Growing up, I looked at my mother as nothing short of amazing. In my eyes she was perfect. She was beautiful, young, smart and stern. She worked hard, but enjoyed her breaks and summers off with us – always making sure we were having fun. She kept a perfectly tidy home, and we were always “put together” for school, church and any other family outing we were on. She had dinners on the table by 6pm, or made sure we ate on the go as she drove us to our MANY extra-curricular activities. I don’t know how she did what she did, and made it look effortless. Since becoming a mother, I’ve learned how incredibly hard it is to not only LOOK like you’ve got it all together – but actually HAVE it all together. My mom truly HAD it all together. I see myself parenting much like she did. She loved hard but she didn’t put up with any crap. She wasn’t afraid to raise her voice. She wasn’t afraid to apologize or admit shortcomings. She taught us about faith and being good people. She always told me that people will always remember how you made them feel. I couldn’t ask for a better Grandmommy for Presley and Lottie. She loves her family fiercely and is our nucleus.
Were there values that you grew up with that you felt important to pass on to me?
Values passed on? Yes, Family Heritage and Faith
I grew up in a multi-generational family atmosphere. My grandparent’s back door and our back door were only a few steps away and my maternal great-grandparents lived a few houses up the street! At the very top of Pine Street was our family church. I didn’t have to go far to learn how important my family heritage was and how deeply rooted our Christian faith was.
We spent every Sunday in church: attending Sunday school, singing in the choir, playing the hand bells, and attending youth group.
I remember spending countless hours with my grandmother playing cards and board games, drawing and painting, learning to write in cursive, and memorizing bible verses. My mother always told me how blessed she was to have the support of family helping raise her babies (I was #4 of 5 children). Having the support of church and family molded me into who I am and I wanted to be able to provide these same opportunities to my children.
What has been the most rewarding part of being a mom?
The Most rewarding part of being a mom, to me, is how raising my kids sent me back to my own childhood, and gave me a new understanding and appreciation for my mothers’ perspective during my own growing up years. It enlightened me to be able to see where my kids were coming from, but it also made me see my mother in myself.It made me appreciate how much my mother loved me. There was NO doubt; The love between a mother and her children is as unconditional as it gets.
What do you wish you could have told yourself when you were a younger mom, knowing what you know today?
• Let it go. …
• Don’t compare. …
• Stop trying to be the perfect mother. …
• Give your children space. …
• Just let your kids know you love them. …
• Try not to feel guilty for working. …
• Be kind to yourself. …
Being a grandmother…..
There are no adequate words!!!! You kind of feel like you’re a parent again — but with differences. All the memories of those early days of parenthood — the joys, the fears, the anxiety, the lack of sleep, the down-right hard work— come rushing back. But as the famous saying goes, “If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I’d have had them first.”
I feel joy, pure and simple. There’s nothing like spending the day with Presley and Lottie to make me remember why it’s thrilling to be alive (of course, later I’m sure to allow time for a nap!). My grandchildren are nonjudgmental lovers of just about everything and their joy is contagious.
Jessalyn Massie says
What a wonderful tribute to an amazing woman!
Melissa Thompson says
Thank you Mary! There is no greater gift, while on this earth, than to love and be loved. I do love my family fiercely and I NEVER forget that it was HE that first loved ME!♥️🙏🏼
My parents, family, and church family taught me about that love and I feel that I have instilled it in you and your brother and sister (with the help of your father!). God has been faithful to our family for generations and I KNOW HE will continue to be.
Happy Mother’s Day to you! Please KNOW how very proud I am to be your mother, and to see what an awesome mother you are to Presley and Lottie! You are THE BEST♥️