There are amazing, devoted, wonderful, deliberate mothers out there, and each week we’ll spotlight one of them here at The Power of Moms. Do you know a mom who deserves a little time in the spotlight? Email rachelle.price (at) powerofmoms.com. We can’t wait to meet her.
Introducing Allyson Smith
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have six children. I have four boys and two girls, ages 15 to 3 years old.
What have been your favorite parts of motherhood?
I think one of my favorite parts of motherhood is building a personal relationship with each of my children. I love that I have six little best friends running around me all the time. They are not just six kids clumped together. Every relationship is unique.
What have been the hardest parts of motherhood for you?
The hardest part of motherhood for me has been to realize and embrace the fact that things will probably not go the way I have it planned out in my mind. There were many disappointing days when a family picture, a night out with the kids, or a family vacation did not go as perfectly as I had hoped. But, after 15 years of parenting, I have learned to set more realistic expectations and just roll with it.
What has surprised you about motherhood?
I think something that I was not prepared for is how physically and emotionally taxing it is to be a mother. I feel like my game has to be on every moment of every waking hour. I LOVE being in the middle of it. I truly feel blessed to be able to try my hardest to raise responsible, honest, selfless, hard-working, and confident people. It will take everything I’ve got, but I signed up for it and I’m doing the best I can.
What have you learned from motherhood? Please share a specific story or incident that really taught you something.
Where do I start?! A couple years ago I read a speech by Clayton Christensen (a professor at Harvard) called, “How Will I Measure My Life.” It really changed me as a mother. This quote profoundly impacted me:
“If you want your kids to have strong self-esteem and confidence that they can solve hard problems, those qualities won’t magically materialize in high school. You have to design them into your family’s culture–and you have to think about this very early on. Like employees, children build self-esteem by doing things that are hard and learning what works.”
After reading that I have tried very hard to be deliberate in teaching my children things and giving them experiences that will give them a foundation for the rest of their lives. If I want my children to be a certain way when they leave my home, it is up to my husband and me, and it will take all the years I have with them.
What coping strategies do you have for getting through hard times and hard days?
That is a good question. A call to my sister usually does the trick! What helps me get through a hard day or situation is staying calm. I am constantly telling myself to “remain the adult.” When I can stay unemotional about a problem I handle it so much better and I have less regret.
If it is a hard period of time and not just a situation, prayer is my lifeline. It brings perspective, peace, and patience. I also go to my husband for a listening ear and solid advice. Since he is not in the middle of it all day, he is able to see things a little more clearly than I can and help me work through it.
Most of the time a simple moment to myself can re-energize me and give needed strength. Even a trip to the grocery store by myself can do wonders.
What are some unique and interesting aspects of your family or your approach to mothering?
I am all about giving my children experiences. I really want to put them in as many unique, hard, and different situations as I can so that they are not afraid of new things. I want them to have enough confidence in themselves that they can help lift others around them. That is very important to me. Right now we are on a four-month humanitarian trip to Cambodia, Thailand, India, and Spain. My children are so out of their comfort zone right now and I love it. New foods, new culture, new living circumstances, new people. It is helping them realize that different is not something to shy away from and that they will survive another day even when it is uncomfortable and hard. If you want to read more about our adventures, you’re welcome to read my blog at http://www.carefreetimelessness.blogspot.com/
I also try to really have fun with my kids. Laughter is a huge part of our family. I want my children to know that life is to be enjoyed and celebrated, not just endured!