Thursday, May 17, 2012

Celebrating Mom: Meet Abbey

I'm celebrating Mother's Day all week by dedicating my blog to some extraordinary moms in the blog world!  So far, you have met Tia and her daughter Ellie, Amanda and her daughter Rosie, and Lora and her four children.  Today, I want to introduce you to domestic goddess and mommy extraordinaire, Abbey, and her kids, whom she refers to as "Sunbean" and "Little Dude."  So cute, right?

Tell my readers a little about yourself.
My name is Abbey, and I'm the momma of two cuties:  E, who is 3, and H, who will be 1 at the end of the month.  I get to stay at home with my kiddos, and we fill our days with lots of playing, a little Wonder Pets, and the occasional temper tantrum.  In those golden moments where E and H are both snoozing, I love to sew and craft.

I want to know a little about your background.  Tell me how your mother influenced you.  What did she teach you that you hope to pass on to your children?  
I'm an only child, and grew up in the midwest.  If I had to describe my parents' role in my childhood, I would say that they were very involved.  They never missed a field trip, play, assembly, or game.  They knew my friends, and knew where I was at all times.  I didn't always appreciate this growing up, but now I do!  The best thing about my parents is that they are still involved.  They care about what my husband and I are interested in, and they love to spend time with their grandchildren.  We recently moved a few hours away, and they've been willing to travel to visit us often.  My parents understand the importance of spending time with those they love:  both quality and quantity.

In what ways do you help your children develop positive self-esteem?
One of my top priorities as a parent is raising children with a strong sense of self and a high self-esteem.  In today's world, that's a pretty tall order.  My husband and I try our best to always give our children specific compliments.  For example, instead of 'you did a great job', we'll say 'i love the way you rode the bike!', or 'wow!  you cut the paper all by yourself!'.  Our hope is that our kiddos grow up hearing about the skill set they have, rather than hearing that they are 'good'.

We also try to give specific compliments regarding appearance.  We certainly tell our children how beautiful they are every single day, but we also say things like 'i love your eyes' and 'your little toes are so cute'.  I want my children to be able to stand tall and feel confident in who they are, and I firmly believe that begins with the relationship they have with us, their parents.

Your daughter is still very young. What sort of things do you show or tell her to help give her a positive self image? 
Having a daughter, I pray daily that she will spend her life with men {father, grandfathers, brothers, friends, boyfriends, and eventually a husband} that love and respect her.  I want every man in her life to validate her beauty and worth.  She is a daughter of God, and has eternal worth.  My hope is that she only allows men in her life who respect her as such.  My husband will be the best example of this, and will hopefully leave an impression on her as she grows.

In regards to your son, what sort of things do you and your husband hope he learns about how to treat girls?  
It's my job to make sure he leaves my house treating the women in his life properly.  I have the giant responsibility of teaching him to be a loving husband and father.  I think it starts with a healthy self-esteem and self-worth.  It starts with family dinners eaten together, and silly games before bed.  It starts with open conversation and even discipline.

This all sounds like a big responsibility, but the good news is that these babies only grow older a day at a time.  We have years to teach our children how to make good decisions.  We have years to make memories with our families that will stay with our children for years to come.  Those years certainly fly by, but it is the little moments that shape who our children become.

So today?  Today, get down on the floor with your kids for a few minutes.  Give them a specific compliment and a kiss.  Ask them to help you with dinner.  Be present and available.  None of us get it right every day, but even a little goes a long with our our kids.


Abbey blogs at The Naptime Report.  Head on over and show her some love!  Thanks, Abbey!

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