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No Respect, No Credit for Playing Mother to Siblings

She has long left this world, a sister who cared for as many as seven of her younger siblings.  Most gave her the respect due to her while she lived and in death, while others refused to appreciate her efforts choosing to say, "She wasn't my mother...she wasn't like a mother to me."  Then when prompted about one's past, there was a comment, "I mean she was okay, she did help us."

I could feel the sister's presence one day as if beckoning me to tell a brief part of her life story.  "Tell the people," I heard. "Appreciate those who may not have been their blood mothers, but acted like moms to them."  She didn't ask to be put in that role, she was forced to be.  A father who was out and about doing what he liked to do best, gamble, drink, and chase women, she had no choice but to be there for siblings since mom was busy with many duties including: farming, cooking, cleaning, working small jobs, and other things.  What was a daughter to do, but help?  The sister had not finished school as a result of assisting mom with all the children.  She also brought some with her when she got old enough to move and cared for them through their last years of school.

When the dad came to the household drunk, angry, wild or all three, he disrespected his family including being abusive to his wife in front of the children.  His eldest daughter had acted like a dad too.  Telling her siblings what to do, how to do it, and threatening to discipline them if they didn't act right.  When he saw her behavior, he would punish her.  She wasn't fearful of her dad, but she also wasn't crazy either.

Although some siblings hated the idea that the eldest children are given some parental power in their families, keep in mind, they didn't want or ask for it.  As one sibling put it, "I would have very much preferred to be a child, but mom and dad put the burden on me, so I had no choice, otherwise I would have got whipped."

Nicholl McGuire also maintains a blog that deals with many family issues here.


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Challenge of Getting Children Ready in the Morning

Most moms, who are highly organized, will tell you that the issue of getting children off to school still comes and goes. It all depends on the mood, whether something is ready or not, and if some unexpected issue threw the whole morning off.

A tired child, meddlesome pet, moody spouse, broken household appliance, problematic car, or something else will turn a seemingly good morning into a bad one in an instant!  But if you can recognize the issues and deal with them ahead of time, then you can cut off some issues.

Some things that parents and their children fail to do is get things prepared the night before.  Others will stay up late at night and will not plan to awake earlier to deal with any "just in case" issues.  Some children are doing everything but getting ready in the morning.  Then you have some parents who expect children to do most things while yelling about what has yet to be done.  With so much irresponsibility, blame, and downright foolishness happening in the morning, no wonder people get off to a bad start!

Here are some things to consider before you start yet another morning of misery:

1.  Cut off or remove electronic devices.  There is no good reason why one must use electronics why getting ready.  Although some people will insist on doing this, think for a moment, what would happen if you were in an accident, in a hospital or dead?

2.  Snip hair when it is too long to manage.  Styling long hair takes a huge chunk out of your time.  You ever wonder why some hairstylists often ask, "Would you like to try something different like get your haircut?"  Saves time!  They can get more heads done in a small window of time.

3.  Move belongings closer to the door.  Why is Jane or Joe always running into his or her room at the last minute?

4.  Find items the night before and place them where they belong.  Why is someone often looking for something in the morning?  Aren't socks supposed to be in the sock drawer? 

5.  Is it really necessary to stay up half the night?  This is a clear sign that someone needs to do better managing his or her time during the day.  What tends to happen is the distraction of the unimportant television, Internet surfing, phone gossip, and other things takes up time during the day that when one finally makes time to finish something important, you are staying up late.  Roll back the time.

6.  Spend less time preparing meals.  Sometimes people are more concerned about their picky interests then getting out the door.  Buy things you know everyone likes and limit choices, this way there isn't as much fuss about breakfast.

7.  Lunches.  If it can be made the night before do it!  Otherwise, cut out something in the morning or move more quickly to get your lunch done.

Things like:  showers, ironing, organizing, and similar things can be done the night before.

Think of some things you can do to make your mornings easier.  Look around your environment make adjustments.  Check the refrigerator for quick to eat items.  Notice what your children are doing in the morning and look for ways to make life easier.  Sometimes the complaining and yelling happens in the morning because a parent failed to do his or her part to make things happen, for starters, waking up earlier.

Nicholl McGuire shares insightful tips on a variety of topics at YouTube channel: nmenterprise7  
Get her book, When Mothers Cry.  


A Subject Workaholic Moms Don't Want to Talk About - Being Available to Family

Years of studying at a university and a degree is achieved, the woman with a love for money and things, lists her future plans.  She establishes contacts on and offline.  She checks out opportunities.  She knows she has much debt to pay.  The need for money is insatiable.  When the dream job offer finally comes in, she is head over heels in love!  Ready to conquer the world for a job.  Leaders take notice how she works like a slave.  The appreciation isn't much, but who cares, she just loves that job!   And one, expects the workaholic mom to do what?  Slow down!?  Meanwhile, a wise book with much wisdom tells her not to love money.  But she ignores wisdom and continues to focus on getting that next paycheck and planning her next shopping spree. 

