Today I have a very special "Interview with a Mom" to share with you - an interview with my mom!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
I have been married to Gary for almost 31 years; have three grown daughters, two of whom are married with children, giving me 7 grandchildren. They all live close, so I have the luxury of being involved in their lives. I help at our ministry, LifeSong for Orphans a couple days a week, and try to be available to baby-sit grandkids. I think I am busier now than ever, wearing more hats than I did as a young mom. That is okay for the most part, but once in a while, when I become overwhelmed with the busyness, I am grateful to be able to go to Florida with Gary for a few days!
Why do you love being a mom?
I always wanted to be a mom. Being a mom gave me purpose, something I struggled to find after my girls were raised. There were so many times when I did things wrong and I often felt inadequate (usually when I compared myself to other really great moms), but I never, never considered my job as a stay-at-home mother unimportant or worthless. I knew that I was raising children who would hopefully grow up to love the Lord and who could make a difference in the world.
What has been the most challenging part about being a mom for you?
Being consistent. I always said that the only thing I was consistent at was being inconsistent.
If you could go back in time and change one thing about the way you parented what would it be?
Well, this is the thing... when the girls were still at home, I would have said something like, “I wish I had taught a better work ethic.” But now they are young women who all seem to have found their niche, and are actually doing more purposeful things than I did at their ages. So I just thank God for his mercy in spite of my lack.
How did you keep your husband first in the midst of mothering?
This is especially hard with young kids, because a crying baby needs attending, even if you are in the middle of a conversation. I guess one thing I did was always go to bed when Gary did, even though many times I was just getting my second wind. And we would get away for a few days a couple times a year without the girls.
Share your favorite bible verse and why it means so much to you.
One of my favorites is Micah 6:8. “He hath showed thee O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” To me as a mother it means to do the best I can, to be understanding with my kids when the “best” doesn’t happen, and to realize who I am and that it is God who can bring it all together.
What do you like to listen to in your car (music, talk radio, nothing, etc.)?
I listen to the Moody affiliate almost all the time in the car. I really enjoy the speakers and the music they play. I do go through spurts of WGN talk radio, too, especially if the Cubs are playing, but it is usually Moody now.
How has your mom influenced your parenting?
She showed me how to serve my family, because she was always doing it. After I was married w/ children, she was usually available to keep the kids for a few days if we were traveling. Even though she worked, she hardly ever turned me down. Of course, she lived far enough away that I didn’t ask her except for when we were going on a trip. The circumstances are a little different with me living close to my kids, but I want to be available to them when they need me. I never realized how much Mom did for the family until I had one of my own, and I never realized how tiring it was for her to keep my children for extended stays, until I became a grandma.
Also, Mom never meddled so I try to keep my advice to my grown children to a minimum. (unless they ask, of course)
Share one good “mom tip” that you have learned over the years.
Because Gary played piano, I tried to get us all to sing together. Because of that, we actually did a few gigs! When Megan was 9, Jami was 7, and Leslie was 4, we started singing at nursing homes and ladies luncheons. So I guess my tip would be to find what your kids are good at, something you can enjoy together, and use it to bless others.
Do you have any parting advice for young moms?
First of all, I know that I am preaching to the choir. Most of you young mothers that read this are already doing wonderful jobs…I am witness to it. So I guess this really just serves as an encouragement to keep up the good work.
We reminded our kids often that the most important thing in life is serving the Lord. (Gary was especially good at this.) If we had done everything else right and neglected their spiritual lives, it would mean nothing, absolutely nothing. If you lead them to a lifelong relationship with God, all of the other training will fall into place. Of course, the best way to teach is by example. When they see how sold out you are to Jesus, they will desire that relationship, too.
One last thing….fill your home with laughter. Try to find humor even in disasters…it will help you to keep sane, and it will be a comfort to your kids.
Thanks for the encouragement Mom - I love you and have been so blessed by your example! I want to be like you when I grow up! :)