Have you heard the term going around called “The Mommy Wars?” It’s a real thing and I have definitely experienced it in my life. It essentially boils down to the idea that if you’re doing something different from me, you’re doing it wrong. I think it comes from insecure moms who need validation in their choices from other moms. Unfortunately, there are more choices for moms to make than ever before, therefore creating more opportunity for disagreement.
Today, I want to highlight a mom that is passionate about living her life in a way that breaks down the “mommy wars” and instead of competing with other moms, does nothing but love and support them. I want to talk about Jodi Anton, because when I think of moms supporting other moms, especially in the most practical ways, Jodi is the first person I think of. When I was pregnant with Avi, Jodi didn’t just bring me one meal, which would have been a serious blessing. She was intentional about bringing a meal that could be remade, with all the ingredients she brought me, into a meal for the next day too! It is not uncommon for Jodi to show up at my door bearing treats, which of course are delicious, but more than that her smiling face and the encouragement she brings along with it are the best. The calories, not so much! 😉
A sign of confidence in mothering is being able to build and grow relationships with other moms that have different views than you. Jodi wears her motherhood so confidently that moms of all kinds are drawn to her and always find encouragement, a warm hug, and an offer for her to doula your birth.
Name: Jodi Anton
How long have you been a mom? Ten and a half years!
How many kids do you have? I have four kids here and three more I am waiting to meet in Heaven.
What is your favorite thing abut being a mom?
I love lots about it. My favorites (because I can’t pick just one): I love watching my children grow, develop and learn new things. Witnessing all of those “aha” moments and wondering how they will use all of their discoveries (about the world and themselves) in the future!
I also love spending time with my kids, mostly doing life things side by side, but also playing board games! Can you believe my ego has a hard time losing to them? I mean, how does my five year old out-strategize me at SORRY?!
Finally, I love the snuggles. And if I had to choose only one favorite, that would likely be what I cherish and love the most.
What is something you’ve learned though being a mom?
I think the biggest lesson of all has been humility. Challenging that common thought I would have, before I became a mom, that my kids were going to be the best behaved kids on the planet. And I certainly thought I had all of my stuff together back then. Ha! I have learned since then that I don’t know all the things. I have realized that my way of doing certain things (discipline, education, birth, etc.) isn’t the only ‘right’ way. I have gotten things wrong with my kids (some times multiple times per day) and had to quickly learn how to apologize and make things right. I am learning humility over and over and over.
What has been one of the most difficult things you’ve experienced as a mom?
One of the most difficult things has been watching as one of my daughters fell deeper and deeper into out of control behavior, anger, self-loathing and learning challenges. We tried everything we could thing of, but over the years things got progressively worse. Happy ending is that we finally figured out that the cause was food allergies, but before that the years were hard. Another thing that has been an ongoing struggle (and has been something I experienced on both sides of the above struggle) is facing judgement from others, especially people I love.
Have you surprised yourself in motherhood?
I have. I am sometimes surprised when my own mother comes out of my mouth! In all seriousness though, I think I surprised myself by how much I like my children, and how much I want to spend time with them and connect with them heart to heart.
If you had to repeat one thing in your parenting that your parents did, what would it be?
My mom did a great job of pointing out the good and the best in challenging situations and people. I am sure it has played into my optimistic attitude today, something that is really an asset to me.
What is one encouragement you would love to pass along to a young mom?
I would tell young mothers to take a lot of deep breaths, relax, and prioritize your relationship with God, your husband and your children. Take time to love them, listen to them, and continually get to know them. It’s easy to look around and compare, but the reality is that no one can love your children the way you do, and you are enough.
I am not happy that Jodi had to go through the experience of her daughter’s difficult behavior, but I am very thankful that I was able to learn from it. My daughter had awful night terrors for several years, and I never would have connected that food could cause such extreme behavior. Hearing what Jodi went through and how she was able to make successful changes taught me something new and gave me hope for my situation. I was able to change my daughter’s diet and it has made the night terrors stop!
I’ve talk about community all week, but that is a fantastic example of why community in motherhood is so important. Being able to learn through other’s experiences can be so beneficial. We need to be intentional with the people we surround ourselves with because they have the power to call out the good in us and help us grow into our best selves, or they have the power to hinder our growth by making us feel like we have no idea what is best for our children.
Jodi is one of those people that carries so much joy that you can’t help but want to be around her. She loves her children and family so well and it overflows onto others. Although homemaking has become somewhat of a lost art, Jodi breathes new life into it and welcomes you into her home as family.
Thank you Jodi for taking the time to encourage moms through your experience!
I would love to hear if there are any interesting experiences you’ve have with your kids that have been a surprise to you! Let me know in the comments.