Today I am so excited to bring you another Mama Monday!! Katherine is the author of the excellent blog Raising Five. I have been a long time reader of Katherine's blog. She is also a good friend of mine--we've emailed back and forth many, many, times (mostly about teenagers!) and I truly appreciate her realness, honesty, and imperfection that comes across in her posts. Some of my favorites include: Ever feel out of control?, Ask for help, Fatigue, Trusting, I still remember, Once and for all parenting, Perfect or best?
(it's so hard to even pick!)
With five children at many different ages, I have always identified with her life immensely. It is worth a long sit-down going through her archives. She needs to write a book!
Katherine and her husband
Peach trees in their yard
Ladies, I bring you Katherine:1. greatest thing about being a mom: Those moments when your kid (even more exhilarating when this kid is a teen and you have recently grounded him or her) says, "You know, you and Dad are pretty cool."
2. hardest thing: Watching kids make mistakes and not jumping in to rescue them when they experience the consequences of their actions.
3. how do you find balance in your life: 1. Talk - really talk - with my husband every day. Sounds so simple, but it is really a challenge some days. 2. Journal - helps me sort out feeling from fact. 3. Take a 15 minute power nap in the afternoon whenever I can. 4. Have interests outside of kids and house - gardening is that thing for me - gives me a few moments of solitude, and lets me enjoy nature and take care of something beautiful that won't need braces and a college education some day. 5. Talk to people ahead of me on the path to give me perspective. I had thirteen straight years with little ones in diapers, and I needed this often. Now I seek out moms with older teens. 6. Ask God to fill the voids in my children's lives - keeps me from trying to do/be everything, and keeps me from feeling a sense of guilt when things aren't going as *I* think they should be going, which is pretty much every day. 7. Ask for specific help - for me this is usually physical help because so many things pull me in different directions - from asking another parent to carpool rather than driving everywhere myself, to asking my husband or kids to help with certain things. After all these years together, they STILL can't read my mind! My husband does the grocery shopping and makes SEVEN lunches every.single.morning. The kids keep the same chore (usually one they like) for a long time so it becomes routine.
4. hobbies/interests: Journaling (I've kept a journal since I was 12), gardening/landscaping our 1.5 acre plot of weeds. I used to say blogging, but that's on the back burner for this season.
5. life with five children is--Getting better and better! I loved having babies and preschoolers and I'm enjoying elementary/middle school years. I was so terrified of having teens, but I am absolutely intrigued by this age - they are becoming abstract thinkers, beginning to make decisions based on their convictions, and are not afraid to ask tough questions. They will not tolerate anything phony, and they seem to know their friends are also seeking something real. It's been amazing to open our home, let them see a real family (note I did not say perfect), and along the way, show them the way to Christ (usually this involves lots of food).
6. favorite blogs or websites - Don't have much time for blogs lately, not even my own! I have made some very special friends through blogging, though, like Andrea. I love you! Some day we shall meet!
7. I couldn't live without--Besides my husband Dennis (my rock), my sister Rachel Anne (my listening ear), the Bible (my anchor): morning coffee, power naps, hugs, flowers.
8. favorite thing to do with your family - Have family dinner together Sundays after church.
9. favorite food - Quesadillas, chips and salsa - almost anything Mexican
10. favorite treat - M&Ms, Twix, and homemade chocolate chip cookies.
11. 3 books that changed your life - Many have influenced me, but only one has changed my life, God's Word.
12. parenting "epiphany" - When I realized parenting wasn't about "fixing" my kids, but unconditionally loving, accepting, and forgiving them, just as God does for us.
13. verses that comfort you - Too many to count. Psalm 46 - God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof... (I learned it in King James Version - it still speaks to me, especially since it describes my emotions on any given day!).
Thank you Katherine!!!!