What Happens When Your Mom Becomes a Mi Mi


Is there anything better than this?

* Column of the Week:

I have always loved Mother’s Day.

In the past, Mother’s Day was a time littered with papier-mache plates and Crayola Faberge creations given with poorly concealed enthusiasm 5 days in advance. It was a holiday that made perfect sense to me, because it was all about my Mommy. My mother was the person who was always there to jam bobby pins deep into the inner cortex of my frontal lobe on the way to dance, or make road trips educational with license plate math games and Cracker Barrel books on tape. She would let me stay up late during every presidential election, coloring off the Democratic and Republican states in red and blue crayon, or encouraging me to write letters to Senate members when my first-grade self was displeased with the system.

Even though I wasn’t exactly the Kim Kardashian of our 7-member family (be that I was battling crooked front teeth, a weird pension for over-blinking and a kitty cat T-shirt habit), I still felt special in my own right, despite my low-level social status and lack of Limited Too ensembles. At the time, I had no idea that it wasn’t cool to watch the Labyrinth on repeat at your birthday party because you’re in a David Bowie phase, or that putting purple mascara in your ballerina bun does not make you look punk rock (it makes you look ever so slightly homeless). Instead, I felt a complete sense of self-security, excitement and enthusiasm for the world around me, and it was because of one particular reason: my mother taught me that I had a voice.

If you asked me at the tender age of 8 what I wanted to do when I turned 18, I would have never said, “Go to college as soon as I can” or “Leave home without looking back (while also buying porn and cigarettes)”. Instead, I knew that voting was one of the greatest honors that the sacrificial and brave women of our country had given before me, and that the power of one person’s voice should never be underestimated. Then again, it was easy to underestimate my mother if you didn’t know her. As a dedicated housewife, devoted mom of five and frequent school teacher, she gracefully moved from state to state to support my Dad, while pitching in at every single after school activity around (tutu sewing skills and egg salad sandwiches always incorporated).

Unfortunately, the culture we live in today teaches us that the women who can yell the loudest, pull hair the hardest and back stab the most, are the ones with which the power should lie. Whether you’re watching the cat fights on Celebrity Apprentice or yet another installment of The Bad Girls Club (really? You cancel The Good Guys and you keep that?), pushy, bossy and forceful examples of womanhood are witnessed everywhere. If there is anything that my mom has taught me over the years, it’s that the thoughtful, deliberate and giving women are the ones to look out for. They don’t need to yell to let their opinion be known. They don’t need to stoop to the standards of high school teenyboppers, to stand up for what they believe in. And most importantly, they choose their words wisely and that is what makes what they have to say all the more wise.

But even though it might seem like my Captain of the Cheerleading Squad, former Homecoming Queen mother was completely and utterly perfect, the fact of the matter is that I didn’t care about any of those things: all I cared was that she showed up. Whenever I exited a practice, completed a test or succeeded in a challenge of life, she was always ready to carpool, congratulate and sometimes commiserate. When I failed at something (which by the way, is one of my greatest skills), I never worried about judgment or vilification. Everything in life was looked on as a learning experience, from the spilled chocolate milk in the living room to the first boyfriend who inevitably broke my heart.

Never the less, one of the hardest transitions in life has certainly been watching my mother go from Mommy… to Mi Mi. As an adult, I can no longer curl up on the couch of my parent’s house when I’m sick, and hope that mom will make me weird amounts of squash and tempeh to ease the pain. (Heck, I’m lucky to shove a few out-of-date baby Tylenol down my throat before moving on to the next thing). As a mother myself, I fight back the urge to text her whenever I have a problem, a question or saw a really interesting episode of Oprah, because I know that she is no longer just Mommy to me… but Mi Mi to eight beautiful grandchildren (and eventually counting).

Yet as Mother’s Day approaches, I can’t help but think if I add up to the example she set before me, both as a Mommy, a Mi Mi and a woman. While we wore Laura Ashley matching denim dresses as kids, my girls are almost always clad in Goober-covered Goodwill gear, with an inordinate amount of pollen and foliage in their hair. And even though I am so that mom who is always missing the important piece of paper, the form for approval or the children’s socks at the shoe-less playground, there is one thing I always know how to do: show up.

In the future if my girls can look back on their childhood, and remember that they always had someone to drive them, watch them, encourage them and cheer for them… who cares what outfits we wear? If years from now, they reflect on the books read, homework studied and blue and red states to be colored, does anyone notice if we have the right shoes? Our job in life as mothers is not to be the best, it’s not to look a certain way or do more than everyone else. It’s simply to be the support that never wavers, the shoulder that’s always there to lean on and the voice that’s forever in our heads.

So when my 5 year old daughter greeted me one morning recently holding a makeshift coffee mug and hand-scribbled card 5 days premature, I knew that even though I may not be able to count on my Mom to pick me up from practice anymore, make me squash when I’m ill or tell me what do when the going gets tough… she will never stop being my Mommy.

Why? Because she gave me the power of her voice. You don’t need to have a loud one to know how to use it, and you don’t have to be special to have something important to say. It’s true that my mom was a great many things throughout our lives, but the greatest gift she’s ever given us is the voice in our heads guiding us to always use our own.

And that, I have to say, is the best Mother’s Day gift ever.

