MARSHALL - When Barb Lipinski, director of the Adult Community Center of Marshall, was asked if she knew of a couple of grandmothers who would be willing to talk about their experiences at the annual Moms' Expo, she knew two who would fit the bill.
Beverly Butman of Marshall is the mother of four children, has five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Melba Pack of Marshall has four children, 14 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. The two presented their "tidbits" of wisdom Saturday at the second annual Moms' Expo.
More than 30 mothers attended the event that is designed for mothers of all ages and stages of parenting to enjoy parenting and every day life by finding balance, having realistic expectations of themselves and their children and living in the moment.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Beverly Butman, right, shares some of her experience with other mothers at the annual Moms’ Expo Saturday at Marshall High School as Melba Pack looks on.
Even though they weren't sure what kind of advice they'd be able to offer, Pack and Butman covered four questions during their talk:
What are the three most important things about being a mom?
Name one thing you wished you had done as a mom.
One thing you are thankful you did as a mom.
What do you worry about for this generation of moms?
Butman said the three most important things about being a mother are supporting your child, but not when they are wrong, being part of their lives and setting rules and sticking with it.
"I think it's important to always be there for them," Butman said.
As for Pack, the three important things are letting children find out who they are and who they want to be, teach a child in the way he/she should go and when he/she is old, he/she will not depart from it, and love them but be firm in discipline, communicate with them, understand and feel their needs, find friends who have children their age so you can share problems and joys.
"Don't mold them into who you want them to be, let them be themselves," Pack said about one of her three important things about being a mother.
Pack also stressed the importance of reading with children.
"Even if it's 10 minutes," she said, adding that she would be lost without a book.
In being a part of children's lives, Butman recommended being at their level and participating with them. For example, her oldest son liked basketball, and she would shoot baskets with him.
Both Pack and Butman emphasized spending time with children. Even if it's just 15 minutes, make the most of that time, Pack said, that means so much to them. Pack remembers her family having a jigsaw puzzle out during the winter, and they played lots of games.
Butman said she did stick with the rules she set, making no threats, teaching her kids to be honest and good citizens.
"I'm proud to say they all love me," she said.
Butman said she had a son that wet the bed and she thinks she could've handled it better. Pack wishes that one thing she had done as a mother was telling her kids that she loved them.
"I just regret that so much...I do (tell them I love them) now," she said.
Butman said she was thankful that she taught her children to be honest and help others. That trait has rubbed off on her great-grandson, she said, and she's proud when her friends say when they see him in different places and helping.
Pack said she was thankful that she embedded a good seed so she could watch and enjoy her children grow into young adults and wonderful parents.
"I always tried to be there through disappointments and joys to encourage them," she said.
Butman and Pack shared their worries about this generation of mothers.
"Being too permissive, even when they are wrong," Butman said.
"With the financial situation, both parents must work and don't take enough time to nurture their children," Pack said. "With technology, too many jobs are going to be eliminated."
Those who attended the Moms' Expo say they get a lot out of the daylong event.
"It's always fun and good speakers," Robyn Winter said.
Winter, who does daycare, said getting new and updated information is always good and staying current.
Deb Pieschke said the expo is a way to gain new and fun ideas.
"It's nice to meet with other moms with kids of varying ages," said Shawna Ehlenbach. The expo is also a way to learn about new research, she said.
"A day without demands is nice," Ehlenbach added.