Today we welcome one of our readers, Virginia Forste, to our “Moms in Progress” feature!
Hi everyone! I’m excited to be with you all today. Here’s our family photo session, 2018. It only takes 212 tries to get everyone smiling and looking at the same direction!
Only 212? ? Family photos sessions exhaust me just thinking about them. But obviously yours was all worth it because this is a great pic! Now tell us a little bit about your family.
My husband, Robbie and I celebrated our 11th anniversary in June. We have a 4-year old son named Cole and a 3-year old daughter named Hannah. Having children 21 months apart is great; a lot of the time they play well together. Part of the time they enjoy “physical disagreements.” My son is silly, sweet, athletic and adventurous. My daughter is very attached to mama which I thoroughly enjoy most of the time; have you ever tried to tie your shoes while someone sits in your lap? ? Besides being a true mama’s girl, my daughter is silly, helpful and curious. In other words, life can be quite chaotic or it can be an absolute joy. My daughter admires my son greatly and therefore knows a lot more about construction and transportation vehicles than I did, until I actually learned about them alongside him when he turned two. Hannah is not opposed to princess-y things and I am willingly brainwashing her with multiple things Disney. I know they are not perfect; I have more than a few stories as proof, but I am choosing to dwell on the positives. I can only imagine the comments they’ll make about me in the future. Oh boy.
Haha! Well, you’re one smart lady for dwelling on the positives!
So tell us, do you wear any other hats in addition to your [big, gigantic, hugely significant] mom hat?
No, right now I’m in the season of “just Mom.” I do casually sell Plexus wellness products. I no longer bug my friends but I am happy to share. I joined the company because I had a lot of digestive issues and they have greatly improved that situation.
That’s good to hear. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Plexus!
So I love asking other moms this question: What is your current favorite book, podcast, or blog?
I recently read and recommend To Love, Honor and Vacuum by Sheila Gregoire. Any book or YouTube video by Jon Acuff is entertaining (check out “Booty God Booty”); I can relate to his appreciation of 90s R&B, and although he takes Jesus seriously, he does not take Christian living seriously. I listen to Andy Stanley’s Northpoint Church sermons on a regular basis.
I’ve been thinking about reading that book! So thanks for the recommendation! All good stuff.
What is your favorite mom product?
I found a visor hat (Amazon, of course) that has an enormous brim which is great for any outdoor adventure. It’s comically large, but I’m not embarrassed. After all, I’d hate for it to detract from my fanny pack. Don’t let the random company name dissuade you. I wear this thing all the time. Go for it, be wild. No sunburn on your nose!
I love it!! Stuff moms need to survive!
Next question: What is the last thing you made for dinner?
My creativity disappears by dinnertime. Last night I prepared a personal pizza, four chicken nuggets and baked apples and they shared it all.
P.S. Have you used an air fryer? Best invention ever!
No! But I want to! Adding it to my Christmas list now.
Here’s a little deeper question: Share a recent experience that has challenged your mothering.
My son challenges me daily. It’s just funny to say out loud but when you are mothering, raising a human, there are so many areas to train up. So I am trying to change language that we do not say in our home that he repeats from a friend at school, and then minutes later, I’m trying to teach him what to do when he is angry without hitting his sister, and then after that to say “please” and “thank you.” If only I could work on one thing at a time. This is why I have to tell the pediatrician that I only brush my child’s teeth once per day (eh hem…most days…).
Right!?! There is only SO much time in one day. I hear ya, girl.
In light of this challenge, what is a victory (small or large) that you could share to encourage other moms who are doing the same thing?
What I can share are resources that are helping me. I enjoy reading, so there are many books I can recommend, like How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber (more resources listed at the bottom of this post). But my real interest is in true crime and psychology. I read so that I can use psychological techniques on my children so that my days do not turn into a true crime.
I believe empathy is a key need of all human beings. If you can’t give at least one utterance of “I’ve been there” or “Oh, that sounds really tough” or “I have felt that way too” to someone else, then understand your relationships will most likely lack depth. You don’t have to pour out your soul and confess your worst sin, but we all want to be reassured we are not alone.
So true. I definitely like hearing that I’m not the only one in a certain situation. And that’s a good tip for moms who may be wondering why their friendships are lacking something. It takes a bit of vulnerability.
OK, now my favorite question: What is the funniest thing your kids have said or done recently?
About a few months ago, after I finished the dishes I went upstairs to check on my children. It was that mischief-making quiet. I opened the bathroom door and they had diaper cream all over their faces and the bathroom. I was so furious. My son said, “We’re zombies!” I wonder, will he be a makeup artist in the future? Thankfully, my husband later complimented him on his creativity. This is why two parents are required; hopefully they aren’t going to be full of rage at the same time.
YES! That is the hope.? Love it. I hope you took pictures.
Do you have any general words of encouragement for other moms in the trenches like you?
When you are so angry that homicide starts to look appealing, it’s time to lock yourself in the bathroom and text your friends. Accept the encouragement and don’t beat yourself up; that helps no one. Remember we all will have highs and lows, even those moms who appear to have it all together. They’re probably drinking wine or inhaling Nutella in the kitchen during naptime and texting their friends too. I watch silly Saturday Night Live videos. Do what works for you; tension is bad for your relationships and your health.
Oh…You make me laugh! But this is so true!!!
One final big question: What has God been teaching you in motherhood or in life?
God has opened my eyes that I have little power and that I must rely on Him for parenting advice and everything else. It’s funny because we moms hear messages all day long, whether from media, family or our own brains. I even tell strangers how to judge me! You should be able to control your children. You should be able to keep the house clean and your family fed during the course of an entire day. You should take care of yourself; put down that coffee cake and exercise! You should be doing daily devotions with your children. You should date your husband once a week. Essentially we are telling ourselves we must be perfect in all facets of life at all times as each small message is reinforced by a sermon we hear or a random comment by a well-meaning friend or family member.
I enjoy watching Dr. Oz. I certainly am interested in hearing “the three herbal supplements that will boost my energy or weight loss!” However, if you applied every bit of advice from each Dr. Oz show, I doubt you would have time to do anything else!
Oh my gosh, yes!! You just can’t do it all. I think many women feel overwhelmed by all the “advice” they see and hear.
You just can’t listen to it all, and more importantly, shouldn’t try to do all of that at the same time.
I am also learning I need to prioritize my parenting. God has brought it to my attention that I need to learn how to deal with own anger in order to teach one of my children how to manage his or her emotions. My son is four; I have had a good run of thinking I was in control of my kids. I’m not throwing my hands up and giving up. I am finally destroying any notions that I am 100% responsible for how these children turn out. In one emotional moment last week, I raised up my children in my head and handed them over to Him. It’s a relief actually. Initially I felt like I had failed, but it’s a smarter choice to turn someone very important and special over to Someone who is all-powerful and all-knowing. God says to each mom, That job I gave you is really tough and I do not expect you to do it alone. Let me help; I’m right here.
Such good words to focus on tonight. We have that ever-present Help waiting for us to reach out. Thank you, Virginia, for sharing with us!