1) How has motherhood surprised you most?
Coming from a large family and having nieces and nephews at a young age, I never thought motherhood would have many surprises for me. I think one thing that took me the most by surprise was the heavy weight of having full responsibility of these incredible little people forever. As a nanny, I felt the responsibility while I was the caretaker but at the end of the day, that responsibility was transferred to the parents. When you are a mom, it never ends. It is the scariest realization while also being the greatest honor.
2) What is a typical day like?
Is there such thing as a typical day when you have four kids (ha ha)? My typical, functioning, crazy day starts with taking three breakfast orders that inevitably change right as I place it on the table. Homeschooling follows, sometimes with excited hearts and other days with dramatic tears, depending on the schedule. That leads us right to lunchtime where again, choices are given and minds change after the fact. After lunch, weather permitting, I shuffle the littles outside to get their energy out and some fresh air. Afternoons are spent playing, reading, writing to penpals, crafting, or baking depending on our school curriculum. After intense micro-managing at the dinner table, it's a mad dash to bedtime. PJs, brushing teeth, reading by my second grader, prayers and lights out hopefully all happen by 830 every night. All of this happens while periodically changing and nursing a newborn who frequently derails our schedule with his cuteness.
3) What is the biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is trying not to stress about every little thing. A million times a day I ask myself: Have I given them enough nutrients in their meals to stay healthy? Did I explain that math problem so it'll stick forever? Do they know how much I love them? That last one especially!
4) What is the biggest joy?
My biggest joy as a mother is seeing the incredible love that my kids have for each other. Of course they still argue but for the most part, they adore each other. If one gets hurt, the others show concern and give comfort. When one needs help, the others help. There is nothing else like it. My biggest hope is that they stay that way forever.
5) What is the best piece of Mom advice you've been given or would give?
I am not sure how I feel about parenting advice. I think every child responds so differently that what works for me in my parenting, may not work for many others. However, I would say that one thing I feel might be universally helpful for every parent is the advice to be consistent. This applies to every avenue of parenting. I have noticed that when we have lack of consistency in our home, (whether it occurs in discipline, schoolwork, good eating habits, etc.) the kids start to fall apart at the seams. That is one thing I would recommend as a parent of four.
What is my favorite alcoholic beverage?
My favorite alcoholic beverage is a classic Mojito on hot days and a glass of wine on cold days.