I've known Alyson since way back in the day when we were both single. Although I stayed that way for considerably longer than she did!
However we were both pregnant with our 3rd child at the same time and they are only a few weeks apart.
Alyson is honest and warm and has a wicked sense of humor! She is civic minded and intelligent and wants the world (school, community, neighborhood, government) to be a better, more responsible, positive place for her kids.
1. Tell us about yourself!
I am a 37 year old mother of 3 challenging yet beautiful boys. They are, as of right now 11, 9, and 3. I have summer babies so very soon they will be 12, 10, and 4. It seems I am only fertile between september and december. Maybe that was too much information. Oh well.
I have been married to my supportive Husband for 13 years. I am a "stay at home mum" who does some property managing on the side. It doesn't bring a whole lot in but its something, which is better than nothing.
I want to have my own business but I haven't quite found out what I like doing. I am practically interested in everything and find that the joy of doing something is taken away when I get paid for it, then it becomes a job. This really makes it hard to have your own business that you can make money at.
My husband and I decided to try to have kids almost 3 months after we got married. I wanted 4. I also secretly wanted an army of girls to dress up. I grew up in a house of 5 girls and that was all I knew. So glad Heavenly Father knew what I could handle. I got some really good boys and am content with my 3. They say that 3 is the new 10, so I guess Jen made it. Besides with inflation it costs about the same.
2. What were your expectations of motherhood before you had kids?
Its strange how we are so ready to give up our lives for these little ones and yet it isn't. My ideas of what motherhood would be like were only partially shrouded in romantic mist. I new I wanted to play at the park and hug them and tickle, but the real stuff day to day, I never dreamed about. I was confident in my ability to do those things as I was the oldest in the family and baby-sat a lot. But its different when its all on you. Baby sitting is only for a few hours in a week. I was surprised at the stamina it required.
I remember with my first I was so afraid that something bad would happen and I would be a bad mom. It got to the point that I didn't take a shower until my husband got home (for the first 5 months) What if I didn't hear him crying?
3. What has been(was) your biggest surprise about Motherhood? (different than you expected? or wish someone had told you?)
My biggest surprise... hmmm, how tired I was. Maybe that wasn't the biggest, but it was a huge factor. I was also surprised at how much I could function on so little sleep.
I also thought in order to be a good mother I had to do it on my own. My husband could help because he was the dad, but others no way. I thought that leaving my son with somebody would be an imposition and people would hate me if I bothered them. I still get that way even with play dates and I don't know where that comes from because its completely ridiculous. It wasn't until this past spring break that I realized my kids don't want to "hang out" with me all the time. So I'm trying to make plans for the summer, but that requires money ugh.
4. Biggest joy?
I love, Love, LOVE!!! when people tell me my kids are great boys. I also love it when they learn something new and accomplish something that they worked so hard on, but my best joy is when they make life decisions all on their own and learn truths all on their own. I'm sorry I cannot be more specific than that. Its not mine to share.
5. Best wish for your children?
I want what any mother wants, I want them to have a well adjusted life with nothing wrong ever happening, but I know that is unrealistic and silly.
I often think of that scene in Finding Nemo, where Dory is talking to Marlin and she says something like, if you wish for nothing to happen to them nothing will.
We don't learn when everything is hunky dory (there she is again) we learn when things don't go our way.
So I guess what I wish for them is Happiness. I want love to find them and for them to have children of their own and be the most excellent parents possible, but sometimes that isn't possible. What you can really control is if you are happy. Its a choice so I hope they choose to be happy.
6. How do you find time for yourself/what do you do?
This is often my hardest thing to do. Balance is so hard to find especially when your husband is a Bishop as well as the bread winner. School, house, shopping, holidays all fall on me and it can be so time consuming that I find myself coping with a chocolate bar (or two) and a fizzy caffeinated beverage. I hate that I do that. I am trying to cut back on the treats to 2 days a week and then one. I am trying to find time for myself. I took up running, on saturdays, but lately life has been encroaching on that time too. I guess I need to just get up earlier.
I also have to remind myself that there is a Time and a Season for everything. I have a little one at home. I should focus on what I need to do now and can put some of those AWSOME and personally consuming projects till he is in school. I need to teach these guys how to be humans and good ones at that so sharing responsibilities is my next plan. We'll see how that goes. No one likes change except the one implementing it.
7. What do you wish you had more of? Less of?
That's easy. I wish I had more time so that they could get all thing things done like home work and practicing and then have time for fun. My eldest has shown an interest in sports.
My middle child is somewhat of the dramatic and I would like to put him in something that would foster his powers for good.My third, is good at everything and very energetic. I want to find out just how awesome he can be, but evenings are already full. FULL I TELL YOU!
But really that is a moot point as they all require funds and a second vehicle. So I guess I want more time, money and a car.
What I want less of? That's easy too. I want Less stuff. The clutter can be so mentally stifling. I want a space for everything and everything in its space. I want the WORLD to know that making things that breakdown after a week might be "good for the economy" but it is debilitating when one is trying to get organized and is saving money to purchase a home of their own. The constant accumulation of stuff is ridiculous. The crazy thing is we don't really have that much.
8. What do you hope your kids learn from you?
Hmmm...I can tell you what I hope they don't learn. I guess I hope they learn not to be selfish. I hope they learn to be kind and helpful. I hope I can teach them to be self sufficient and reliable. I also want them to like themselves.
9. What are some of the best things you learned from your own mother?
I learned how to pray. I also learned how to serve other people. I learned how to cook and a learned how to sew and do laundry. I also learned that sometimes we do things we don't want to because its good for us and those we love.