I think that every child wishes they could sit down and ask their mother a bunch of questions and get the truth. I couldn’t pass up the chance to interview my very own Mother, Rita Johnson.
Thank you, Mommy!
1. As always, we will start with the best part first. Please tell us about your children.
Yes, I will tell you about my wonderful, now adult, children. They are now 45, 43, 41 and two 28’s. Ha, yes! My first born was a girl. I feel they are all miracles, but that first one overwhelms your heart. Your mind is in disbelief of your infant’s beauty as you hold for them for the first time. I had no family close to me so I felt added anxiety. I wondered if I was doing everything right, but instincts carry through!
Two years later another beautiful baby girl entered our dreams. And then two years later brought cuddles and sweet baby smells once more. Blessed with…yes…a baby boy!
Twelve years later I was pregnant again. There were no ultrasounds and doctors only heard one heartbeat during the monthly exams. I did not know until two minutes before an emergency C-section that I was having twins! A blue and a pink balloon. Five children. Whoa! I held my three pound babies for the first time at a week old.
They will always be my babies. Oh, how I love all them all.
2. Did you always want to be a mother?
I remember telling my grandmother I wanted to travel when I grew up. She laughed. Women were to get married and have a family. But as my older sisters married and had children, I enjoyed the nieces and nephews so much. It made me realize how much more special mine own children would feel to me. All the time. So my answer is yes!
3. What do you believe is the most important lesson to teach children?
Respect. Children learn this by imitating our actions. If children learn respect everything else will follow for other people, themselves, their friends coworkers, jobs, health, their homes and life in general. This learning process starts at a young age and with practice will build for their future foundation.
4. If you had 1000$ to spend and three days to go anywhere, where would you go?
I would go Christmas shopping! Guess for who?
5. Any advice for moms with twins?
Wrap each in their own receiving blanket and then both babies together in one blanket. Then you are able to cradle them both in your arms. Works best when they are newborn. I tried to remember not to compare them one to the other twin as they grew. It was quiet easy since they were boy and girl twins. Time goes so fast you can almost hear them growing. Sit back and enjoy.
6. What are some major differences between raising girls from boys?
The major differences in raising between boys and girls is to simply watch their needs and fill in with their interests. Just recognize those.
7. Do you see your own mother in a different light after having kids?
Yes I certainly do see my mother in a different light since having my own children. While reminiscing I often wondered how she did it all. We grew up on a farm. Mother did farm chores from, gardening and canning, making most of our clothes, cleaning spotlessly, teaching us as well and yes, butchering chickens. All while still keeping her ‘always lady like mannerisms.’ In summer evenings she could be found in the garden. Peaceful. Quiet. Yes, she once commented her favorite hymn was In the Garden. I used to play it for her on the piano. Those words so eloquently fit her as she knelt on her knees tending the sprouts. Just as she tended to us. How did she do it all? I so very much admire my mother. I saw it then, but the realization of her love and dedication overwhelmed me when I became ‘Mother.’
8. What is the biggest change you’ve seen between the way you raised your children and how kids are raised today?
The biggest difference is that it seems children need to be entertained most of the time. Then they expect too much. Birthday parties are a huge undertaking and, I feel, overdone. Yes, I am old fashioned.
9. What was the worst parenting advice you were ever given? Best?
The worst I have heard was, “Children should be seen and not heard.” Children should be taught manners, that is certain. The best advice was I was told was to be consistent as to what you tell your children. With teenagers it is best not to ground them but give them the privilege to go out, but with an early curfew. If they follow this, the next time they stay out a little later. In essence they earn their privileges. Life is similar. This can work for small children as well.
10. What has been the best part of motherhood?
The best part was seeing my children develop and learn and learning from them. Now the best part is having my grown children make me totally proud by simply being who they are. To see them with their families and spouses and establishing their plans and goals in life gives my heart warmth. I have enjoyed meeting and making friends with people they know. I feel their excitement and glad they include me in their joys! God has been so good to me.