No man, children, relatives, or anyone else will make her take a long vacation.  If she does, one would think, She must be sick.  Jane Doe never takes off work."  Like a workaholic man, the busy career-driven woman, who took very little time off between pregnancies, repeatedly dropped her sick children off with relatives, and gets out of town as soon as the boss calls, rarely, if ever, makes a sacrifice for herself or others.  If who or it interferes with her job she politely says, "I'm sorry, can't do it, won't be there...have much to do...can you help me, I have to get to work!" even when she has more personal and vacation days stacked up than anyone!

When the woman, who loves her job at times more than her own family, is called upon by loved ones, she isn't too happy about having to take a half day or miss a day of work.  She even gets angry with herself for getting sick.  Risking the health of others, she will cough and sniff her way back into the office while a boss and co-workers admonish her about coming in looking and feeling bad. 
Fearful that she might be overshadowed, forgot about, or an enemy at work might sabotage something she has created, "I love my job" lady will sacrifice family before she ever thinks, "Maybe I can get away from work--we are not that busy."  But she never divulges those times at work when things are slow and not that bad.

In the workaholic's world, everything related to a job is top priority.  Everyone in her home has heard say a thousand times, "If it wasn't for this job you wouldn't have this...and you wouldn't have that!"  Often, her mind is in another world and she doesn't hear that closely husband, children, school teachers, preachers, and relatives say to her.  She is easily aggravated if you stay on the phone with her too long, visit her home more than she wants, and ask her for time or money.  Her response might be, "I don't have, I can't talk...would you call me before you come over...I know you haven't seen me in months, but..."

The woman with money on her mind is more comfortable talking about her job then she ever is talking about her family.  Besides, she doesn't know most of the time what is going on at home since she is often away.  It is unfortunate, but some women who simply love working too much, don't see when their men are straying, when the kids are missing them, and when the house needs to be cleaned.

Pray for the workaholic moms in your family.

Nicholl McGuire 



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When the Kids Question Your Life, Decisions and Why You Do the Things that You Do

I didn't ponder much about what my kids might say to me having a front row seat in the movie I call, "My Life" for some years now.  But in recent years, the questions, comments and concerns have been surfacing from a seven, eight, fourteen and fifteen year old.  They are curious. 

I have been asked questions from, why years ago I wasn't married when I was pregnant to "Do you love my dad?"  I was also questioned about why parents allow their daughters to dress "ratchet (terrible) with booties (backsides) showing?"  I guess I am supposed to speak for them too.

The questions kept coming about things like: why God did the things he did in the Bible--like let people die, what did I do when I was their age back in the day, could I let them see a photo when I was a kid, and even comments about things they didn't like about other relatives.  I had to agree with most of what they said when it came to relatives. 

Children are observant and they know who is friend and who is foe in one's family.  They also know when parents have "issues" with one another.  They also don't like when relatives say things like, "Do what I say, not as I do."  One child made a comment like, "Aren't they supposed to be teaching us?"

They also know when they are being taken advantage of and don't mind speaking up when they see lazy adults not doing their share.  They know when they are being short-changed funds too.  One son told me, "(Unnamed) said he was going to give me more money than he gave me for doing some work."  He wasn't too happy.

Children remember what we say and do.  They are shocked when we start revealing that we made mistakes "back in the day..."  They are impressed when you make smart decisions and their eyes get big when you tell them things like:  when you fought someone and won, went somewhere fun, and when you got a lot of money and bought things that you always wanted.

The conversations can go from simple to intense in a matter of moments.  I found myself having to censor some things about my life, simply because, like them, I have my privacy and  I didn't want them using what they knew to excuse their own bad decisions.  "Well mom did it, so it's okay."  Some things are just not right no matter what kind of spin we put on them and children will call you out on them sooner or later usually when they are having one of their rebellious moments.

I am honestly happy that I have curious children who question me deeply at times and feel comfortable enough to talk to me about what their friends say and do.  I just keep them in prayer and continue to maintain a safe relationship and environment where they don't have to walk on egg shells, worry, fight, lie, and do other things to survive.

Nicholl McGuire wrote When Mothers Cry.  Get your copy here.  


Children - They Know Something about Sex or Sexy even if They Can't Explain It

"I really didn't mean to do it, I mean what I was trying to say was..." a parent attempts to have a conversation about sex and it just doesn't seem to go right.  So concerned about either telling too much or not enough, mom worries.  You did the best you could mom, take a deep breath.

