Live how you want them to live: a mother’s lesson.


How she sees me

The joy of parenting is obvious in the life of our daughter-in-law Meghan Cooley. She lives how she wants her kids to live. The results are apparent in her children, my four grandsons. The boys have a love of life, positive attitudes and are well mannered. My husband and I look forward to having the boys for overnight visits.

Meghan realizes the most precious gift you can give your children is quality time spent with them. She spends time teaching them values (mainly by example), she helps them learn to bake and cook meals, takes them on fun outings to the park, family museum, and zoo just to mention a few. 

Meghan also takes advantage of opportunities to have one-on-one time with each of them and she has always spent hours reading books to them before they were old enough to read themselves. Besides sharing her Christian values there are written reminders around their home about acceptable behavior. 

live how you want them to live: photo of Linda with Grandkids
We developed this list from a take home project one of our kids got from school. It’s based on one of the lessons we learn through the Leader in Me program. We LOVE that our school is a Leader in My school.

On several occasions when my husband and I are with our 4 grandsons at a restaurant or most recently Easter Sunday at church someone will come up to us and tell us how well behaved and well mannered our grandsons are. We are truly blessed Meghan is our son’s wife and the mother of our grandsons!!

living like you want them to live: Easter Sunday photo of 4 boys and grandparents

How I want to be like her

I learned to be a good mom by watching others. As you may remember from an earlier blog My Mom Died Before I Had Our First Child, however, God blessed me with the most amazing mother-in-law. Linda lives how she wants others to live. 

Let me explain more. Linda is the best kind of mom. She makes sure you know what she thinks is the right thing to do. She sets the bar high. She advises and diplomatically makes suggestions. She will even tell you she doesn’t agree with your choice.

And, then, regardless of what you decide, she loves you no matter what. 

I’m not sure there is anything more deeply wonderful than the respect that conveys to the person on the receiving end of that love.

I grew up in a household of punishment for even the most minor infraction. There were times when that included a strange announcement: “Fine, you don’t want to be parented? I won’t be your father any more.” So, the normal parenting both positive and negative was withheld as a punishment sometimes for weeks: no hugs at bedtime, no help making dinner, no rides to activities, etc. I learned that wrong choices could destroy relationships.

Linda lives her life another way. She strongly believes in right and wrong. She is a true Christian: one that actually is generous, kind, and full of grace for others. She lives her beliefs as a shining example to all who know her. She accepts others for who they are and accepts they may believe differently.

I think the most important thing I do as a mother is emulate Linda. I make sure my kids know what is right. I hold them to a very high standard. Sometimes, they disappoint me. I live my life how I want them to live: love generously even if you don’t agree with choices. I make sure my kids know I love them even when they are wrong. It stretches them to do better, to be better.

Reading that Linda sees me as a good example for my own boys, is one of the sweetest Mother’s Day gifts I could get. I hope she knows her example has helped shape Luke and me as parents and made a truly important impact on our boys. Aren’t great moms that become grandmas one of life’s greatest blessings?

Live how you want them to live: grandma & boys

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A committed member of the boymom club, Meghan has five active, adventurous, crazy sweet men in her life she often calls her “favorite boys”. Charles is 10, Oliver is 8, Bennett is 5, Simon is 3 and her husband, Luke is a fun, patient, loving father to all these crazy characters. For 18 years, Meghan worked in higher education at a private college in recruitment, marketing, and social media. Now, working from home, she balances four boys, a great husband, freelance writing and social media consulting. Meghan grew up in St. Charles, IL (a western Chicago suburb), attended Augustana College, and is a true Quad City transplant - she loves living in this area! She likes to read, sing, plan adventures, travel and just be with her favorite boys.


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