What’s Mom Got To Do With It? by Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes is a New York Times bestselling author and all around nice person. When I was looking for guest bloggers for my Spring Into Summer Romance guest blog series, she said she’d be willing to write a post. We traded e-mails and discussed dates, settling on this one. I mentioned that it was also Mother’s Day weekend, in case she wanted to somehow tie that into her post. Luckily for us, she did because her post is terrific! It is a warm, witty, and personal celebration of motherhood. Grace is giving away a signed copy of her latest release, DARIOUS, to one commenter. I’m also giving away a book from my personal collection to one commenter here. And there are chances to win a signed ARC of FIERY EDGE OF STEEL (my upcoming release) and a $25 eGift Certificate today at Romancing the Dark Side, so please stop by after reading Grace’s wonderful post. Welcome, Grace!

JA: I took this picture at Valentine’s Day,
a holiday that celebrates love and couples,
but I’m rededicating it to love and mothers today!

“For me, becoming a mother was the road to happily ever after”

I write traditional historical romances set mostly in Regency England or Victorian Scotland, and thus you can pretty well guess they will end with an attractive couple gazing lovingly into each others’ eyes, lifelong commitment thick in the air, and—because of what happened on page 157 and again on page 225 and again on page 341 (twice)—a baby on the way.

And yet, my own happily ever didn’t follow that path. I bounced out of college with degrees in music history and political science, headed on down to Washington, DC, and promptly realized I had two of the least remunerative diplomas on the planet. Once I got the undergrad loans paid off, away to law school I did go, five nights a week, while schlepping a day job that in typical DC fashion, kept me up way past my bedtime more often than not.

I was in love with being busy, looking fine, and preparing to take the world by storm, when—you know that stuff on page 157?—I ended up facing single motherhood. I had dated some, but Mr. Page 157 was not lifelong commitment material.

And here we have what the fiction authors like to call your inciting incident. The pregnancy turned high risk, I had to finish law school by writing papers (about serial killers?!), and abruptly, life was not about looking fine or taking anything by storm but the 2 am feeding.

I grew up in a hurry. Got a job that paid enough but required only the usual forty hours. Bought a little old house in the country where we could have cats and a dog. Found a day care mom I could trust, got my silly self on a budget (sorta).

And an odd thing happened: The guys no longer looked at me like I was a page 157 who could quickly be flipped aside for the next scene.

I no longer suffered fools of the masculine variety, and a pair of broad shoulders didn’t matter half so much as a pair of lips that told only truths, and an index finger that could dial my number just to see how I was doing. Bedroom eyes and clever pick up lines were nothing compared to the appeal of a guy who could pull his share of the emotional load in a relationship.

To some extent, I was protective of my daughter—no cameo swains welcome in our house—and I wanted to set a responsible example for her, but motherhood also shifted the coin I dealt in.

I was no longer interested in a good time, hot chemistry, or getting to Page 157. Those objectives were all fine at one time, but when I became a mother, I traded—up, I think—exchanging my page 157s for a Happily Ever After. Being a mom taught me about the hard, hard work involved in a committed relationship. About giving when you don’t think you have another scintilla to give.

Being a mom taught me about hanging in there, keeping healthy boundaries, and finding courage to face the unfaceable. My characters learn these things in 95,000 words, with each other, and earn their parenting privileges as a result. This is probably the ideal approach, though I wouldn’t trade my path for anything now.

For me, becoming a mother was the road to happily ever after, and so to all the other moms out there (of whatever gender), happiest of Mother’s Days.

What started you on the road to your happily ever after? What stood in your way? To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy of “Darius,” a story about a guy who ended up on far too many page 157s, hated himself for it, and found hope in a most unlikely direction.

Answer one of Grace’s questions in the comments below and you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of DARIOUS, as well as a book from my personal collection (US only). Don’t forget to stop by Romancing the Dark Side too if you’re interested in reading an excerpt from Fiery Edge of Steel (it’s the LAST DAY of my teaser tour before the book comes out on May 28th).

Thank you, Grace, for guest blogging today and sharing your story with us. Have a nice Mother’s Day, everyone!

Published by

Jill Archer

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels including DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, and POCKET FULL OF TINDER.

