God's Girl

Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary

Sending the Kids to College/Working Mom: An Interview with Barbara Newell

on May 5, 2014


Calling all Moms with kids in college (or those who soon will be)!

Calling all working moms!

Today’s special edition of Magnificent Moms is just for YOU!

In fact, ALL moms can’t we learn from each other even if we are going through different things?

So, this is for YOU, too!


Let’s get started!

I would like to welcome Barbara Newell to our Magnificent Moms series today.

I’m honored to know this woman and can’t wait to learn from her.


Barbara tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been married for twenty-four years, with two wonderful girls I just sent off to college.

I’m empty nesting it.

I am a family practice MD, currently not working because of complications from knee surgery.

If you would like to respond to me in April’s comment section below  just call me Barb.  (I do think Dr. Barb is cute, like a term of endearment. I’m still young enough that I’ve been Barb longer than Dr. Barb.)


What has been the biggest challenge for you as a working mom?

I always wanted to be the “Kool-Aid” mom.

The biggest challenge being a working mom was not being there for every event in school.

I’m thankful that I was able to be there for some.


Barb, could you please tell us a couple of favorite memories you have?

One of the most memorable events for one of the girls was the regional science fair.

She had won at her school, so we had to travel to the regionals.

Looking at both girls’ reaction to the school, I knew this was the day they decided that college was for them.

Since the girls were second graders, they wouldn’t let the parents stay on the floor, so we were directed to the balcony, which was at least two or three planets away.

She kept peeking between the science boards.

Then a man approached her, and we couldn’t see her anymore…when we saw him rise and leave, my heart was in my throat…then between the science boards, we saw the prettiest smile and a big thumbs up!

Later we learned she had won second place in her division.


Then there was the time the younger one decided she wanted to try out for the college cheer squad.

We all went.

After a long day, she came out of the gym with the slumped walk and just a straight face.

I thought, Lord, this is going to be a long drive home.

When she got in the car, she was silent for too long, and then finally blurted out “I made it.”

I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time.


I love those times when our kids fake us out to give us good news! Being a mom definitely has its rewards.

What has been the most rewarding thing for you as a working mom?

The most rewarding thing about being a working mom was overhearing them speak with pride and wonder about what it is I do.

They would help in the office wherever they could.

I guess I had my share of time with them after all!


What is one thing you wish someone would have told you about being a working mom?

How much I would miss the little things during their formative years.


If you were sitting across from a working mom or a mother who is considering working, what would you tell her?

Count the cost.

Kids grow up so fast, you don’t want to miss anything, so if you have to use a sick day or vacation day to go on a farm field trip, do it.

You won’t regret it.


What would you say to a mother about to send her child to college?

You don’t have to talk to them everyday to know they are okay, even though you may want to.

When you do talk with them, don’t over analyze every phrase after you get off the phone.

Do prepare and keep a reserve for the times that they wait too long to tell you they have only five dollars to their name.

Make sure they have a checking account/debit card. Track them to avoid those way-too-enticing college-student credit cards that they will be tempted to get “so we won’t bother you.”


What did you tell your girls as you sent them off to college?

Respect and fear God, respect yourself, command respect from others.

Ask yourself if what you are about to do would pass the God test, the parent test, your moral test, and the Madea test!

You have worked hard preparing for this day, so I told my girls, “Go do you. You are unique, and there is no need for you to imitate anyone.”

You have Christ in your hearts.

Let them see and imitate Him.


What is one thing you would like a parent of college bound kids to know?

If you have given them a solid Christ-filled foundation, they may stray briefly and lightly, but THEY WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT.

They may think they are grown and don’t need you, but admit it or not, they will soon realize they do need you.

I learned from another parent that the older they get the smarter, you get.

The sweetest, saddest thing that has happened so far was when both girls at different times asked if we wanted them to come “here” for first break.

I was confused at first, and then it hit me…now that they are “grown,” they didn’t have a home.

I let them know that not only did I want them and need them to come, this was still their home, and they were grounded for the first twenty-four hours after getting home…just because.

I told them I loved them, hung up, and cried myself silly!




Now it’s your turn Mamas of college bound kids and working Mamas!

What is something that you have learned the hard way?

What do you wish someone had told you?

What has been the most rewarding thing?

Take a moment to share in the comment section below.


Truth is, none of us are experts at this parent thing, but we can share what we have learned and encourage others along the way.

We want to hear from you!

Comment below and share this with another mom via Facebook, or any other way you would like.

Thanks for joining us to today and click “follow” to make sure you stay connected to this special series.


One response to “Sending the Kids to College/Working Mom: An Interview with Barbara Newell

  1. I am also a working mom. I will be sending my son off to college this fall. I would definitely agree with Barb. They are only little once. If you have days that you can take – go to farm or a program at school You will never regret it. When my son was little, he would just light up, run to me, and get so excited when I would come to school or go on a field trip with him. He is a senior this year and I went to a senior athlete program for him. He no longer runs to me but I could see the smile that said he was glad I was there.

    The most rewarding thing has been to watch him grow from that tiny baby in my arms to the Godly, compassionate young man he is today.

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