Times Change, But Motherhood Is Timeless


Consumers' podcast graphic with image of guest Sally with three of her great-grandchildren.

Mother’s day is special time to honor the women who have shaped our lives. Tune into this week’s episode of Money, I’m Home as Lynne is joined by her own mother-in-law, Sally Johnson, to discuss her experiences as a mother of nine, and to share a few words of advice for other moms.



0:00:06.6 Lynne Jarman-Johnson (LJJ): Money, I’m Home. Welcome in. I’m Lynne Jarman-Johnson with Consumers Credit Union. From finance to fitness, we have it all. Very special edition today, you know what day it is. You know what? We’re going to call it a week, it’s Happy Mother’s Day, happy Mother’s week here at Consumers Credit Union. Our special guest today is Sally. I kind of know her a little bit. She’s a mom. She’s a grandma. She is a great grandma. Thanks for joining us today, Sally.

0:00:38.0 Sally Johnson: Nice to be here.


0:00:40.5 LJJ: You know something, I really actually I’m thrilled to chat with you, because I think all of us when we talk about Mother’s Day, it’s so much like the joy of seeing your kids and after, especially after raising them. I kind of want to dig in a little bit with you. I mentioned just now, you’re a grandmother. You’re a great grandmother. You’re a mom. Tell us a little bit about your background. I’m telling you, it’s so fascinating, because how many sets of kids now, generationally, do you have?

0:01:11.9 SJ: We’re working on the third generation, fourth generation. I’m really not too sure. I lost count a long time ago. I just welcome them when they come, and if we like them, we keep them, if not, we still keep them, [chuckle] regardless.

0:01:27.1 LJJ: So, you right now actually have great-grandchildren that are being born.

0:01:31.3 SJ: Correct.

0:01:31.6 LJJ: Tell us a little bit about, if you think back, when you became a mom and now the difference between what you see… Even I, I’m right now a grandma of three, and I look and I’m like, “I can’t even believe all the things that they have.” And that’s just one generation away.

0:01:49.2 SJ: Everything is different as far as I’m concerned. Let’s see, when I first started out, I think I had a crib, a changing table and a highchair. I think somebody gave me a highchair to begin with. I had a bassinet that I used for my dolls, and that was what we cleaned up and fixed for our first born, Mike. Today, as we so speak of great-grandchildren, we have two that are due in September, and we have showers. I’m amazed looking online, which certainly we never had when we started all this, the number of items that are available for this child. And most mothers seem to feel they need each one of those items in order to raise a child, but lo and behold, we managed. We had a stroller. We did a lot of walking. We did not, which is a blessing today, have the car seats that are available now for the babies. We had a canvas seat with hanger-type hooks that hung over the back seat of the front seat, and that was the car seat, or they just sat on the back seat. We had a station wagon, that probably is one of the best things that has been improved.

0:03:21.8 LJJ: When you were growing up, that too was so different, and then there were items that were brought along like a telephone, the television, and sometimes I think you can look at things and say, “Boy, this is for the better. There are things that are great about it.” But I’ll tell you what, people had said long ago that they really worried that when the phone became a computer, the phone became a screen, that it changed the way that people socialize. Is that a big fear for your grandkids, your great-grandkids?

0:03:56.9 SJ: Right, right. Right now, there’s a call going around for the return of teaching cursive writing. They can go on their phones or their iPads and punch out a letter, but heaven forbid, when you have to put a piece of paper and a pen or a pencil in their hands. I question when I get messages by paper from my grandchildren when I do, and even my kids, because they’ve forgotten the art of…

0:04:32.9 LJJ: Handwriting.

0:04:33.1 SJ: Of handwriting.

0:04:35.5 LJJ: It’s interesting you say that because of, when I write thank you notes, it takes me two or three tries, because I used to have great penmanship, and now it’s just gone.

0:04:45.9 SJ: Yeah. Yeah.

0:04:47.1 LJJ: Interesting. Tell me about raising nine kids, how in the world… People say that to me all the time, I raised six, “How in the world did you do it?” To me, it was like, “Well, everybody helped. It wasn’t just me.” Right?

0:05:00.9 SJ: Right. I don’t know, it was there, I had to do it. I couldn’t lock him in a closet and go someplace. Once school started, the bus would take him away in the morning and bring them back.

