Celebrating an undeniable love X 10

Happy Mother's Day

Written by Sara Garrison | Photography by David Don Wallace Jr.

In 1914, United States President Woodrow Wilson officially recognized Mother’s Day as a national holiday. As we prepare to celebrate the 101st Mother’s day on May 10th, it is important to acknowledge that motherhood is not a one-size-fits-all kind of job. Each mother brings her unique perspective to her family. No matter her cultural background, marital status or her age, most mothers share an undeniable love and dedication to their children.

Kimberly Whitaker is one such mom whose love knows no boundary. She and her husband, Alan, have been blessed with the birth of 10 children ranging from age 26 to 3 years old. The Whitakers homeschool their children and continually seek lessons through life experiences.

In her role as mom, Kimberly finds purpose. Many times the Whitakers are asked if they had 10 children intentionally, and the answer is a resounding “yes.” Kimberly wonders, “How do I know the life I may miss if I stop having children? Who is not going to have an impact on my life because they were not born?” Kimberly insists that God’s plan will determine how many children she is supposed to parent.

How does she do it?

The Whitaker household is always filled with activity. For example, the span of one week included: one wedding, a new driver in the house, celebrating a new job, the family dog had a puppy and the eldest son announced his wife was having another baby.

Days are filled with the school work, chores and kids’ activities typical of busy families. Kimberly says defined expectations, organization and flex- ibility are her tricks to keeping the household running smoothly.

Life’s lessons

“Our family has a strong spiritual foundation. We teach our children to love and respect others, follow Jesus and work to be a blessing to other people in their own way. And,” Kimberly adds with a laugh, “to have LOTS of children.”

Kimberly teaches her children independence and to not let fear keep them from following their hearts. “God is going to provide for them every step of the way.” She recognizes that each milestone is a move toward independence.

“Being parents is like a roller coaster ride,” she says. “When our kids are young, we are riding in the front row leading the way. When they are teens, we are in the middle row letting them make mistakes and some decisions on their own. When they become young adults, we are hanging on for dear life to the back of the last car with our feet flying behind us!”

Mother to mother

Although her own mother passed away three years ago, Kimberly credits her mother for teaching her patience, forgiveness and that her heart would have enough room for all of her children. Her parents were her first loves who pointed her heart toward God and taught her how to give and receive love. Kimberly models these same lessons for her children. “God continues to shape and mold me by using my children to have faith in him that all things do work together,” she says. “And ultimately, he’s got this!”

Top 9 Mother's Day's gift ideas

What moms really want Mothers deserve the best, so SPLURGE! compiled a top 10 list of things moms want more than anything on her special day.

A heartfelt note Tell your mother just how much she means to you and thank her for all of her love, work and dedication. Short and sweet is just fine. Any handwritten sentiment is a trea- sured keepsake.

Time alone No judgment and no guilt allowed. Loving the kids and wanting time alone are not contradictory notions. Especially for mothers of young children, alone time is a cherished gift.

Family time Ironically, moms of older children would love a day WITH the kids. Families are hyper-scheduled and double booked on a regular basis. Dedicating some time to spend with mom on Mother’s Day will make her heart swell.

Sleeping in Close the bedroom door and take the kids out for breakfast. Let mom enjoy a lei- surely, quiet morning.

Spa day Treat mom with a gift certificate for her favorite spa service—spray tan, manicure, massage or full spa treatment. It’s always more fun with a few friends.

Jewelry Sneak a peek on mom’s Pinterest boards to get some ideas of baubles she secretly wants, but won’t splurge on.

A clean house Moms always seem to be cleaning and picking up, but the big secret is… she probably doesn’t really enjoy doing it. If she’s willing, treat mom to a spring cleaning service, or just pitch in more than usual. She will notice and appreciate your efforts.

A clean car Take the mom-mobile for a full detail, or wash and wax in the driveway. Yes, this means you should vacuum and wash the inside of the windows too. Moms spend a lot of time hauling the troops around in their cars and will enjoy the fresh ride while it lasts.

A day off from cooking Even if she loves to cook, moms occasionally like to be waited on. Bonus—the kitchen stays clean.

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