"What are 5 things you're glad you did in raising your daughter?" This is the question I've been asking moms of grown children. Able to look back with a broader perspective now, these moms can help those of us still in the trenches to see what is truly important.
When my own 3 adorable girls were very little, women stopped me countless times in public and said, "Enjoy these days, these are the best of times!" I know they were being nice, but the notion worried me a bit because as much as I loved and enjoyed my girls, I spent much of my time wanting to pull my hair out! "It doesn't get any better?!" is what I was left thinking with a touch of panic. And I loved being a mom. Still do.
Now I understand what they meant and I know that as trying as things can be at times when kids are young, a main principle to live by at that stage is to stop and enjoy the moments. Enjoy life, all the parts of it. One day you'll want to relive them.
I'll be sharing many mom stories with you over time. But for today, we begin with my own mom, Verna Craig. She and my dad raised me, my younger sister, Heather, and our older brother. They have been married a whopping 51 years and live in Ponca City, OK. Many of my talents come from her and I'm happy she agreed to be my first story!
Until age 7, I lived in Kansas City and my mom worked full time. Then we moved to Ponca City where she was a stay at home mom from my elementary years until I left for college. I say that just to set context for her story.
Heres what the Madre to say! Oh, and she had 6 points instead of 5, but since she's my mom I'm letting her keep all 6. (mom privileges) What are the things she's glad she did? In her words...and my words in italics :)
- Becoming a Christian at age 35 helped me to become a better mother. I learned to pray Bible verses for my children. I spoke scriptures out loud for each one of them everyday. I could go on and on about my love for the Scriptures and the truth contained in them.
- In my twenties I worked because I thought we needed the money, which we did if we wanted any extras. Your dad never wanted me to work. But I liked the work, and it didn't bother me to leave my young kids with someone else. I would do it differently now. When I did stay home, it was difficult to sacrifice and live on one salary, but I would do it over again. I found ways to stay on budget. It was important to me to be home to take care of the house, my kids, study the Bible, pray, and fix nightly dinner. The benefits of staying home far outweighed the opposite in my opinion. I wish more women today would think about staying home with their children to train and nurture them. Society is different today. Often people work to afford luxuries.
- I ran a tight ship. (yes she did) From a young age, I taught them to call me if they were going to be late coming home. They could play at someone's house but only for two hours and then they came home. (I don't even remember the time constraint.) If they spent the night with a friend, we picked them up at a designated time in the morning. This was being courteous to the parents at the home where they were spending the night.
- Taking lessons was a great way to learn discipline. If they took piano lessons, then they had to practice 30 minutes a day before their dad got home. (and it was 30 minutes per subject- piano, ballet...with no sympathy for friends playing football outside waiting on me) Competitive sports is a great way to learn not only discipline, but how to interact successfully with others. Then there is the child who is not interested in lessons or sports. They may have to learn things the "hard" way, but maybe it's not "hard" to them.
- It's very important to flow differently with each child, because each child IS different. Nurture the gift that God has placed within each child. It may not be your choice, but if it's not something bad, then allow free expression by letting go of them and gently guiding them in the path they have chosen.
- Most importantly, teach them the ways of the Lord not only by instruction, but by example. (which they have always done!)
Prayer, work, order and courteousness, discipline, uniqueness of children, her example. Those are the issues that came to her mind when asked to look back at the past. I would have to agree that all of those principles served us well.
FYI, I will NOT be adding extracurricular peanut gallery comments in other ladies stories, haha. Since it was my mom and my life, (and my blog), I took the liberty! I want to thank Mom for being brave to be my first interview! And for being a great mom.
Coming tomorrow, my sister and I share 5 things we are glad our mom did raising us which will be a surprise to her! We wrote ours before reading what she had to say, just to keep it interesting. Stay tuned!
Post script- I have fabulous mom interviews coming up, many who always worked full time and many who stayed at home. That can be a touchy subject at times, but we are highlighting women of many situations. I also found it common among older women to question whether their advice is now outdated. I disagree. If you're happy you did it, it is relevant!