Mother is one of the most PROMINENT words in the dictionary. No matter where you are from or what language you speak, it is a word that the entire world holds near and dear to their heart.
It's a word that I’m honored and blessed to embrace.
I thank God for the responsibility of being a mother seven times. Yeah, that is not a typo, I said seven times!
Being a mother to all of my children is one of the most important things in my life.
Every mother (and father) has their own morals and ethics that they believe should be instilled into their children. Nobody has the right or wrong answers for this, for the simple fact that every mother is different. Every child and upbringing is different. Personally, as a mother, I believe it’s your responsibility to instill love, spirituality, respect, and humility into your children. That was and still is my main goal for my children. Also with that, I believe mothers and fathers have a duty to love, shelter, and feed their child(ren). I think my husband and I did and are still doing a great job at that! Anything else apart from that, that you give your kids, is a bonus!
Now you have a brief introduction to my underlying thoughts about being a mother, I would like to introduce you to the seven people who have impacted my life for the better. Also known as my children.
5 boys and 2 girls.
Brandon, who was born on October 6, 1989.
Dylan, who was born on December 26, 1991.
Tyler, who was born on August 24, 1994.
Brittany, who was born on September 26, 1998.
Dominique, who was born on August 26, 2004.
Tyylon, who was born on June 26, 2009.
Bryyson, who was born on January 26, 2015.
These seven people changed my life in different ways when each of them was born. People always ask me how did I give birth to seven kids. Even my kids sometimes think I’m crazy for doing so. However, I tell them like I tell everybody else,
“I loved every minute of pregnancy, their births, and them being here with me because they bring me more happiness to my life than I could ever explain.”
As I raised them, the main things that I taught them was to ALWAYS love and support each other. Because I always thought, when you have siblings you don’t need a lot of friends. Especially when you have six of them! But also because blood is thicker than water. No matter what happens in their lives, they will always be connected by blood.
When it was only Brandon, Dylan, and Tyler they were very close. All three boys, close in age and had many of the same interests. What bonded them first was sports. They played basketball full-time, as well as soccer and lacrosse as secondary sports. Through it all, they always supported one another, even at a young age. Jealousy never played a role in our household.
Then came Brittany and Dominique, the two girls. They were practically born into the sports world. With their father coaching the boys, a mother who was their biggest fan, the girls found themselves in the gym during practices and games when they were just weeks old. And of course, they started to play basketball and soccer at a young age. They also took up dancing.
Lastly, Tyylon and Bryyson joined the family. And yup, you guessed it, they were also born into the gym. So they kind of had no choice but to do the same as their older siblings. They took to basketball and soccer naturally, because I think at that point, it became a part of our DNA!
Although we enjoy every second of being in the gym, being in a basketball family takes a lot of love and support within the family. From planning schedules, traveling around North America for tournaments, making sure as a parent you divide the time equally between all the kids, and on top of that, when your husband is the coach and the father, you have to understand the responsibilities that come with it.
My husband and I always promised to push our kids to be the best basketball players they could be, but we never lost sight of being there for them as parents first.
People always ask me “how does your family stay so connected?” As a mother, you know your kids. Sometimes more than they know themselves. The qualities my mother instilled in me, are the same qualities I want to instill in my seven blessings.
We’ve never lived a normal family life. Not because there were seven of us, but because we always had something going on. It's hard to explain in such a condensed version, but let me try and give you a peek into what I mean.
As the kids grew older, it became harder and harder to spend special times together. Whether that was birthdays, graduations, Thanksgiving, you name it. As normal families would have everyone present, for our family, there was always someone missing.
We always lived in Canada, but our kids have lived all over the world because of basketball, so special occasions for us have turned into the times when we were all under the same roof.
Brandon went to University in Washington, and now he travels to America for coaching every now and then. Dylan attended high school and University in America and now is playing professional basketball in Europe. Tyler also attended high school and University in America while also playing professional basketball in the NBA and Europe. Brittany played on a travel basketball team when she played basketball, while she also traveled for soccer and dance competitions. Dominique plays basketball in high school and travels to America every few weeks for tournaments. Tyylon also is on a travel basketball team that does the same. And Bryyson will join a team soon enough, that will travel just as much.
Oh and let’s not forget, my husband, coaches a high school team as well as a travel team that both travel to America every other week.
And for me, I am known as the ultimate sports mom. With seven kids, I could be in Canada, any given state in America, or even in Europe for a week, supporting either one of my children.
So yeah, holidays or birthdays, we were/are lucky to have each other together under one roof. Summertime is the only time in which we can lock in a few weeks together! Summer is ALWAYS! ALWAYS! ALWAYS! the BEST time for our family. That’s when we are all together in our city with the beautiful sunshine, and the well-deserved interaction we all anxiously wait for year round.
Although it may seem like a lot, we have never lost the strong bond we have had as a family because we are doing what we love, and it is what we know. So when we get those few days or weeks together, we made/make the most of it, which always turns out to be the BEST DAYS EVER!
And in between those time, one of the things I made sure of, is that my kids stayed connected. When the three older ones were away at school I always made sure to ask them during our phone conversations “did you speak to your brothers today?” or "have you spoken to your sister lately?"
That was so important to me, and always will be.
As a mother, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my children. I would be lying if I said it was easy. Don’t get me wrong, being a parent is the best thing a woman can ask for, 98% of the time, if she’s ever given the opportunity from GOD. However, there is that 2% that mothers have that's filled with worry, anxiety, and fear that they have for their children. These emotions are there, only because you love your kids so much. They are created inside you as a mother because you just don't ever want something to happen to your children physically, mentally, or emotionally that will hurt them. Also, the changes that come when they start making their own decisions. Just hoping and praying they make the right ones.
However, the comfort that comes with that 2% is that you’ve given your children the understanding and knowledge in which they will use to be the best human beings they can be. As long as you do the best job you can as a parent, they will do the best job they can as your child.
As I grew from a young mom to an older, more mature mom, my thoughts about kids and raising them has evolved tremendously.
In my opinion, to be a good example to your kids, you have to be willing and let them grow. The younger mom in me didn’t see that as clear as I see it now. To TRUST your kids, you have to be willing to let your kids learn on their own.
It starts at a young age. As they grow as children, you grow as a parent.
I’ve always looked forward to the different parts of my children’s lives. The baby stages where you watch them learn “The Firsts”. The young kid stage where you get to see the types of friends they choose. The teenage stage, where they see how far they can go with you. The young adult stage, where they begin finding themselves in the world, and bringing their significant others to the family. And even the adult stage, when they start having their own daily dynamics. By the adult stage, things get most exciting because your children know who they are, fall in love, and start a family that turns you into a grandparent! And from there, you get to watch the process happen all over again with your grandchild!
One thing I could say, speaking for most mothers, is that we always want to be a part of our children’s lives. Some people think, once your children become adults, you stop being a parent.
I say not ever!
Once you become a mother you're a mother for the rest of eternity. Once your children start having their kids, that’s actually when your children will make that real connection with you, in regards to when you sometimes told them no, to things they wanted. They will start to see and understand exactly what it takes to raise a child. Not saying that they don’t appreciate you before they have children, but when they do, they will “get it”.
My family is not perfect. The only thing that is perfect for me, is that I am BLESSED to have given life to seven people in this world, who have shown me as a person, that I’ve done the job GOD asked me to do. And that is to raise, love, and teach the children He has sent me.
Each and every day, Brandon, Dylan, Tyler, Brittany, Dominique, Tyylon, Bryyson, you all INSPIRE me.
I Love You Beyond Words,
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