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 Julie Parkinson
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have six children: McKenna (15), Isaac (13), Micah (11), Elias (8), Ella (5), Macie (2).
What have been your favorite parts of motherhood?
Being a stay-at-home mother and being able to enjoy my children all the time.
What do you do that is a little different than what seems to be the “norm”? What have you decided to prioritize in your mothering that you see as somewhat unusual?
This really isn’t a “new” or “unusual” concept, but it is something I feel like a lot of families are getting away from. For me it is important to have consistency in the home. This means I find it more important to be home than running around too much.
My children are involved in activities, but I don’t put them in activities if it disrupts the family dynamics. I like family meals together, being home when my kids get home from school, etc. I have found car pools to be amazing and am so lucky that we are a part of many. If they travel for sports, my husband and I don’t travel with them all the time, but send them with other parents and then take our turn when needed. I have a big age span (2-15); I can’t be dragging my younger kids around just to meet the needs of one or two of my other children.
I feel like it is important for all the children in our home to realize we are a family with many members and that one member can’t take all of the attention all of the time. I think it is good for children to do things on their own and then tell us every detail when they return from their activities. I want my children to develop talents, but there needs to be balance and sacrifice on their part as well. I feel we focus too much on our children and all that they want to do (they demand a lot if we let them). I need to show them that they can serve and be outside themselves as well.
What have you decided to NOT prioritize in your mothering that many other moms seem to think is important and worthy?
I have decided not to prioritize myself for now. I enjoy exercising and I have a few hobbies, but I realize that this isn’t the stage of life where I can put myself first; I have seven other people who need me as well and I try to make the most of the opportunities I have with them while they are still here.
The biggest challenge of motherhood for me is the unknown. I was once a kid, a teenager, a young adult, so I like to think I know what my kids are thinking and going through.
The problem is, I don’t know what life is like as a child/teenager with a cell phone, video games, computer, the Internet, Facebook, you name it. I don’t know all the rules to set and I find myself “changing the rules” often because I realized what I had originally implemented didn’t seem to work at all. I find it hard to keep up with all the technology and find a balance with it in my children’s lives and mine.
What have you learned from motherhood? Please share a specific story or incident that really taught you something.
I grew up in Arizona and have eight siblings. As a mother, I have lived 12 of my 16 married years away from most of my family. I learned very quickly that I need other mothers. I am grateful to have had and continue to have a “support group” of other mothers I can turn to. I love all the different talents and ideas each woman has brought into my life. I can always grow and do things better as a mom and I have learned those things by the amazing moms around me.
What coping strategies do you have for getting through hard times and hard days?
I have learned to accept life as a journey and not a race that has an ending. Difficulties in our life can be short or last a lifetime; it’s enjoying each moment no matter what that makes the difference.
Like most families we have fallen on some hard economic times. This was not something that was going to be fixed quickly, especially with my husband starting a new business. What I learned was to recognize God’s tender mercies during this time. I took up making jewelry to supplement some of the income. Yes, this requires me to work late nights and adds some stresses I wasn’t accustom to, but I could work from home and I was so grateful for that. I was also able to develop a talent I quite enjoy and have found a lot of satisfaction in being creative. Can the days get a little long and money tight? Yes, but I realize God is aware of me and I need to always be looking for His tender mercies whether they be big or small.