Is motherhood the best job in the world? Mother of six Claire Kenny certainly thinks so. We asked the "Happy Families" mom why she feels that way, how she stays motivated, and which parenting tools she has found the most effective.
You say you think being a mom is the best job in the world. What makes it the best?
There are so many reasons why I think being a mom is the best job in the world that it’s hard to land on just one. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing my children grow up to become amazing human beings who can do marvelous things. Kids are remarkable. I recently saw a quote from Anne Frank that read, “Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.” Being a mom to six kids is about as far from lazy as it gets! Knowing that I have the ability to help shape the next generation into fabulous and productive people just brings me joy.
We got to see what morning time is like for your family. What do you do outside of that time to make your family a happy one?
Mornings at our house are crazy and busy, and it doesn’t change much in the afternoon and evening. Once everyone is home from school, we have homework and lessons, sports, Scouts, dinner, and all that other wonderful stuff that sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out. But even with all of that, we try to find moments to be together. Music is an important part of our family—we start our mornings singing “Make It a Good Day” and end our days with a song as well. The kids take turns picking a song we can sing before we pray and read scriptures as a family.
Do you ever feel too overwhelmed to make time for family activities? What helps you move past that?
At times, the everyday tasks in a family of eight can get a little overwhelming. It can be hard to squeeze in time to have fun as a family. Honestly, I learned from a friend that sometimes the only way to fit in those important family times (like family home evening) is to put them on the calendar, or they just won’t happen. Family traditions are essential. We love to have PJ parties where we all don our pajamas and watch a movie together. I make kettle corn and we all snuggle on our small couch for an hour and a half—it doesn’t get better than that.
Tell us about one of your favorite parenting tools or tips.
Prayer is one of the most powerful tools I have as a mom and that we use as a family. We pray together every morning and night; we pray at every meal; we pray for each other; we pray all the time. I start every day asking for help that I can do my best and be a good mom—that I can be a better mom—and that I can do everything I have ahead of me. I end every day usually asking forgiveness for all the mistakes I made. Mistakes are inevitable, but that doesn't mean I can't start again. Some of the most powerful moments of prayer I have are those rare moments of quiet I find when I'm alone in the car and I can really converse with Heavenly Father. And I love those quick moments of prayer in my heart when I think of one of my children who may need help at school—it gives me comfort, and I know Heavenly Father is listening. Prayer works.
If you could give any advice or encouragement to families like yours who see this video, what would it be?
I would just say that no matter the number of kids you have, you’re probably doing a better job than you give yourself credit for. And as I would always say as a teenager, “Smile! It increases your face value.” Life is better with a smile—and laughter too! I’m lucky to be married to a man that loves to make me laugh and will go out of his way to make our whole family laugh. Laughter is powerful medicine.
Read about Claire's tips for motivating kids.