When It Occurs to You That Your Mom Is Human

I still don’t know how she did it.

She was a mom of three and she worked full-time our entire lives. She never tried a part-time gig, never took years off to stay at home while the kids were little, and I don’t remember a single time she complained about having to work AND raise kids. She did what she did, she did it well, and it’s all she knew.

It’s quite likely that I idolized my mom when I was a kid. Her work was only a block from our house, so she’d literally RUN home from work to get dinner made and on time bake in the oven. (If you know my mom, you know I’m not exaggerating about the “literally RUN” part!) We had casseroles, whole chickens with mashed potatoes and pan-roasted gravy, pot roasts with carrots, and homemade pizzas to name just a few. Mom would complete the meal with sides and desserts and all the proper fixings. I know we had grilled cheese and tomato soup and tuna sandwiches, but let’s just say those nights were the rare occasion. And my mom would NEVER dream of serving us Hamburger Helper, Rice-A-Roni or any such thing.

In my subconscious, there are probably many days I still idolize the way my mom did “it all.”

When I’m overwhelmed with my part-time job, when I can’t keep the house clean like mom always seemed to, when I don’t serve my in-laws three square meals a day when they come visit like mom did for her in-laws, I believe I’ve fallen short.

When I throw Tyson chicken nuggets in the oven and warm up some frozen store brand peas, lies creep in that I’m not a good enough mom.

When I toss a baked potato in the oven, my son asks “why can’t you make mashed potatoes like grandma,” and he goes over to whip them up for himself, lies creep in that I’ve fallen short.

And even when my daughter comes home and says her friend’s mom “cooks different” than I do, “she makes everything homemade,” truth sets in that I’m definitely NOT doing “it all.”

I’d make more whole chickens and mashed potatoes with pan-roasted gravy and all the fixings…if only…

So I’m grateful for the moment it occurred to me, just today, that my mom is human.

The kids came grocery shopping with me last night. They wanted to buy Banquet TV dinners, specifically the $1 turkey dinner variety. I let them buy these dinners once every 3-6 months and they think it’s a treat. While I think turkey dinner is one of the most tolerable of TV dinners, they’re still not the best, so I grabbed 2 Banquet pot pies instead.

The kids ate their TV dinners for breakfast this morning (true story!), so my baby daughter and I ate pot pies for lunch.

As I took those pot pies out of the oven, flipped them over on the plate, and cut them up just the way I did when I was a little girl, I realized something.

These are Banquet. Pot. Pies.

$1. Banquet. Pot. Pies.

While they might not be the most nutritionally sound food in the world, and any foodie mom would die that I was serving Banquet Pot Pies to myself AND my child, the reason I wanted to get those pot pies last night is because I had fond memories of eating them as a child.

As obvious as it might be to you, I had to come to my own realization.

These are Banquet. Pot. Pies.

$1. Banquet. Pot. Pies.

My mom served these Banquet. Pot. Pies. To us.

That moment it occurs to you that your mom is human? It’s a beautiful thing.

So thank you mom, for serving enough Banquet Pot Pies that they formed a lasting memory in my brain. The gravy, the vegetables, the meat, the way my fork cut through that crust? All proof my memory might have failed me…just a bit.


  1. Carol Femling says:

    As for me, Amy’s mom, I am VERY human! Thanks, Amy, for thinking that I was the food godess 🙂 –so nice of you—, but truth is that I didn’t do everything perfect when you were a child at all! I did try VERY HARD to be a “good” mom to my three beautiful children and a “good” wife to my husband by being a good homemaker.Why did I think that was important? It wasn’t always easy and I was tired a lot, but now that I’m much older I know the truth. Homemade food and a clean house really don’t matter in life. In fact, they don’t matter at all in the end! Just keep being the fantastic loving mom you are and don’t worry about the small things. Love you just the way you are, Amy, and I know your kids and Seth do too. 🙂

  2. Jennifer Westrom Peterson says:

    You are amazing!! Your not falling short!! ((Hugs)) love ya

  3. Kelly Jo Zellmann says:

    Amy ~ this is beautiful! And, you are certainly NOT falling short! I have many nights that I feel like I’m the best dietitian mom for not serving more homemade suppers too but we do the best we can! You are doing awesome and these are the great memories enjoyed from your childhood now to pass on to your kids! Confession – I actually make pot pies using frozen pie crusts and cook up frozen veggies mix in cut up cooked chicken and gravy… our kids love them and I know they are not the healthiest!:( Hmm… maybe I’ll have to try a Banquet pot pie soon:)

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