That’s one of the many down-to earth gems you’ll get from Deborah on her honest, heart-centered blog As Time Flies. She doesn’t do any flashy blog marketing or link-mania there, she just offers good old fashioned sharing of the love, the quirks and the daily victories of mothering and more. We first got to know Deborah better in 2011 when she became one of our first Boba Ambassadors and was a mother to one sweet toddling girl. We’ve watched her empowered travels and family growth, and seen her online presence bloom with insight and love for her family and community. We touched in with the pastor and now mom-to-four in celebration of real life wisdom and what “Freedom Together” really looks like, and because she’s a woman you just want to get to know better.
Tell us a little about your family, your children's names and ages, a bit about their personalities.
We are a family of 6. My husband and I married December 13, 2008. We have four girls, Capri, age 5, is our strong willed, chatty, social butterfly, who loves loving on people. Payson, age 3, is our serious, introverted bookworm, who may one day take over the world. Lyra, age 2, is our cuddle bug. Her big blue eyes draw you in and make you powerless to her demands for cookies. Zalah is 7 weeks, and so far she is pretty chill and loves to snuggle.
You shared so beautifully on your blog about Zalah’s homebirth. Congratulations to your family! Any insights to share with women planning their first births, or considering homebirth for the first time?
It does hurt, I mean you are pushing a baby out of you. But you can do it. And anyway that you choose to do it is awesome. Once that baby comes out you will forget it all and your heart will be overflowing with love for that squishy baby. Trust your body. You may hit a point where you don't think you can take anymore but your body can do it. You can do it. Have a good support system in place.
How would you characterize your family values and how do you strive to model these for your children?
We believe in Christian values and that is what we are teaching our daughters. We show that to them on a daily basis and want them to learn how to show love to others by our examples. Sometimes with a lack of coffee and sleep we suck at this and through that our girls learn about forgiveness and that mommy and daddy know how to say sorry. I think all parents need to know how to apologize to their kids because we all fall short, and our kids will learn so much from us when we do.
You seem to be a real “love over perfection” kind of mom.
Yes, I think it is ok to have days where no one gets out of their pjs, and that it's okay to have movie days. Not every day or week or even month will have some awesome Pinterest-worthy moment. Sometimes you just have to drink lots of coffee and survive.
How do you get out of the house with four girls aged five and under? Is it harder now with a newborn than it was a few months ago?
I found that after baby #3 it doesn't get much harder to go and do activities. Thanks to babywearing I can keep Zalah close and still interact and help my older three. One new daily event in our lives is school pick-up since our oldest just started, but babywearing makes that easy with four kids. Since we have two in cloth diapers, going on outings always requires me to make sure the diaper bag is packed well. We are pretty spur of the moment when it comes to doing outings so we have learned how to pack a diaper bag quickly so we can go out and enjoy each other’s company.
Making sure we have two baby carriers with us is always important in case our two-year-old wants up, and snacks and water. Our kids drink copious amounts of water a day, and would eat 24/7 of we let them.
Do you put much work into planning activities for all the different ages?
I don't think we really think too much about that. We try and tailor our adventures to our oldest two and the younger two just come along. Even when it comes to events like swim lessons, our little two just sit and watch. We do a lot together as a family, even when it comes to watching and cheering on a sibling at something. I think this is instilling good values into our girls that not everything we do is just for one person.
Who is someone you look up to as a strong woman role model?
My friend Leanne is the oldest of 10 kids. Her mom was always someone I looked up to. She always seemed so calm and collected. I'm sure she had her moments, but I saw how
she loved each of her kids and it amazed me. She always showed God's love to any of us that stepped through her door, and she was always willing to serve in her church even with 10 kids at home. This always encouraged me, because she demonstrated that you can be a mom with a ton of kids and still give back to your community.
How do your family life and work life feed each other?
My kids have always been a part of my job. For 95% of the time I work from home and am only in the office a few hours a week. Since my husband is also a pastor, our work is our daily lives. Our kids get brought along to most things and are super flexible because of this. They are also learning a lot because of what we do. They see what we believe daily and they are surrounded by an amazing community of people. It really is a village that helps us raise our kids.
What is your most beloved charitable/community organization? What About them is most moving to you?
One of my favourite organizations is World Hope Canada. They work in different parts of the world to help people make better lives for themselves. They teach people how to take care of their families, they bring kids off the street and into safe havens, and they shower people in a love they may have never known.
What is your dream travel destination? What is your dream family travel destination? What parts of the world do you hope to show your children while they are still young?
I would love to take my kids on trips where it is not all about us. To take them to places where we can help serve others and to love on the ones who feel unloved. I am all for doing cool family vacations but I also want us to use our time and money wisely to teach our children how to help others.
What role does "mom community" play in your life?
This is huge for me. I am a super social person and I need community. I have an amazing group of friends that I love getting together with. My friends and I get together with and without our kids, from just hanging out at a park to having book club. I also keep in touch with friends who have moved away and we have a strong relationship which texting and messenger have made possible in our busy lives. I am also blessed with amazing friends I have met via social media. They are supportive moms who I may not know in person but have come to call my friends. I always find it funny when I talk about one of my social media friends and my husband knows who I am talking about because they are such a huge part of my everyday life.
Any other advice to share with us moms?
Being a mom can be crazy many days. It can be lonely, and you might find yourself crying over silly things. But each one of my girls is worth it. I have learned I can't do it on my own and that I need a strong community around me. My biggest advice from one mom to another is find a village because we shouldn't do this parenting thing on our own.