Blog, Blogged, Blogging? One Boring Mom’s Experience

cathy allen

Blog, blogged, blogging.

I’ve heard these words over and over and not only wondered where they came from but where they were going. My daughter throws these words out to me like they are common everyday words. I try to stay on task and listen to what is being said between her and my daughter-in-law when discussing this important word. I’m not only trying to learn what the word means but also why people do it.  It seems blogging is a verb.  She explained that people blog for many reasons.

At our last family gathering, my daughter approached her sister-in-law about the possibility of blogging for a new site she was launching.  Listening to the conversation, it sounded fascinating. I liked the idea of writing about “experiences” – at least that’s what it sounded like.  I unwittingly spoke up and said I may be interested in hearing more about what my role in blogging could be.


My daughter then “explained” to me that you blog about something you know a lot about, something other people are interested in reading. With that little tidbit, I was dropped from the conversation. (More wine, please)

After I got home and pondered what I know and what other people would find interesting, I agreed with my daughter. My only accomplishments in life were staying married to the same man for 47 years (not an easy task), raising and educating three children, and teaching school for 28 years. Not much there.

Humor me while I continue.

I chose to be a stay-at-home mom even though money was an issue. Many days I searched the house for quarters (even nickels and dimes) to get enough money to put gas in the car so the kids and I could at least get to the store for food. After a few years of scraping to get by, I decided I better find a way to increase our financial status and help prepare to educate three kids. Trouble was, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had no skills that would help me make any money. So at the ripe old age of 32, I decided to head to college and become a teacher.

No biggie, right? I was a late bloomer, if you can’t tell.

So to the university I went and enrolled in education. How we paid for this education was no easy task. My husband had a very large plastic bottle he used to save his loose change. Mind you this bottle started before he ever met me. My first semester of school was paid for with this “piggy bank.”  The next semester was a little tougher. We resorted to begging, pleading, and borrowing. Somehow we scraped the money together. After my first year, I was able to apply for an educational scholarship. Oh right – I was able to get this because of my outstanding grades. Keep in mind, that as a 32 years-old, with three kids and a husband, there was no so called “social life” to interfere with my studying.

And so it went for the next four years. At the age of 37 (when most people had been teaching for at least 15 years), I graduated (no graduation walk for me – there were soccer games to attend), and landed my first teaching job.

I FINALLY grew up.

Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! We had some money to pay for food from one pay day to another (the night before pay day was usually peanut butter sandwiches.). We were even able to put some away for the kids’ education.

Oh and another thing — I went on to get my Master’s degree and graduated with a 4.0. Who would have ever thought? And so it went for the next 28 years. I didn’t accomplish anything major — I only ensured that all my children went to college and also was responsible for helping implement a new form of math education in our school system.

But you know — that’s not really a big deal. Look at what Steve Jobs accomplished. Look at Bill Gates. I mean, those people really accomplished something…

All sarcasm aside – hearing my daughter and daughter-in-law dismiss me quickly (and without malicious intent), may have been the best thing that happened to me in a while. I got to reflect on my life — and what I had built. And let me tell you — as I look at my children, my grandchildren and the lives we all have — I can say one thing with ease.

I did a hell of a good job.

It just goes to prove that it’s never too late to find yourself (of course, living in near poverty helped with the motivation). I may have grown up when I was older – but I grew up the hard way. I never had one thing handed to me and that’s how I raised my children. You define your own path and you earn your future.

So now, dear daughter and daughter-in-law, here is my first blog – built on the story of my experiences. I think some people may in fact, find it interesting.

Never underestimate this old lady.

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Cathy Allen

Cathy Allen is a retired teacher and proud mother, grandmother and wife. She resides in Youngstown, OH for the warm months and in true, snow-bird style, heads to Florida when the snow comes.

12 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Very insightful post from one of my heroes. You have so much to share. If I ever made you feel like you didn’t- I’m sorry! I value your life experiences very much.

  • I am priveledged to say I know one of your daughters, her husband, and their two daughters. So it is with confidence that I say, you did one heck of a job! Although you are not a Steve Jobs, you have lead an extraordinary, ordinary life, so far. Who knows what is still to come?

  • Congrats, Kathy! You did an amazing job writing your first blog. I certainly found it interesting and I can also relate. I’m still in the process of growing up, at 42 years old, and raising my incredible children has been the most important job in my life! The experiences that we go through in our lives help shape who we are and make us stronger! Keep writing and sharing with others. ?

  • To my dear friend, Cathy.
    I so love reading Amy’s writing, be it a blog or just something she has posted. After reading yours & teaching with both you & your mom I realize where her knack of story telling comes from. Far from boring, that’s for sure. Hope to see more from you in the future.

  • I like that you are honest and to the point. So proud of you in writing this and all you accomplished! My dad, Don Weber, (deceased now ? )was first cousins with your husband. Your son Dave and I (we are the same age) became good friends when we met at Austintown Fitch. Just based on Dave I can say that you have done an incredible job raising your kids. He’s one in a million. Wish I would have had the pleasure of meeting you in person. Well, I enjoyed your blog and I hope you keep it up!!!

  • What a great blog Mrs. Allen! I didn’t know some of these things about you and as someone who is embarking on a new career myself at the same age, I loved reading this!

  • Great article! You certainly raised three wonderful children that have all done very well and I have had the privilege of knowing for many years. You should be proud of all you have done thru the various stages of your life!!!:) What a great role model!

  • What a great Blog. Interesting to hear, Cathy! Some sounds like someone I know very well…me. It must be a teacher thing. We are so fortunate to have the good lives we do and even more fortunate to be friends! Love ya girl! Oh, and please don’t ever GROW UP!

  • Way to go, Mrs. Allen!!! Well done! You have always been such a wonderful mentor to me!! You had such an impact on me as a 5th grader in your class. So glad we still keep in touch!! Keep writing and I’ll keep reading!!

  • Well, Cathy, I found your blog very interesting……I had no idea you didn’t begin college until you were in your 30’s – that is a huge accomplishment!! By the time I met you, you had three beautiful children, a wonderful husband who would become a very special friend and a life that I felt was totally awesome (I always thought it was so great that you lived next door to your parents and your children could see their grandparents daily). What I wouldn’t give to live on the same street as all my kids and grandchildren……that is a dream I’ve had for a very long time. You certainly did do a hell of a job — Congratulations on your wonderful blog, I thoroughly enjoyed it ?

  • I loved reading your blog. I also loved staying home with my children, clipping coupons, and pinching pennies. I went back to work when my kids were older, and have been working 19 years. Thanks again for blogging, and keep it up!

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