16 thoughts on “What’s Mom Got To Do With It? by Grace Burrowes

  1. Hi, Grace. This was a terrific post. Not everyone’s HEA is going to include a significant other and 2.5 children. In my case, childhood trauma and drama made me decide not to have children of my own, fearing that I may become abusive as one of my parents was. Now, years later, I realize I could never abuse a child, no matter the circumstances. So I try to spread the love to the nieces and nephews, and along the way I found a guy who loves me and somehow manages to put up with all my neuroses and baggage. Happy Mothers Day to you! Bonnie

  2. Hi Grace – love the post As someone who has been divorced most of mhy adult life – somewhere deep down I do feel cheated that that special guy has not found me – yes, its great to be a responsible adult taking care of chiild and home but where is my knight in shining armor (still by into the fairy tale after all these years) I do deserve the love caring and help of a wonderful man. Life is damn lonley

    1. Vickie, I’m knightless too, and I suspect that’s part of what inspires a lot of romance books that eventually find their way into your hands. Long, long time ago though, I realized that the kind of lonely I have now is much, much more bearable and even healthy than the lonely I felt when I was compromising my standards, struggling in poor-fit relationships, and trying to talk myself into fellows who were not knight material.
      Hang in there and don’t give up hope. Today could be the day you see that fellow cantering across the supermarket parking lot on his trusty steed. Until he does show up, a good read helps to pass the time.

  3. Bonnie, I’m a foster care lawyer. The folks who don’t have children are often the ones with the greatest compassion for children. Their kindness and caring have not been exhausted by years of putting up with the little dears, their finances haven’t been sucked dry by pediatricians bills, tutor’s bills, lawyer bills (for the delinquents). Their energy hasn’t been sapped by years of overfunctioning on too little sleep. An aunt or neighbor can be invaluable to the child as somebody to talk to who doesn’t have parental baggage. I promise you, you are making a difference in the lives of those nieces and nephews, so take a Mother’s Day bow on me.

  4. Well, good morning Grace, and Happy Mother’s Day to you too! As to me, I thought I’d started on the road to my HEA when I was in college and met a dreamboat who I married at age 19. Twelve years and two wonderful children later, I found myself happily being an at-home mom, busy helping at the kids’ school and crafts, when out of the blue my dreamboat asked for a divorce. Translation: His job had changed, he traveled more, met a much younger woman he liked better, had an affair. So I was suddenly a single mom and scared silly. All of a sudden I grew up, sold the house, used the proceeds to go back to school and pay for day care, got a job…and actually found life busy and productive, but somehow lacking. Started going to church with the kids in Sunday School, then accepted an invite from a girlfriend while the kids were away with their dad one weekend and went to her church to hear sing in a special performance. While I was there I met her pastor who made a pastoral visit to the house afterward…and I started going to my girlfriend’s church. Then several weeks later asked me out on a date, and we were married a year later. Step-parenting was no picnic, but true love brought us through it all and I finally have my real happily-ever-after! jdh2690@gmail.com

    1. What a tale! An example of an ending you neither foresaw nor wanted turning into many good things. Good for you, and here’s to the courage some of us find in the most unlikely places and times.

    1. bn100, for me, though i didn’t know it at the time, getting through 10th grade was my academic apex. NOTHING, not law school, not a master’s program, not college, was as hard for me as that year. Congratulations on grabbing that degree, though. It IS a milestone!

  5. Stopping in to say hello. I appreciated everyone’s stories and am glad you all enjoyed Grace’s post as much as I did. Life is full of ups and downs. When I’m up, I’m ever so grateful for the people, places, or things that brought me to that moment. When I’m not, I try to remember that life is ever changing, ever evolving. It’s never static, which means all things are possible, including unexpected HEA’s.

  6. Meeting my husband is what started me on my road to HEA. We married young (both 19), and it was a long road to learn to make the sacrifices and compromises necessary. If we hadn’t both been committed to making our marriage work, we never would have mad it.

  7. Giveaway winners:

    Bonnie, you won the signed copy of Darious. Grace Burrowes will be in touch to arrange delivery.

    BN100, you won a book from my personal collection. I’ll send you an e-mail.

    Have a nice Monday, everyone!

  8. Grace Burrows, I love you (in a non crazy person way)!! Your daughter is one lucky lady to have a hardworking and devoted mommy. I completely agree…”Being a mom taught me about the hard, hard work involved in a committed relationship. About giving when you don’t think you have another scintilla to give.” Happy Mothers’ Day to you!

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