise counsel and good example from the adults in his/her life, being listened to and taken seriously, lots of laughter and conversation in their family, and spending lots and lots of time with them! 

You are so good at being a parent to your adult children.  What’s the key? 

Thank you!  We feel like our role in your lives is to be a cheerleader, a sounding board, and a prayer warrior…that’s all.  We try not to give advice unless you ask.  We try to be a welcome blessing in your lives and not an annoying burden!

Any other advice you’d like to add for moms out there in the trenches?

1. One little saying I like that sums it all up for me:  Give your children two things – one is roots, the other wings.  For me, giving my children roots was the fun part;  the wings part is much harder but just as important to their well-being. 

2. Savor each day…..even the hard ones.  There is no work you will ever do in your entire life that is more important than rearing your family.  Growing up a child who loves God and serves Him is your greatest gift to Him.

3. Pray for your child’s future spouse.  That child is out there somewhere.  It’s such a joy to later meet that unnamed someone you’ve prayed for countless times!

What did I tell you?  She’s great.

76 thoughts on “Interview With an Expert

  1. Sue says:

    You are so blessed to have such a wise Mum! She sounds amazing. I just hope that I grow into a woman like her so my kids will be just as blessed.

  2. hogphan says:

    I get to be married to her and she’s every bit as good a wife as she is a mother! She’s probably had to raise me, too! 🙂

  3. Stacy says:

    What a wonderfully wise woman. Lots of advice I can take out of this. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Queen B says:

    Your mom is a great woman. She was such a great “teenage mom”!! And the gum thing? It was just gum. That’s all. Nothing more. Just gum.

  5. Kelly @ Love Well says:

    Great interview. I love hearing that some parents have done it right — not perfect, but right.
    It seems like our culture doesn’t believe that’s possible anymore.

  6. Stretch Mark Mama says:

    A broken fingernail? Not only should you have called your mom–you should have cried, hid in the school restroom, and then passed a note or six about your misfortune.

  7. Paloma says:

    Wow, what a cool interview. The very last part made me choke up a little, “3. Pray for your child’s future spouse. That child is out there somewhere. It’s such a joy to later meet that unnamed someone you’ve prayed for countless times!”
    I never really thought about it like that!

  8. Janelle says:

    Thank you for sharing! This was very encouraging and I learned some things. We all need some wise advice from mothers who have already been through it.

  9. alexsandra says:

    wise, wise, wise woman
    “prayer warrior”…I’m going to have to quote her!
    thank you for sharing her with us today
    Happy Mothers Day!

  10. Jes says:

    Well, if I don’t feel convicted for sitting here at the computer while my daughter is playing in her room…. 🙂 sometimes I do wish there wasn’t as much technology now. It does make it easy for families to ignore each other.
    Your mom sounds great. Thanks for the post.

  11. Sue says:

    “…being lenient on the non-moral issues, like hair style, time spent on the phone, etc., so when we had to be strict on the moral issues you couldn’t say, “You don’t ever let me do anything!”
    Wow. What fantastic advice.

  12. Kris says:

    Wow! You were right. She *is* great. This post brought tears to my eyes — such awesome words of wisdom from someone who is clearly a Titus 2 woman. Thanks for sharing her with us.

  13. LisaC says:

    Thanks for that Shannon. Hubby and I are getting ready to adopt some older kids and this migh tbe th ebest advice I have read so far. I especially like tihs part: “being lenient on the non-moral issues, like hair style, time spent on the phone, etc., so when we had to be strict on the moral issues you couldn’t say, “You don’t ever let me do anything!”

  14. Diane says:

    This really moved me. Her advice on how to be a good parent of adult children is priceless and timely for me. I trip and fall every day.
    Praying for my children’s future spouses is something I take joy in, as well as for their children.
    Seriously, thank-you for this post. It was excellent. Good stuff.

  15. Cindy O. says:

    What a fantastic mom you have! My mom has trouble giving us our wings. I’m 36 and still get called at least twice a day!! Ugh!
    I love her though and spent all day with her yesterday and we took pictures gallore!!
    Thanks for such an inspiring post–I will definitely watch less TV now!!

  16. Carrie says:

    Wow- your mom is awesome! What a blessing! I love where she says, “Media is the greatest robber of family life” – what a great reminder, and also her greatest joy & pride- 3 Jn. 1:4, what a great verse- I pray that I can say that someday!!!

  17. cathy says:

    Your mom is a wonderful lady! She was one of my Sunday School teachers as I was growing up in Mayberry and she was definitely one of my favorites. I still remember her fun stories, her unending patience and her very effective style of communicating God’s truths. I think the world of your mom!

  18. Heidi says:

    Thank you! I was completely blessed by your post today. I have an almost 15 yr. old and a 6 yr. old and I value the questions you asked as well as your mom’s answers; timely..very timely for my life right now. You are a blessing with each post and I treasure the serious as well as the not so serious.

  19. Holly Smith says:

    Wow–how blessed you are to have such a wise Mama! And how blessed I am to read her answers!! Thanks for sharing, Shannon.
    Blessings,
    holly

  20. Liza's Eyeview says:

    She’s more than great – she’s amazing. Just one flaw – she’s does not want to blog 😉
    There’s so much wisdom in this one post – this is precious, especially to us who are in the trenches so to speak.
    Thank you, thank you.
    Like mother, like daughter. You two are wonderful!

  21. Shannon says:

    Aww what a sweet interview chock full of good advice. I told my own mother that my future kids will be lucky if I am half the mom that she was/is.

  22. Daiquiri says:

    Oh, what a neat idea to ask your mom those questions! Her answers are so precious and will definitely be precious to your kids too some day!
    I appreciated the reminder of her #2 (after this particularly hard day). The days are long but the years are short, eh?
    Thanks for a really creative and neat post.

  23. Judy says:

    I don’t know your mom but I know I love her and agree with everything she said! She hits the nail right on the head! What a great upbringing you must have had! You are blessed! May the younger women pay attention!

  24. Judy says:

    I don’t know your mom but I know I love her and agree with everything she said! She hits the nail right on the head! What a great upbringing you must have had! You are blessed! May the younger women pay attention!

  25. Lynn from Organicmania.com says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your Mom!
    I totally agree with what she said about DVDs..I always feel sad when I see families cruising around with DVDs… We talk, sing and laugh in the car (and yes, sometimes the boys argue!)

  26. D Baker says:

    I just have to tell you something. My mother-in-law told me on my wedding day that very same thing… “I want you to know that I prayed for you everyday.” I didn’t understand and she told me that she had prayed everyday for the woman who would someday marry her son. AWESOME isn’t it?

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