Marvelous Mothers: Miss Joy

I have had the privilege of knowing…and am related to…Miss Joy for almost 11 years now. She is married to my husband’s younger brother, Eric, and currently has 4 beautiful children. Her oldest Olivia is such a joy to be around and is constantly trying to include everyone. She is also an excellent example to others and strives to always choose the right. Landon is Joy’s second oldest and the only boy. He is SUCH a handsome dude and SO stinkin’ smart. He always seems to have a look of awe on his face like he is constantly taking in his surroundings. Ellie is the third child and she is so full of spunk! She constantly has a smile on her face and is telling everyone like it is. Sara is the baby and she has everyone wrapped around her little finger. She almost always has a sly smile on her face like she knows the secrets of the universe, but won’t tell a soul.

I knew that I immediately wanted to interview Joy when I decided to start this new series. Her husband, Eric, is an Emergency Room doctor and is constantly working obscure hours. While he is an extremely supportive husband, it can be difficult to always be the sounding board Joy may need. Somehow though, the two of them make it work and their family is one of the strongest families I’ve ever observed.

Me: Joy, I’ve known you for a good long while now, it’s like we are family!  I’ve watched you interact with your children and your husband.  My first question for you is what one thing motivates you on the daily to push yourself for your family?

Joy: Kids follow their parents’ examples. I know that if I model a certain behavior, they will have a high chance of doing the same one day. I am far from perfect, but I constantly think of the long-term effects of what I’m doing has on them. That’s what keeps my behavior/example/attitude in check. I also am very religious and work hard to ensure we all make it to the same place after this life, that’s a HUGE motivator!

Me: You are much more than a mother, what other things occupy your busy schedule?

Joy: I am a licensed Cosmetologist doing hair in my home which I absolutely love. It fulfills my social and creative sides. I do a little health coaching and also work with the Young Women’s youth program in our church.

Me: Your husband just finished his last year of medical residency recently, how have you been able to juggle motherhood while being the supportive wife that he has needed?

Joy: Balancing family time vs. my husbands’ work schedule has definitely been a struggle through the years!  I plan as much of the fun, family activities around his schedule as I can so he can be there. We love it when Daddy gets to come! There are times we do our own thing too,  so the kids don’t miss out on experiences when he’s inevitably working or sleeping. I also do my best to have the housework done and organized so he doesn’t need to worry about grocery shopping, meals, laundry, etc…I’m definitely not perfect at it, but it’s a running to-do list on me every day to make life easier for him.  He also works a lot of nights, so I take the kids out for fresh air a lot so he can sleep peacefully.

Me: In the same return, how has your husband, Eric, been supportive of your endeavors?

Joy: Eric has always been super supportive of me, whether it’s switching his schedule to watch the kids so I can do hair, volunteer, or honestly just get out of the house and take care of myself. He’s bought me the tools I’ve wanted to do hair with, but felt too guilty to get for myself. He is also AMAZING at helping around the house with organizing, cleaning, and cooking when I’ve been too busy too. I really lucked out with him!

Joy with her brother and sister

Me: Recently you completed a half marathon with your brother and sister.  I know you have been a runner in the past and good health is important to you.  How do you think this example is helping your family?

Joy: My hope is that they will see an example of how to juggle personal health amongst life’s other demands. My hope is they are raised with healthy movement and eating as a way of life so it isn’t so hard to do when they leave the house one day.

Joy and Eric ice skating with their children

Me: Lastly, I have a double question…what is the one thing that you have to do/have to keep you going through each day?  And what is the one piece of advice that you would give other mothers out there?

Joy: I have to get ready for the day every day. Even if that’s just putting on some makeup if nothing else.  I also have to get my “unwinding” time at the end of the day after the kids are in bed, where I just sit in silence, and a lot of prayer!

Joy: It’s so easy to get caught up in the millions of different opinions people have about parenting. Just do what’s best for you and your family and don’t care less about what others think. There will always be people around you (at the grocery store, the airport, church, etc..) that have harsh, high, (and unrealistic) expectations of kids…don’t try to impress them, or have your kids try to impress them either. Do your own thing. They’re mean anyway. In return, be helpful, not critical, of other moms and kids too. There’s no one right way to perfectly parent children. Just do the best you can. There’s no such thing as normal, and you’re not alone in anything you’re going through and feel.

What is the Marvelous Mothers Series all about? Click here to find out.

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