Maryanne's mom and dad together are her biggest influence! "They raised ten children in eight different countries. Through it all, they have always put family first and are excellent examples of focusing on what truly matters in life." One of her favorite family traditions is to go on family walks.
Maryanne has been blogging at Mama Smiles =) since the end of October 2008 where she shares everything from crafts to creative play to education and much, much more. Her blog is an all-around family fun blog! I encourage you to check it out for yourself! You can also connect with Maryanne via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Here are a couple questions before we get to the 10 super questions:
What's your parenting style?
My parenting philosophy is that kids who have something good to do with their time stay out of trouble - and so far it works pretty well! We do a lot of craft activities and hands-on learning. I'm hoping to get my kids involved in more service-oriented activities as they grow older.
Do you and your partner have the same dicipline styles?
How are they the same/different?
We are different, but our styles provide a nice balance for our kids. We have some fundamental family rules - be kind to others and choose positive, educational activities - that provide the underlying structure. The kids understand that if they're home with me they're more likely to be allowed to make a big creative mess - and if dad's playing with them they're more likely to eat ice cream or find funny videos on youtube!
10 Super Questions:
1. How is your family traditional? How is it untraditional? My family is traditional in that I stay home full-time and my husband works full-time. It's modern in that I have a doctoral degree, and my husband is extremely hands-on with the kids when he is home.
2. Does your actual parenting style differ from what you thought it would be before you had children? If so, how? I thought I would have my kids more involved in extracurriculars. Modern life seems so hectic that my focus has shifted to making sure they have the time for free play I so enjoyed as a young child.
3. What was the best mothering advice you ever received and who gave it to you? "Do what you think is best for your family." - from my parents
4. What was the most surprising thing you learned in the first year? It's hard to keep a baby fed! From working out breastfeeding to starting solids, I was amazed at how much effort and time feeding a young child required!
5. Has your view of the world changed since you became a parent? If so, how? My views haven't changed, but I think in terms of the next generation a lot more than I did before becoming a parent!
6. What is something that you have learned about yourself since becoming a parent? Before becoming a parent, I was very into doing everything very quickly and efficiently. As a mom, I've learned to value living in the moment, even if it means I get a lot less done!
7. What about your child(ren) reminds you of yourself? My 6yo shares my love of crafting and fabric! My 4yo has my hair and shares my intense aversion to violence. My 3yo has my eyes and loves being charming - a trait I shared at her age! The baby is #4 - just like me! She's so brand-new that we are just beginning to get acquainted :)
10. What annoys you most about other mothers? Mommy wars. I try to focus on supporting other moms, and to stay out of the drama.
Thank you so much, Maryanne! I am delighted to get to know you better, and I really enjoyed your honest and insightful answers.