Arianne is a mom to two and step-mom to four! She was a single *boy mom* that met the man of her dreams and is now a blended family of eight. She talks about the achievements she has had from not only raising her boys, but from being a step mother as well. She goes into combining the two families and the challenges and success (and love) that comes along with it. She deserves the mom of fame title.
Please show Arianne some momfaming love!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
I’m 33-years old and live in the small town of Morenci, Az. I am currently a full-time online college student with Grand Canyon University. As of August 2019, just made my University President’s List for maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
Until 3 years ago I was a single mom raising two boys to become men. Then I met my current fiancé and now combined we have 6 children total, 3 boys and 3 girls. All from ages 12-years old to 4-years old.
My life is fulfilled for the first time in my life, everything seems to be coming together. I’m achieving things I never thought I could possibly do. Someone helping me mold my sons and having daughters of my own.
What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?
Motherhood is one of the most difficult jobs, yet one of the most rewarding jobs. It’s one of those blessings that come during the most difficult storms of your own, and your biggest achievement you could ever see is when you realize the young ladies and boys that you have raised and the people they become. To not be afraid to raise them by rules, and it’s ok to be the bad guy; that is your job because they will teach them to be great citizens. Not to baby them, and to allow them to stand on their own feet and use their voice.
At first as a new single mom I didn’t take the advice about not babying them, and about not standing over them and trying to do everything for my two sons. This was something I learned as they got older. It was extremely hard to break because they wouldn’t apply themselves and if something was hard, they wouldn’t want to do it.
Advice I would give is allow your children to learn how to use their own voice in a respectful manner. If something is happening at school that is bothering them, they need to tell a member of the school staff. They need to not be afraid to be honest and talk to someone that will teach them how to understand what having a voice truly means. Also, allow them to try new things. If they are three and want to try and make their own chocolate milk then let them, let them start to explore and remember they are learning by watching you.
How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?
I thought Motherhood would be easy. That it’s a natural way of life. Motherhood is far from that! It’s a constant learning experience and constantly is teaching you more about yourself as a woman and mother.
Motherhood changes you and that’s something I never thought I would do. I thought I was secure in who I was, but becoming a mother taught me more about my own strengths and weaknesses that I didn’t know I had.
What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?
1. Patience has become one of my biggest strengths when it comes to their bad days, or teaching them how to cook. Patience and being patient with them during homework and life lessons.
2. Listening to them. When I learned to listen to my children my relationship with them got stronger. Showing that their feelings do matter.
3. Making time for the little things. Life gets so busy and making the time to go on that bike ride with them because they asked or going to throw the ball with them. Making time for the little things is also a huge strength because that’s when the bonding happens.
Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.
When I went from being a mom of two children to a mom/stepmom of six children.
Combining a family and trying to do everything for all of them and build relationships and understand them. That was extremely hard and overwhelming. I would hide in the bathroom at times just because I felt, at many times, I couldn’t make any of them happy or be the mother/stepmother I wanted to be.
It’s frustrating and felt like I was failing them all. It took about a year of overcoming the feelings I had to finally understand how to be the mother I wanted. It also took me not giving up just because it was hard. My stepchildren love their dad, but there is something about the women of the house. Always coming in to ask me something when my fiancé was right next to me or coming in to tell on someone.
Learning how to be what they all needed was very overwhelming. Now I can say it was worth it.
Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?
Being a mother, there is no room for being selfish. Everything you do as a mother is for your children. No decision can be made without thinking how this will affect your children.
I was a selfish young adult, and that wasn’t the best quality. So, gaining the understanding of not being selfish, I feel, has made myself a better person in general.
Having my children has made me a better person.
What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?
How to accept your mistakes and learn from them.
How to never give up when things get hard.
How to constantly want to improve and grow as a person.
How to always reach for your best and challenge yourself.
How to never stop being about family.
How to understand that being a stepparent is just as important; to be a parent to all the children.
How blood doesn’t make you family, but if you have step siblings, they are your family. How to protect each other as they grow up together.
How to be strong and independent people.