Becoming Mom…Meet My Mother-In-Law, Betty

becoming mom
For most of us, at seventeen years old our biggest concerns were forgotten memories within weeks.  For my mother in law Betty, 17 meant she was going to be a mother. I can only imagine all of the feelings that coursed through her during that time, and after she shared her birth story I keep thinking it must have been so overwhelming. But you wouldn’t know that if you sat with her today.  She had her first child at seventeen and worked hard to ensure that he, and all her children had a great life.  
She is probably one of the strongest women I know. To see her now, and with her children, all successful adults with amazing families of their own and to read her birth story, I think that like me, you will feel in awe of her, being only seventeen and giving birth to her first child.
How many children do you have?
4 – Two by birth and two step-children
How old were you when you had your first child?
What was pregnancy like for you?
First child, physically, the whole pregnancy was great. I only had a little morning sickness for the first couple weeks. Emotionally, the beginning was a little rough because of my age. Second child, everything went great. I felt great and enjoyed the pregnancy.
Who helped educate you on pregnancy?
I had three younger siblings so what I learned was from being around my mother. In those days, sex and pregnancies were not really discussed.
Did you take a birthing class?
No such classes at that time.


What was labor like for you?
With my first it was very difficult for me, again because of my age. The only education I had received about labor pains was “it is a pain you will soon forget.” Therefore, I was not prepared, nor did I understand the whole process.
I was really frightened and it felt terrible. I was so difficult during the process that I was eventually given a total block and couldn’t feel anything from the neck down. Hospitals don’t like women who make too much noise.
My second pregnancy and delivery was great. I knew what I was getting into, understand, could handle the pain and my labor was quick. So quick, I delivered naturally with no pain medication.


Where did you give birth?
Hospital in California
What was delivery like?
With my first child, I was very doped up. I could not feel anything. My son was also drugged so he did not cry much.  With my second child, the delivery was smooth and quick. Perfect.
Was your husband/partner in the delivery room?
Not for either birth.
How long did you stay in the hospital?
Three days
Were you happy with your birth?
After my first child, I was happy the pain was over. My second child, I was so pleased how smooth and quickly it happened. I was very happy.


Who helped you?
My mother helped me.
Did your husband take time off?
No, not for either child.
How did you feel postpartum?
My first child, I was depressed about my weight. Second child, no.
Did your doctor give support regarding breastfeeding, postpartum?
I didn’t breast feed (went back to work after two weeks in both cases) and postpartum never came up in any discussions with either doctor.
Where did you find support as a new mother?
My best support was my mother and my younger sister.
What was your biggest challenge being a new mom?
Trying to do everything. After my second child’s birth, it was a challenge taking care of a four-year old and a newborn.
What was your partner’s role?
First child, none. Second child, some help with feeding.
How old were you when you had your last child?



What do you see the biggest difference between raising children today and when you were a new parent? What is better today, what was better then?

When I was a new parent, I didn’t worry about the many things that younger generations seem to worry about. I just trusted that the doctors knew what they were doing. I worried about the simple things – feeding, clothing, keeping them healthy and having fun with them. It was not because I didn’t care, but because I was young and dumb and never thought of things that could go wrong.

It’s always better to know as much as you can and that is what today’s parents have going for them. They have the resources to keep themselves informed so they can make good decisions. Though, I sometimes think this can sometimes cause parents to forget to live for the moment and just enjoy their children.

Within the realms of society what were your biggest concerns for your children?
Getting a good education and being happy.
 Best advice given to you when you became a mom?
Don’t sweat about the little things (hair styles, clothes, etc.). Worry about the big things (grades, drugs, etc.)
Best advice you can give to new moms?
You know your children best. Advice from other people is nice but they are your children. Love them and enjoy them.
What was/is the greatest joy in being a mother?
When the children were young – it was seeing them successfully interact with other children and adults in all types of activities.   Now that my children are adults – it is seeing them with their children and how much everyone loves each other.
What do you know about your birth?
I was born in Elko, Nevada, because my hometown, Carlin, Nevada, was so small it didn’t have a hospital. My mother’s pregnancy was not a smooth one. I was born on my sister’s birthday exactly two years later.

Top Toys Age 2

Top Ten Toys for Two Year Olds (1)

Twice a year(birthday and Christmas), I try to thin out the crowd of toys that currently we have to make some room for the new ones.  It is a job that actually makes me a bit sad, saying good-bye to these toys.  It is just another reminder of how fast this is going, as they seem to be rapidly moving on to “big” kid toys.

This past year was the year of self play and imagination. They spend their days creating games and scenarios and it is bliss to watch. Here is a list of the best toys that got us from age 2 to age 3.


  1. KaZam Balance Bike. ($60)This by far was the best gift.  My boys use their bikes almost every day.  It is easy to understand why.  We all remember the joy and freedom that riding our bikes brought us when we were kids.  It is the same for toddlers.  Their imagination has exploded with these bikes.  They pretend to be ambulances, construction trucks, motorcycles, they pretend they are going to work, the store, the airport on their bikes and it is so amazing to watch.  Even more incredible is how quickly they learned to balance on them.  We literally have to run beside them now when we take them around the neighborhood.
  2. Hot Wheels.  ($2.99)This is pretty self-explanatory, I mean they have been around FOREVER!  But I still had to add them because it is the first toy the boys play with every morning when they wake up. They, along with their bikes, are the toys that have really ignited their imagination.  Their cars have conversations, have names and live all over the world.
  3. Lawnmowers. ($24.99) This is probably our favorite yard toy.  They are obsessed with pretending to be gardeners and the lawnmowers turn that dream into a reality.kidskillcoolness
  4. Trucks, Truck, Trucks. ($15.00) CAT Tough Track Construction trucks are the best.  They are mini versions of the real thing and my boys spend days on end playing in the dirt in our yard.
  5. Books.  I am so thankful the boys love reading.  They will sit with us for an hour as we read to them, but they will also sit on their own and read their books.  A contender for their favorite is Richard Scarry’s Car’s Trucks & Things That Go, but there are so many others they love too. (Check out my Pinterest page for some of our favorites).
  6. Jake and The Neverland Ride on Boats ($26) – They got these on their first birthday and are still using them.  What was once used as a tool for walking, has turned into a pirate ship, fork lift, taxi and many other means of transportation.  I often ask them to be delivery men and help me deliver items to the rooms which they belong.  A win/win for all.kidskillcoolness
  7. The Big Ball. ($3) – The huge brightly colored balls you see in the grocery store, that every kid loves to bounce.  They love to roll all over them, kick them, throw them.  A great $3 investment.
  8. Melissa and Doug Beginner Pattern Blocks ($17) The boys will spend a half hour playing with this puzzle.  It has bright designs, a neat storage container (which is needed with puzzles) and what really helped them learn their shapes.
  9. Duktig Tool Box IKea ($8) – My mom wanted to get the boys something small one time when we were out and this has become a staple toy in our house.  They fix everything and anything. With these tools they pretend to be tree cutters, mechanics, construction workers, and so much more.
  10. Personalized Super Hero Capes –  Etsy. Etsy. Etsy.  Seriously, where would we be without Etsy? Adding a cape to your daily outfit gives anyone an extra boost and the belief they can fly.



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