A Mother’s Gift is Her Children

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A Mother’s Gift is Her Children

By Paula Deen

Over the years, I’ve tried to teach my boys a good many things. I tried to teach them to work hard, play hard and always, always treat people with kindness. Lookin’ at Jamie and Bobby now, I think most of it must’ve sunk in. But as all mothers know, you learn from your children, too. You have to learn when to step in and when to step back. When to give up and when to give in. I doubt that there is a harder role for a woman than being a mother. You just hope and pray that you’re doing the right thing by your children. And you don’t know if you’re doin’ a good job until it’s too late—when they’re already off raising families of their own. But being a mother is one of the most rewarding experiences, too. Especially when your children grow into people you admire and respect. I find a lot of peace in that.

I’ve done a lot in my life; I’ve raised a family, started a business and made quite a name for myself. But y’all, there is just nothing better in this world than seeing your children build a family of their own. Jamie is the most incredible father. I just sit in amazement and watch him with little Jack. I don’t know where he learned his parenting skills, but he and Brooke are a wonderful team. I go to bed every night and I know that the last thing I have to do is worry about Jack because he is in such good hands. And that is truly the way to enjoy a grandchild—to know that they are safe and protected.

So I have a lot to celebrate on Mother’s Day. I look at my family, and feel real good about having a hand in creating this much love and happiness. And those feelings just keep growing along with the size of our family. Jamie and Brooke are expecting another baby boy any day now, and my beautiful step-daughter Michelle and her husband Daniel are expecting their first (also a boy) in July. Really, there is no better gift a grandmother could receive on Mother’s Day, or any other day for that matter.

Still, it wouldn’t be Mother’s Day without my boys doing everything they can to remind me that they love me every bit as much as I love them. I’d be perfectly happy with a simple, handpicked bouquet of the most beautiful flowers, but they always try and come up with some sort of special gift. One of my favorite things they have given me is a concrete pineapple. Y’all, I have toted that thing with me no matter where I moved. It’s in my yard now, sitting out there on the way to the dock house. It was such a thoughtful, considerate gift—and one that will last forever. Come to think of it, it might even make a decent headstone one day.

But I hope that’s a long ways off. Like every mother out there, I’ve got a few more lessons to share, and probably one or two things I still have to learn. ‘Cause that’s the thing with motherhood—you never retire.

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Reader Comments:


Paula if u could see me, I have tears running down my face, (after teasing your Morhwrs Day response) from the wonderful relationship you have with your two wonderful Sons I too am blessed with a great relationship with my two sons(which I worked 3 jobs to support as I know you would have done the same). I've always admIred you but through the past few years I've come to realize we are two blessed Mama's. I raises my2 sons most of their lives & I'm blessed every day by the love they show me. I see that with you & your two sons. I too have taught my sons how to cook, I've been complimented many times that i'm the Oklahoma Paula Deen! What a Compliment!!!! I love to cook & blessed that my grandma & mama taught me to be a good cook. I'm teased quite often about more butter is better. I just want you to know I really Admire you and feel like I know you personally. You Rock Missy!!!(I do cook with your pans!) thanks for being such a positive loving romodel. God bless you & I'm praying you'll be able to stop smoking. I did & my sis so I know you will!!!! love you !!!! Jaymie Culver

By Jaymie Culver on May 19, 2012


Your message was wonderful about how being a Mother is truly the most rewarding and demanding job you will ever have. I have one son who is wonderful. It was he and I as he was growing up, his father wasn't around too much(his choice) so we grew up together. I love him dearly and I see what a wonderful father he is and I know in his mind he will be there for his son as I was and still am there for my son. I thank God every night for such a wonderful son/man he has become. PS Happy Mother's Day to you.

By Bonnie Trott on April 18, 2012


Dear Paula, i enjoyed and got interested in your life story as a mother. You really inspire me and give me more hope to be a good and best mother to my three kids though i am miles apart from them. I am supporting financially my kids alone since i broke up with their father long time ago. The only way i can provide their needs is to work abroad to earn enough but I will see to it that i will communicate with them everyday in any ways by phone, webcam or at least to drop a message in their FB or email them. I will give them the assurance and security of my love for them. My only worries is being away from them, they will not be guided in a proper way to adulthood but thanks to our God, I'm sooo proud everytime i will go home for vacation i can see and feel their love for me and how goodhearted and God fearing person they are. My everyday wish and prayer to our Almighty Father is to give my children the best life ahead of them because they deserve to be given a reward with all the sacrifices they have been through away from their parents. I love them with all my heart more than anything else in this world. By the way i will start to learn and cook your recipes so that i can cook new different meals for them on my next vacation. Thank you for sharing. By Jennie of Dubai, UAE

