Let’s face it. It’s hard being a mom in today’s day in age. Not to diminish previous generations, at all, but this whole Pinterest social media blasted day and age of mothering can be rough. There are a lot of stereotypes that come into play. How a mom should look. Act. Dress. Going even beyond, and that much more damaging, is how a mom should mother. Not only do we come in all shapes and sizes, but we also all tend to our little(s) differently. Not only is that OK, but it should be celebrated!
With that being said, I could not be more excited to introduce this series on A Life From Scratch: Moms in Focus. I’ve partnered up with the oh so talented photographer, Michele Ryan of Silver Branch Photography, to bring a you a series that focuses on the beauty of mothering in all different shapes and styles. All of these moms have felt judged in one way or another, and this series has been created to shed light on how that can make a mom feel. Let’s even the playing field a bit, shall we? Deep down at the core, we moms are all really just trying to do our best.
Without further ado, I introduce to you another Mom in Focus: Meet Anne!
Hi! Tell us a little bit about yourself and three words that describe you as a mom.
My name is Anne Deal. I have 3 children: 2 girls and 1 boy. The girls are my husband’s children from a previous relationship, but I have adopted them and they have felt like my own since the beginning. The boy is my husband and mine together. Three words that describe me as a mom would be busy, caring, and strong. I choose these three because being a mom of 3 I am always on the go. I am a caring person by nature, but put my kids needs first and care for them. I am a strong mom for many different reasons: I had to be strong when fighting for my girls during the adoption and I have to stay strong every day for my kiddos and do what is right for them.
And now tell us about your darling kid(s).
Jaya is 10. She is very helpful and caring and loves to read books.
Jania is 9. She is soft spoken but also outgoing and silly.
Jarvis is 3. He is ALL boy. He absolutely loves John Cena and never goes anywhere without his wristbands.
They are all very unique personalities but super sweet kids that want to help others and love deeply.
How do you feel your style of mothering is like others?
I feel like I can be strict at times, but also fun and playful. I want my kids to be well mannered and know right from wrong, and I think lots of moms feel like that.
Since we’re focusing on judgment that moms experience, what have you felt judged for?
Like I explained earlier, I adopted my girls. They are my husband’s from a previous relationship. Their mother was not in the picture and hadn’t been for some time when I first met my husband. I bonded with the girls immediately when we first met. It was like they were meant to be mine. I very quickly took on all of the motherly duties such as combing hair, making dinner, planning family activities, etc. At the time, my husband (then boyfriend) was living in Indiana with the girls and I was in Illinois finishing school. I remember staying awake into the middle of the night trying to get school work done so I could have my weekends free to spend with them. Right off the bat people questioned why I did this when I had only known them a short period of time. Why make such a huge sacrifice for kids that weren’t mine? Little did they know one day those kids would be mine and it was worth EVERY sleepless night just to be able to spend uninterrupted time with them. When my husband and I talked about marriage I explained that if everyone was on board (him and the girls), I would like to adopt them. They were on board! So much on board that they packed up and moved to Illinois where life really began for us! At times I felt judged for this decision and I got questions from people such as “are you sure you are ready to jump in and play mommy to those kids?” or “there goes any freedom you ever had”. I think because the girls were not mine biologically people did not understand that I could love them as if there were, but there was never a doubt in my mind that these girls were meant to be mine.
Another situation I felt slightly judged about was my son. I got pregnant with him 2 months before my wedding day. When people found out they made jokes like “oh, they just couldn’t wait until after the wedding” or “bad timing for an accident like this”. Although my son was not “planned” he was not an accident by any means. No the timing was not perfect, but it all worked out and he is perfect. It may not have been my timing, but it was God’s timing and I am so blessed because of it.
How did that make you feel? What was your response to any uncomfortable situations or discussions you’ve been in because of someone judging you (if there have been any)?
The things people would say obviously hurt my feelings in the moment because I loved my girls as if they were my own. My response to uncomfortable questions was “yes, these are my girls. I love them as if I was the one that gave birth to them. I am every bit sure I am ready to be there mom.”
As far as the situation with my son I really just brushed those comments off. I knew my son was not an accident and that although I had not planned it at that time, it was God’s plan and it was a perfect one.
What would you like to tell the world about moms and why it’s important not to judge our choices?
I would like the world to know that being a mom is not all cupcakes and rainbows. It is probably one of the toughest jobs in the world. We not only have to take care of ourselves, but we have tiny humans to look after as well. Not only are we out here trying to be good, honest human beings, but we are trying to raise them as well. Every day we wake up not knowing what the day will bring us. It is important to not judge other moms and their choices because you never know why exactly they made that choice. For them, at the time, it seemed like that right choice, and if we agree or not that is up to us, but we should not judge. I also feel like we all have that element of “hot mess express” in us where we are not really sure what the heck we are doing and so we do the best we can in the moment.
Tell us your biggest joy about raising your kid(s).
My biggest joy about raising my kids is being able to see them grow and develop into these kind, smart, funny people. We laugh and cry, we go on adventures, we learn, and we love. It is the best thing is the world to be a mom!
Thank you, Anne, for sharing your time and darling family with us. Oh my goodness, your kids are so stinking cute! How wonderful they all have you as the devoted mom you are. As you said, it isn’t easy. Got to love the hot mess express!
Want to see more? Head on over to the Moms In Focus Facebook Page – and be sure to follow us along for updates including more moms to come. Yippee!