|Michele and husband Ronnie|
Every Mom Has A Story: Michele Conte
I met Michele through my husband John. Michele put her two boys into taekwondo when John had just opened up his first Old Bridge Taekwondo school.
After a short while Michele was looking to adopt a baby girl from China. John had a school wide board breaking event to raise money for Michele's family to bring baby Noel from China to their home! Ever since then Michele has seriously been my hero. Not only does she homeschool, she loves the Lord, and she has 5 awesome kids, and 3 of which are adopted from all parts of the world! She and Ronny are just the coolest people (besides being extremely down to earth and hysterically funny).
I asked Michele if I could interview her for my blog and she told me of course, but that she probably would never read my blog because blogs make her crazy and she is just too busy to read what somebody else is doing when she has 5 kids of her own and a house to run (I love her honesty). Hopefully she will at least read this post so she can see how much John and I love her and think the world of her. She is constantly encouraging me to homeschool (and you need a lot of encouragement in the beginning because it is so challenging) and she is constantly giving me advice (when I ask of course) on how to be a better wife and mom. And we like to watch silly movies together and just be girls sometimes too!
Here is Michele's story...
1. When you first found out you were pregnant how did you react?
When I first found out I was pregnant I was stunned. We had been trying for a while and then to all of a sudden be pregnant seemed unreal.
2. How did you feel when you brought your newborn home?
I was actually afraid to leave the hospital because I was overwhelmed. We struggled with breastfeeding so that part was overwhelming. We ended up taking him (Christian who is now a high schooler) to the hospital on the third day home because he was not peeing or pooping. He wasn't latching on properly. I started pumping and stuff so the whole thing was overwhelming. The first few weeks were very hard.
3. Did you work outside of the home? How did you manage family time?
I didn't work inside or outside of the home until 4 years ago. All the kids were homeschooled at the time so I felt like it was easier to manage time together. I would always work when Ronnie was home and only work outside of the home 4-5 nights a month. I never really got how to manage getting work done in the house though. I still have a hard time managing it all and now that they are older and some in school I am limited. My work nights out to only 2 per month.
4. What is the best family tradition you have that you are not willing to give up?
Our best family tradition is the Christmas store. I go out and buy a bunch of presents for all the kids. Then I set it all up in my room and one by one, they come in and shop for their siblings. (I LOVE THIS IDEA MICHELE...when my kids get bigger I am going to try this!) I put price tags on everything and from Thanksgiving to that time, they earn play money for things like making each other's bed, cleaning up things they don't have to, you know, doing things that are not a part of their chores. My kids love the Christmas store and look forward to it every year. I will never stop that tradition because we all love it and it's easier than taking them out and shopping for each other.
5. Who do you look up to as a great mom? Who inspires you to be better?
My friend Kathy Haring, who went to be with the Lord 2 years ago, inspires me to be a good mom because her children are so wonderful. They possess amazing character, love the Lord, intelligent, wonderful, fun-loving ladies. My dysfunctional past also inspires me to try and be a better mom. :)
6. What do you love about being a stay at home mom? What is the most difficult part of being a SAHM?
I love that I have been able to be a part of every milestone, and every fun moment while being home. I know each of my children and their personalities types and individual needs very well because I have been able to be with them all the time. Which leads into what is most difficult when you are a SAHM. The good definitely outweighs the bad but getting time away a night each week is for sure a necessity. My husband has always been very good about giving me that time, as well as taking over when he gets home. He was always the bath dad, and always cleans up after dinner. Whatever he can do to lighten my load since the days are filled with so much. (Go Ronnie!!!)
7. What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind to your children?
I'd like to be remembered as a fun loving mom who loved The Lord so very much and did all she could to point her kids to the unfailing love of Jesus, since I fail though too often. (I think you are a wonderful mommy!)
8. Any advice for new mommies?
The best piece of advice I can give to any mom, is to walk in the never ending grace and mercy of Jesus, lighten up, and enjoy your kids because it goes really fast! Also never correct your husband on how he changes a diaper, or gives a bath or complain about how he dressed them because he will stop doing it and him doing all those things with your kids is part of his building the relationship with them!
Michele, thank you so much for letting me interview you! I think you are an amazing mom, and Christian, Jonah, Faith, Noelle, and Jonathan are super lucky to have you!!!