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Moms Against THE WORLD

If You’re Not Tired, You’re Not doing it Right

As we step into a new year, my teenagers remind me how fast time passes. Sticky fingers and fights over the bouncy ball have been replaced with bearded faces and accusations of using the other brother’s shampoo. In this new year, I’m praying that my young adults come closer to realizing what’s important in life. I want them to be happy, love the work they do, and behave like decent human beings. I want them to hang up their bath towel.

IDK What?

My conversations with my teenagers are like something I’d never imagined. I am exhausted from battling this bizarro world and these humanoids of a technological age.

Why would you text that?” which translates to me spending more time stalking their social media sites. If they’re not told it’s inappropriate, how will they ever know? Words have power. Hurtful words that destroy are seen as funny, and outrageous comments that spur a reaction are considered to be a successful joke.

Just because somebody posted it online, doesn’t mean you have to see it.” which translates to there are some things that can’t be unseen.

Do not give out your personal information.” Name, address, school name, cell number, passwords — for the one hundredth time, don’t do it.

Our boys are teenagers now. Where does the time go?

Would you go back in time and kiss the sticky faces of your kids one more time? Absolutely!

How can we shelter the innocent from the gory, gross, vile, inappropriate world? Have no doubt that the entire universe is against decent moms and their efforts to raise decent human beings. You know the days I mean. The world is going crazy and it’s taking our sweet babes down with it. Hate must not gain any more ground in the lives of our children.

Kids today are strong-willed and wicked smart. Parents today have to be cunningly creative to stay ahead of the game. We have to be steadfast in our mission. No side-stepping or talking around the issues. We have to be direct. I don’t have the time to be everybody’s mother, but I do want those within my immediate world to understand what it means to have ethics and integrity.


The women I know have got gumption; loads of it. I think it begins with the can-do attitudes we’ve inherited from our ancestors. The belief that they could overcome any obstacle that life throws their way. The faith that carried them through. For me, it’s the memory of one woman in particular. She became the corner stone of how I conduct my life and raise my kids.

Her name was Clara Iylene (Shuffield) Williams, but I called her Maw. She remembers traveling as a young girl to Texas from Oklahoma in the back of a wagon. Along with my grandfather, they raised three boys and my mother on a cotton farm on the High Plains of Texas. She prevailed through the loss of a baby, and through my grandfather’s three heart-attacks, the first occurring when he was in his 40’s. Cooking, gardening, canning mountains of vegetables, picking cotton, driving a tractor, and on occasion, finding a job in town while my grandfather recovered, were all a part of life. She was an accomplished seamstress and hand-quilted every grandchild a graduation present. 

“I glorified you on earth by completing down to the last detail what you assigned me to do.”  John 17:4

Iylene Shuffiled Williams as a teenager

Iylene Shuffield Williams as a teenager,


Maw spoke directly and wasn’t afraid to point out your short-comings. “Don’t act ugly, Natalie,” she’d say.  “And mind your mommy and daddy.” I could be somewhat strong-willed at times. Maw’s words were often echoed by my mother who used to say, “We don’t talk ugly about any one.” I grew up in a time when ‘ugly’ was a major behavioral problem.

My mother lived with us after my father died. As I headed out the door one morning, she stopped me to say that my shirt and pants did not match and that I needed something dressier. I was furious. However, being older and wiser, I swallowed my anger and went back to my room. She approved the next outfit, and I was out the door minus the shouting match of my youth. Even at 43, my 68 year old mother ruled over my clothing, which proves that I come from a long line of infuriatingly strong-willed women. Today I’m still surrounded–aunts, cousins, nieces, friends, and business colleagues. They all exude an iron will and insistence of what’s appropriate, which I admire very much. With sharp minds, respectful attitudes, and loads of class they’re not afraid of facing the battles.

When your young adult blasts obscenities on social media, when do you stop lecturing about how bullying words can destroy people’s lives?

When should you save your breath instead of insisting that we always respect others, no matter how different?

When do you give up the battle on inappropriate choices?

At what point do we stop mothering?


The bath towel may have to wait for another day; there are much bigger struggles looming.


Natalie Cline Bright is a blogger and author of the fun, historical western TROUBLE IN TEXAS series for middle grades, the RESCUE ANIMAL eBook series, and is currently working on an action-packed novel for young adults, WOLF’S WAR. Read about Natalie’s grandmother and her cherry salad recipe, recently selected for “THE WESTERN WRITERS OF AMERICA COOKBOOK: Favorite Recipes, Cooking Tips, and Writing Wisdom” (TwoDot Publishing, June 2017).