* Super Special Exclusive Giveaway: Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Kit ($138 Value)

Who doesn’t want to win a $138 value anti-aging skincare kit from complexion guru Peter Thomas Roth? (If the answer is not you, psychological evaluation may be needed). The fabulous PRT is celebrating the 5 year anniversary of their acclaimed Un-Wrinkle innovation, and in honor of that (and you on Mother’s Day), they’re giving one lucky lady a complete kit. Un-Wrinkle products are designed to combat the signs of aging with dermatologist-levle results (think peptides, neuropeptides and other fancy pant ingredients which you can’t pronounce). It also combats environmental factors- your child’s temper tantrum phase likely included- with potent antioxidants to soothe the skin. Want to win? Speak up!

* Makeover Momma will be giving away THREE Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Kits throughout the month of May to celebrate the 5 year anniversary (kicking off with Mother’s Day weekend!)

* Comment To Enter: What is the biggest source of stress in your life, likely causing you wrinkles?

Just comment and keep eye on Makeover Momma Twitter and Facebook accounts (I’ll announce the winner in exactly one week!) And make sure you don’t give up, because I still have 2 more kits to give away in May. Good luck!

* Bailey Vincent Clark is the Editor-in-chief, author and founder of Makeover Momma. She hosts Makeover Momma TV on Tuesday (7 PM/EST & 4 PM/PT), and writes this column weekly (if the kids don’t interrupt!)

Makeover Mommaâ„¢ occasionally receives cosmetic products for review, with no obligation to positively promote or cover said brand. Receiving products has absolutely no influence over our recommendation of any particular product.

Posted in 2008 - 2011 Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,
19 comments on “What Happens When Your Mom Becomes a Mi Mi
  1. Jamie S. says:

    Myself ha ha I’m a worry wart lol

  2. jess says:

    the biggest source of stress is running two buisnesses and there only new – my kids are angles compaired …
    hope i can enter this comp from australia let me know if i can ??? lol

  3. Theresa says:

    Loved the article; it made me cry. I had a mother that always showed up too!
    My biggest source of stress is my teenager. Because, after years of “showing up”, its hard letting your children grow up. It isnt really “him” that is causing me the stress, its the act of letting him go….
    BTW, i too got an adorable “makeshift coffee mug and hand-scribbled card” 4 days premature. And it was the best!

  4. Denise says:

    Work is the biggest source of stress, and how to make time to do everything at home after work.


    My husband being out of work.

  6. Jenn says:

    My teenagers, I swear sometimes they are trying to drive me insane

  7. Karen R. says:

    Starting a new job and some family drama are really taking a toll on my skin.

  8. Christine B says:

    My job, starting new business, my children and sometimes my significant other, LOL

  9. What a touching tribute to your mom. I too grew up in a family of 5 kids and am lucky to have received the same type of love.
    And I can see how the voice has been passed on..keep it up! It will be interesting to see how your kids voices will be expressed right?

  10. Christa Deamer says:

    I love this story about your mom Bailey! I know how close you are to your momma and I bet this tugged at her heart stings too.!!

    I would say that at this moment in time my BIGGEST stress is our Finances. Things are just getting harder and harder for us. My hubby works so hard and to still struggle and see him stressed about it is stressing me out so bad. I have started to look for a job and applied to a ton of places but have not heard back from anyone. This would be nice to have. Thanks for considering me. Following Peter Thomas Roth on FBand tweeted about it too. Christa Amar on FB TheCdreamer on Twitter


    my job combined with my husband’s lack of one.

  12. Crissy D. says:

    The biggest source of stress in my life is adjusting to moving from a small town to the suburbs of a city. It is a huge change, and watching how it has and continues to affect my whole family stresses me out on a daily basis.

  13. Amy Kelly says:

    The biggest source of stress in my life is trying to keep up with everything that my kids have going on! From projects & tests, to field trips & lessons, I always feel like I’m forgetting something! My husband is in the military & is away, so I am on my own with the kids, house & everything else! I have a calendar that I write everything on (old school, I know!) & it helps me feel a little in control:)

  14. Sharon says:

    The biggest source of stress in my life is my 20 something daughter. Nuff said …


  15. Diane K. says:

    I thought I was looking pretty good, maintaining a great skincare regime when all of a sudden, one day I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize myself. I felt that I had aged overnight. The biggest source of stress for me that has had devastating effects on my skin for the last few years has been serious health issues, particularly as it deals with my stomach and malnutrition due to constant stomach aches. I have been seeking holistic healers who are just now turning my life around, putting me in a much better place. I rarely see doctors anymore because I feel they actually do more damage than good, at least for me. I need to get that shine, that light, that vitality back into my face and my hope, if I should be so lucky as to win these incredibly generous skincare prizes, is that through diligent use of these products, along with exercise and a sound nutritional plan, I will become the person I once was.

    Thank you for this wonderful giveaway and good luck to everyone!

    Diane K.
    kleimanlaw at aol dot com

  16. Vikki says:

    My job is my biggest stress and the frown on my face all day is causing my wrinkles.

  17. Kayte CookWatts says:

    My biggest source of stress is graying eyebrows. UGH!I am OK with my upcoming 40th- I just don’t wanna look it!

  18. Jennifer Peters says:

    My Husbands Job ,Pay cut etc (what a mess) and the constant battle of raising a very outspoken Teen Daughter.

  19. Anne-Marie T says:

    I am my own biggest source of stress. I am a compulsive worrier, which I think I inherited from my mother. I am working on it though.

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