We inadvertently become researchers of life and motherhood when we study our own as well as other mothers’ experiences and journeys.
This is the concept behind our monthly Faces of Mothers’ Center series featuring interviews with different Mothers’ Center members across the nation.
Today we introduce you to Jenny Norgard, a member of the Mothers’ Center of Fort Collins in Colorado. Jenny first became involved with the group through their successful babysitting coop where she became very connected to other members, eventually leading to additional group involvement. With a majority of relatives living out-of-state, she now considers the Mothers’ Center of Fort Collins her “second family.”
Jenny describes herself as a determined, considerate and involved person that’s passionate about her garden.
“There’s something about growing your own food that is so fulfilling!” she recalls. “I remember watching my first plants grow and being so amazed that I could just put a seed in the ground and water it to produce food for my family…”
Let’s take a few minutes to find out how Jenny grows not just food, but also a loving family…
Q: What is one of your favorite memories as a parent?
A: My best parenting memories are napping with my warm snugly babies—nothing compares!
Q: What is one of your biggest challenges as a parent?
A: Trying to not be too overprotective is such a hardship for me. Every time I see my children sad, it breaks my heart. I have to constantly remind myself that they need the sad experiences (along with the positive ones) to grow and learn.
Q: What are some of your hobbies, and interests?
A: I love to create. My creative outlets include: cooking, painting, crocheting, sewing and quilting. My newest interest is creating my own cleaning and body care products. Additionally, physical activity is an important part of my life. Volleyball will always be my number one sporting activity, however since moving to Colorado hiking has become a favorite pastime for our entire family. We live in a beautiful state and we can’t take in enough of it!
Q: How do you typically deal with transition? Did becoming a parent follow this pattern?
A: Normally, I leap in to change. However, when I became a stay-at-home mom it was such a huge transition for me. As a new mother I initially was employed part-time, but eventually (when my oldest son turned 18 months) I began staying home full-time. The gradual change from full-time employment outside the home (pre-motherhood), to part-time outside employment (after motherhood), to ultimately full-time caregiving, was a very different type of transition for me. Through the experience I learned that my own first impressions can sometimes be wrong and that given time, change often gets better.
Q: Speaking of change, in what ways has having children changed you?
A: I think the most noticeable ways I’ve changed are in the areas of patience, stress and multitasking. It is so difficult to stress me out or test my patience after having three children.
“I think our house could be on fire and I’d calmly say,
‘Ok, I’ll take care of it in a second.’”
This all ties in with multitasking—as parents, we are all juggling so many things at once, our abilities to multitask are pretty amazing!
Q: Tell us about a parenting challenge you’ve successfully met head on—in spite of your own fear or anxiety.
A: My son had an opportunity to attend a great school/therapy program when he was 2 1/2 years old. It was 30 hours a week—which I felt was really intense for a child that young. Because my son had developmental delays, I knew that early intervention was crucial, but it was very difficult for me to admit that he needed to be gone that many hours in order for the therapy to be successful.
I faced this challenge with the support of my family and friends—who made it so much more bearable. Now, I can’t imagine our lives had we not made this choice. My son, once at a 1-year-old developmental level at age 2 1/2, is now 6 and on par with his peers in every aspect.
I think most parents eventually learn to make selfless choices for the betterment of our children, it’s what we (quite possibly unknowingly, but nonetheless) signed up for, right?
Thank you Jenny for your honest responses and for sharing with us your personal feelings on family, motherhood and life transitions.
Leave a Comment: Please help us give a warm welcome to Jenny Norgard. Do you relate with any of her struggles and successes in motherhood? Let us know in the comments section below!