The beautiful and talented Casey has asked me to write a guest post while she is hopefully resting after pushing a small human out of a very tiny area.  (The fact that someone would call 10 small centimeters “fully” dilated just astounds me.  But that’s a topic for another day.)  Casey asked me to discuss something I’ve taught my children that I hope they never forget.  Nothing promotes such thoughts of maternal legacy (and ice chips) like a person in labor.

This has actually been something I have been thinking about lately.  What exactly have I imparted to my children?  This past year I have taught my children at home.  Yes, you read that correctly, I’m a homeschooling mom.  Now at this very moment, many of you are questioning my sanity and mentally picturing me wearing a denim jumper surrounded by a herd of socially inept children.  For the record let me state that my level of sanity is decent (today was a good day), I don’t own any kind of jumper (let alone a denim one), and I ‘only’ have three very social children (which occasionally feels like three too many.)

This past year I have taught my three year old how to write her name.  I’ve taught my son how to do long division and my middle child how to multiply.  Together, they’ve learned where Australia, Africa, and Antarctica are on a map.  They know the capital of China and that haikus came from Japan.  We have discussed the differences and similarities between Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism.  We have studied the lives of influential leaders like Nelson Mandela and Gandhi.  We have underlined prepositional phrases and circled adjectives.  There have been science experiments and art projects.  We’ve read books, had piano lessons, and taken swimming classes.

And I hope they remember it all.  Every last bit of it.  Especially if they are ever on Jeopardy!  I’d love to hear one of my offspring say in a charming, well adjusted voice, “You know, Alex, I owe my 52 day win and cash prizes of more than $1.6 million to my beautiful mother.  She taught me everything I know.  So now, I’m going to buy her a beachfront condo.”  Because that?  Would be AWESOME.

But.  If I had to, I could narrow it down to two things I hope my children never forget.  Two things that I hope I have taught them to do.   The first one is:  You help the people you love when they need it.  You help them when it isn’t convenient, when it isn’t easy, when it isn’t fun.  You help them, even if part of you would rather be doing something else.  You help them grieve or you help them celebrate.  You wipe their tears or clean their bathroom.  Because loving people means serving them.

The second thing I hope my children remember is this:  Sometimes you have to say no.  Sometimes you have to put yourself first and say ‘I can’t help you today.’  There are times you need to unplug the phone, clear your schedule and take care of you.  When you truly need to do that, it isn’t selfish and it isn’t something you should feel guilty about doing.  It is loving yourself.  And that is as important as loving others.

If my children can remember these two things, I will feel like a success.   Even better?  They will have become a success.


Ami can be found at her fresh shiny new blog here. The one I forced her to start, also known as the one she’s so happy she started. She’s going to buy a farm near us and raise pigs, I adore her. She is also in the midst of losing her daddy to cancer. She’s a jewel. I hope you like her as much as I do.


This post is also part of Tiny Prints Mother’s Day Campaign All Tiny Prints Mother’s day cards (and Father’s day cards) are completely customizable and can be sent straight to your mama or papa. Cards can even be scheduled ahead of time, while it’s probably too late for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is just around the corner. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign and am very much sharing with Ami. Opinions and statements are our own.


  1. brittany says:

    “Sometimes you have to say no. Sometimes you have to put yourself first and say ‘I can’t help you today.’”

    POWERFUL truth. so much truth in a little sentence and yet so hard. thank you for teaching your children what so many of us find hard to do.

  2. your kids have a good mother.


  3. You are the best example of what you are teaching your children ever. EVER.

  4. Buffy B says:

    I LOVE AMI! And I’m stoked she’s started a long-overdue blog. Must read.

    Congrats on Vivi, by the way. She’s precious, precious, precious.

  5. What a lovely post and so wise. If my kids learned the same two things I would be a happy Mum.

  6. Very good mothering attitude 🙂