|^^ Mother's Day 1987|
Her answers are fantastic! This interview is something my sister Emily and I will cherish forever. I encourage you to interview your mom this Mother's Day. It's such a fun and rewarding exercise!
Below is the interview with my mom...
|^^ Mom and me 1986.|
What is the most rewarding thing about being a mom? Is it different now than when we were little?
Wow! That’s a loaded question! Becoming a mother to you and Emily were the most special days of my life. There are so many rewarding moments; it is difficult to summarize. When you were little, it was all of the precious smiles, hugs, silly moments and watching you experience new things. Not to mention that you were just so darn cute!
Today I am filled with pride that both of you have grown into amazing, beautiful, smart and caring young women. It is rewarding to me to know you are happy and responsible adults. I love when we are all together creating new memories, sharing stories, taking naps, and being our silly little selves!
What is the hardest thing about being a mom? Is it different now than when we were little?
Well, first of all, being a mom is the most rewarding yet most difficult job anyone could ever have. The hardest thing for me was the overwhelming responsibility of teaching you the right values and guiding you to act accordingly, especially when external influences became a factor as you reached adolescence. As your mother, I always wanted to protect you from physical harm, sadness and mental anguish. When your child is hurting a mother hurts tenfold, and when you are happy, the same is true! You’ll understand this feeling when you are a mother someday.
|^^ My mom's family. She's the youngest.|
Who inspires you as a mother? Did you incorporate anything from grandma or your sisters?
Your grandma was an extremely hard worker and raised six children while working part time. I always admired her ability to handle so many things while overcoming life’s challenges successfully. I believe my determination, sense of responsibility and toughness in handling difficult situations came from her. As your mother, these skills came in pretty handy!
My sister, Kathy, also inspired me as someone who is a special mother. She is loving and caring, but also taught me the value of consistency and tough love. I was fortunate to be able to observe her with her two daughters as they grew up. Today, her daughter, Allison, inspires me too as she gives so much of herself to raising two incredibly sweet, intelligent, and adorable children.
You worked for 36 years. What are the pros and cons of being a working mom?
I take great pride in the fact that I was a working mother. I was able to experience many new things and had opportunities that I never would have had otherwise. The things I learned about leadership also helped me to be a better mother. Yes, you had to become more independent and responsible sooner than children of non-working parents, but perhaps that wasn't such a bad thing.
But I would be less than truthful if didn't share with you that there were many times when I struggled being a working mother. Sometimes I felt like I was missing out and felt guilty that I wasn't able to spend more time with you.
And speaking of being a working mom, how did you do it successfully?
Success is relative and more about how you feel about yourself. Today I look back and realize that I did it all pretty well. But when I was in the midst of it all, I was often too hard on myself and many times felt like I wasn't doing my best job. I tended to dwell too much on my mistakes and not enough time celebrating successes and special moments. Today, I have learned to take life less seriously and I’m much easier on myself. I realize that I did my best with what I knew at the time. And look…you have both grown into these incredible and beautiful young women! Obviously, something went right. No mother is more proud of their daughters than I am of my girls.
|^^ My sister and me circa 1996 (?)|
What is it like to be the mom of two girls that are three years apart?
I am so grateful to have two healthy daughters that share such a special bond. You have so many similarities and likes, yet have your own personalities and differences too. I have special memories of when you were toddlers and preschool age. You played the role of big sister well - always trying to please Emily and get her to behave in a certain way. Emily was extremely independent and didn't usually comply. That led to some interesting situations!
Today, I feel you are closer than ever before even though you live so far apart. That makes me extremely happy! I have so many things to be thankful for and so blessed to be your mother.
If you could give only one piece of advice to me and Emily, what would it be?
That is hard; as you know I am full of advice! I guess I would sum it up like this:
“Plan for the future, but live in the moment. Look for the greatness in yourself, other people and in your daily life. And don’t worry so much about the small stuff."
My mother. Wise and loving. With some advice and knowledge we can all use. I love you, Mama!