Angelita enjoys all things relating to math, numbers, zumba, dance and working out at the gym. Although her parents moved around a lot while growing up because her father was in the military, she claims St. Louis as her home. Her and husband Tom have been married 20 years and have six girls. Her eldest daughter graduated from high school this week, and her youngest child is five years old.
She met her spouse during her freshman year at Missouri State University. Over a period of ten years, she completed a degree in Business with an emphasis in Accounting from Columbia College through online classes. Being a mom gave her a different perspective about learning, and she found herself enjoying her coursework more as time went on. Once she got her degree, she took on a small part-time job as an accountant/bookkeeper for a local company where she could work from home. Despite all her accomplishments, she feels her greatest work and joy is her family and being a Mom.
I was pretty impressed with meeting Angelita and hearing that she has six girls! I have four and know it is not easy sometimes so I was very interested in getting some advice from this wonder woman in my neighborhood and church group I kept hearing about that had six. Haha! I know the number of children you have in no way raises or lowers one on a scale of motherhood but for the sheer sake of curiosity, I knew I had to ask for her advice!
I really enjoyed having this interview and getting to know her better these last couple of months. Here are some of the pointers that stood out from our discussion. Hope this helps you, too! I have already started applying some of these suggestions more in our family. What excellent advice!
1. Don’t feel guilty about teaching your kids to work and really relying on them to help you. Angelita has three older daughters each about 2 years apart in age and then five years later had three more. With the five year gap the older ones have been old enough to babysit and do a large portion of the work around the house. She felt guilty about this for a while because she was having them do so much all the time, babysitting, changing diapers, doing dishes, cleaning, you name it. None of their friends seem to have to do any work or at least very little. However, her mother helped her to reconcile these feelings and to realize that by teaching them to really work she is giving them one of the greatest gifts she could ever give them for when they are on their own someday. They don’t get paid very often and everyone helps- not just the older kids. (Wow, I love this.)
2. Sometimes you can’t fix things for your kids – they have to do it on their own. We all know life is not all perfect skies and smooth sails, and if we fix everything that goes wrong in our kids’ lives then we are missing opportunities for them to learn. For instance, if they are having problems with friends at school or didn’t make a team, etc. She definitely recommends being sympathetic and giving advice but not fixing the problem. This is hard sometimes because we want to help them, and often it is easier to fix it for them. However if we do this, they won’t know what to do on their own someday. We have to teach them now on the easier problems to build their self-confidence and sense of responsibility for future problems that will come.
3. Be okay with the way you enjoy motherhood. She hasn’t done so many crafts, visits to the park, and playgroups as she did with her older girls, and for a while she felt guilty about it. She now realizes that she is at a different stage of life. She spends more time with her little ones supporting the older kids at their dance competitions, school, or church functions, and that is perfectly fine. The younger ones are still learning a lot and taking in the world as they watch and learn from their older siblings. With a little laugh, she said it helps her to think that they don’t know any different.
4. Angelita’s final point is you just can’t get through motherhood without prayer. She stopped and really looked me in the eye when she said this and then repeated, “Really you can’t.” This touched me, and I know she meant this from her heart. She said this means praying for kids that are having a hard time or often for their protection. Really pouring her heart out in prayer makes a huge difference and gives her strength to do all the things that are asked of her.
Thank you Angelita! What wise words! We love you and appreciate your concern for us and your wise and heartfelt advice. You are an excellent Mom and an example to us all!