All That I Am I Owe To My Parents

One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Abraham Lincoln. He said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” I loved it so much, and it made such a huge impact on me I framed it and gave it to my own mom for Mother’s Day. She is my best friend, my confidant, and I can’t imagine life without her. Though I’m lucky because I feel the same way about my dad. All that I am I owe to my parents. All that I am I owe to my parents. Such a great quote. Our parents do so much for us yet it's so difficult to see how much we influence our own children. www.Embellishmints.com

WARNING: Today, I’m going to get a little more personal than I normally get on my blog. I’m a really private person-although my family and close friends see me as an open book.

All That I Am I Owe To My Parents

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the biggest blessing in my life, up until the day I married my husband, was my mother. It’s almost as if sitting here writing about it I have “stage fright” because I can’t quite seem to come up with the words to explain just how much I love my mom. How much I really appreciate her! There are an infinite amount of qualities that she has that I would love to emulate.


My dad’s mom was what you would call a socialite. My mom’s mom worked at a salon in their home. Neither of them felt close to their mothers as they really weren’t the ones helping them with their homework or tucking them in at night. Nor were they ones greeting them with a smile when they came home every day from school. This really impacted their lives. Because of this my dad searched for a companion who wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. And instead of mirroring the non-relationship my mom had with her mother she used it as an example of how she did not want to be.

They both broke the cycle.


I haven’t had a lot of traumatic experiences in my life. I’ve gone through things that are really hard for me and I discount it by honestly believing anyone could go through it with ease. Which only makes me feel worse. Why do I say this? Well I’ll tell you. Both my parents went through experiences that they didn’t want their children to go through. Instead of letting these experiences define their lives and feel like there was nothing they could do to change, they did! I admire that.

So why is my mom the best thing that ever happened to me? It’s not exclusively because she was a stay-at-home mom. It wasn’t because she didn’t work. It is because of the person that she is. I loved coming home from school.

The second I walked through that door and yelled, “I’m home!” my mom would drop everything and give me a hug with a big smile. Whenever she saw me it was like I was the most important person in her life. I could {and still do} sit and talk to her for hours.

While she was cooking dinner, or ironing, she would listen to everything that was going on in my oh so important elementary school/junior high/high school life. {My children will be helping me while they talk my ear off, haha.} I still call and talk to her for hours at a time. Now that my son is a toddler that is a little difficult. Even if I call her 5 times in a day asking about this recipe, or that book, she still acts like it’s the first time we’ve talked whenever she answers the phone. Always so excited to talk to me and help me.

Why was she able to do all of this? Keep the house immaculate and welcoming, greet me with a smile, drop everything to help her children, etc, etc.? Because of the decision she and my dad made together. She couldn’t have been the mother she had always dreamed of having without my dad’s willingness to work so hard. My dad could not have left for work every morning without knowing that his children were in the perfect hands of his loving wife.

They broke the cycle!
I want my children to have what I had, and what I have!

As I played soccer competitively all growing up my dad was at every single soccer game. I seriously can’t remember a single game he wasn’t at. High school soccer games started at 3:30, and he was there! He was even the assistant coach on my competitive team and was at every practice.

If you’re not familiar with competitive sports and how time consuming they are just know this circumstance is very unique. My dad played baseball, he was great pitcher, but his dad was very busy and made only a handful of games. Things were a little different back then too, my dad says not very many parents went to games. I’m grateful for his desire to be a hands on dad.

His decisions during his career were steered by his desire to be there for his children, not his desire to be the next big thing! Although, lets be honest, he’s a pretty great at what he does and has an amazing business as a result of it.

I had a great relationship with my parents, and I’m so grateful I was willing and able to see that growing up. What I had was unique and a huge blessing. I had a lot of friends whose mothers also got to stay-at-home with their children, but as a result their fathers were not as involved, as they needed to work. I got both. THIS is the greatest blessing in my life!

Now that I’m a wife and a mother myself, I see that walking into an immaculate home takes work. Answering a phone call from my husband {for the 3rd time in an afternoon as if I don’t have things to do} in a happy voice doesn’t come naturally. I have a lot of work to do in order to get to the caliber of my parents.

