Words to Live By – A Mother’s Letter by Christy Mansfield

by Kate Fineske on December 17, 2013 · 2 comments

What would be the most important wisdom you would pass down to your child(ren)?

This December, English teacher and Mothers’ Center of Southwest Nassau member Christy Mansfield is sharing her beautiful words of wisdom in a letter to her three children.

Over 8 years ago as a mother of two children separated in age by only 18 months, Christy participated in a library play event where a conversation with another mother introduced her to the Mothers’ Center of Southwest Nassau. Upon learning that the Mothers’ Center Group had a nursery AND a childcare drop off program, she recalls enthusiastically saying “Sign me up!” and thus began her long involvement in a group that’s played a big role along her parenting path—providing her with lasting friendships and a true network of support.

Christy has taught senior high school English for nineteen years. Today we feel fortunate to welcome her words as an English instructor, a mother of three and a longtime member of the Mothers’ Center of Southwest Nassau.

Christy MansfieldChristy Mansfield and snapshots of her three children: Ronan (age 9 1/2), Brian (age 8) and Shannon (age 6)

To my Children,

Before I had you, I felt teaching was the most meaningful work a person could do, until I realized that parenting is. Where would any teacher be without his or her mother?

I’ve learned how not to play favorites. (from you)

The only test that can define your ability is one that measures your human kindness.

Try. Take deep breaths. Play. Appreciate.

Keep in touch with people, especially each other.

Learn about others less fortunate than yourselves; then, count up all that you have to be thankful for each day.

Read great books.

Use specific language—to avoid being misunderstood—to save yourselves stress and time.

Compliment people. And if you have a complimentary thought about someone, or compliment him/her behind his/her back, share it aloud to that person’s face.

Listen to your mother. Call your mother :-) . Hold hands with your mother, even when you get older.

This above all: you can’t ever control what other people do or say. You can only control your reaction; so focus on taking care of yourself.

I’ve never smelled anything that made me feel more joy than the smell of a baby/child’s freshly washed hair.

Thank you for your love. Be who you are. Be good (you already are). Be honest with yourselves. Your father and I are so proud of you, always.

Be young; have fun.

I love you as much as I love my life. I love you infinitely,

Leave a Comment: Please help us give a warm welcome to the words and wisdom of this month’s Mothers Central Blog guest Christy Mansfield by leaving her a comment and sharing her letter with others!


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We’ve been asking our members across the nation to respond to the question:
What would you tell your child in a letter?
Get more details and read other guest post letters here.

I am a staff member of the National Association of Mothers' Centers and a longtime member of the Mothers' Center of Greater Toledo in Ohio. My husband and I are busy raising 3 children ages 4-11. I have a professional background as a graphic designer in the creative and education industry. Since 2005, I have been using my professional skills by actively volunteering with the Mothers' Center of Greater Toledo in various leadership positions.
Kate Fineske
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate Fineske December 17, 2013 at 6:50 am

Christy, thank you so much to taking the time to share your words and hopes for your own children as they grow here on Mothers Central. I find it amazing that sometimes just as much as we intend to teach our children — they also seem to teach us… (such as NOT playing favorites!) My own children teach me countless lessons about love, patience, empathy and so much more.

Thanks again for your contribution. I hope you have a terrific winter break and tons of time for R&R and spend together as a family!


Linda Juergens December 18, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Beautiful words Christy. As a former teacher I also feel that parenting opened my eyes to learning from children in a new way. It also made me realize more fully what a huge impact adults can have on a child with the smallest gesture, feedback and connection. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.


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