Becoming a mom myself has made me realize even more how much my own mom rocks! I have always admired her and hoped I could be just like her when I “grew up.” I think back to all of the things she (and my dad) did for my brothers and I as kids and three words come to mind: selfless, patient, and giving.
She fostered my natural creative spirit by signing me up for art classes, buying me all sorts of supplies, and letting me paint until the late hours of the night. She encouraged my athletic pursuits by attending games, driving me to organized practices, purchasing equipment so I could practice in our yard, and giving up many of her weekends to take me to travel soccer tournaments. She has always supported me emotionally and pushed me educationally.
She organized fun birthday parties for me as a little kid. One of my favorites was a beach themed party where she buried pennies in our sandbox–we got to dig for them with sand shovels–it was super fun as a kid! She always let me have friends spend the night. Looking back, I am sure she got no sleep as us girls would try to stay up all night. She wouldn’t complain (or maybe she did, but I don’t remember it) when all I would eat is grilled cheese and nachos with cheese only. She bought me all the cool things like American Girl dolls, Abercrombie and Fitch clothes, and a Gameboy. She let me have my own wet rag to keep my hands clean when we had ribs for dinner–not sure why I thought this was so cool, but I did! It’s the little things, right?
When we were sick, she would make beds for us on the couch with sheets and pillows, set a bucket beside the couch in case we got an upset stomach, and go to the store for us so we could have 7 Up and crackers. I think there were a few times she even slipped a Tiger Beat magazine or two into the cart for me. I can now see how all of this would prevent the spread of germs and keep the house as clean as possible, but at the time I thought it was special and fun.
When I started my period for the first time, she went to the store and bought pads and chocolate for me. I remember this so distinctly. She told me that when you have your period you should always have chocolate too. I mean yeah, chocolate and periods go together, so she always knew what was up.
You guys, like I said, she just rocks.
She still moms hard to this day. Just as she helped me to overcome my biggest challenges as a kid, she helps me to overcome my biggest challenges as an adult too. She is pretty much my sounding board for all of my decisions in life–big and small. She makes me feel better when I am down, helps me see the light when I feel frazzled, and lends a laugh at all the right moments. She still supports my creative spirit and encourages me to be my best self. She loves on my boys just like she loved on me when I was a kid. She answers cooking, laundry, and child-rearing questions for me all of the time. The other day as I was thinking about a parenting question I wanted to ask her, it hit me how fun it would be to do a Q&A with her. Some questions are silly and some are deep–I hope you enjoy them all the same. There is nothing quite like the wisdom of a woman who has been there, done that, and is helping her daughter to do the same.
(I also feel it necessary to say that my heart goes out to those who have lost their mothers. There is no one in the world quite like your mom. Although your mom may not be here physically, she will always be in your heart. May you feel contentment and peace as you navigate this world with her in your heart.)
What do you wish you would have known as a young mom?
I wish I would have known how fast the years go by. I would have spent more idle time playing games, swimming, going to the park, catching lightening bugs, and just having fun with my kids. The dirty house will always be there tomorrow, but your kids are grown and gone before you know it.
What was the hardest thing about being a mother?
Raising teenagers! Trying to stay two steps ahead of them and knowing what they are doing. It’s important to know your kids’ friends and their parents. There is a lot of truth to the saying, “It takes a village.”
The most rewarding?
Watching your children become successful and responsible adults.
Any tips for getting kids to eat vegetables?
How did you instill Christian values into your children?
Saying prayers and attending church together. I also tried to teach values by setting a good example.
What did you stress about then that you wish you wouldn’t have now?
A clean house.
Any potty training tips/advice?
A musical potty chair and M&M’s.
What is the best part about being a grandma?
All of it! It is so special to know these little people are our future. You can’t beat the snuggles either!
What family tradition do you most want to pass onto your grandkids?
Spending time together on the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas–and of course, cooking our traditional meals on these days.
What is one thing you hope to teach your grandkids?
I hope to teach them about their heritage and family members that are no longer here.
Milk chocolate or dark chocolate?
Dark–Endangered Species Forest Mint is my current favorite.