this thing called motherHOOD-the highest and most special calling
I've been working on a little project. I'm calling it the Hood Project. I'm always interested in all the day to day struggles and triumphs of being a mother. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you to all the moms that have participated.
Meet Tali Hafoka- She's a gorgeous mom of 3 and an amazing artist.
I did this session right before they moved out and started a new adventure in another state.
It was special to capture their family and home at this time of their lives.
Describe the way that you felt after giving birth?
I feel beautiful. I feel so full of gratitude. I feel the weight of responsibility for the physical and spiritual wellbeing of this perfect little soul. I feel awe for the whole process of creating life!
What are your greatest desires for your kids?
I want my kids to be compassionate and kind and slow to judge. I want them to be friends to all and be the ones that stick up for the underdog. I want them to be confident and to know that they can do and be anything. I want them to have their own relationship with God when they’re young. I want them to see and experience all I have, and more!
How do you try to balance marriage and mommyhood?
I don’t know if I am the best at balancing the two but I do recognize and love how parenthood has changed my relationship with Noke. Parenthood forces you to appreciate and savor the small things. And calling them small is probably wrong because they are really the big things. Like, just having an uninterrupted adult conversation at the end of the day when the kids are all finally asleep is such a treat now. We catch up and come out with more of an appreciation for what the other does for our family each day. We don’t have a lot of money and have been students since we got engaged so for me, my idea of romance is watching my husband work hard for our family and seeing him safeguard what we do have. Maybe someday we’ll go on dates and buy each other gifts, but for now, nothing makes me love him more than making decisions together that keep our family safe and comfortable.
What’s the most treasured piece of advice that you ever received?
This is a hard question and I could never choose just one piece of advice. But, there is something that has been in the front of my mind lately that I feel strongly that I need to improve on right now. When I was 21 I went through the temple in preparation for my mission. I attended the temple often before I left for the MTC. I came home to my parents’ house after a session one day, and proudly reported to my dad where I’d been. I was excited to sit down and have an adult conversation with him about the temple and the gospel now that I had become such a sophisticated member of the church. He shut me down and said that it was fine and all that I was learning a lot, but that the main purpose of going to the temple is to serve. Serve those who we’re doing the work for, serve those in the temple with you, serve everyone around you. He’s told me before that this is why we go to church on Sunday too. I haven’t perfected this by any means, but when I’ve focused on it, I’ve been blessed. Anyway, sometimes as a mom I get frustrated or feel sorry for myself because Sunday is often just about wrangling kids. But I’ve felt lately that this is the advice I need to take again.
What are secrets to a happy home?
Communication and gratitude, always!
Just a little note: These are the lyrics of a Samoan Hymn.
It is special because it was a song that her grandmother always
sang it to her father when he was a little boy back in Samoa.
These are all paintings that she has done. Amazingly talented.
What is the hardest part about being a mom?
This makes me sound so superficial but for me the hardest thing is looking and feeling crimz all the time. I’ve been and felt fat since having my first baby. I look at my kids and I know they are totally worth this small inconvenience of being self-conscious about my appearance, but I wish I could be a healthy cute mom for their sake and mine.
What important lessons have you learned from your children/spouse?
I love this universal lesson that all parents learn from their kids: that your children are watching and listening and imitating and internalizing so you better be on your best behavior. I love that this is a daily learning experience. Children are the best motivation to step up and be a better person.