Whatever we say or do is going to somehow enter the brain of the kid and he or she is still going to put her spin on it sooner or later.  The hope is that he or she doesn't say or do anything stupid.  As a parent, you don't want to invite trouble when you talk so candidly about sex, but you also want to keep it away by discouraging the experience.

The reality is one day it is going to happen, but most parents just don't want it occurring under their roofs or someone else's.  The STDs, the pregnancy, and the undeveloped mind can be traumatized--these are valid concerns.

Children know something about sex, sexy or something leading to something that is just bad.  I think of my son who yelled, "Don't say sexy--that's bad."  He knew from watching scantily dressed women gyrating in commercials, music videos, on the street, and elsewhere that what they were doing wasn't nice.  Another child was quite bold, "They want to have sex..."  Not that long ago, the same children wanted to know if mommy was having sex.  They said, they saw a man talk about it on YouTube in a comedy.  Fortunately, they had no specific details where they felt like they needed to experiment.  But by the time that issue was addressed, they knew they didn't come from the sky.

Parents everywhere are forced to talk about some thing whether they like it or not.  The truth has a way of showing up in one way or another.  One doesn't want the street teaching the kids about sex or sexy or some goofy stranger on the Internet, a peer or a guy or gal who just loves children a bit too much--if you know what I mean.  So a parent's goal for the new year, especially when children are often around other children, might have something to do with how to protect themselves from those two words, sex and sexy.  Make sure that one is not encouraging either at an age where children can't pay one bill personally or in your home, they can't live in their own if something should happen, and you have no money to pay out to a family who might come knocking on your door asking for child support.

Nicholl McGuire 


Mothers: We have Our Good Days, We Have Our Bad Days

From children to work related tasks, we have good days and we have bad days.  If someone ever told you that being a wife and mother is easy, cool, best thing...etc.  They are liars!  I wouldn't describe being a wife and mother like I would a new pair of shoes, an evening skyline or a quiet nature scene.  Instead, I would say motherhood is more like a downtown city with hustle and bustle.  I think of words like: work, tiresome, busy, painful, sad, joy, crazy, wild, funny..."  Yeah, that describes family life for me.

There isn't a day that doesn't go by that I am not thinking about my partner, children, relatives and oh, how I need Jesus!  A face, a name, an emotion, an item--something always triggers a memory.  I have to use all sorts of music, favorite goodies, scents, and other things to keep me focused on a task so that I am not operating in my mother, wife, daughter, and other titles all day long.  I still have me and no amount of responsibilities, triggers, and other things are going to sweep me away from me!

As women, daily we are fighting to be the kind of people that are productive, knowledgeable, interesting, fun, sexy, serious, etc.  But a complaining spouse or crying child can blow a stable mind up at times.  "What?!  I heard you already!  Stop bothering me!  Don't you see what I am doing?"   Before long, we don't know who we are, what we are doing, where we are going, what we just said, so don't bother to ask. 

I seriously dislike women who act as if things are okay with them when it is obvious they are dying inside.  When you call them out on their foolishness, they will still defend their lies, prejudices, passive aggressive behaviors, etc.  See Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate.  It isn't any wonder why some don't do well connecting and staying connected to a healthy group of relatives and friends who sincerely care about them, but can no longer stand to be around them because they are unwilling to acknowledge their short-comings and do something.  Rather, they want to point out everyone else's weaknesses.

A good day for me is when the checklist is complete and everyone, including myself, are content in my household.  A bad day is when nothing seems to work, children are wild, crazy, and sad all at the same time, and my body is doing those things it does each month.

My only suggestion for any male readers, who experience a moody mother, misbehaving children, and all the responsibilities that come with them, is roll with the punches!  Avoid the temptation to be emotional like your partner (especially when you know it is that time of the month,) out of control like the children, and lazy like the pet(s).  The T.V., Internet, cell phone, and gaming system will all be there--take care of your family first!

Nicholl McGuire shares spiritual insight at YouTube channel: nmenterprise7.

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This freelance writer, author, wife, and mother of four has been writing for almost 20 years about a wide variety of topics ranging from spiritual experiences to self-improvement products. Nicholl has also been a leasing consultant for multi-family dwelling complexes and an events planner in Euclid OH. During 2004 she relocated to San Diego CA and continued leasing apartments to singles and families. In 2006, she became a community manager at an elderly housing complex in downtown Los Angeles. Since then she has been working as a writer from home. Nicholl self-published her first book entitled, "Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate." For more information about the book visit She has another book also on Amazon, entitled, "When Mothers Cry" as well as other books. For more of her work, feel free to stop by There she has creative photo and journal books. If you have benefited in any way from Nicholl's writing, please do take a moment to show support, buy any one of her books, share her posts, subscribe or comment. Be blessed!

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