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 Carissa Leventis-Cox
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have one kindergartener.
What have been your favorite parts of motherhood?
The love. The hugs, the cuddles, the I-love-you’s, hearing my son’s voice say “Mama” first thing in the morning, talking with my son, especially after he looks me in the eye, leads me to where we can sit and says “Mama, let’s have a conversation!”, watching him grow, watching him learn everyday, playing childish games with him, learning from him and sharing this experience with my husband.
The responsibility of being a mother, doing the mundane everyday things together as a family.
And finally, but not least, the pleasure of being able to create a home–my family’s home.
What have been the hardest parts of motherhood for you?
Finding time–enough “me” time, enough time for my husband and enough time for my son.
Creating our own family culture. It is especially difficult when what we practice at home clashes with the mainstream. But most of all, being constantly conscious not to repeat negative thoughts and actions that have been ingrained in me, and being aware not to pass these on to my son.
What has surprised you about motherhood?
I am not the mother I thought I’d be. Sure, I thought I would be loving, caring and kind–but I didn’t know how much more loving, caring and kind I would be. I am still surprised at how involved, proactive and deliberate I want to be as a mother.
Motherhood is a universal experience that ties women together. I didn’t know being a mother would affect how I now view other children, other mothers, other families and other people. It is a humbling experience.
What coping strategies do you have for getting through hard times and hard days?
A routine. We keep one so our son and I know what to expect everyday.
A bag of fun tricks–you never know when these come in handy. I have fun activities for my son and I to do together, from reading books and watching videos to science experiments, art projects and nature games.
A support group–connecting with other like-minded mothers (playdates!), friends (Facebook!) and family.
Discipline. Sometimes I wish I could leave this all to my husband! What I do is I don’t get angry; I take away privileges. What I tell myself is my job is not to make my son a happy child every second of the day. My job is to help guide him to grow into a happy and healthy adult.
Me time (when everyone is asleep).
What would you say are the most important things a mom can do?
Love constantly, unconditionally, unwaveringly. Be completely present and attentive in the moments we share with our children. Be open to your children’s wants and needs.
What would you say are the most important things for a mom NOT to do?
Not to accept your children for who they are, shutting them off from your world, not giving them your love, attention and time of day, not respecting them, ordering them about while not explaining things to them, instilling fear, anger and hatred in them…just to name a few.
What are some unique and interesting aspects of your family or your approach to mothering?
I never thought I would be so extremely different from the mainstream culture, but I like to think I’m just trying to be the best mother I can be. We had a home birth, we attachment parent, we homeschool and we eat a highly raw vegan diet. For more information, you can find us on my blogs: thecardinalhouse.blogspot.com and mamainthekitchen.com.