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 Lesley Leger
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
Five children. Our three sons came first and then our two daughters. They are 33, 31, 27 and 18. Our first daughter passed away at age four in 1991; she would have recently turned 24.
What have been your favorite parts of motherhood?
As much as I loved my children when they were small, I love the association I have with my children now that they are adults. I love getting text messages and phone calls from them. I love when they come to our home and aren’t in a hurry to leave. I love hugs and exchanges of “love you.”
My daughter is nearly ten years younger than my youngest son. I loved the fact that when my boys were teenagers, the first place they would go when they came home late at night was their little sister’s room to check on her as she slept. I love that my children love each other and are friends.
I enjoy going to see my children in sporting events and musical performances, and I’m happy that they are still doing those things as adults.
One of my favorite things about motherhood is the fact that now I am a grandmother. I love having “Grandma Days” with my grandchildren. On a recent outing with my two oldest grandsons (ages 9 and 7) I asked the boys if they thought they would still want to have “Grandma Days” when they were older. The oldest one replied, “I hope we can enjoy it for as long as possible.” That’s what a grandma likes to hear.
What have been the hardest parts of motherhood for you?
I love my children and I don’t want them to hurt in any way, but I can’t always prevent that from happening. The hardest thing that I have ever experienced was when my youngest child (and only daughter at the time) was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at the age of three. The following year was an emotionally stressful one for our family. I took her to radiation therapy on a daily basis for six weeks after the initial diagnosis, as well as doctor appointments and MRI’s throughout the year. I still had three older sons who needed my attention, love, comfort, and reassurance during this difficult time. She passed away 13 months following the diagnosis. As a mother, I not only had my own grief and pain to deal with, but that of my husband and our three sons. I was determined to be there for them during a period of time when it seemed life was moving just one day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time. But we did it, and we all came through it.
What has surprised you about motherhood?
I thought that as my children grew up, life would become simpler and less complicated. Boy was I wrong.
What have you learned from motherhood? Please share a specific story or incident that really taught you something.
One afternoon several years ago a woman in my neighborhood came to my house. She was an older and more experienced mother than I was and popular among our peers. As I enjoyed my visit with her my toddler began acting up, after a few meager attempts at correcting him, I finally gave in and gave him what he wanted. My friend immediately and enthusiastically said to him, “You won!! You got what you wanted.” Although she was looking at and speaking to him, I felt as if she were really saying to me, “You lost!! You gave up when you shouldn’t have.” Normally I would not have done that, but on this particular day I was more concerned with what the most popular mom in the neighborhood thought of me than dealing with my child appropriately. I was reminded on that day that I shouldn’t bow to peer pressure any more than I would want my children to and that I must stick to my values in any given situation.
What coping strategies do you have for getting through hard times and hard days?
Some things happen to us because of our choices and some things just happen. When things have “just happened” to me, I have tried to have an attitude that I have the choice of how I am going to react in any given situation.
I have faith in God and in the power of prayer. Although things may not always go the way that I would want them to, there is a peace that can come as a result of sincere and humble prayer. That peace has carried me many times throughout my years as a mother.
Some days you just have to go into your bedroom and have a meltdown; then you wash your face, put on a smile, and come back out.
What would you say are the most important things a mom can do?
Teach them to be responsible. Teach them to work for what they want and how to value what they have. Teach them about gratitude and humility. Love them unconditionally. Pray for them and with them. Be involved in what’s important to them. Be consistent. Listen. Know their friends.
What would you say are the most important things for a mom NOT to do?
Never use words against a child that you have no intention of following through with; for example: “Santa won’t come if….” You know Santa is still going to come, so why use that as a punishment?
Don’t speak negatively about their father, especially when they are present.
Don’t give them everything they want.
*** Click here to see more Spotlights. You can nominate moms to be spotlighted at The Power of Moms by emailing Rachelle Price, our Spotlight Manager at rachelle(dot)price(at)powerofmoms(dot)com.