My Mom and I

I have always admired my Mom and when I was a little girl I remember saying “I want to grow up to be just like my mom”. I wanted to be a teacher because my Mom was a teacher.  I wanted to have three kids because my Mom had three kids. Although I didn’t grow up to be EXACTLY like my Mom I did learn everything I needed to know about life and motherhood from her. 

Motherhood is scary because no matter what age you become a mother you feel like you are never really prepared or trained to take on this awesome responsibility.  I remember bringing my first son, Drew, home from the hospital.  Dwight and I drove home with little, baby Drew in the back of the car and I kept thinking, “Why did they let us take this baby home? We don’t have any idea what we are doing!  Are we really qualified to be parents?”  There are no special classes on how to be a good Mom. They have classes on how to give birth, but what happens after the baby has arrived? How do you know if you are ‘doing it right’?  

I’m sure my Mom probably had these same fears while raising my brother, my sister and I.  I’m sure she had the same insecurities that I have and I’m sure she questioned some of her parenting decisions too.  However, she always made it look so easy and as a child I only saw perfection.  I don’t remember the house being dirty or her yelling at me. I don’t remember her struggling to balance the demands of working, raising three kids and being a pastor’s wife. I only have happy memories : Memories of having tea parties and playing school with my Mom.  Memories of my Mom using sheets and dining room table chairs to build tents in the living room for us to play in.  I have always felt lucky to have such a wonderful mom.  I only hope that my kids will have the same happy memories of their childhood and that they will forget about the times I have lost my patience and yelled at them. I hope that they won’t remember how messy the house was or all the times I forgot important things (like picking them up from school or feeding them dinner).

Ethan asked me the other day, “Did you have to go to a special school to learn to be a Mommy?”  I laughed and said, “No, they don’t really have classes for that. It’s more of a ‘learn as you go’ type job.”   The only “teacher” I had for Mommy 101 was my Mom and she has taught me everything I needed to know.  

Not only did she teach me about being a Mom but she also taught me several other important lessons about life.

If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well  – My mom has always been a very hard worker and she takes great pride in her work, both inside and outside our home. She taught me to always do my best and taught me to have a good work ethic.

J.O.Y (Jesus, Others,Yourself) – My mom taught me that to have true Joy in life you need to think of Jesus first, then Others and then Yourself.  If you think of yourself and your needs before you think of Jesus and Others then you will never find the Joy and happiness that life has for you.

Money can’t buy happiness – My mom taught me that you can have a lot of fun without spending a lot of money.  We didn’t  have expensive cars, brand-name clothes or take lavish vacations. Many of my favorite childhood memories were ones that were FREE (playing Monopoly, eating popcorn or ice cream together around the fireplace, swimming or taking hikes in the mountains).

Family Time is important (and fun) – My mom always sacrificed time and energy to make sure we were taken care of.  She always made time to spend with us and made spending time with her fun.  Even when I was a teenager I loved hanging out with my family and I NEVER thought my parents were “un-cool” or too embarrassing to be seen with.

It’s not always WHAT you say, but HOW you say it – My mom taught me that the “tone of your voice” can make a big difference in how what you say is interpreted by another person.  Use caution because a harsh tone, negative body language and other non-verbal cues will dictate how what you say is heard by others.

The hunt for the bargain is what makes shopping fun – I have always loved shopping with my mom and before I could even read my mom would find me picking up price tags and looking at them as she pushed me in my stroller through the aisles at the store.  She taught me that there is nothing quite like that thrill of finding a great sale at your favorite store or even a garage sale full of bargains too good to pass up!

The journey is part of the gift – My mom was always very creative and thoughtful.  The gifts I receive from her mean a lot to me because of the thought she put into what to give me and the time and energy she often put into making the gift special and personalized for me.  This taught me to do the same for others. It not only makes the recipient of the gift feel special, but it makes the gift even that much more fun to give!

Three Generations of Mothers

When I was born my Mom had some serious complications and almost died.  I am so glad that God decided it wasn’t her time to leave this earth because I can’t imagine growing up without her.  My Mom has always been there for me and I know that I can call her any time, day or night, and she will drop everything and rush right over to help.  She has taught me more about motherhood and raising children then I could ever learn in a parenting book or class. 

I love you Mom  ~ Happy Mother’s Day !!

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Momma’s Boys

May 7, 2011

“Why do boys have to be so annoying?” Emma asked Ethan.  “I don’t know. Why do girls have to be so dramatic?” he replied.  I heard this conversation the other day when the twins had been playing together all afternoon and apparently were starting to get on each other’s nerves.  Ethan had been annoying Emma and she of course had been reacting in typical girl fashion by being overly dramatic about the annoying things he was doing.  She still doesn’t seem to realize that the dramatic reaction is what makes annoying her so much fun and just encourages Ethan.

It has been interesting for me to watch the relationships that have developed between my children and how different they are.  Emma and Drew have a much different relationship than the relationship between Ethan and Drew. The same goes for the relationship between Emma and Caleb and Ethan and Caleb … the brother / brother relationship is not the same as the brother / sister relationship.  I grew up with only one brother and one sister so I didn’t notice this difference until I had kids of my own.

This video clip shows that special bond of “brotherly love” and I can see Drew and Ethan doing something like this about 10 years from now.  (Ethan would definitely be the uncooperative one in the t-shirt!)

Happy Mother’s Day!

In Da Muthahood

May 6, 2011

This Sunday is Mother’s Day (so if you don’t have a card and gift for your mom you’d better get busy!). In honor of Mother’s everywhere I am dedicating my blog this weekend to Mom’s. Here is the first post ~ It’s a hilarious video by my favorite comedian Anita Renfroe.  Enjoy and feel free to share !