Getting to tell other people’s stories is my favorite part of being a freelance writer. Over the past eighteen months that I have written feature stories, I have met some great people in the Lincoln area. The discussion with the lady below I am certain will always be one of my favorites. Possibly a bit of that is due to being a bit star struck. But really admiration came about a result of our conversation – she is just a lovely person!
Introducing Nebraska’s current governor’s wife, Susanne Shore.
While part of our interview was about her life, we also spent quite a bit of time discussing motherhood. Talking to another mom who is several steps ahead of you in child rearing is so encouraging. Especially when the mom that you are talking seems to be blessed with abundance of wisdom, intentionality and honesty.
When I told her that I contributed to a blog for Nebraska moms, she graciously agreed to let me write a special column here in honor of Mother’s Day. I asked her to respond specifically to this question: what advice do you have for young moms? After all, she had three kids in about two years, so I was quite certain that she would have some encouraging insights. She definitely did. Below are quotes directly from her from that conversation.
Try to avoid the mentality that everything has to be a lesson when you are a parent. Especially when they are young too and are making so many mistakes and learning so much. This too shall pass has gotten me through a lot of situations.
Engage in intentional conversation. Almost every night we ask these questions: What was your good thing? What was your icky thing? What was your crazy/wacky/silly/fun thing? What did you learn today? Everybody has to go around and tell. It is fun to watch them process that through and think about their day. The hardest question that we ask and probably the most telling one, is the “What did you learn today?” That lets us know what is really going on in their lives.
There are days when my good thing is that I made other people feel better about being a parent because they couldn’t be worse than I was. They can look at me and say, “Well, at least I’m not her.” That is why another important insight is to learn to forgive yourself for the mistakes you make.
I think parenting is the hardest job (I’ve had lots of different jobs) because as you learn a lesson, all of the sudden it becomes irrelevant because they have grown into a different stage.
The other thing I’ve learned looking back over those years is don’t have too high of expectations of the kids. Just let them become the human beings they are going to become. Be comfortable with that. Just accepting that they are different and they are going to make their own path.
I have three goals for our kids.
- Whatever path they choose that they will make a positive difference in the world.
- They are working.
- They stay connected to the family.
If I can get all three of my kids to do that, I don’t care if they are Nobel prize winners or something else. Working at McDonalds can also be a noble profession because you are making a difference to those young people that are coming in. If they accomplish those three things throughout their lives, I will be satisfied. Those are the kids I want to develop.
Thank you very much to Nebraska’s First Lady for the interview. To learn more about her, please read my “First Mom of Nebraska” article from the L Magazine.