0:05:14.8 LJJ: We’ll be like, “Okay.”


0:05:17.6 SJ: But then I had the little ones that were still at home, but little by little, because they were close, the oldest one gradually would be taking care of… And I don’t mean I was leaving them alone and they were staying at home and taking care of…

0:05:34.6 LJJ: No, but they were helping.

0:05:35.6 SJ: But they were help. They could go fetch something for me if I needed it, changing a diaper, say, and it got to the point where there was a time when they could change the diaper, too, so they were a help in many ways. And they were a help in keeping each other entertained. One set of grandparents were here in town and that helped, and we had a nice group of friends from church, so they were available for help. I don’t know, you just kind of all existed in good days and bad days. And they all turned out to be pretty good kids, good adults.

0:06:17.9 LJJ: You mentioned the word that to me, when we’re talking here on Mother’s Day and about moms, but you mentioned to me a word that I think every mom who is listening today has felt at one time or the other, and that’s the word guilty. And the funny part about it is, I always have felt that my kids have brought me the greatest joy in the world, but I always kind of felt like there was some… I just wasn’t doing it always the best. Now, why is it? Why do we beat ourselves up?

0:06:53.0 SJ: Mentioning when I was raising the kids, I was fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom. I had a degree, a teaching degree.

0:07:03.6 LJJ: Go Broncos.


0:07:07.9 SJ: And when it became possible, I did some substituting, but I think about that time, up until that time, very few women worked if they weren’t in the medical field, basically a nurse or assistant nurse or a teacher. But suddenly the door opened up and women found their voice, if that’s what you want to call it, and so it was more appropriate for them to be able to go out, such as you, and work, and some of the mothers that were home became caretakers for other mothers’ children, as in daycare. Others, after their children were all in school, maybe went back to school themselves and got their degrees, or at least training of the technical training, not necessarily technical, but training of some… So that opened up another whole new can of worms, so to speak. But when I stayed home, my focus was more, I guess, a “Better Homes and Gardens” household. I felt obligated that that had to be done all the time. I didn’t mind if the kids got dirty outside but didn’t want any of that inside. And gradually, even that has changed, it’s taken me many years to figure it out, but that’s maybe what I feel, go for it, but it was fun. And towards the end, I kept thinking, “Oh, this is the last year we have to do all this. This is the last year.” But then the last year came and went, and then it was like, “Oh, I wish I had a ball game to go to tonight or something like that.” But then the grandkids came along.

0:08:52.0 LJJ: There’s many, many people who are listening, especially young moms, and I think one of the things that you just brought up, especially around this time of year, and actually gives me hope, and that is that each generation has their own trials and tribulations, but what you’ve just said is the time is the most important.

0:09:15.1 SJ: Right. And I think in this era, I don’t know if it’s because we’re more connected by technology, is that you’re never away, it seems like you’re always available. I cannot imagine having nine children and having to outfit them each with a cell phone, because they would constantly be somebody on the phone thinking they needed my services, whether it was a drive, “Pick me up here. I want to go someplace, is that okay?” And then they’re constantly on it, not to mention the expense of all that, because technology is not inexpensive.

0:10:00.5 LJJ: So, give me the greatest advice that you can give a mom of today.

0:10:05.0 SJ: I would just say, do the best you can. Discipline when they need to be disciplined but do it in a nice way, and it is possible to do it in a nice way. Hug them every day when they go out the door. Most people today know the difference between right and wrong. Don’t you do one thing and expect your child to do another thing, because everything you do, everything you say from the time they’re infants, how many words have come out of their mouths as infants and you look at them and say, “Where did they hear that from, or where did that come from?” Just do the best you can.

0:10:40.1 LJJ: Well, I’ll tell you what, I am blessed because you did the best you could and better than that. To all of you listening, I want you all to have a fabulous Mother’s Day. And you know what, take time out of your day today and think about that technology we talked about. It really does hit home. And this was a joy. Thank you. I will say though, you can now bank online, mom, 24/7 at Consumers Credit Union.

0:11:08.6 SJ: Nope, sorry.


0:11:12.5 LJJ: Thanks everybody for listening. I want everybody to have a great week. Thank you, Jake Esselink for your production skills. Hey, don’t forget. Call your mom. I’m Lynne Jarman-Johnson with Consumers Credit Union.


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