Black Hills Woman Magazine | Mom of the Moment

Paula Foster
Mom of the Moment

Occupation: Graphic Design

Children: Merrik 9yrs, Peyton 6yrs

Age: 34

What is the hardest part about being a mother?
My kids have chores which range from cleaning rooms, dishes, helping with laundry, and cleaning up after our two Chihuahuas. Often they help without issues. There are those times, however, when they just refuse. I try to remember that they too get burned out or overwhelmed, even when it adds to my struggle to keep the house clean and organized. For instance, putting homework back in their backpack or toys away after they are done are impossible tasks for them, although to me it makes perfect sense.

What is the best part about being a mother?
There are times when I feel like I fail at everything, maybe it’s after a hard day or when kids fight over everything. But when the boys give a big hug and say, “I love you” that reminds me that I have everything I need right here and I am doing something right.

Tell us your favorite story about one of your kids.
One day two summers ago, Peyton wanted to go outside and play tennis but it was raining. Being the mom who rarely lets her kids play video games that aren’t educational, I decided to let the boys play Wii Tennis so they could at least be active. Merrik, wanting to show how smart he was, informed Peyton that “it’s not real life.”

Peyton became defensive, “No, this is real life! Like out here.” As he is gesturing to everything around him. “The game is fake!” This fight went on for a while, but little did they know that they were both making the same argument. Sadly, a lot of fights go on between the two because of poor communication.

What is your favorite time-saver?
The crock pot. Being able to throw dinner in a pot in the morning and let it cook all day and be ready for dinner, helps free up time to assist kids with homework, listen to them tell stories about their day, and work on picking up after the kids – although, it never appears that I do.

What is your favorite sanity-saver?
My husband and an occasional good stiff drink. When stress has me to the near-breaking point, he is very good at stepping in and helping out. When that doesn’t cut it, a nice glass of Coke and rum takes the edge off and helps me to unwind and take on the world – metaphorically speaking.

What is your philosophy on discipline?
Pick your battles. I am neither overly strict nor extremely lenient when it comes to my kids. I cannot say that I am consistent either. Discipline in my house goes from time outs, grounding, or having things taken away depending on the cause of the trouble. However, depending on the day that the kids are having or when they are being extremely disobedient, I will give the kids a long hug instead of giving out a punishment. It seems to melt their stresses away and helps them revert back to better behavior.

What is your favorite local family place?
The outdoors – kicking back in nature: whether it is having a picnic, time to let the boys run, a hike or just getting fresh air, it helps us all remove the stresses brought on by school or work, and helps us to avoid conflict.

What is your favorite parenting must-have?
A supportive partner, whether it’s a husband, friend, parent, someone who will step in in a pinch and support your decisions. Some couples I know, one parent is the one who enforces discipline and the other undermines the decision. I see this confuse the kids who lose respect for the parent who is trying to keep order – or get them to eat their dinner. Having someone who will support your decisions is an absolute must.

Name a time when you felt like a parenting genius.
I question myself on whether we are raising our kids to be honest, kind and respectable men as they are often terrors when around us. But when I talk to other parents who see my kids when I am not around, they often tell me how polite and kind they are – it surprises me every time. Recently, one mother informed me that if Merrik wants to talk with a friend or show his friend’s sister something, that he asks permission first before doing it. That makes me one proud mama!

I could have won the worst mother award when...
It was one day in late September, after Merrik’s 5th birthday and he was extremely upset that his birthday was over. I tried to cheer him up by reminding him that Christmas is right around the corner and that Santa will bring gifts to good boys and girls. Instead of cheering him up, he became even more upset. When I was confused as to why that made him more upset, he proceeded to tell me that he won’t get anything from Santa as he is a naughty kid. It broke my heart and realized that I had to do more positive reinforcing with my kids.

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