xoNecole's Moms Who Inspire series highlights modern day moms mastering all the tasks on their plate, from day to day responsibilities to ensuring their children are kind, educated and well-rounded human beings. Each mother describes their inspiration, what motherhood means to them, and how they maintain their sense of selves while being the superwoman we all know and love.
For Meghan Joy Yancy, stewarding little hearts and minds and raising kind and loving humans is a pretty big deal.
The homeschooling, stay-at-home mom of six and entrepreneur is raising a multicultural family, and therefore takes motherhood very seriously. She's very cognizant that her mothering, her faith, and the atmosphere in which she raises her children will impact the adults they grow into. Meghan is truly a "glass half-full" type of woman and believes her message is to share the joy of living for today with others and create a community of believers who strive for greatness in all they do.
As a Mom Who Inspires us by cultivating an atmosphere of passion and encouragement within her home, Meghan walks us through how she helps her family spread love and joy every day.
On teaching her children to honor each culture's traditions and be proud of their heritage:
Being that we homeschool, we have such beautiful opportunities to expose our children to diversity and being able to honor their culture.
In our studies and exploration, they are so intrigued with learning about the pieces that make them uniquely themselves. Our oldest daughter is fascinated with travel and if she could go anywhere, it would be the three places where her blood runs from: Liberia, Germany, and Sweden. She loves knowing the different areas of the world that were brought together in her mommy and daddy, which resulted in her mixed heritage. We get the opportunity to have discussions about it and explore the beautiful cultures. Plus, we live in a diverse community and attend a diverse church, which makes it a natural aspect of our lives.
On what helped her become successful and deal with the hard times:
Resilience. When I start something I truly believe in, I'm not going to stop until it's completed. I don't care how long it takes, I'm in it for the long haul. When I began my business, I just knew this would be something I would be doing forever. I told my husband, "I will never NOT be doing this." And so, quitting was never even an option. Quitting wasn't on the table. It wasn't in my mindset. Only pushing forward.
On the life lesson she shares with her children:
You get to choose your attitude. It can be a great day or a horrible day. That is totally up to you. My whole life mantra is about living for today and finding joy in the ordinary and when my kids decide to have a bad attitude or make a big deal out of little situations, I am always reminding them that we have control over our emotions and how we react to situations.
We have the power to CHOOSE how we will view life and how we will live.
On the unexpected life lesson her kids are teaching her:
Patience. Gosh, so much patience. Pick your battles. Don't cry over spilled milk. Messes are constantly being made, things are continually being broken, and I used to flip out every time. Now, I have learned to take a deep breath, clean it up, and move on. Growing up, when us kids broke things, my mom adopted the saying, "Less is more," and she stopped getting upset about all the broken items. And it's been a good reminder for me now as a mother. I still teach the kids respect and responsibility for our actions and to be good stewards of the things we have, but in the same breath, not getting attached to THINGS. That's been a big thing that the kids have taught me.
On her favorite way to relax with her children:
Dance parties. They keep me young and free and wild. They keep me hip and cool. I love their free spirits and it brings so much joy. I also just love sitting on the ground and reading with them or coloring with them. We've got our music on in the background and it can be so peaceful and grounding.
On the three words that represent her approach to motherhood:
Grace. Compassion. Understanding. I am going to make mistakes. I am going to do things wrong. And I want to continually walk in grace. For myself and for my kids. And I've got a lot of kids, so my mothering looks differently with each of them. My approach is different for each kid and so getting to know their individual personality makes a difference in how I show love to them and how I discipline them.
On the unique way she shows her kids she loves them:
I sing them a song and say a prayer for them every night before bed. But I've created my own remix of our song that I snap to and do the "Carlton" dance to. It's super corny and cheesy but we love singing and dancing to it each night. Oftentimes, I just stare at my kids during the day, grab their face in my hands, and tell them how much I love them.
I never want a day to pass where they don't know that.
On preserving the characteristics of the woman she was before becoming a mother:
I don't want to. I am continually striving to become a better person and mother and human each day. The woman I was before was great and all, but I have grown into an even better woman. And you know when people throw the whole, "Wow, you've changed" comment out at you. My response? "Heck YES!" I hope I have changed. I don't want to stay the same. I want to grow in wisdom and patience and grace. And the really neat thing is that I get to be me WHILE I am in the trenches of motherhood. Being me and pursuing my own dreams doesn't have to wait until the kids are grown. And my kids don't have to be put to the side while I chase my dreams. We get to do it all together as a family.
On how she practices self-care:
I no longer hold on to "mom guilt." At the end of the day, instead of going through in my mind everything I did wrong that day, or thinking about everything I didn't do, I think about the great things that happened.
I think about the snuggles I gave my kids, the hustle I gave to my work, the relationships I poured into, the text message I sent my husband at work, the delicious hot meal I made, and the moments I got on the ground and played with the kids. Some days, after dinner, I go lock myself in the bathroom and take a hot bath. Throughout my day, if the kids are busy playing, I'll take 15 minutes to sit in my hammock in my office and read a good book. Most Sundays, I go to Starbucks to spend a few hours by myself and write. But I am no longer feeling guilty over working out some times with my husband where I can invest in ME.
If I fill my cup up, I have more to give to all of them.
For more Meghan, follow her on Instagram.