My Reflections on Motherhood

 My Reflections on Motherhood

“The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”   — Jill Churchill

The most important part of who I am today is who I am as a mother and a wife.  So far, my most fulfilling and challenging job in my life has been raising our three boys.  I have been doing this for seven and a half years.  There have been many days I wished there was a workplace for me to go to and many more days that I am thankful for the wonderful husband I have who brings home the bacon so I can stay home full-time with our children!

One of my main goals is to help our boys to grow up to be loving, kind, gentle, considerate, compassionate, respectful, Christian, healthy, hardworking, confident and intelligent men.  Just like their Papa and their uncles!

My many ongoing tasks that take a lot of my energy:  we cook, eat, play, read, and work around the house/garden/farm.  I try to keep them safe and happy; while teaching them to be responsible, to make good choices, and to think before they speak and/or act.   Oh yes, how could I forget I do teach them manners!  If you have been around us you may not believe this.  Why do manners seem difficult for boys to learn?  Some days the constant talk of poop, toots, and burps make me want to pull out my hair.

When there are three boys in one house with different interests and attention spans it is difficult to keep up with all the activities, so things get a little trashed around here at times.  And it feels as though I am not getting anything accomplished.  My escape is to take them outside to ski or go to the beach or work in the garden.

Although mothering is an incredible job that I take seriously and in order for me to be the best mother I also have to remember who I am as a person, click here to see my post titled “I am…”

I have an ongoing conversation with one of my dear friends about how to be the best mom that we can be.  We have come to the conclusion that we are who we are because:  our own mother, our role models, experiences as a child, the books we have read, our friends who are also mothers and last but not least the lessons we have learned from our own mothering.

We have to accept that we are doing our best.  We have to trust that our children will take what we have taught them and make the right choices.  They may not always make the right choices and that is okay, too, because they will learn from their mistakes.   Part of being a good mom is allowing our children to make mistakes and not expect them to be perfect!  In return I hope that our children will grow up to be the best adults and parents they can be.

When I was in college my Dad told me once that one of my purposes in life was to do a better job in this world than my parents.  I have taken this very seriously in all areas of my life.  I also had very big shoes to fill.

I have an amazing mother who raised six children, five of whom are loving, kind, gentle, considerate, compassionate, respectful, hardworking, intelligent, and successful in all areas of their life.

I have the best step-mother in the world.  She loves my Dad and has always shown love, support, kindness and understanding to the three of us kids, even when we didn’t return that love.

I have an incredible mother-in-law besides the fact that she is the reason my husband is on this earth, she raised him to be a wonderful man and a great father to our boys.   She has helped me understand many things about marriage, communication, forgiveness, patience and peaceful parenting.

Mothering is a difficult job, whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a mom who works outside of your home part-time or full-time.  We do the best we can with the resources we have.   I believe it is important to have a circle of moms who love, support and respect us for the mothering we do!

Thank you to all the moms in my life!

I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Added on October 25, 2012 when I found this quote: 

“God intended motherhood to be a relay race. Each generation would pass the baton on to the next.” ~Mary Pride

Added September 4, 2013 when I found this awesome blog post, titled, “Moms, When are you going to learn?  I’m not super mom. ”  Definitely worth reading!

http://www.sowonderfulsomarvelous.com/2013/06/moms-when-are-you-going-to-learn.html

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I am…

I am… (Not Just a Mother)

I love my job as a SAHM, and my interest are driven by that love.

But at the same time, I am able to hold onto many interests, and realize that there are still many things that make me ME, even if most of my focus is still on parenting my children.

I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Jenny. I’m a mom, but I am also many other things:

I am a gardener – I love flowers, apple orchards, raspberry and blueberry patches and vegetable gardens.  I love to grow milo (A.K.A. broom corn) and garlic.  The less lawn to mow the better!

I am a farmer – I should probably say “a-wanna-be-farmer.”  Currently I have a horse and a pet cow named Vanilla and 25 chickens.  I want less cows, but can’t part with my sweet Vanilla, and I want more chickens.  Maybe a steer or two this spring?  I love red meat but can’t buy it from the store!

I am a-wanna-be-soap maker – I have been making soap for over two years.  I completed my ninth batch tonight.  My success rate is 50%, kind of stinks!  I should clarify – 50% success means that the quality of my soaps were good enough for gifts or to be sold.  The other 50% was still usable for us.

