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 Merrilee Boyack
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
Four sons, ages 31, 26, 24, 22; and two grandkids, ages 3 and 21 months.
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?
The most unique to us was that we PLANNED what we were doing as parents. So many parents just go through day after day with no plan. So we developed a plan for each year of what our children needed to learn so they could develop into independent, grounded, spiritual people. (The plan can be found in my book “Parenting Breakthrough“.) We planned our family timeline, our vacations, what goals we had for the kids, you name it. And we had our kids work a lot.
What have you decided to NOT prioritize in your mothering that many other moms seem to think is important and worthy?
Video games. Not only NOT a priority but it was BANNED from our home. We severely restricted TV to only weekends and limited that. We were appalled at what other kids were doing and that we didn’t see them out playing in the neighborhood. I was very chilled out on cleaning. The kids did regular chores but I wasn’t a stickler on major cleaning. Neatness and regular cleaning yes, but not the freaked-out cleaning I see. 🙂
What have been your favorite parts of motherhood? How do you cultivate joy in your journey as a mother?
Favorite part: all sleeping in a tent together after a family campfire and listening to the family sleep (some more loudly than others). I just loved the times out in nature together or in church together. I just felt that THIS is what it’s all about. I found joy in making those moments happen. Also, I LOVED teaching my kids. Dinner conversations were intense. I taught them all kinds of things from how to build a fire (a big hit with four sons) to politics to the scriptures to you name it!
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?
The hardest part was the boredom. I have a very active brain and being home full-time was a challenge and a sacrifice. But I was committed and don’t resent it. So I worked part-time, taught my kids a ton, volunteered a lot, and read and studied a lot.
What has surprised you about motherhood?
The fact that you are always, always, always a mother, forever. Wow. The whole commitment thing was amazing. I was also surprised how rewarding I found it.
What have you learned from motherhood? Please share a specific story or incident that really taught you something.
I’ve learned that mothering goes both ways: I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. My entire world was rocked. And as I called my sons, including one on a church mission, to tell them the news, each reacted in his own way. Three of my sons were very reassured that I would have a complete healing. They weren’t very upset. They had complete faith in that.
Then I called my son Brennan. He choked up and said he’d be right over. He came immediately and sat on my bed and sobbed. He sputtered, “You just can’t die. The world needs you too much. We need you too much.” I sat with him and we held hands and cried together. That’s what I needed right then. I needed someone to sit and cry with me. And my son was there in that moment. A sweet, sad waterfall of tears.
What have you learned about motherhood that you wished you’d known sooner and would like to pass along?
Accentuate the positive! Eliminate the negative! I spend WAY too much time correcting and not enough time pointing out the good.
Also, I would have more of those mellow times: staring at the clouds, flying kites, you name it.
And I would lighten up on myself. Easier said than done 🙂
Finally, I would have spent a whole lot more time passing on spiritual values and teaching those things and less on the academics. They’ll get the academics but they need to learn the other from us as moms.