Heidi was nominated by a friend who says, “I honestly think Heidi enjoys children more than any mom I have ever met. She simply gives them the gift of her time and attention and really enjoys just being at home with her kids. And she is great with other kids, too! Mine love her!”
Heidi says that the thing she works on a lot with her kids is quick obedience. She asks, “Are you going to obey?” If her kids can learn to obey their parents quickly, they’ll obey God quickly, too. And to encourage the little soul who might feel all alone in the ‘obeying department’, she tells her kids, “You have to obey Mommy and Daddy because God tells you to, but guess what? Mommy and Daddy have to obey God! We all have to obey God.”
Heidi tries to consider often, how she would feel if she were the one wearing her kids’ smaller sized shoes. She realizes that her kids are little and helpless, trusting their mom to do what is right and godly and gentle. Heidi wonders, “How would I want to be spoken to, as I’m being disciplined? How would I want someone to hold my hand or listen to me or give me a bath?” She’s convinced that she would want smiles and gentleness and attentiveness. So that’s what she tries to give her kids.
Heidi realizes she can only have this demeanor if God is at work in her life. There are many moments which present a choice. Maybe one of the kids takes a toy from another, or someone is rough in a sword fight, or another is yelling about something. Heidi can choose to respond with patience and love, or in the flesh–yelling at the kids just like they are yelling at each other. In the moments, when Heidi chooses to stay calm and not raise her voice, she finds that the kids more readily tone down, and they can get to work on cleaning up a sinful mess.
They walk through steps of asking forgiveness, forgiving, and praying. It can be exhausting to cycle through this, especially when a child stubbornly repeats the same offenses. But when Heidi gets frustrated and raises her voice, she only adds herself to the number of people who need to ask forgiveness. (And she is careful to ask her kids to forgive her when she has been wrong!)
Heidi remembers being convinced that she could control her kids’ behavior. But at some point in raising her five sweet blessings, she’s come to realize that she can not control them. But she can control her responses. Will she respond immediately to a willful, sinful behavior, or will she sit and continue reading her book? Heidi recognizes that she can’t do any of this by her own strength. She needs God. She prays she and her husband will love, discipline, and disciple their kids well, so that they will grow up to know the Savior.
While Heidi does work a lot with her kids on obeying, she thinks it’s necessary to frame this work with love and simple enjoyment of each other. The majority of her time is spent enjoying her kids. They laugh a lot. They play games. They tickle and wrestle. She hugs and kisses them a lot. They have silly tea parties where she speaks in a funny accent and acts very strict (which the boys love). They go on bike rides and walks and just spend time together.
Heidi loves being with her kids, and chooses to hang out with them, just because she enjoys them! Maybe that sounds funny to some, but if Heidi were to be given the choice between an ‘adults only’ vacation and one with the kids, she and her husband would choose the kids every time.
They love experiencing life with their kids. They often say things like, “Hey, kids. Guess what? I really like you guys! You know what? You’re pretty fun to be with. You’re the best kids ever! Love you.”
Thanks so much to Heidi, for giving us a window into her parenting.
Do you know a mom who is exceptional in some way? Read how to ‘Nominate a Mom’ here.