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Monday, May 3, 2010

Time Out for Women - Spokane, WA 2010 - Linda Eyre & Shawni Eyre Pothier

This last weekend I had the opportunity to go to a "LDS Women Convention" of sorts, called Time Out for Women.  It's the fourth one I've been to.  It's meant to give all of us women folk (LDS and not alike) a chance to get away for a couple of days and enjoy some spiritual upliftment.

Unfortunately, I don't know that I was as uplifted as I normally am.  It seemed like a big focus of things said was on Infertility.  It might have been just because of my own experiences.  Perhaps also due to the fact that my sister-in-law, who was there with us and is a photographer, was on call for a photo shoot with the group called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.  Either way, anytime infertility was brought up, I wanted to burst into tears.  I came away feeling discouraged and emotional drawn to my limits.  On the way home, I let go of the tears that I had been holding back.

When, I got home, I wanted to share with Ty the notes I had made from Saturday and afterward I felt like I could look back and think of something better.  I'm really glad I did take notes so that these would be the things I took away, not the negative.  I'd like to share what I learned from Saturday.  I'll be breaking it up over the space of the week since there were five speakers and I'd like to dedicate enough space and time to each of them.  I didn't get any pictures because the batteries in my camera died.  :(  All the pictures are from the Time Out for Women website.

Linda Eyre & Shawni Eyre Pothier:  A mother-daughter team who talked about success tips of motherhood they learned along the way.

1)  Be your own kind of Best Mom.

Linda told a story of when she was at a conference or meeting where they were talking about how to deal with children (or something like that).  There was a guy there who was, as she put it, "a city-slicker type".  Kind of upity and thought a lot of himself.  He kept making comments like, "My son, who is the valedictorian...." or "My daughter, who was the homecoming queen...." and so on.  They were getting so frustrated and were like, "Stop telling us about your perfect children."  Then there was this homelier man who was a farmer in his overalls, and he stood up and said to this guy, "God must not have thought much of you as a parent to send you all them perfect kids."

I loved that!  God must think you are a good parent if he sent you children that aren't easy.  Haha.  She suggested that if you do have kids that are easy, then maybe go to your Relief Society President and ask for a hard calling.  But isn't that thought comforting.  We've all heard the saying, "Heavenly Father doesn't give us any more than we can handle", but this just seems like more to it.  I'm not there yet, but I can imagine that if our kids (or even just the girls) are anything like me....we're in trouble.  However, our Heavenly Father knows that I'm a good parent and that I'll be able to handle it.  Yay!

2)  Have an infrastructure.

Have a family Mission Statement
-Make it simple and try to put actions to it.
Let them be secure with themselves and feel apart of something bigger.

An example was Shawni's family:

LEARN
WORK
SERVE
RESPECT

3)  Give Ownership.
-Goals:  Has to be the kids idea
-Arguments

Linda shared that with her children, they had this bench that was rickety and uncomfortable and they called it the "Repenting Bench".  When someone got in trouble they were put on the bench and they had to sit there until they could tell their mom and dad what it was that they did wrong.  Once they recognized what they did, they had to apologize to the person they wronged, asked for forgiveness, and told them they would try not to do it again (sincerely of course).  Essentially, they were teaching their children the steps to Repentance from a young age.  Shawni shared that it's still a practice that her family, as well as her siblings, carry out in their families, except they might use the stairs or something like that.

4) Formalize Family Traditions.
-They help glue the family together.

A few things they shared were birthday traditions.  Each person got to do one thing EVERY year on their birthday.  For instance, one of the girls has a birthday in the summer and so for her birthday she has a floating cake.  They take the cake to the lake or a pool and put it on a flotation device of some kind and she blows out the candles.  When she was away from home she did it the bath tub.  Simple, but it's fun and they do it every year.

Another tradition they have is Family Testimony Meeting each Fast and Testimony Sunday when they got home from church.  *Not to be done at the dinner table before or during the meal.*  They would each go around and share their testimonies, but made sure to ask them, "Please tell us how you feel about the Savior."  I love this idea and hope to try it in our family.

5)  Teach Kids to Work.

We live in a world where kids are given the things they want without much effort on their part.  Shawni gave the example of her son learning to ride a bike and her husband made sure he stayed with it until he met his goal.  She said, "Make sure kids do things that are a little bit hard, so they can understand how to work.

They also gave the 3 P's to Work:
-Print
-Patience
- Persistence

Print:  This is actually something Ty and I do.  I use a site called chorebuster.net and it will assign chores to each person each week based on what you rated the difficulty level, when it needs to be done, and an option to assign it to a specific person.  It also has the availability to assign a reward or payment to each chore.  The point of this is so they can see it and they know what chores are assigned to them.

Patience:  Kids will take time to learn work skills, so be patient.  Shawni shared that she has a daughter who is eight and one of her jobs is to clean the playroom.  Only a month ago did she finally get it all right.  Take the time to teach them what to do, but don't get frustrated if they don't do it perfect.

Persistence:  DON'T GIVE UP!  It does take time, but eventually they will learn.

The last thought I got from them was:
"Do things in Holiness/ with Holiness in mind."

When you talk or help someone (including your children),  look at them the way the Savior does.  It will change everything.

Linda shared that her mother-in-law is 88 years old and is really ready and willing to go, and anxious to get things done before then.  She will even call out to her husband to come and take her.  This is a hard thing to hear someone so anxious to leave and to go.  She decided to take on this new attitude of having Holiness in mind and it was so much different with her mother-in-law.  She helped her with Family History and that brought them closer, as well as other things.  

It just reminded me that I need to take on a better attitude when I do things.

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