Today I have the honor of introducing you to the mother of one of best friends from college, Vicki Kloosterhouse. She is known for much more than that and I’m excited for you to learn more about her.
Hello, everyone. Thanks for letting me be a part of ‘#MomWinWednesday.” I chose this photo because of the common connection of mothers around the world. I am the one in the middle in the green top. A friend and I were visiting Cambodian women involved in a maternal health program. No matter where I have gone, from the deserts of Darfur to the streets of Calcutta, I have found women eager to share with and learn from one another, with their number one concern being their children.
I love that and so love and respect your serving heart. You have definitely seen and experienced a lot!
Will you share what other hats you wear in addition to your [big, gigantic, hugely significant] Mom Hat?
The most important one that I wear is the “grandma” hat to three beautiful grandchildren, plus I have adopted another four who do not have a grandmother that lives nearby. I have taught in higher education on three different continents, and I am currently am an author, speaker, and trainer—covering the topics of stress management, leadership, and women’s issues.
[For more information: vickikloosterhouse.com; CourageouslyFreeWomen.com; Go to Facebook and search for Courageously Free Women group and ask to join.]
I love those grandchildren of yours! And I am enjoying being part of your Courageously Free Women group. I love learning from other women like you.
So tell us about your daughter. (I’m pretty biased, but I think she’s pretty great!)
God blessed my husband and me with one child, Kristen, who is now a mother of three. She is a school social worker. Best of all, she and her family only live a few blocks from us. The nice thing about having an adult daughter is that she moves from just being your daughter to being your friend. I am proud of her on so many levels, but let’s be truthful, she gets 3 gold stars because she has given us three beautiful grandchildren. ?
I agree! Looking back at raising Kristen, what one thing took time and perseverance to accomplish?
Our biggest win is raising a child who loves the Lord and is a woman of integrity. Though we can’t take most of the credit for who she is, we did try to walk our talk at home.
When my daughter was a teenager, she didn’t go out a lot on the weekends with other kids. She told me that she didn’t even attempt to go to parties because she knew that I would call to see if the parents were going to be home. This is true; I would have. One of the problems was that we went to church in a different area than her school; many of her school friends did not go to church. Though they were nice kids, their values were different.
It is tough as a parent to set boundaries for your children and stick to them. You want your kids to have fun, but you have to keep asking yourself at what cost.
Even though my girls are only 2 and 4, I already think about the teenage years so thank you for sharing this. Kristen and I have had many conversations about the teenage years and how grateful we are to our parents for the foundation of faith you provided.
What is one thing you would text a mom in the trenches with younger kids?
You are always going to feel guilty about something once you have a child. Ask any woman on any given day, and she can list at least one thing she feels guilty about, ranging from not spending enough quality time with her children to secretly eating the last of her child’s chocolate Easter bunny. Just consider this the Western Woman Syndrome, where somewhere in our subconscious, we think we should be perfect parents with perfect kids. Perfection is not a reality and guilt takes to much emotional space and time—keep trying to give it up.
I would also encourage mothers to read Jennifer Senior’s book, All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood.
So true. I think mom guilt is an a big thing we struggle with. And I know perfectionism is something I have had to work through as well.
Any other words of encouragement for moms?
I just read a book about the neuroscience of relationships. As I read the book, the author kept using the phrase, “if you are a good-enough parent.” I thought what a strange phrase. Then I began to understand why he chose it because there seem to be so many ways as parents we can mess up when it comes to raising our children.
By using the phrase, “if you are a good-enough parent,” he was wisely making the case that children are resilient and if you love them and try to do what is right for your children, it will be good enough.” I Peter 4:8 tells us “love covers over a multitude of sins.” As a mother, I am most thankful for that promise because I was far from a perfect parent.
So when you are feeling guilty and feeling like the worse parent, take a deep breath, give your children a hug, tell them you love them and thank God that you are “good enough.”
Thank you for that breath of fresh air! I am so grateful you shared your wisdom with us today!
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