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 Special Projects Manager Mindy Thurston
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
My husband, Mike, and I have a blended family of six children ranging in age from 15 to 3. Teenagers and toddlers! What an adventure!
What have been your favorite parts of motherhood?
Watching my children’s faces as they experience the world! I love the looks of awe and wonder when they see something new and exciting, hear something that makes them giggle, or figure out how to do something all by themselves. I love getting to experience that joy with them. It’s those magical moments that make the hard stuff completely melt away.
What have been the hardest parts of motherhood for you?
I used to think the years I spent being a single mother were pretty tough…but as I look back, I would never give up the things I learned about myself during that time! I cherish that time as one of the major growing periods of my life. I know that the strength I gained from that experience helps me now with the challenges that come from uniting a blended family. Now THAT is hard. But I know from experience that one day I will look back on this time and cherish it as well.
What has surprised you about motherhood?
That time flies! Really! One minute they are being placed in your arms and the next they are driving off in your car to get a gallon of milk. We have such a small window of time to raise and enjoy our children. I have heard that all my life and it never really sunk in. Then I turned around one day and realized I only have a few more years before my kids start graduating from high school and moving on. It really happens! They grow up!
What have you learned from motherhood? Please share a specific story or incident that really taught you something.
I have learned that being a mom is all about learning to love…on so many different levels. Everything, from my toddler drawing with Sharpies on the wall, to my teenager being bullied at school, to waking up every hour with a sick baby, to the mountains of laundry I fold. It all stretches my ability to love. One of the hardest things I have ever done is to learn to love a difficult step child. (Wow, that was hard to admit.) Stepmoms are supposed to love their step kids, and I felt such incredible guilt that I couldn’t connect with him. It was like I was trying to hug a porcupine. But here is the thing: love does come eventually, with faith, forgiveness and a lot of prayer. It comes, and I can feel myself stretch.
What coping strategies do you have for getting through hard times and hard days?
A lock on my bedroom door. Every mom needs one. I’m not kidding.
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?
Remember that becoming a better mom does not mean creating a bigger to-do list. Focus on the basics. Just be with them, listen to them, and love them. Being a mom doesn’t have to be as complicated as we tend to make it. So if you are stressed out, simplify! All your kids really want and need is YOU!
Do not compare yourself to other moms. You are the right mom for your children, and if you love your children with all you have, that is always enough. YOU are enough. Don’t forget that.
What are some unique and interesting aspects of your family or your approach to mothering?
I approach mothering from the angle of being a full-time, work-outside-the-home mom. It’s not ideal, but it is my reality and I make it work. It does, however, create a lot of “mommy guilt”. I love The Power of Moms because it has helped me see that in being a more deliberate mom, I can create quality where I don’t have quantity. I might not have a lot of time with my children every day, but I can choose to make that time matter. Being a mom DOES matter.
What do you like best about the work you do for The Power of Moms?
I love being involved with The Power of Moms! I have met, and learned from, some of the most incredible women. My favorite thing has been the opportunity I had to go to one of the retreats. I truly believe in the message they share…and I love being able to add my voice to theirs.