Let’s Get Real – Carlson Family

I am so excited for this next post in my “Let’s Get Real” series! I was able to interview my sister Michelle, which was really special for me. She is just an incredible person, so dependable, and is an incredible wife and mother to her four kids!

What is special about this time in your life? Why did you choose to do family pictures now?

Every phase of life is special in its own way. I’ve been lucky to have most of the last 14 years of marriage, kids, and our growing family captured in photos pretty well. This particular phase of life is fun though, having kids who are a little more independent, engaged, helpful, and fun to talk to!

What are your kids doing well at? What makes you the most proud of them?

My kids are exceptionally creative and busy. They have great imaginations and limitless ideas, which results in limitless messes. But I feel proud when I see the way they think outside of the box, display work they’re proud of, show me new songs they’ve learned on their instruments, read funny parts from a book, or find a new way to use a cardboard box. I also feel proud when they think of a fun way to play with a sibling, work hard doing yardwork, organize my drawers for me, or do something that scares them.

What has been your biggest recent challenge as a family? How have you overcome it or how are you coping with it?

Recently my second son was diagnosed with a significant sensory processing disorder, and has been displaying an increase in anxiety. It has been a slow process figuring out what is troubling him, who to talk to, and how to help. I’ve been blessed to be connected with friends and professionals who are experienced and knowledgeable, and give me new tips and ideas on how to help him. I also feel my own background experience and work has prepared me pretty well for his challenges. It’s a constant battle, but just when I feel like I can’t do any more, somebody steps in and helps.

What is one of your recent triumphs as a mother? What do you know you’re doing right?

I focus too much on what I consider to be failures, but I think I do a pretty good job of setting structure, putting them to bed on time, feeding them good meals, trying to be understanding and empathetic, providing for their physical needs, and teaching them to love to read.

If you could give advice to other moms with kids your age or in similar situations, what would that be?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it’s hard to see our own challenges clearly because we are so used to it, or we feel like we ought to be able to handle it, or it isn’t as bad as someone else’s. But validation and support from other people can make a huge difference. Our own struggles are real and different from others, but that doesn’t make them less challenging.

I’m so grateful for my sister and her willingness to share with me and with all of you! I hope you enjoyed reading!

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