Motherhood Revisited

What is the saying … the days go by slow, but the years go by fast. That’s never more true than it is as it relates to motherhood. One minute I was kissing their boo boos … and the next I’m basking in the joy of being a three-time grandmother.

When I stopped writing regular blogs here, it was because I thought I’d said all I had to say … and I didn’t want to just keep repeating myself. But, as this Mother’s Day approached, I have been thinking a lot about motherhood – the lessons I learned from my own journey, as well as those I’m learning watching my own children become parents – and so many times I’ve thought about the things I discussed and shared in this blog.

So, with full knowledge that I’m repeating myself, I thought I’d look back and pull forward some of the thoughts and ideas I shared here regarding motherhood (and life in general) – because while so much has changed, these things remain true – true for us and for our kids.  

  • Parenting, like life, is a journey. And it’s often hard. Looking back I often think “how did we do that?” But I can see now that it’s an endless series of letting go, and that the adapting and changing with the tides of parenting can be one of the toughest parts of this job. But making it to the other side is all about handling today … dealing with the moment at hand.  
  • Time and attention – those are two of the most important things we can give our kids. Life can be crazy and it’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind, but none of that is as important as being there for our kids. Even now, as my kids are fully grown and navigating their own lives, I still reach out and check in on them. And I make it a point to really listen to them. Technology makes this easy, but nothing beats a real call or visit.
  • Letting go with arms wide open. Sometimes it is so hard to just let your kids do it on their own. Whatever it is — from forgotten homework (that we rush over) to endless advice — we want to protect our kids and prevent them from suffering in any way. But I have learned that the better move is to say “I have faith YOU will figure it out.” We can’t (or at least I think we shouldn’t) make things happen for them. They have to stand on their own two feet, make choices for themselves, and yes, sometimes face the consequences. From my experience, that is how they grow.
  • Face your issues head on. Difficult conversations or confrontations are never easy, but the aftermath is so worth the short-term discomfort. If you have a conflict or issue, address it. Whether it’s a romantic relationship, a family member, a friend or a co-worker, if you approach your relationships with openness and respect, they’ll be better and strong in the long run.
  • Don’t waste your time in the negative space. I’ve never understood why someone would waste their time thinking, talking or acting in negative ways. It’s always baffled me why someone would choose to spend their time putting that out into the atmosphere. It’s unhealthy and unproductive, so move through it quickly and find the good in life. That’s always a better place to be.
  • No gossip. The gossip mill is toxic and I have always refused to be a part of it. As my grandmother always said, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything. This is something I worked hard to pass on to my children, and instead encouraged them to work on their own behavior … to set the tone. Because the things we say (or post on Twitter and Instagram) matter. We should all focus on lifting each other up, not dragging each other down.
  • It’s your life and it’s in your hands – This is a belief I’ve emphasized with my kids again and again. Our life is our script to write and no one else can cause you to fail, falter or abide by their wishes – unless you allow it. Sure, things happen in life, but when you blame others for those situations, you sign off the rights to your life and empower someone else to rule your life. You become the victim.
  • Live in the Moment – Grab life and live every moment, in the moment. Because this is it, our one shot – and we can’t waste a moment. We can’t predict the future, and we certainly can’t change the past … we can only strive to do and live better.
  • Reinvention – Get up, get out and get going. I believe in continuous reinvention, and that it’s never too late to do whatever it is that you’ve dreamed of doing. Sure, it’s scary, but I promise that rewards will be so very sweet!
  • Always be kind! It’s just that simple. Be kind to yourself, to your kids and to those around you. Because kindness is contagious, and a little kindness can go a long way in making the world a better place.

Brothers: A story of love, honesty and being true to one’s self

We are very fortunate to have a very close group of friends with whom we’ve raised our children. There are 10 adults and our collective children add up to 10 more. 

Our babies! My Katie & Matt, here with the children of our closest friends. 

When they were all very young, we would get together at our different homes for BBQ’s – us parents would all have our margaritas going and the kids would all run free, playing together. And, when it was time to say goodbye, if at least one kid was crying because they didn’t want to leave, I felt it was a huge success. 

#KindnessIs: Mary Beth asks, her co-stars answer

This past weekend, I was delighted to join my Days of our Lives co-stars for the annual Day of Days event at Universal City Walk, where we all at the opportunity to meet with thousands of fans. 

They cheered us on, brought us treats and shared stories of how the show has impacted their lives  … and we had the best time! 

While we were there, I decided to honor World Kindness Day (which was Monday), by asking my colleagues to share their opinions on kindness and what it means to them.  I loved their willingness to walk this PLANK with us … and I think you’ll love their answers. 

Be Kind.

Some people might say I am a Pollyanna, but I prefer to believe in the good in people. I have always gravitated toward good-hearted, honest, NO DRAMA people. I have no interest in gossiping about others and I deplore that “sport” in others. 

As my children were growing up, I never accepted the invitations to “Margarita Mondays” with other mothers of their classmates because I didn’t want to participate in talking about the kids or their families.

The gossip mill is toxic and I refused to be a part of it.

Love, Kindness & Gratitude: Lessons Learned by a Cancer Survivor

Last week, Stephen and I had the pleasure of joining some fans for a lunch that we auctioned off earlier this year to raise money for One World Stage & Screen. The winner of the auction, Tamra, brought along her Mom and two friends – Trish and Nancy. I learned during the lunch that Nancy was the same woman, a cancer survivor, who’d recently written me a letter about her fight and the beautiful things she discovered as a result.

Spurring Kindness

Three weeks ago, as I shared in recent blogs, I had the pleasure of visiting Nashville for a fan event with some of my Days of our Lives castmates. And this week, I was excited to find that my suitcase from the trip had finally arrived back at the studio. Not my actual suitcase, but one that was thoughtfully assembled by some amazing fans. Inside was literally a treasure of goodies that these wonderful ladies brought from all over the country – each one representing the area in which they live.