Mommy Monday..on Wednesday..shh.
This week for Mommy Monday I’m pretty excited to introduce you to one of my very favorite ladies. Jill has four grown children, Jake, Josh, Jamie and Jeff. Jill and her hubby John are also the very proud grandparents to Nolan and Joey. They are currently enjoying some empty nest time..but it never seems to me like their nest is very empty:)
Jill!! First off I just wanted to say thanks for doing this interview, it is not a secret that you are not a very public kind of lady..so the fact that you responded “Yes!” with no hesitation really means a lot to me.
Glad too! No problem.
I’m smack in the middle of the busy years. We are constantly going, the kids are growing fast, life is not slow. Truthfully some days I LONG for the time when it is just Zach and I..does it really go by as fast as everyone says? And more importantly, here I long for the days of grown children..but are they really easier?
Yes and no. Yes the time really does go by very fast. However, you don't see it until your done navigating through raising your kids. When it's done you suddenly realize how quickly time went by. Sorry it's all hind sight. So, again yes and no. It's easier in that you don't feel responsible for where life takes them or guiding them. However, more difficult in that you cannot control where life takes them and guidance is very limited. You have to allow them to struggle and figure things out much more. The temptation to meddle is at times overwhelming. Unless advice is asked for it's hands off. When things are difficult for them it's truly heart breaking. On the other hand when they overcome and figure things out it's awesome!
You and John have a rock solid marriage. How did you make it work during the busy years?
Prayer and lots of it!! Also, we figured out early on that it was vital we take time for each other even if it was a few moments in a day and remembering we are in this together and each had something valuable to offer. It was important to listen to each other and understand each others struggles with parenting.
How much did your marriage change after the kids left the house?
At first it was really weird. The house was very quiet. We were very quiet. Parenting had defined so much of our marriage that it was like having to redefine what our marriage was about. It wasn't a bad thing just different. We truly have always loved being together so being able to spend more quality and quantity time together has been great. But the same applies that it is still important to listen to each other and understand each others struggles with life. Each of us has something valuable to offer.
I can’t talk to you about being a parent without mentioning prayer. You are a prayer warrior. At what point in parenting did you realize that prayer really does work?
When the kids became teenagers!! Up to that point you have so much more control over things that come up. Then you realize that you have to start letting go a little bit more and suddenly you have to put your faith where you mouth is so to speak. God answered so much prayer.
And what about adversity? It’s not like you raised all four of your children without bumps in the road..or at times more like HUGE boulders in the road..can you give us some advice on navigating the dark times of parenting?
Trust God!!! For us we went through some very dark times indeed. Earth shattering, faith shaking darkness. God saw us through. It wasn't easy and still isn't. Parenting is never easy. But I know now more than I ever that God has a plan for each one of us in this life including our children. Nothing will get in the way of that plan. Not mistakes, doubt, fear or uncertainty. God only asks us to trust Him. So trust Him with everything you have.
What about sending a son and son-in-law off to the war in Iraq simultaneously, not so much adversity but hard none the less.
Wow!! Scary, difficult but proud at the same time. I remember waking up in the middle of the night many times overwhelmed with the need to pray and not knowing why. Having people leave notes on our car thanking us for our kids service to our country because they saw our "proud parent of a soldier" bumper sticker. Getting news our boys where almost killed and their buddies were. Watching them struggle with PTSD(post traumatic stress disorder) and still waiting for Josh to come home for the second time. Keep trusting God!!
Ok happy subject time! Grandkids!! Are you and John soo loving that??
I can't even begin to tell you how much we are loving it!!! They have to be the cutest kids on the planet!!
We heard someone say once "If I knew grand parenting were this much fun, I would have done it first".
How differently do you see parenting now? Is it pretty neat to watch Jamie be a Mother now?
One I thing I realized is you really forget how hard it was to parent. Also, the things you thought were so important at the time really aren't and I wish I could have enjoyed the job more at the time. Jamie is an awesome mom. She makes us so proud. She tries so hard to do well at everything she does. What a girl!!