By Anonymous on February 16, 2012


Paula, you are so much fun to watch. I love your relationship with your family. I want to visit your restaurant at Harrah's in Cheroke,NC. But back to Mother's Day....this year my daughter and husband bought me a set of the blue non-stick cookware. It is fantastic!!!!! I love to cook eggs and omlets in the little skillet because it is fun to just tip the pan and slid them out. I have had non-stick cookware before but they have never been this good. Thanks for creating this line. Oh, by the way, I told my hubby that I would rather have the cookware in stead of what he had in mine to buy. You've got to ask for the finer things in life! Love you girl! Nancy

By Nancy Whitmire on May 26, 2011


I've been watching your show for years, but watching you and your boys together is the best. My son, 28 yrs., died ten years ago in a car accident. I was so very proud of him. He was in the Boarder Patrol for three years when he died. The love of our sons is something to behold. I hope you keep sharing your's because it makes me smile inside and out. God Bless you all and with much love and appreciation.

By Judy Pace on May 10, 2011


What an incredibly beautiful woman you are - inside and out, course, but I would run after you and knock you down for that HAIR! Gorgeous! The blue eyes, white hair and pink roses...what a contrast photo!

By Pat Palamar on May 08, 2011


Happy Mothers Day Paula~ I hope you have a fabulous day with your family..Mising my mother on this special day. Your an inspiration to me and watch your show everyday.All your recipie's I've tried has been awesome. One day hoping to visit one of your restaurants, or a book signing. Thank you Paula for the Love and Laughter. Pam B

By Pamela Blair on May 08, 2011


Paula - you're a wonder! You set a great example for momma(s) everywhere.

By Shirley Burns on May 08, 2011


Paula, Happy Mothers Day to you. You are a special lady and all your love shines every day. I love all your shows and have several of your books. Have a wonderful day with your family on this special day

By Mary on May 08, 2011


Happy Mother's Day..I am sure it will be a blessed day for you and your family! I am blessed to have a wonderful Mom, and I am the mother of beautiful and smart twin daughters..thankfully they are fraternal, because people still have a hard time telling them apart! And congrats on all those baby boys..and Jack...you have your very own football team!! xxoo

By Jana Brower on May 08, 2011


you Rock, love your show and your cookbooks.. I've tried many, many of your recipes and most of my extended family are all over the South.. Saying that I really appreciate You....... happy Mothers Day... You Rock !!!!!!!!

By kelley braithwaite on May 08, 2011


What a beautiful tribute to moms everywhere. Thank you for sharing this with us Paula.

By Kay Pflueger on May 08, 2011


Thank you for your words and always making us realize family is first. My 8yr old son tells me all the time that I am "almost a good cooker like Paula Deen". I know he will take many "kitchen memories" with him as he grows. Thank you again for being you!

By Anonymous on May 06, 2011


My kids dont have any grandmommas in their lives. So we have taken a vote and you are the winner.

By Noemi Munoz on May 05, 2011


What a wonderful mother's day message. I wish I could have said it myself. Many blessings to you and your family.Keep up the good work, love your work. bnayson

By bnayson on May 05, 2011


You are so great Paula you are like a ray of sunshine. I love watching your program and have tried many of your recipes...and loved all of them. Your sons your husband (you two are so cute together) are such a blessing. Just love you Paula...my husband loves to watch you too!! Have a blessed Mothers Day!!! Carolyn

By Carolyn Howe on May 04, 2011


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY Paula, Thanks for all the wonderful recipes . I watch you all the time on the Foodnetwork show. I just love your show. Enjoy your Day. Love always Virginia

By Virginia Ganaway on May 04, 2011


Hey Paula,Happy Mother's Day,i love watching your show,all the time,but its extra special when you have THE BOYS on ,my son watches to he's all time telling me Paula made such &such; TRY,that next,i think his fav is cheesy grits &mex; sausage,Love to all yall in Savannah,keep those great dishes coming P.S.my son got me the best b'day gift last year,it was yourlarge skillet w/lid in my fav turqoise,I LOVE IT

By kathy ann cottrell on May 04, 2011


Ihope you have a nice mother day with your family. Ilive in calgary alta. canada. Ilove watching you . show all the time.you have good cooking show.thankbetty

By betty on May 04, 2011


Dear Paula, You are such a special person. You're beautiful inside and out. You amaze me with your talent, love, words of thought, wisdom, and love. You are a great mother and grandmother, commedian, cook, commentator, and a great Southern lady, too. You are just what we need to perk up our lives. Happy Mother's Day to you. You also deserve it along with many other mothers on this Mother's Day. We were blessed with a boy and girl and now, with their families, God blessed us with five grandchildren (3 boys and 2 girls). The next step is the great-grandchldren added to the chain of events. Our first grandchild and her husband married a little over a year and half may fulfill that, (or the others still growing up may). We're waiting with great anticipation. My mother is 97 and is also waiting for her first great-great grandchild from my side. Mothers of all ages love their children and the grands, too. We never quit being Mothers! Have a great Mother's Day, too.

By Bonnie D Johnson on May 03, 2011

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