Happy Birthday to My Homemade Mother!

Today is my mom’s 50th birthday. By the time she was 26 she had five little ones running around the house, and she managed all the craziness with grace and calm. She is my greatest homemade mother inspiration!

My mom taught me a lot about homemade mothering. I grew up in a quaint and rural part of Illinois that offered my family the opportunity to have a small farm. Every morning before the school bus picked us up my sisters and I were responsible for feeding an ever-changing cast of cats, dogs, horses, sheep, chickens and geese. All summer my dad tended to his large garden, and come fall my mom was responsible for freezing countless batches of fresh vegetables and homemade tomato sauce. At the time I didn’t realize this was exceptional – our little family farm was just normal for us. But, looking back now I realize just how lucky we were to grow up eating fresh foods grown by my dad and prepared by my mom.

Every day after school my mom was home waiting for us. We usually had a nice snack together as all five of us told her about our days. Every night she prepared a homemade dinner for our family, and every night we sat around a table together. No TV. No cell phones. Just the family dining and talking together – the way it should be! A lot of the meals I make these days are inspired by her dishes, and I now also insist on distraction-free family dinners even though my daughter has a limited vocabulary and my newborn son only squeaks and peeps! I know that my husband and I are building our family’s foundation.

My mom taught me more than just how to prepare a good dinner. Thanks to her I know how to patiently deal with an unruly toddler, sing a nighttime lullaby, and creatively keep life in balance. Whether intentional or not, my mom found special ways to sneak tradition into our lives. Homemade chocolate chip pancakes every birthday, baked egg strata on Christmas morning, and books before bedtime are just a few examples of traditions I am now continuing with my little family. My mom made the effort to make every day feel special, and as a result my siblings and I always felt loved.

Thank you, mom! I hope you have the happiest of happy birthdays!

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7 Comments for this entry

  1. Svitlana says:

    The greatest story ever!!! Happy Birthday! God bless your Family

  2. Sarah says:

    We used to have candles in our pancakes and look at our baby books on birthdays! I can't wait to continue those traditions with my kids!

  3. Donna R. says:

    Obviously all that good honest living has kept her a beautiful and young woman at 50! Wishing her the happiest of birthdays!

  4. Courtney says:

    Maureen, your house was always welcoming and fun, and in large part it was due to your sweet mom. Happy birthday, Mrs. Smithe 🙂

  5. Emily says:

    Hi gurl, loving your blog more and more with every additional blog I read here!

  6. Hannah says:

    Maureen, your mom does NOT look anywhere near fifty in that photo! And what a lovely tribute you wrote … thanks for linking back to this post for those of us who “discovered” your blog much later. :~)

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