The Worst Mommy (#SmallWonder Link-up)

(That's my girl.  She turned 10 this Friday!)

I’m up to my eyeballs in laundry when my almost ten-year-old pops into the room.  She’s been outside jumping, running, and playing with her brothers while I whirl between cooking dinner and the endless sorting and folding of clothes. 

“I’m going to try to start calling you ‘Mom,’” she says, “instead of ‘Mommy.’”

My heart lurches as though she’s announced a plan to move to Australia in the morning, to join the circus, to fly far, far, away from me. 

“Oh,” I say, casual as we mothers must be when feelings are on the line, “why?”

I don’t remember her reasoning exactly, but in essence, it’s time to put ‘Mommy’ aside.  Then she hops onto the toilet, continuing our conversation with the door wide open. 

“Remember when I told you to stop calling me ‘Mommy’?” I ask. 

“Yes!” she exclaims, “Why did you do that?!”

It was when we still lived on Franklin Street and she was five, maybe six at most.  I was overwhelmed with All. The. Kids. we had so suddenly, so unexpected.  In a fit of frustration one day I told her to stop calling me Mommy and call me Mom instead.  She burst into tears at the thought and I immediately recognized I was a Truly Awful Mother.  Beginning to relent, I asked, “Why is it so important to you?” Leaning in for a hug, with tears in her eyes, she told me, “It just feels more comfortable.”  

Even a Truly Awful Mother couldn’t argue with that.    

Standing outside the bathroom I’m relieved she remembers the incident, relieved for a chance to explain myself.  “Oh Sophia,” I exclaim, “I don’t know.  I think I was just tired of everyone needing me so much all the time.  I just wanted someone to need less of me."  "You have the Worst Mommy,” I add, grateful for a chance to take the blame.

She laughs and I do too.

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I'm super excited to be joining with Andi Cumbo-Floyd and Shawn Smucker to organize a weekend writer's retreat this summer at God's Whisper Farm in the beautiful mountains of Virginia.  Visit Andi's website for more info!

Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.  

What if we chose to deliberately look for small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God?  

That's my proposal - that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days.  You're invited to link-up a brief post about a small moment of wonder.  Don't worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right - you're welcome to come as you are.  

While you're here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment.   


  1. I remember thinking when my oldest hit the double digits that we were entering uncharted territory (There be dragons here . . .).
    I was right. But it's been a good journey of charting, and being off the path, and finding our way back again only to get lost again. So many seasons of mothering, so many different hats and titles. So much to pray about.
    I always enjoy your writing.

  2. I am so grateful that God's grace covers our worst mommy moments! May Sophia have a very Happy Birthday! She is beautiful!

  3. My youngest daughter still sometimes calls me Mommy (she's 21) and it makes me smile. Other times I'm just Mom. Either way, as long as they're still confiding in me and laughing with me, I don't care what they call me; all is well. :) Love this story, Kelly.

  4. Oh goodness!! Kelly, can you please delete my entry? I accidentally pushed the wrong picture!! Certainly my husband is not one of my pet peeves!!! I'll re-add the entry and the correct photo later!


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    1. Either my mind or my computer is full of glitches this morning - I'm blaming the computer!!

      I loved this sweet (and honest) peek into the life of a real-life mom! I remember the days of feeling overwhelmed, and saying or doing the *truly awful mother* thing. Fortunately, children are the most forgiving people I know!

      I know a young couple now who allow their children to call them by their first names. I don't know, it's certainly NOT for me. To this day, some part of me feels pretty thrilled when my 33 and 29 year old sons call me *Mom*!!

      GOD BLESS!

  6. She's beautiful, Kelly! I love the way you've captured her here! Have a blessed week, and thanks for hosting!

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