Tara Trobaugh in the 2013 National Young Mother of the Year. When you meet her you instantly fall in love with her cheerful and funny personality and sweet southern accent. Tara lights up a room with her presence and is so engaging and encouraging to everyone! I am excited for you to get to know a little more about her!
Before you read her answers to my questions I want you to listen to her share one of the rewarding experiences of being a mother.
Now you can read her answers with her southern accent running through your head. 🙂
To begin with tell us a little bit about yourself and your family. I have 3 children. Nathan is 6, Teagan is 3 and Rowan is 2. My husband Kevin and I have been married for 14 years. He teaches AP economics classes at Heritage High school. Nathan loves to play sports like hockey, golf, soccer, and baseball. Which is funny because we live in the SEC!!! My girls are girly girls but they can get dirty. Both Teagan and Nathan are great swimmers.
Why is motherhood important to you? Did you always want to be a mother? I have known I wanted to be a mother since I was 12. I had an Aunt who was carrying twins and she was so large. I have a very vivid memory of her standing in front of my grandmother’s hall mirror rubbing her tummy holding a bottle of milk of magnesia. hahahaha. And I thought she was beautiful. That shaped my entire life. I went to college to be a teacher because that was the best job to have and raise kids because of the summers and holidays off. I knew I wanted a college degree because I had seen my mother struggle without one and I wanted to be able to take care of myself if something tragic happened. That is really the only reason I went! I just wanted to get married and start a family. I started college as elementary ed but knew that was not for me and I had always grown up around southern gospel music and so I changed to that. Now I an elementary/preschool music teacher/ stay at home mom!! One day I will teach again but I love this now!!
What is the biggest lesson your children have taught you? They are a mirror of everything you do. And they are much better discernment than one would think. They understand fair and not fair. As long as my intentions are good and honorable and I am doing my best to be fair, they will accept the not fair situations because they trust that we as parents have done our best. Sometimes it is met with tears and some acting out but in the end they really do get it. I love it now when the 2 older ones are playing on the phone and the baby says “my turn”. She is not grabbing she is asking and she knows that when I hear her I will work to get her a turn. And the other 2 know that if they share they will get it back and life will not fall apart.
What has given you the most joy as a mother? My biggest joy is watching all their firsts: from first steps, to first read word, to first bike ride, and first cartwheel. The excitement for every accomplishment is just priceless. I love pushing them and them realizing they can do it!!! I am not a good swimmer and I wanted them all to be good at it. (I just think it is a good skill to have) Teagan has been the most scared so far and just this summer she became brave. Everyone would say just leave her alone. She is just not going to be a swimmer. She is a pool babe and I just did not want to accept that and I kept pushing her and now she is jumping off the diving board and swimming like a fish!
Do you have any family traditions? Which one is your absolute favorite? I buy hallmark Christmas ornaments and I love letting them pick out a new one and then when we get the tree down looking at all their first year photo ornaments. And then they play with them all season long! It makes the tree so fun.
What is/was your favorite book to read to your children? Llama llama red pajama.
We know kids can say or do the funniest things. What are some ‘funnies’ your kids have said or done? Just this week, Rowan had a birthday and turned 2. Nathan was devastated!! He was crying uncontrollably and said “This is the saddest day of my life. I don’t want Rowan to grow up I want her to stay a baby for ever”. Nathan also used to grab Teagan by the arm when she was a baby and smell her and say “uummm she smells delicious, like strawberries”
What is one of the main gifts you have given or hope to give to your children? To at least try! And to not be afraid of what others think. Failing at something is really just learning how not to do it. That held me back as a teenager! And I hope they keep that innocent wonder they have now.
Favorite thing to do to relax at the end of a long day? We love to dance!!! After bath and before bed Kevin will turn on some music and they will go crazy in the den! And I love to watch them! That is one of my favorite things ever!
I’ve asked Tara to share the speech she gave at the American Mothers, Inc. convention in New York earlier this year. You get a little more insight into her personality and love of motherhood.
“I have three children. Nathan is 5 ½ , Teagan is 3 and Rowan is 22 months. And when the question is asked “What inspires you as a mother?” with out hesitation my answer is my children. They have the kindest and most sincere hearts. Nathan came home from school on yellow one day and when I asked him why he said he had been playing with TJ and had gotten in trouble. I said “well, you might need to not play with TJ anymore”. And he looked at me with the biggest blue eyes and said “but TJ needs a friend. Noone else in class is his friend and Momma, I can be his friend.” You see TJ is a very poor child in the classroom and everyone can see the difference in him and my son has chosen to be his friend, a friend to the friendless. That inspires me, to not only look at someone’s outward appearance but to look at their heart. We still had a discussion about the behavior that was moving him to yellow but his heart for TJ has just stuck with me.
“These characteristics that I see in my children inspire me to be more than just a good mom. They challenge me to be a good person. Life is bigger than just me and my little family, because we are all connected. I feel confident as a mother because I had a good mother who taught me and empowered me. I had good Grandmothers and Aunts who poured their lives into me. I saw these confident women raising their children, being there for each other, and help each other. I think that is so important is this day to be connected to others so you do not feel alone.
“Raising the next generation is so much more than cloth diapers verses disposable diapers, private school verses public school, working verses staying at home. It is learning from our older generations and from our own mistakes and imparting that wisdom onto our children. Giving them the tools to empower themselves to make good choices. It is spending quality time with our children, and investing in them.
‘Being a mother is the hardest Job there is and it never ends until the day you die! We make mistakes every day. I have to be forgiven sometimes as much as I am giving forgiveness. We as mothers are the first example of Christ’s love to our children. What an awesome and humbling responsibility. These children are our future and I feel so many times people forget that. Our lessons in life will help guide them and hopefully empower them. And maybe we can inspire each other.
“When my little girls are playing together or working together or my son tells me about a good choice he made, I know that this responsibility is greater than just how my kids look on the outside but it is how they look on the inside and that is what raising the next generation is all about.”
Thanks so much, Tara! I love that we can inspire one another and help each other on our motherhood journey.