Monday, March 5, 2012

in {her} shoes...MaryAnne

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it's another gorgeous monday morning here at crayon freckles.  and we get to start it off with a blogger that makes me smile everytime i hear her name.  Maryanne from Mama Smiles is doing today's in {her} shoes post! i met Maryanne not too long ago and love her blog!  for me, reading her posts is like sitting and talking with a friend over coffee.  when you're done here, hop over and check it out!

mama smiles

Hi! I’m MaryAnne from Mama Smiles! I’m thrilled to post here, today – I love this series, and the fabulous ideas that are shared on Andie’s blog!

I live in Massachusetts with my husband Mike and our three (with a fourth on the way!) kids: Emma (aged 6), Johnny (aged 4), and Lily (aged 2). Being a mom was always my dream career, and I blog about all the things I love about looking after littles: learning and crafts that I do with my kids, funny things my kids say, books we love to read… Sensory play, art, and creative play are probably three of my kids’ favorite activities.

What is the most challenging part of being the type of mom you are?
I’m the fourth of ten kids, and I was nearly fifteen when my youngest sister was born, so I think I came into parenting with a huge advantage, in terms of knowing what to expect from a newborn. Unfortunately, anyone will tell you that I do not know how to get kids to sleep through the night, so I live in a constant state of sleep deprivation. I’m down to only my two-year-old waking up at night now, and I’m hoping to get her sleeping through the night before we introduce a newborn to the family this summer!

My first three kids were born in less than three and a half years, and the older two came down with a stomach bug that eventually evolved into a respiratory infection that lasted for the first six weeks of my third child’s life. Photos of me from those early weeks of Lily’s life are not pretty, but looking back at this post makes me smile. I’ve gained a tremendous appreciation for all that my mother accomplished while raising ten children, frequently in foreign countries!

What is the most rewarding?
Smiles, hugs, and witnessing milestones are big for me. Seeing my children come up with creative ideas is  also hugely rewarding, but the best of all may be the times when I see them being kind to one another – cheering up a sad sibling, or making little surprises for one another.

And there are so many little things I love about being a mom – from having an excuse to play with toys, draw, and paint to watching my Emma learn to read, hearing about Johnny’s take on the day, and listening to Lily’s nearly-endless chatter about anything and everything.

In your opinion, what’s the most important value(s) parents can instill in their children?
I hope to raise kids who know who they are, with the confidence to make good choices and the empathy to always be kind to others.

I want them to learn to live every moment of their lives – even the ones that are painful or difficult. It’s a lesson I learned a few years into parenting.

If you children could describe you in 3 words, which ones would they pick?
They think I’m fun, which makes my day!!! Other than that, they like that I read to them and make things with them. They take for granted that I provide clean laundry and food.

mama smiles
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