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I am Not a Bad Mom Because I Don’t Save Everything

Welcome Sarah, today’s writer in the Thursday “I’m Not a Bad Mom” Series. If you’d like to contribute as a guest writer for this series please see details here

I'm not a bad mom because I don't save Everything

I was about 30 years old when my mother gave me a shoe box. This shoe box was filled to the brim with things I had drawn when I was younger, written in school, ribbons and awards, first clip of hair, first tooth lost, and countless other things.

For her, this box was filled with cherished items, memories of the years she spent raising me. For me, it was a box of junk. I’m sorry, it probably sounds worse than what it really is but she remembers this stuff, I don’t!

I don’t remember my first haircut, I remember my worst. I had hair down to my waistband and the hairdresser chopped it off to just below my ears. I cried for days.

I don’t remember losing my first tooth, but I do remember wearing braces… twice in my lifetime. (and my bottom teeth are still crooked but I’m thankful I no longer have an overbite.)

This box was filled with little trinkets from my past but they were pointless for me, yet at one time they meant the world to my mom.

The day she gave me this box of treasures, I sat there, before opening it and thought, “Am I a bad parent for not having a box for my kids? I don’t even have a baby book for my kids!”

But once I opened that box and saw the contents, I knew that I am not a bad parent, I’m not even a bad child to a well-meaning parent. These sentiments are my mothers, not mine. These are her memories of me, not mine of me and not mine of her. This box is my mother’s box.

There is only 1 item that I have kept of all of my children’s stuff. That is the outfit they came home from the hospital in. I have plans for these outfits. These outfits will be cut into squares and turned into a blanket/quilt for when my children bring over their children. I will cuddle these grandbabies in a quilt made with my memories from their parent’s first trip “home”.

Apologies to my children, you will not have a box. Instead, you will have my undying love for you for the rest of my life, you will have my attention when I could had been writing in a baby book. You will have your own memories of me and I of you. The box I keep for you, it is in my heart, sewn into my soul, and remembered daily in my mind.

Nestled between two cornfields in Indiana sits a house with Blue Shutters (which happens to be the name of her blog). Inside Sarah plays the roles of wife, mother of 3, homeschooler, freelance writer, cook, and many other hats as well. You can find Sarah on Facebook and Pinterest.

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About Cristi Comes

Warrior Mom. Wife. Writer. Advocate for mental health, suicide prevention, self care, self image and style. Technology and social media lover. Board of Directors, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Washington State Chapter. Editorial Team Postpartum Progress.


  1. Thank you Sarah! I am exactly the same way. There are some things I’ve “saved” but it just means its hasn’t been thrown out yet. 😉 You’re definitely a great mom.
    Cristi Comes recently posted..Win a 3-day South Walton Florida Beach GetawayMy Profile

    • I love the idea of the quilt for your grandchildren! My mother had a plastic bag of some of my baby teeth. No thanks! In a small apartment with 2 kids (2 and 10 months), 2 cats and a dog nothing gets saved. Maybe when they’re older and tap into their interests I will save certain things to remind them of their talents and achievements.

  2. I have SOME of my kids’ art works and essays in folders. I haven’t yet thought about giving them to each of them, but I have thought about boxing them (mostly so I have more room in my file drawer! and I do have teeth for both and hair from my firstborn’s first haircut. And he has a real baby book and somewhere videos. Unfortunately not so much for my 2nd child, my daughter. I didn’t want to take the time away from being with them when they were both little. Making photo albums is on my “someday to-do” list. But the fact of the matter is that I do recognize that the items I have kept mean the world to me, and might not at all for either kid.

    I guess when I think about it, it might be fun to go through what I have saved someday with their kids. But who knows! For now I keep my memories both in my heart and in some file folders!
    Heidi Sloss recently posted..Pregnant With Possibilities, While Embracing the UnknownMy Profile

    • I didn’t think of it when writing this, but I do ‘keep’ some of the kids’ art work but it’s in picture format. When they draw or bring artwork home from school we take a picture of it with the child holding it. It’s then stored on the computer (& backed up) and our screen saver filters through those files. :) Like a tiny art gallery and saving space is an extra bonus.
      Sarah recently posted..Hearts for Home 8-7-14My Profile

  3. Me too. Just because I don’t save everything doesn’t make me a bad person.
    Sayid Mansour recently posted..Ultimate Hockey Training & Ultimate Hockey NutritionMy Profile

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