There are amazing, devoted, wonderful, deliberate mothers out there, and each week we’ll spotlight one of them here at 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 Brittney Webster
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have three boys. Ages 10, 8, 4
What are some unique and interesting aspects of your family?
My husband died in February 2011 from various health problems. We have had to define a new normal for ourselves because everything that was normal and the future plans we had all changed in one night.
What do you do that is a little different than what seems to be the “norm”?
Since my husband was the provider of the family I knew that I would eventually need to take on that role. I decided to go back to school and finish my degree so that I could work in a field I enjoy. It’s difficult finding the balance between student, mom, and housekeeper, but I have a supportive family that helps me every week in trying to maintain that balance.
What have you decided to prioritize in your mothering that you see as somewhat unusual?
Since I have to dedicate so much time to school I am trying to make sure we are spending quality time together as a family. One night a week is dedicated to a family fun night. The entire evening is just me and my boys having fun together.
Since I am not home for dinner a few nights a week, I try and make sure we eat breakfast together every morning. It’s usually just cold cereal, but they love it and we get to sit and talk to each other before school.
Since my boys have to do their 20 minutes of required reading each night, I use that 20 minutes as a “family homework time.” We all sit in the living room together and read our books. I read my book, the two older boys read theirs, and my four-year-old looks at picture books. I hope its teaching them the importance of reading and getting your homework done since they see mom doing it, too.
What have been your favorite parts of motherhood? How do you cultivate joy in your journey as a mother?
I am learning the importance of living in the moment and enjoying the time I am in right now. I remember when my first child was 6 months old and how fussy he was. I would think, “Oh, I can’t wait until he is crawling; that will make him happy” and then when he started to crawl and was still crying a lot I remember thinking, “Oh, I can’t wait until he is walking; that will make him happy.” It seemed every phase he was in I was trying to hurry him to the next, hoping it would make him and me happier!
Sadly, it wasn’t until my third child that I realized they were growing up too fast and I needed to savor each phase my children were in. Even when it was a harder phase. I love the learning process we go through as mothers, but sometimes it would be nice to have known all this before! But the thing is, I don’t think it’s something someone can tell you. You need to figure out how to enjoy each moment all on your own. We have to make a conscious choice and effort to be happy in our current situation.
What have been the biggest challenges of motherhood for you? What are the hardest parts of your typical day as a mom?
Each of our children are so different and each one needs to be “mothered” so differently. What works for one will usually not work for the other. I remember how good I felt when I figured out how to get my oldest child to do his daily chores without too much complaining. When I tried the same tactic on my middle child, it didn’t work. I was so disappointed! I had to figure out an entirely different system for getting him to do his chores. It would be so much easier if we could teach and mother them all the same way, but being a mother is not meant to be easy. Its definitely a learning process every single day.
Another big challenge for me was realizing that plan A rarely works out. I have taught myself to be OK with plan B because that is usually what happens. Its a lot less stressful for me and my children when I am not upset about moving to plan B.
For the last two years, the hardest part of my day was when my boys were in bed and the house was quiet. Alone time was lonely and it was the time I allowed myself to cry. Going back to school has given me many other things to focus on. Now my alone time is homework time, which I am enjoying.
What have you learned about motherhood that you wished you’d known sooner and would like to pass along?
One of the most important things I have learned in the two years since my husband died is that I still need to make time for me. Being a mom can take up every second of your time if you allow it to. We cannot be the good mothers we all desire to be if we are not taking care of ourselves first. Find a hobby, hang out friends, exercise, or work outside of the home. Whatever you choose to do for yourself it will benefit your entire family. You will be happier which will make your family happier. Remember you are as important as your children! Treat yourself well.