Are you ready for more of Mom Week? I’ve got Mom Chat #3 all ready today, it’s Tips for finding One-on-One time with each of your children. I share some things that I’ve done, and my goals where I’m trying to be better. Hope you’re enjoying the videos as much as I’m having fun making them!
CLICK HERE to view the video on You Tube.
Now, to share with you another one of my long time besties. I met Natalie the week I moved to Texas, just days before I began my freshman year of high school. It was a tumultuous time in my life, and she was truly sent from heaven to me. Nat just had her 5th baby, this was taken just before her 4th. See more of this session HERE.
Natalie’s mom was a dear friend to me in high school, and even still is. I often think of her and her soft way of handling conflict, and I try to emulate that. Here what Natalie has learned from her.
My mom possesses a certain calm that I have always been amazed by. When there’s a tornado, the eye of the storm stays still and calm, even when everything else is swirling in chaos. My mom is a great example of being the eye of the storm. I know that part of the reason she is able to be like this is because she has the influence of the Holy Ghost in her life. She is firmly rooted in the gospel and ultimately in Jesus Christ. My mom is a soft spoken person, I don’t know that I ever remember her raising her voice at us. She has six kids, so that’s kind of amazing to me. She is someone who has always taught by her example more than through words. Not only is she soft spoken, but she often jokes about how she doesn’t always have a lot to say. I feel like the things she does each day speak so loudly about who she is. I don’t think a day went by that I didn’t see her, at some point, with her scriptures in her lap, or on her knees in prayer. I try to do both of these things in my home but sometimes find myself doing them before or after my kids are in bed. A few years ago I realized that while those times are more quiet, if my kids never see me doing them, they may not realize that it’s a priority for me.
On Sibling Relationships:
One way that I try to help my kids establish friendships now is by pointing out the good in everyone in our home at times when everyone else is listening. We all laugh and enjoy the funny, amazing, wonderful things about each other. We also have a rule that if you have a friend over and you or your friend leaves a sibling out, or is rude to a sibling, the friend has to go home. It may sound harsh, but I feel like creating that feeling of loyalty between siblings is so important. There have been a few times where I’ve had to remind one of my kids, or their friend personally about this. I always do it in a loving way, but I feel like it sends a message that our family comes first.
My mom is one of the most unselfish people I know, almost to a fault, almost to the point that you want her to take a week and only do things for herself sometimes. One way I feel she has strengthened her marriage is by taking care of things that are important to my dad. Simple things like having dinner on the table at night when he got home from work. My parents are very different and the things that are important to my dad aren’t exactly the same things that are important to my mom, I feel like she does a good job of doing things for him that she may not necessarily need herself.
One thing I do to strengthen my marriage is I always thank God for Matt in my prayers while Matt is listening. When we kneel down together at night to pray I always try to say the reasons I’m thankful for him. If there have been any bad feelings during the day, this sort of heals those, and helps us remember how much we love each other. I also feel like a weekly date of some sort has helped us. Another huge thing in our marriage is keeping a sense of humor. We always try to find something funny about the situations around us, even when it seems impossible. We look back on some of the most trying times in our marriage now and crack up laughing about something or other. There is humor all around us, if we’re watching for it. Sometimes it’s being able to laugh at ourselves that helps the most.
On Parenting books:
A few years ago, when I had several small children at home, and no one could do a whole lot for themselves I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed. My husband’s job was busy, and I was usually on my own day and night to care for everyone’s needs. I read this scripture in Doctrine & Covenants 64:33 “Wherefore, be not weary in well doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” and it occurred to me that this wasn’t supposed to be easy. This work of raising children into responsible, God fearing adults, is not always easy, and it’s definitely going to be a sacrifice at times. But every little thing that we do, every encouraging word we speak, every smile we give even when we want to sigh, every meal we make, every bedtime story we read, every prayer we say, they’re all laying a foundation. A foundation of security, and love, and stability. I believe that the cumulative effect of all of these tiny drops in the bucket are worth the sacrifice.
My mom and I have always been close friends, I think it goes back to the question before this one. She is very non judgmental, and that fostered an environment of open communication. She never freaked out about things that we did, she was calm when she didn’t agree with our choices and I feel like that helped me want to make the right choices. I wanted to please her, and I wanted her to be able to trust me. She is also a great listener. She would always come into my room late at night after the younger kids were in bed and we’d lie on my bed and talk about boys and school and everything else. I am the oldest of six kids, so there was always a lot going on at our house. I loved these quiet moments when I got my mom all to myself. It made me feel so special and so loved. I know she was tired, and ready for bed, but she’d stay up as long as I needed her to, and listen to anything I wanted to tell her about. I feel like with my own children this has been a key point in encouraging open communication. It starts young. If I’m willing to listen to my four year old go on and on about which princesses she loves the most, I hope it will establish a pattern and habit so that when there’s something more serious going on in her life she’ll already know that I’m there to listen to her. This is one real gift that my mom gave us. She wasn’t so busy with her own hobbies and pursuits that she wasn’t able to see when we needed her. She was keyed in to what was happening in our lives.