Welcome back! Today the spotlight is on Ronnita, a woman I have known since I was in second grade! I was her first Sunday School student she continued to be my teacher until I graduated from high school. From the moment I met her, Ronnita was always a trusted adult in my life. She encouraged me in my faith and as I grew into a young woman. Because of her influence in my life, I learned the value of mentorship and investing in others. Ronnita is the first mom I’ve interviewed with adult children and I think she offers some good advice that those of us parenting younger kiddos can learn from.
Tell me about yourself. Who are you? What do you do? How many children do you have?
I am a mother of two adult children (27 & 18). I have been an active servant for God for over 25 years, spending the majority of my service in teaching and leadership development. I currently work as a project manager and a program manager (yes, two jobs), along with volunteering my time on two boards. I have a love for helping and serving others.
How do you define motherhood?
Motherhood to me is all about teaching and nurturing your kids to be the best “them”. Instilling in them God’s love and grace, while also instituting accountability. Motherhood is all about helping your children to understand and walk in their purpose, because when you can walk in your purpose, you will find joy and fulfilment in what you do, even during the tough times.
Describe the stage of motherhood you are currently in.
I am in the “almost” empty nester stage 😀. My daughter just graduated high school and is working so she is pretty much self-sufficient, but still she in the home. I am also a grandmother, so I am able to enjoy the nurturing of the next generation.
What do you enjoy most about this stage?
I enjoy not hauling strollers, diaper bags and helping with homework. I enjoy seeing their independence and a-ha moments from lessons taught.
What is most challenging about this stage?
The most challenging is helping with the raising of my granddaughter because I have to also discipline, when as a grandparent, I just want to spoil her and send her back.
How do you stay connected to your adult children?
My son and I will Facetime at least weekly since he lives out of state. He is in the process of getting married so he will call me when they are looking at locations so I can be a part of it. I see my daughter daily and with her being a momma’s girl she calls me all day long.
What advice do you have for moms raising young boys?
My tip for moms raising young boys is to teach them that it is ok to express their feelings. I would also advise mothers of boys to not make excuses for their sons or allow mistreatment of girls in any fashion. I taught my son to treat girls the way that he would want a man/boy to treat me, his younger sister or his female cousin.
What tips do you have for moms raising young girls?
My tip for moms raising young girls is to validate, validate, validate them! As I work with young girls and now adult women, many of them feel unworthy or not beautiful “enough.” As a mother, especially for a girl, I am intentional on having those hard conversations with her and letting her know that she is heard.
What does self-care look like for you right now?
My self care includes, “sister-time” with my long time friends. I will get my hair done as a way to pamper myself and on occasion, take time away with just myself and a book.
What has had the greatest influence on you as a parent or your parenting style?
My parents were my greatest influencers. My father told me all about God and how to be a godly parent in action and deed, to teach about love, forgiveness and accountability. My mother taught me how to not just be an enforcer of the rules, but how to listen and be supportive, always. As an adult, my mother was my best friend and that has transcended with me and both my kids. I have their respect as their parent, but the understanding and compassion that allows them to tell me anything, knowing that there will be only love and no judgement.
Tell me the most important thing(s) you hope to pass on to your child(ren).
I pray that I pass on the gift of servitude (how to be a servant leader).
Where do you find support as a mom?
I find support through my sisters (long term friends).
What’s one thing you have learned as a mom that you would tell your pre-kid self?
Listen to the lessons that you (my pre-kid self) are learning so that you won’t make the same mistakes.
What’s one piece of advice you want to share with other moms?
Listen to your kids always and don’t be afraid to apologize when you get it wrong.