Being a Mom on Mother's Day

Mother’s Day always makes me cry. On this day, I remember my own mom, who was a teacher, and an incredible inspiration to me. She died suddenly in 2002, just hours after she had picked up her latest stack of  books at the library and played tennis with dear friends.

I also think about how fast my own two children have grown. I fondly recall reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting before my daughter was born. I remember the LaMaze classes, earaches in the middle of the night, shopping for preschools, reading endless books with the kids, jockeying for the best teachers for my kids in grade school, soccer tournaments, driving lessons, AP exams, college applications…..

And then in what seems like a nano second, my children seemed all grown up. My daughter will be graduating from Juniata College next year and my son will be a freshman at Beloit College beginning in August.

Remembering My Mom

In honor of Mother’s Day, I want to share something that I wrote for CBSMoneyWatch as part of the financial website’s Mother’s Day remembrance.   I only wish my mom was alive to share the special day. Here goes:

My mother, Jacquelin O’Shaughnessy, not only earned a bachelor’s degree, which was quite rare for a woman in the 1940s, but she also spent a few summers at the University of Wisconsin to earn her master’s degree in education. I was incredibly proud of my mother’s accomplishments, but she hated it when I bragged about her. She also disliked it when parents lobbied the principal at her elementary school in hopes that their children would be assigned to a coveted spot in her classroom.

My mother stopped teaching before her oldest (that’s me) was born and soon enough she had a household of five kids born within six years of each other. She returned to teaching when I was heading to high school, so she and my dad could pay the college tab for all five of us. They paid the equivalent of 20 years of college costs at the University of Missouri without taking out a single loan.

My mother and father’s selflessness allowed me to pursue my passion — journalism — and I will always, always be grateful.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes for CBSMoneyWatch. Follow her on Twitter.

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    1. Thanks Helen for your lovely note.

      What I vowed after my mom died suddenly of a heart attack was to try to be the best mom I could in her honor. Some days I’m successful and others I’m not!

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy