It’s Day #2 of Mom Week, and I’ve got Mom Chat #2 Video to share with you! Did you see Mom Chat #1 from yesterday?
In the video, I share how I’ve tried to make my child feel like a celebrity.
WATCH IT HERE! Comment below the video to interact!
Today, I’m happy to share some wisdom from my friend Leigh Anne. She has a creative blog called Your Homebased Mom, and when I met her, I immediately knew I’d connect with her. She’s a few years ahead of me in the mothering world, and when I saw she has two boys, then two girls (just like me) I could see my future through her eyes. Her kids have all graduated from high school, and she had her first wedding recently. I love the glimpse into her life, in hopes mine will be similar later. Enjoy the questions I asked, and how she and her children responded. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
How do you aim to bring a reverent spirit into your home each day?
Leigh Anne: I have found that starting my day off right makes a huge difference in how my days go, how I feel about my day and the spirit I bring into my home. I have always been a believer in getting up early and the power of 15 minutes. I discovered very early on in my mothering that if I didn’t take care of my own spirituality (prayers, scripture reading, etc.) first thing in the morning it most likely was not going to happen. We would read scriptures and pray as a family throughout the day but taking care of my own spiritual needs had to happen first thing! Spending 15 minutes first thing in the morning, although a small amount of time in comparison to 24 hours, makes a big difference. I have been able to read the Book of Mormon every year thanks to tackling it 15 minutes at a time.
Children’s response: We would always pray as a family both morning and evening. We often saw mom reading her own scriptures too. How she felt about the Gospel was always present in the way she lived. What did you do for herself. Did you create? Have a hobby?
Leigh Anne: I am a huge proponent of mom’s taking care of themselves. Another lesson I learned early on in motherhood is that it is up to me to take care of myself. No one else is going to do it! Often, young mothers will struggle with feeling selfish, etc. when they take time for themselves but believe me it is selfish not too! Thinking that you do not deserve or need time for yourself, a hobby or being creative will only lead to disappointment and frustration. I truly believe that there is enough time in our day to take care of our family and to take care of ourselves. When you make a commitment, make the time and space in your life to care for yourself, what you long to do, everything else shifts to accommodate it. Make a commitment to take care of yourself. Your family will thank you. One of my favorite quotes is from Joan Anderson and the book “A Year by the Sea” – “it’s hard for most of the women I know to state what they want because they’ve gotten used to wanting only what’s available.” This is a topic I could talk about all day - We each need to learn to celebrate ourselves!
How did your mother teach you to work? Home chores?
Children’s Response: We had a list of Saturday chores and couldn’t leave until they were completed
Leigh Anne: The one thing I have discoveref that our adult children have thanked us for as parents more than anything else is that we taught them how to work. They may have thought we were mean parents at the time, but our kids learned how to work. Whether it was Saturday morning chores around the house, weeding in the garden, laying garden mulch, etc. They learned how to work! We never paid or children for daily chores. We believed that each person was responsible to contributing the running of our home. We did however provide them with extra opportunities/jobs to earn money. We also encouraged and supported them in finding ways to make money with jobs. Everything from making and selling bird houses at the local farmer’s market, to aerating lawns. We always encouraged our children to be entrepreneurs. When there were fund raisers at school we didn’t just pay the money that was required – we had our kids go out and raise the money. All skills that I think have blessed their life as an adult.
How did you have FUN with your kids? Leigh Anne: I worked hard as a mom to provide lots of opportunities for my children – lessons, camps, etc. Maybe I should have just spent more time having fun with them instead of making sure they had so many opportunities. What did your mom do that helped you have a happy childhood?
Children’s Response: She helped involve us in a lot of activities to help us make friends. Also, she made a lot of food so our friends felt comfortable coming over to eat.
How did you see your mom strengthening her marriage? What do you do now to strengthen your marriage?
Children’s response: Supported dad’s decisions especially regarding discipline (I.e. They had a very united front and backed up one another well regarding parenting).
Leigh Anne: I think this is one of many things I wish I had done better as my children were growing up – focused as much time and energy on my marriage as I did my children. We did go on dates on a regular basis and vacations without our children but when those kids leave home and it’s just the two of you, life is different, very different and having interests, things you both enjoy doing together is important. As empty nesters this is something we have had to work on – finding activities, hobbies, that we enjoy together. We both had interests/hobbies we enjoyed doing on our own and things we did with the kids but we could have focused more on things just the two of us could do together.
Do you have a favorite quote that you try to live by as you raise your children?
Children’s Response: Suck it up
Leigh Anne: I don’t actually remember ever using those exact words but I am a big believer in “getting over it” Life happens and dwelling on things we can’t control doesn’t do anyone any good. We may not be able to control the circumstances but we can control our thoughts and how we respond to it. If my children learned nothing else from me I hope they learned that everything is a choice and you are in charge of how you respond to what happens to you. What is your favorite scripture that helps you in the mothering journey?
Leigh Anne: Jacob 6:12 has always been my favorite scripture as far as life in general. “Oh, be wise, what can I say more?”
What is a phrase your mom would often repeat to you?
Children’s Response: Life’s not fair.
Leigh Anne: I agree with them on this one. My children have joked that Life is Not Fair will be the epitaph on my grave! Life isn’t fair and the sooner we learn that and accept that the easier life is going to be! A few other of my favorite mom phrases: Do it First, Do it Now Kill Them with Kindness Nothing good ever happens after 12 o’clock at night Favorite Mothering QUOTE: It doesn’t get easier, it just gets different.
What is something you see young mothers doing that you wish they wouldn’t do with their children?
Children’s Response: Over post pictures and oversharing on Facebook
Leigh Anne: I have to agree with them on oversharing on Social Media. As much as I love social media, and I spend a lot of time on social media we need to beware of oversharing. Who really wants to know how often their children went to the bathroom that day! I know I don’t. I also see people saying things on social media that they would never say face to face to someone. If you wouldn’t say it in public or in person– don’t say it online either! We do not need to share EVERYTHING about our lives. Have discretion – have a sense of mystery to you!
How did your mother help you build your confidence and self esteem?
Leigh Anne: I have always tried to support my children in all their dreams and goals even when I didn’t think it was a great idea.. ( Of course unless it was illegal or immoral. Fortunately that has never been a problem!) Experience has taught me that it is easier to let them figure it out and discover it on their own, in their own time rather than you trying to show them how it is not a good idea. It is better for your relationship too. One of the best pieces of parenting advise I was given by an older man at church years ago was “Choose your battles.” I have confidence in my children and their ability to make the right decision. Even though they might not make it initially, the first time, I have found that they, most often, do figure it out if they have been taught correct principles. When they don’t they get the opportunity to grow and learn from the consequences of that decision. Of course there have been times when I have flat out told my kids that is not a good idea (like when my son told me he was going to bungee jump off a bridge into the Grand Canyon!) but generally I try to let them figure it out on their own.
What do you do now to foster open communication with your children?
Leigh Anne: Talk to your children. Be there when they are ready to talk, that was usually when they came home from school at our house. As your children get older and become adults reach out to them. Don’t wait for them to call home. Phones work both ways. Technology makes communicating with our kids so much easier. One of my favorite things to do is send a group text to my kids sharing with them a motivational thought or a scripture I have come across that day. It lets them know I’m thinking of them and a great way to share how I feel about things with them. I have probably made more mistakes as a mother than I have done things right. I am sure I will continue to do both.