22 November 2013

Every Mom Has A Story: Suzette Ladouceur

Every Mom Has A Story: Suzette 

The woman you will be hearing about today is a true iron friend of mine.  Suzette and I have known each other for a very long time because we attended the same church in Old Bridge for many years before she moved to Florida.  I grew up admiring Suzette as a young girl, and even though she was older than me (only 3 years) she never made me feel like I was beneath her.  We went to the same youth group and I can remember always thinking she was AMAZING.

Unfortunately, we lost touch after I went away to college and she moved to Florida.  I didn't hear from Suzette for about 10 years, until the unfortunate news of her moms passing happened.  Aggie at our church was putting together a memory book from all the women at SW and of course I wanted to give my condolences.  Well, within a week I heard back from Suzette with a two page letter and pictures included of her family.  It looked just like my family.  A husband, and a baby girl!  Come to find out our girls were only 2 months apart.  Come to find out she was a teacher too.  Come to find out she was now a stay at home mom!  Come to find out she was going to homeschool Addie!  Okay...the coincidences were unreal!  We started chatting online through facebook, blogs, the phone, and in the past 6 years Suzette has been (okay now I'm crying) such a blessing to me!  I really can't put it into words.  I just love her so much and I admire all that God has done in her life.  She just SHINES for Jesus and I'm just so thankful God allowed our paths to cross again. 

The best part of last Thanksgiving was flying our family down to Florida to meet Suzette's kids and husband in person.  Suzette and I hugged for what seemed like 5 minutes!!! And she got to rub my bulging belly because of course I was pregnant with Micah.  I was so happy when Brian and my husband John hit it off, and Julia and Addie (our girls) became best friends.  Doesn't God give great gifts???

Suzette is clearly one of my best friends and I honestly don't know what I would do without her!  I call her when I'm crying, need prayer, have to tell her what Julia just said or did, need a recipe, you name it, I can count on her.  You will fall in love with her too as you read her Mom Story and also please check out her blog at www.godlyrose.blogspot.com The Joy of Homemaking is a great blog for women to encourage you and point you to Christ and uplift you!

Here is Suzette's Mom Story:

1. When you first found out you were going to be a mom what was your reaction?

We had to plan for both of our children, so neither came as a surprise. I was at home alone when I found out I was pregnant with our first. As soon as I found out (pregnancy test) I wanted to call everyone, but I knew I had to tell my husband, Brian, first. I spent the whole day planning how I would tell him. I ended up making a scrapbook page with the pregnancy test and announcement on it in addition to a tie with children's handprints on it that I had been saving for this special moment. I left it all on our kitchen counter where he always dropped off his stuff when he walked in from work. when he arrived home, I offered to go out and get the mail while he set his stuff down. I walked out the door, but stayed where I could look in to see his reaction. The look of surprise and sheer Joy was exactly what I was hoping for.

2. When you brought your newborn home did you feel ready or overwhelmed? Explain those first few weeks.

I did feel overwhelmed, but part of that was due to the fact that my mother had passed away 2 weeks before I gave birth. I almost felt like I didn't have a chance because my mother wasn't there to walk me through the early newborn stage. However, God brought other women alongside me to help me in those areas of uncertainty and both our daughter and I survived.

When my second came along, I did a lot of research- especially about nursing since that had been a total flop with my first. I went into the hospital with a better handle on things and feeling a bit more "in control," which if you know me being "in control" is an issue I have :) bringing baby number 2 home was a completely different scenario than it was for baby number 1.

3. How do you juggle working inside/outside of the home and family time?

Routine and schedule! Blogging and review writing happen during nap time and after bedtime. The rest of my time is used for homeschooling, laundry, regular home care items, fun day trips with the kids, and errands. After bedtime, I work for about an hour in the office (where my husband hangs out) and then we both migrate to the living room to actually spend time together.

4. What tradition does your family have that you are not willing to give up? Why is it so special?

Family dinner. We eat together as a family every evening (when Brian does not have to work late or out of town). There is just something wonderful about being at the table and having all 4 of our chairs filled. I know there are studies that talk about how important family dinner is, but for us it just feels good. We can share about our day, laugh, teach, and just be the Ladouceurs.

5. If/when you are/were a sahm what do you love the most about it...what is the most difficult?

I love that being a SAHM is my job. I am able to be with my children and be the greatest influence in their lives. We have chosen to homeschool, so I am also able to be their teacher and make choices concerning their education and planning activities to reinforce what we are learning.

Being a SAHM also causes me to be proactive about everything. I love being able to make a schedule/routine that works for our family. I love that I can also make adjustments when necessary.

The most difficult thing about being a SAHM is that I work 24/7/365. I didn't realize how hard that could be when I was a teacher in the work force and could turn off "work mode" when I left the school. That is when having a husband who sends me to get a mani/pedi by myself is a Godsend. It gives me the breathing room I need without leaving me with guilt for "jumping ship."

6. Who inspires you to be a good mom?

My mother. She was awesome! It is because of her that I want to be the best wife and mother that I can be. She was such an example of a godly wife and mother and taught me everything she could before she passed away. Her motto was "I love The Lord first, then my husband and children." Her life reflected that and because her priorities were in the right order, she accomplished more than anyone I have ever met.

In the here and now, you (Kristi) are my iron friend, helping me to sharpen my skills as a wife and mother and encouraging me to press on when I am tired.

7. What kind of mom do you want to be remembered as? Fun, firm, consistent, happy, serious, hard working, etc.

Can I say all of the above? :) I guess "love" would be my word. I want my children to remember me for my love for The Lord, their father, and them. And hopefully that love is seen through my actions- creating a loving environment called home, planning fun activities for our family because of my love of seeing Joy in their faces, creating an atmosphere of consistency because my love for them does not want to throw them for a loop by not having any type of routine in place, and working hard to provide for their needs as well as some of their wants because of our love for them.

8. What piece of advice would you give a new mom and even an experienced mom out there?

Do not compare yourself to any other mother. Don't compare your real life to someone else's Facebook statuses and photos. It is a completely unfair comparison. God gave your child to you because He knew you would be the most imperfectly-perfect mother for that child. And God also gave you the child that he knew you needed. Your family is made up of the perfect combination of people and personalities.

I would also say that there will be lots of opinions and "advise" on what you should do with and for your children. Listen, smile, evaluate, pray, and then decided for yourself what to do for your children. As their mother, you know them better than anyone else does, so only you can ultimately decide what is best for your family. Don't allow yourself to be pressured to do what someone else "recommends" unless you are completely confident that it is the right choice for your family.

Suzette (38)
Addie (5 1/2)
Ian (2)


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