We have a whole team of talented, dedicated mothers working behind the scenes to make The Power of Moms the best it can be. We wanted you to meet them, so each month, we’ll take a day to spotlight one of our board members. (You can read about our board of volunteer moms here.)
Introducing Author Information Manager Anna Jenkins
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have two beautiful daughters, ages 23 and 21.
What have been your favorite parts of motherhood?
Well right now it’s being a grandmother! Actually, I think watching my girls grow into beautiful, righteous women has been my favorite part. Well, I did really enjoy those elementary school years, too.
What have been the hardest parts of motherhood for you?
Seeing my child sad is hard, watching them make incorrect choices is hard, mothering teenagers is HARD-HARD!
What has surprised you about motherhood?
I was amazed to see how adding a second child to the mix wasn’t a great hurdle to get over. It just seemed like a natural progression and there is enough love to go around.
What have you learned from motherhood? Please share a specific story or incident that really taught you something.
I have learned that preparing for motherhood should start much earlier than you think. Seriously, I wish that I had really given this great calling a lot more thought and time BEFORE I even got married. I took so much for granted and assumed that the knowledge and intuition would just be there. Well, to a certain extent it is, but I could have done so much better. No really. I could have.
What coping strategies do you have for getting through hard times and hard days?
I always felt that a well-placed play date was crucial! When my girls were little we lived on a street that didn’t have any little kids. I think everyone was working or retired, so occasional play dates were important for my girls and for me. And let me just say right here, that I didn’t like the “drop off and go somewhere by myself” kinds of play dates. I hungered for the interaction with the moms so that I could soak up their knowledge and ideas.
What would you say are the most important things a mom can do?
Really the most important things you can do is love those young ‘uns and love yourself! Seriously, how can you expect to be there for them if you aren’t even there for yourself? Also, always know who your child’s friends are, no matter what age.
What would you say are the most important things for a mom NOT to do?
Never assume that your child knows what you are talking about the first time you try to explain expectations. Never talk about your child within earshot of them unless it is something positive. Never compare you children to each other or to other children. They probably do enough of that themselves and why add to their stress? Never compare yourself to other moms who seemingly have it all together because you will always come up short and rarely do they have ALL of it together and if they do you can bet they paid a high price for it at some point in their life and have earned it.
What are some unique and interesting aspects of your family or your approach to mothering?
My approach to mothering? Hmm….well not as deliberate as it should have been, but I am definitely not a slacker mom. One thing I will get on a soapbox about is over-scheduling your kids, because you are over-scheduling the whole family when you do that and it opens a Pandora’s box of problems. We didn’t have our kids involved in a ton of things, maybe one sport and one musical instrument. You have to give them down time for thinking and playing and learning lessons at home. They can’t do that if they are always in the minivan being hauled around to every “awesome opportunity” available to them. You just can’t do it all and you shouldn’t expect them to either. [Off soapbox...]
What do you enjoy about your work at The Power of Moms?
I love being associated with this cause. I love the women I work with regularly even though I have never met them personally and most only through emails. The work I do is mostly updating biographies for the authors or making sure they are set up so they are ready to publish articles. I also make myself available to help out with other aspects on the back end of our site. Any exposure I can have to the work of The Power of Moms is important to me. I am learning so much more now about mothering than I ever knew before. It has helped me be a better mother to my adult daughters and I am trying to incorporate my new knowledge into my GRANDMOTHERING! Yes, the second grandson was born last week! I am Neena to two awesome little boys. I am also hoping to share all of this with my daughter who is raising these boys now and will share with my other daughter as well. Hmm…guess I should start that while she is single so that she is better prepared than I was!