I am a quilter – I love making quilts and hand quilting them.  Since I don’t have much time for that right now I sew  things that can be completed during nap-time or in the early evening hours.

I am a runner and cross-country skier – I have completed only two running marathons in my life and five skiing marathons.  I have plans to run every marathon in the state of Wisconsin and some in the bordering states before I die.  My skiing goals are to complete the American Birkie on my classical skis and to travel to Norway to ski the Birkebeinerrennet.

I am a reader – I read every night before going to sleep. I will read most books recommended to me by my friends.  I learned to love reading in my late teens, in my opinion, way too late!   I started a book club twelve years ago that meets every month.  I love my library.  I don’t have to purchase books because I can find just about any book I have ever wanted to read in our library system.  People who say they “don’t read” freak me out. It is as foreign to me as telling me you don’t like chocolate.

I am a grocery shopper – the only kind of shopping I love is for groceries.  When I go to a new town I love to find their local grocery store.  I love stores that sell bulk foods.  I love huge grocery stores and I love little ones.

I am a stockpiler of food and supplies – when something that I always buy is on sale I buy a lot of it (I learned this one from my mom).  Since I live in a small town and don’t get to the store or a larger town very often I make sure I never run out of the main staples for our meals and needs.  I can’t just run to the store for of a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread or toilet paper.

I am a cake decorator – I love to bake and decorate cakes for all occasions.  I love any excuse to decorate a cake even for silly occasions, like an ice fishing weekend with the hubby’s college buddies.

I am organized and my house is always trashed – cleaning is for the birds!

So there, ten things about me that are true, current, and have nothing to do with my children. Sometimes when I feel like all I do is take care of them, I remind myself that I have many things that make me ME.  Things that are true ALL the time.  I’m still ME, no matter what happens, and I don’t have to wait until my children are grown to remember that I still have my own unique personality.

Now that I’ve talked about me, how about you?  Feel free to leave a comment using “I am”, tell me a few things about yourself that have nothing to do with your kids.

I’m not normal (& neither are my friends)

Recently I was told that the way I parent doesn’t fit in the norms of this society.  Our parenting  isn’t normal in our society; it’s better!

Our boys are being raised in a farm environment, we do many activities with our boys (camping, snowshoeing, x-c skiing, making firewood, sewing and woodworking – just to name a few).  We take time to teach them skills and expose them to different experiences.   Show me a  5 and 7-year-old that can cut veggies for soup, or split a piece of wood with a splitting mall, sew on a sewing machine or make something on the lathe.

      

I have learned many things from the parenting books I have read,  from my mother, my mother-in-law, my sister and many other mothers in my life who I admire.

Below are some statistics that my Mom found on just a few topics relating to my parenting.  I was curious to see how my friends and I (22 of us) matched up to the “Norms”.  I have included our statistics.  If I went deeper it would only show more areas where I am not normal.  

Births:

99.38% of births are in Hospitals or are unplanned out of hospital
.62% are planned home births  (www.uptodate.com/contents/planned-home-birth)

 My friends and I:  Planned Home Births – 36%  &  Hospital Births – 64%

Breastfeeding:

64% of mothers initiated Breastfeeding
29% at still breastfeeding at 6 mos
6% were still breastfeeding at 12 mos

 My friends and I: Were still breastfeeding at 12 months + – 100%

Work:

68% of mothers with college degrees and with children under 6 yrs are in the workforce.(smartmomma.com/work_career/can’t_we_get_along.htm)

 My friends and I: Stay-at-home Moms  – 73% & Working Moms – 27%

TV:

99% of households have TV and on average, children ages 2-5 spend 32 hours a week in front of a TV—watching television, DVDs, DVR and videos, and using a game console.
90% households have cable TV or the equivalent
1% don’t have a TV  (www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html)
 

 My friends and I:  0% of my friends’ kids spend anywhere close to 32 hours in front of the TV—watching television, DVDs, DVR and videos, and using a game console!

AND

My friends and I: No TV – 55% & Have TVs  – 45%

Spanking:

94% of parents spank their child by the time the child is 4 yrs (Psychology Today)
25% of those use an object to spank a child
6% never spank   (www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200210/spare-the-rod)

 My friends and I: Never Spank – 77% &  Spank – 23%.

I’m Not too NORMAL, are you?