Kensey McCandless: No Woman Is an Island

photo courtesy of Kensey McCandless

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) We can’t wait to meet her.

Introducing Kensey McCandless

How many children do you have and what are their ages?

I have four girls. They are 7, 4, 4 (not twins; one is my stepdaughter), and 10 months

What have been your favorite parts of motherhood?

Holding, hugging, kissing and snuggling with my kids.

Teaching my kids.

Enjoying the cute things they say and do.

My children’s unconditional love and otherworldly wisdom when I least expect it :).

What have been the hardest parts of motherhood for you?

By far, seeing my children in physical or emotional pain has been the worst.

Also, feeling like there isn’t enough of me to go around, and feeling like I sometimes get lost in being a mom and have no time for myself.

What has surprised you about motherhood?

It’s definitely not as easy as it looks or is perceived by many.

I’ve found myself doing or saying things that I swore I’d never do or say as a kid!

What are some unique and interesting aspects of your family or your approach to mothering?

I was a single mother for four years. During that time I realized how important it was to make God a partner in my parenting. Even though I had less time with my kids, they knew they were my priority and that they were loved. Now I have been blessed with a husband, a stepdaughter, and new baby, and the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. With all these blessings have come many challenges. Motherhood has been a real struggle the past two years as I work to redefine what it will look like with the changes that have happened. Imagine a family that doubles in a year…double work/double joy? Sibling rivalry at its best, a plethora of misunderstandings and hurt feelings, not enough mommy to go around, patience and endurance constantly challenged, and trying to keep a family together despite attempts of some to pull it apart…it is sooooooo hard!

And yet, I’m sure we will all settle in to this new life, I will get a hang of what I’m doing again, our children will realize how much we love them, my baby will sleep through the night, I will regain my physical and mental strength, and one day we will bind together so strong that no one will be able to pull us apart. That day won’t come overnight, so until it does I will keep reassuring my children of my love for them, I will teach them what is right, I will surprise myself at how much patience and endurance I can have, I will turn back to making God my partner in parenting and we will all grow together.

What have you learned from motherhood? Please share a specific story or incident that really taught  you something.

Motherhood has taught me that “no man (woman) is an island.” My well-being affects my family’s well-being, and in another sense I shouldn’t and don’t have to go it alone.

This past year things have been really hard and for too long I felt isolated and alone in my struggles. I finally made the choice to reach out. Through my Learning Circle, and various other supports, I have regained some hope and sanity. One day, feeling the relief that came from just having someone listen and validate my feelings, I thought to myself, “Why did I wait so long? Why did I let things get so bad? How did I get so secluded from the world?” I truly believed I was on my own, and had to make everything OK by myself. The relief that has come from the realization that I’m not alone has been a great blessing. We all have our struggles and we all need some help. We are not alone; all we need to do is reach out.

What coping strategies do you have for getting through hard times and hard days?

I call or go talk to someone who has been supportive in the past.

When I feel no one could possibly understand how I feel, I go pour my heart out to God.

On many of my hardest days I’ve been able to get through by listening to a positive, encouraging radio station, with inspirational music, scripture, and devotionals.

What would you say are the most important things for a mom NOT to do?

To chastise to the point the child feels bad or unwanted.

Be extreme, by either putting their child last in life or by losing themselves in making mothering their only priority…balance is best for everyone.

What would you say are the most important things a mom can do?

Make sure your children know how important they are to you and that you love them no matter what.

Be a good example of health in all aspects (physical, emotional, spiritual).

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