What is it like to be the mother of four girls?
It’s crazy. It’s actually really fun. I lucked out having four daughters. I’m going to be really well taken care of in my old age. I have four shopping buddies. It’s actually something that I’ve been thinking about recently - how women throughout history have had a dozen children, and washed their clothes, and stayed sane, and I’m fascinated by this. With four, I’m flirting with the edges of mental sanity. This is not even breaking the ice for history. But yes, It’s good, it’s a gift.
What’s a surprising thing about motherhood?
It’s a lot of food - that’s 90% of my job - making food. Getting people to eat it, and cleaning it up. That’s mothering, in a nutshell. Especially having younger kids, it’s very physically intense, but it’s also so sweet. I’m also looking forward to every stage after this. I’m getting a taste of it now with my oldest being seven years old. She’s in first grade, and she’s in a classical co-op and she’s in there for two days, and I homeschool the other three days. It’s really fun because they all play together, and love being together. The oldest is a help to me, and I love having her around. I’m grateful that it’s working out right now, and the relationships they have with each other. And she’s reading like gangbusters now, and it’s pretty cool, because I taught her to do that. I’m not just a poop wiper.
So you’re raising four children and homeschooling them?
I really thought I wanted to be a professor in political philosophy, but then I did a year of graduate work at Georgetown, and realized I didn’t really enjoy the subject. But I always loved teaching, and I get to do that now, in a different role.
What are some things you’ve learned from your experience as a mother?
Being a mom is so humbling - they are so honest with you, although they can be really sweet about it. All of us were having a dance party once, and the song was Party in the USA, and I told them that I used to go to the same church as Miley Cyrus. I’m from Franklin, TN. My eldest asked me if she’s the same age as me, and I said “No, she’s younger than I am.” My daughter’s response was, “Oh, that’s why she doesn’t have spots all over her face like you.” So yeah, they’re just real honest. But sometimes I’ll ask them if they want me to go somewhere, and they don’t, but they say, “No, I do want you to come!” It’s really sweet how they try to consider my feelings.
What surprised you about motherhood?
I think the amount of love that you can can feel for your child is overwhelming. It was the biggest surprise. The force of emotion that you feel for your child. The other surprising thing about motherhood is how humbling it is. I always always confident in my capabilities as a person, but then motherhood comes, and it’s an equalizer. It’s going to knock you on your rear and take it out of you in a way that you didn’t think was possible. I thought I could do anything, but then I realized that I’m a crazy person who’s living on the edge.