Janet Hommel Mangas: Sage advice on Mother’s Day

I asked a couple of my favorite Johnson County mothers two simple questions: What is some of the best advice you ever received, and what legacy do you hope to leave your children or what legacy from your own mother are you trying to pass down?”

Johnson County resident Katie Brown, mother of three and grandmother to eight, said that a mature and wise mom at church once told her, “Your children will never remember how clean their house was growing up, but they will always remember mommy playing with them. Don’t worry about the house, spend time with your children.”

Julia Hommel, mother of 10-year-old triplets, said, “The best advice I ever received is from my husband’s cousin, Sandy Pendleton. Having experienced multiples with twin boys, I remember her telling me at my baby shower that I needed to write everything down. She said ‘When you take them to the pediatrician, they will want to know when they ate, how much, and when they pooped, and if you don’t write it down, you will never remember which one did what.’ She could not have been more right! I still have those notebooks.”

Joyce Long, mother of two and grandmother to three granddaughters Elianna, 6, Tirzah 4, and Nysa, 4, noted that some of the best advice she every received was “not to go to bed angry or upset — talk it out.”

Pam Rider, mother of three and grandmother to one succinctly answered that her best advice, “Never have children!” (followed by five laughing emojis.)

Pam quickly appended her advice: “Teach them to be kind to others. Take them to church even if it is by the head of their hair. Love with them no matter what. Never turn down a chance to hang with your children. Always play if they ask. Laugh together, even through the sad times. Make memories because that’s all you have one day. Discipline them. My greatest vice was the ‘happy spoon.’ Treat them like the person you want them to become and most important love them with everything in you!”

She continued, “I’ve learned how important it is to my children that I was there cheering them on in every aspect of life — not just sports.”

Brown added, “Discipline them when they’re young, so you can enjoy them when they’re older.”

On leaving a legacy, Hommel responded, “Not sure it’s a legacy but, the thing that I hope is instilled in my kids is faith in God and the hope Jesus’s life and death bring, in ALL parts of their life — the good times and the bad. I always witnessed that with my mother (Ruth Schaefer) and my grandmother for that matter, and I hope my kids are seeing the same thing. I want to make sure they are grounded in that, so they are strong enough not to waver from it even if things are hard or it’s not a popular choice among their peers.”

“I hope my children will open their homes to others. We always hosted interns, missionaries, or just people that needed a place to stay for a while. I pray that they will do the same and experience the joy of hospitality,” Brown said.

On leaving a legacy, Long said, “I want my children and theirs to cultivate a faith legacy that started generations ago with my mother and grandmother. I know it won’t look the same for them as it was for us living in previous generations, but I pray that they love and trust in Jesus.”

Happy Mother’s Day.