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 Tami Wall
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have three children, ages 9, 6 and 2.
What have been your favorite parts of motherhood?
There are so many things I adore about being a mother! I love to watch my children being themselves, seeing them learn through play and exploration, and I love being their teacher. I love to see the joy that my kids have over the simplest things and how they teach me to stay in the moment and not worry about what is going to happen in twenty minutes or what happened yesterday.
What have been the hardest parts of motherhood for you?
The hardest part of motherhood for me is to be sure that I am disciplining my children in a way that is going to help them learn from their behavior and develop into the kind of person I would like them to be. I want to discipline with love and patience, and to make each moment of correction a teachable moment. It’s not always easy to take the time to talk about behavior with the kids instead of using a quick fix, but I hope it will be worth it in the end.
What has surprised you about motherhood?
I never realized how hard it would be to be a mother if your goal is to be the best mother to your children that you can be, and if you are conscious about the quality of the child, and then the adult, that you are raising. I try to integrate the learning–and use–of the values that are important to us into our daily lives. It is not always easy to remember to be so purposeful in my actions with my kids. I do my best and try to be aware of what my kids need and what I am giving them. I take my role as a mother and teacher very seriously.
What have you learned from motherhood? Please share a specific story or incident that really taught you something.
While I have learned an incredible amount of things about kids and about myself since I have become a mom, one lesson really stands out to me. I have discovered that love for a child is not dependent on whether or not they share your genes. Two of our kids are adopted, and one is biological. I can testify that if a mother has an open heart, she will adore all of her children. When I think about the fact that two of my kids grew in another woman’s womb, I can hardly believe it sometimes. I am as close to them as any mother can be. When someone tells me that they are glad I got to experience having my “own” child, I don’t get it. All of my kids are my own, and the experience of adoption is as beautiful and rewarding as is the act of carrying a child and giving birth. I wouldn’t change any of the ways my kids came into our family, nor the relationships I have with any of them.
What coping strategies do you have for getting through hard times and hard days?
First, I stop and remember that is my choice to be a mother and a stay-at-home mom. How can I complain about something I choose to do?
Second, if I feel myself feeling anxious or stressed, I remember that everything that really has to get done will get done, and that the most important thing is for me to remain patient with my kids and to be aware of what I am teaching them with my reactions or behavior. I also stop and remember how small what I am experiencing is in the grand scheme of things. Yes, I may feel overwhelmed by chaotic times now and then, but I like to stop, take a breath, and put things in perspective. Every moment I am alive and every moment I have with my kids is a blessing. So many people really have something to feel frustrated about! Thinking of how others are facing truly difficult situations helps me to realize that the small things that may start to bug me are really not so bad.
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?
I believe it is crucial to tell your kids how much you appreciate them and love them, and to do it every day! Whisper it in their ears when you give them random hugs or write it in a little note when you have the time. It makes the kids feel good and can really improve their behavior. It helps me to focus more on the positive and less on the less desirable stuff!
I think that an important thing NOT to do is to forget that this is your child’s one childhood. I will make mistakes as a mom, that’s for sure, but from time to time I like to think about what kind of childhood I am creating for my children. What will they remember? Our childhood is a huge part of who we are, and we all look back as adults and wish some things had been different. I try to make sure that the good memories of love and fun and acceptance will outweigh whatever negative memories my kids will have. I will not miss this chance to give my kids as much love and joy as possible, as well as to take every opportunity to help them be the best human I think they can be.
What are some unique and interesting aspects of your family or your approach to mothering?
I use humor a lot to entertain my kids, to distract them when they are in an emotional funk or to just have fun with them. I think me being silly with them helps them to feel free to let loose and not worry about what others may think of them.
I also have music on in the house almost all the time, and I dance by myself or with the kids. Sometimes we dance in the kitchen while I am cooking, or we move the coffee table and dance in the living room. It is a great way to wake up, get rid of surplus energy, feel joyful and get exercise. It is also a fun way to change moods if any of us is feeling stressed or upset.