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.
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
Aurora, 23 (Married), Emmett 21, Truman 17, Corbin 14, Adeline 12
What are some unique and interesting aspects of your family or your approach to mothering? 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?
We have a motto in our family that resolves most of the “But everybody’s doing it!” issues. When my children complain about being left out of a midnight movie showing or about not being allowed to wear the latest offensive fashion my reply is, ”Extraordinary people don’t do ordinary things.” Our family is far from perfect and I am not claiming our family is better than the rest. I make no assertion that our way is the best way for everyone. But I can say we have consistently sought to make the most of our circumstances and I have found that it helps to have goals that elevate rather than settling for the typical.
Being willing to ask what is needed and then make decisions based on our unique family’s needs and not society’s choices has served our family well. This has led us down some roads less traveled. All of my children were born at home and were schooled at home. (I have written a few posts regarding my home school journey at Home Is Cool, if anyone wants more of the scoop.)
I have always sought to structure my children’s schedule and priorities based on their unique talents and interest rather than looking to my peers and society’s standards. At times it is uncomfortable to be the only family not participating on a fall soccer team but it has been worth it to see my children have the time and open schedule to investigate and then develop their talents. I value this idea of margin. Just like on a page of print where the margin makes the words and information more understandable, the open spaces of time in a schedule bring greater peace and allow for creative doodles of introspection and self-discovery.
What have been the biggest challenges of motherhood for you? What are the hardest parts of your typical day as a mom? What coping strategies do you have for getting through hard times and hard days?
As a newlywed I was anxious about when my family would begin. Once the babies started coming I was worried about potty training. Once they turned into teenagers thoughts turned to college admissions. It was hard to be present in each moment and not miss them by hankering after the ones to come. I have missed some beautiful moments while looking out toward the horizon. In contrast my greatest joys have always happened while I was 100% present: playing with Play-Doh, cooking a meal, building a pinewood derby car, listening to scales being played on a piano. Savoring each moment is where the joy can be found. With my third on the cusp of college and my two oldest children now pursuing their own horizons, I am poignantly aware how fleeing these moments truly are.
I am still amazed that I have homeschooled all of my children. I initially had no desire or interest. I began as a desperate mom trying to protect my active, overly alert young kindergarten-age daughter from being negatively labeled. She was not an ordinary kid with typical interests and did not sit still. Gratefully I understood that her unique abilities could be a blessing so rather than fight them and her I embraced it and got her involved in activities that allowed her explore and express herself. She started Suzuki violin at age 7 and would walk around the house playing and memorizing the pieces. As I continued to seek solutions to her developmental needs we ended up heavily involved in the performing arts. I had been in enough high school theater productions to not want her going that direction. I encouraged her in classical violin, piano and voice. She still kept pushing for acting opportunities.
In order to give her performance opportunities that were in line with our family’s standards such as Sabbath day observance, modesty in dress and respect of participant’s family time, I started a theater program for teens. All five of my children have now participated in the program along with hundreds of others in the community. We have won numerous regional awards and continue to evolve to fit the needs of families. I still laugh out loud that I am an award-winning director of Shakespeare and Improvisational Theater. These were never in my life plan. I have always been willing to ask “What is needed?” And I guess my daughter needed to become an actress and our community needed a family-friendly youth theater company.
What have you learned about motherhood that you wished you’d known sooner and would like to pass along?
I credit this concept to the book Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen. Early in the book she introduces the idea that it is paramount that the message of love gets through in parenting. For example, when we tell our children to brush their teeth, is it because we don’t want to pay the dentist or is it because we want to spare them the ongoing dental nightmares that come from poor dental hygiene? Your child will be more motivated to comply with your request to brush if they feel it is because you love them and want the best for them. Most discipline issues come down to loving our children. Jane also taught that a misbehaving child is a discouraged child. When my children feel loved they are less likely to be discouraged.