We have a whole team of talented, dedicated mothers working behind the scenes to make The Power of Moms the best it can be. We wanted you to meet them, so each month, we’ll take a day to spotlight one of our board members. (You can read about our board of volunteer moms here.)
Introducing Ambassador and Trainer Lindsay Ruiz
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have four children: three girls, ages 6, 5, 3, and an 8-month-old boy.
What have been your favorite parts of motherhood?
My favorite part of motherhood is watching my children succeed and watching them learn. When they come to me with stars in their eyes, and say “I did it!” that is truly rewarding. I also love to snuggle those babies when they are about 6 months old to 1 year and they look at you like you are the greatest thing in the world. And you can hold them and kiss their chubby little cheeks. That is pretty awesome. I also really appreciate how much my children are shaping me every day. I’m a much better person since having children.
What have been the hardest parts of motherhood for you?
I think it is really tough because I’m a pioneer of sort. I was raised in a home that had a lot of conflict and struggles. My mother grew up in foster care, and so she never really had a good example to follow and forged her own way. She did an amazing job with the knowledge she had and she made sure she was there for her kids, despite that fact that she always worked a full-time job. Her relationship with my dad was always on the rocks, and we walked on eggshells around the home waiting for my father to explode. I guess you could say there wasn’t any deliberate parenting going on; we were in survival mode.
I knew that someday I would have my own family, and I would do it differently. That’s why I love The Power of Moms so much. I can surround myself with amazing women doing amazing things with their families and can follow their examples.
What have you learned from motherhood? Please share a specific story or incident that really taught you something.
I’ve learned that I really control the pace and speed at which our family moves. If we are moving too fast, it really affects the mood and feelings in our home. (I tend to be grouchier, the kids more disobedient, and even my husband gets on edge.)
About a year ago, I made the tough decision to pull my daughter out of a rigorous dance group because our family life was suffering. Practices were multiple times a week, right through dinner time. We were doing homework late at night, and I knew in my heart we should be at home having dinner together as a family and not be so rushed. The silly thing was that my daughter was only in kindergarten. I think about our schedule now, with her in school all day, and I don’t know how we would have done it. The older she gets, the worse it would have become. It was a tough decision, but one that has blessed our home.
What would you say are the most important things a mom can do? What would you say are the most important things for a mom NOT to do?
The most important thing you can do is remember that you are the best mom for your kids. And to try to remember that your best is good enough. You will feel a lot better about your role as a mother once you can embrace those things.
Moms should not compare themselves to other moms. Mothering is not a competition, but a process in which we grow, each of us at a different pace. Oh, and never talk down to your children. I say that as someone who grew up in a home with a lot of verbal abuse. Never, ever, belittle your children. Use your words to inspire and uplift instead of hurt and tear down.
What are some unique and interesting aspects of your family or your approach to mothering?
I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia and my husband is originally from Mexico City, Mexico. We met in college on the ballroom dance team, and we still love to dance. Our cultures play a big part in feeling of our home, his more so than mine. Most of my kids’ first solid food was a rolled up tortilla! We’ve played up Cinco De Mayo in our family (even though it really isn’t a Mexican holiday like they play it up to be in the States). My kids get more excited about it than Christmas. We make a ton of Mexican food, make piñatas, play mariachi music, and have all sorts of Mexican art projects.
I was an art major in school, so art is a big part of our lives. There are crayons and markers from one end of my house to the other and my kids have “marked” just about every piece of furniture in my home, including the carpet once. I love creating art with them. (We should plant a forest of our own for as much paper we use around here!) And lastly, we like to dance. There is always a dance party going on somewhere in the house and it’s something we all enjoy doing together.
What do you like best about the work you do for The Power of Moms?
I love working with The Power of Moms because I really believe it can have a profound effect on our everyday mothering. I’m proud to spread the word and send women to a place where they can receive encouragement, get great ideas, and find a network of mothers trying to be their best selves. This site draws mothers, and families, who are striving for similar goals within their homes. I absolutely love being a part of the workshops, retreats, and Learning Circles because there is magic that happens there. To watch a room full of deliberate mothers sharing ideas and being enlightened together, well, there’s just something really special about that, and I love that I have the opportunity to learn from all of them. That’s why I wanted to be a trainer and ambassador: to spread the word and to surround myself with amazing women I can learn from.