Unfortunately, I’ve gotten really good at listening to the negative opinions others have of me. I have done this for too long and it has really effected me. I never let anyone deter me of achieving my dreams growing up, yet an insecure part of me has surfaced.

My son is starting to recognize when I’m sad, which happens far too often. I’m ready to silence those on the outside. To start trusting those who mean the most to me. Those who know the real me, who know my heart and intentions are good. Although this hasn’t been going on my whole life I’m ready to “break the cycle” and become the mother and wife I know I’m capable of being. For my children!

{Please note, if you are a working mom and/or your goal in life is to climb the social ladder I find no fault in that. Neither do my parents. Infact I don’t find fault in either of my Grandmother’s decisions. My maternal grandparents passed away before I was born, and I didn’t feel much love from my paternal grandmother until I had my son. Therefore I really didn’t know them well, but I certainly don’t judge them for begin the way they were. Please don’t be offended or feel like I’m trying to show that you will negatively effect your children someday. I’m simply writing my thoughts about my own parents, and the type of parent I want to be, on my blog.}

All that I am I owe to my parents.

All that I am I owe to my parents. Such a great quote. Our parents do so much for us yet it's so difficult to see how much we influence our own children. www.Embellishmints.com

All that I am I owe to my parents. Such a great quote. Our parents do so much for us yet it's so difficult to see how much we influence our own children. www.Embellishmints.com

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5 Comments

  1. April 14, 2018 / 9:15 pm

    loved reading your post, my mother was not completely there for me in my childhood either. In fact I was the one that helped raise my 3 youngest siblings. My dream when I got married was to stay at home but that did not work out. What did work out was that I was there when they needed me, I was there to help with homework, I was there to do all that needed to be done. Now that they are adults I am still there and have the privilege of helping to raise my grand-babies. I will be there for them as well .
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  2. April 12, 2018 / 8:41 pm

    Love this, Hilary! I need to work harder (or less, literally) to reach your mom’s status. I’m way too busy (and/or distracted) for my kids to have the experience you had when you walked in the door every day. Thank you for this reminder. I’ll be sharing this post on fb.

  3. April 12, 2018 / 12:01 pm

    Awesome post with testimony that involved parents really are a blessing! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home! I will feature this today.

  4. January 12, 2014 / 1:42 am

    My mom was a trailblazer in that before marrying my father she commuted from New Haven to NYC every day and had a pretty high powered job at a trade magazine. After they married she was the traditional stay at home mom to 3 children, until I, the youngest by 10 years, was in about 5th grade. When she went back to work I remember HATING coming home after school to an empty house.

    That being said, I love my job, and what I do, and I couldn’t imagine not doing it every day. I know she was the same way. Although her job never defined her, it did complete her, and she was happiest when she was working outside of the home.

    I’m so happy that you’re not condemning one choice, or the other, because many a working mom is doing so out of necessity. And others because they enjoy the creative outlet.

    However, I am sorry that it appears that you have someone judging your choice, which prompted the writing of this post. Sorry, and disappointed that anyone would question how you are raising your family.

    I applaud every mother, working or not. It’s a career in itself!

  5. January 8, 2014 / 5:25 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this post and I hope it goes viral! As an unmarried, childless, corporate attorney who grew up with a full-time working mother, some people often wonder why I value the full-time parenting/homemaking model so much. It’s not because I felt neglected or in anyway unloved by my mom as a child (my mom was there for everything that mattered and I never really felt like she wasn’t available for me) and it’s not because I think full-time parents work any less than I do (ha!). As I said to a friend recently, “anybody can figure out a way to bring home even a meager paycheck, but it takes a special type of energy to make a house into a home.” You can outsource cleaning and cooking and buying groceries but you can’t outsource that energy that you discuss here. Walking into an immaculate house and feeling loved and welcomed and cared for takes a special touch and emotional investment that can be very hard to balance with the demands of a full-time job. I will probably be a working mother and I plan to do my most to maintain that type of energy in my home even while maintaining a career but I have the utmost respect for the mothers and fathers who are able to and choose to devote themselves full-time to creating that space for their families and being that person who makes a house a “home”, the way your mother did for you. Wonderful and honest reflection on the impact of a parent’s choices and how it influences the choices we make in our own lives.

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