February's Momma Feature: Jo Diaz
For February’s feature, I chose a friend who has come into my life and made everything so much sweeter. She is the friend that literally just calls to say Hi! My saving grace beautifully wrapped in a blanket of southern twang, heavenly tunes and homecookin’. I could go on and on about her because she is just beyond amazing. She has taken a piece of my heart and I don’t think I will ever want it back! The epitome of Supermommy, Jo exudes love and passion for her husband and children. Over the past two years, our friendship has blossomed into a sisterhood that cannot be explained. My heart is so happy that she agreed to be my feature this month. Here is her interview…
Tell us about yourself.
First, can I just say Shama! Shama! This blog is amazing and such a blessing. I stalk it now. LOL. You are an amazing soul and I can’t even wrap my head around how you do it all and still manage to be so sweet and look so flawless. Can I borrow your scarf? Any one of them will do. Haha! Love you to the moon girly! Prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.
I hate… talking about myself, so here’s my short and sweet and super short bio.
So, I’m Jo. Just plain ole Jo. I’m from Texas. Actually, I’m from an island in Texas which is pretty amazing! If you’re ever in Houston drive down to Galveston, Texas. Stop by Leo’s and get a pound of smoked riblets.
Ok… back to the Bio.
I have been a military wife for 10 years. I’m a crafter… hardcore crafter. I scrapbook, crochet, sew, quilt, make cards, paint (I’m horrible at it). I’m the lady that looks and a picture and says… I can make that thang. Of course, in the end it costs me $120,093 to make it and it’s on sale for $9.99. Still... I made it. LOL. Recently I acquired a Silhouette Cameo. It’s the fancy machine that cuts. But, you can make a ton of stuff with fancy cutting so I’m going to read the instructions sooner or later.
What’s the best part of being a parent?
Oooohhh… That’s a hard question. I guess the best part is probably seeing the love in your heart walking around in human form. There’s two people walking around on this planet who are the manifestation and embodiment of all the love I could possibly give from my heart. They are such precious gifts from God and I tend to just get all in their faces with adoration.
Also… those darn smiles! Every time my babies smile I can’t help but smile back and thank God!
Tell us about your funniest momma moment.
Oh man.. this is bad. This is gross. You’ve been warned. O_O So a couple weeks ago one of my boys got sick in the night. It wasn’t the fever and occasional vomit that I’ve grown used to with five-year-olds. This was food poisoning. He woke up screaming, I rushed to him with a calm readiness to handle what I assumed was a nightmare. Oh boy, it was certainly a nightmare. To try to put it nicely, mud butt was on the bed and floor and it just kept going. My reaction to it was straight out of comedy film. Picture the Brides Maids scene... for mamas. I panicked! I screamed, jumped up and down, grabbed him up and raced to the toilet trailing you know what along the way. I stood him on the bathroom floor and tried to come up with a plan of attack. What on earth? What do I clean first? I don’t own Clorox! Do I need Clorox?! Yall, it was so bad and so gross… I was not ready.
While I was losing my mind, he was crying and bracing himself for more yuck, and my husband rushed up the stairs. He quietly and gently put our kiddo on the toilet and said, “Ok. You’re ok.” His response shook me right out of the crazed chaos that I so quickly jumped into. He was calm, he was ready and he was totally keeping our kid from panicking the way I did. I didn’t even realize how amped I was until the hubs said, “Ok, you’re ok.” He might as well have said it to the both of us. We managed to get through our first case of food poisoning with leadership of the husband... not me. This is the funniest moment in recent history, because I just had to laugh at myself… out loud. Too often we mamas get proud of ourselves in certain areas of parenting. I for sure thought I was a Mama Nurse extraordinaire until a case of mud butt knocked some humility into me. We mamas know and love our babies, but there is always a new lesson to be learned.
How has your upbringing influenced the momma you are today?
My upbringing was difficult. There were a whole lot of things that shouldn’t have happened, you know? Too much that caused me to grow way too fast. While I try not to judge my mother and father for the things I find myself still healing from, it’s hard. It’s hard to be at peace with all the nonsense a child has to cope with and grow with. So, as an adult and a parent, I find myself making a lot of mama bear choices based on protecting my kiddos from things I wasn’t protected from. I’m constantly unlearning the behaviors my mother taught me in those childhood experiences. I’m listening when I wasn’t listened to, shielding when I found myself exposed as a child, protecting in situations I received no protection from as a child, enabling strengths and talents when and where I was silenced and stifled. I’m a strict mama with my kids, but I want them to experience a love that is truly without conditions or limitations. I didn’t have that for a long time growing up.
What are some traits you hope to instill in your children?
I want my boys to be incredibly compassionate, first and foremost. If they grow up to be dish washing, compassionate young men I’ll be more than happy. You’re probably reading this and saying, say what now? Yup… just compassion. I want my little men to grow up and constantly consider the world outside of themselves and strive to help it. Of course, I’d like to sprinkle some integrity, passion, 2 scoops of persistence, and put charm on top. I’d also LOVE for them to be believers in Jesus Christ… this isn’t a trait but a commitment that I truly hope they’ll make.
Any personal suggestions for balancing life with kids?
Yes... protect your peace. Protecting peace is a choice you have to make DAILY. Every decision we make is a give or take with the peace we need so desperately to maintain. Do I cook that 4-course-meal and pull my hair out or will I laugh with my kids over pancakes at dinner? Will I allow that negative person into my house to treat me and my children poorly? Will I force my family to meet society’s standards even if it’s driving us apart?
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives…” John 14:27
We have this peace, a gift to keep and maintain yet we trade it with worldly concerns. Nope… do what you need to maintain peace in your heart and with your babies. Ironically, I find my household struggles and everyone gets anxious when I’m stressing.
Another thing that I’m learning… Take your time.
We load our plates with SO much stuff. Places to be, things to do, folks to see... but none of it is truly valued because we’re in a hurry to the next thing. I’m learning to plan my day so that I can truly enjoy whatever moment I’m in wherever that may be. We have to advocate for our own lives by earnestly taking the time to live it. I’m learning to live a life that isn’t in a rush to do anything.
Quote, scripture, or advice that you have used to get you through those tough mommy days?
I actually don’t have a quote or scripture. I sing ALL the time out loud and in my head. There’s a chorus that I sing to myself by Side Walk Prophets all the time that goes,
“Be strong in the Lord and never give up hope.
You're going to do great things, I already know.
God's got His hand on you so, don't live life in fear.
Forgive and forget, but don't forget why you're here.
Take your time and pray. These are the words I would say.”
I sing it so much that I hope it’s become engraved on my kiddos’ hearts. I’d love for it to just plague their minds into adulthood. Hey! It’s much better than singing, “The best part of waking up”… yall 80s babies know the rest.
Thank you Jo for giving us an insight into your life in mommyhood!