Stepping Aside

four generations

My Grandmother, Me, My Daughter, My Mother. May, 1982.

Mamas: It’s Your Turn In The Middle

“Is that you in the middle?” My friend Megan asked the question when I shared this image on Facebook. Yes, I admitted. That’s me. In 1982. 

August brought us a brand-new granddaughter. August brought us a visit from my girl and her own three littles. August brought my wonderful co-grandma Judi a precious new granddaughterson of her own. It’s been a mothering-intense month around here. In the best possible way.

August made me grateful that I no longer command the middle. But I have words for my successors:

Dear Elaine, Rachael, Rebecca, Crissy, Melissa, Maggie, Rachael S., Chrystal, Nici, Amanda, Amanda,  Jennifer (and every other young mom I know): 

By now you’ve seen how motherhood makes you a star, thrusts you on to center stage.  You even collect fans.

But those gossipmongers? You collect them too. It seems that for some folks, mothering is performance, and no mama’s movement is too small to warrant critique. So what do you do?

Love your babies. Be grateful to your fans. Ignore the critics.

It’s your turn on center stage, all you beautiful mamas.

Shine like the luminous stars you are.

Much love,

Lala–one of your biggest fans

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”

Proverb 31:25-29 (ESV)


  1. xoxoxo

  2. I look so forward to not being in the middle anymore.

  3. Ahhhh—First time over here for real since the big unveil. Looks so much cooler than it did on my phone 🙂

    And yes, I would add for all those moms in the middle: Those who criticize other mamas really need to concentrate on loving their own babies well 🙂

    So happy for your mother-intense August!

    • Ah, thanks, Nancy! That’s a very good point you make. My co-grandma Judi talks about “sweeping your own porch.” Yup.

  4. Excellent word for young moms, Sheila. And even for old ones, I think. Love your kids (and your grandkids) and ignore the critics. We don’t have to be center stage to do this good work, either. And maybe that’s the best part. Thanks for this, Sheila.

  5. What a beautiful legacy. Excellent job and heart, mom. Our Father has smiled upon you and yours. No gifts in life can equal the treasures you possess.

    • I am the most blessed person I know, no doubt there. Spent the morning with the newest one of all today (and her siblings, of course!). Bliss.

  6. Love this Sheila – (all mamas should hang it somewhere!) “Love your babies. Be grateful to your fans. Ignore the critics.”


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