I am Heather Johnson, mom of 4, wife of 19 years, believer in Christ, yoga instructor, room mom, chauffeur, picker up of dirty laundry, and parenting blogger. I believe in conservative parenting values, in teaching kids through empathy and consequences-and a lot of humor. My role as a mother is to be a parent first and friend second. You could say I am ‘vintage’ and believe that everything we need to know about parenting we could learn from past generations.

I work every day to teach my children independence and self-reliance so that someday they will put me out of a job. I’m far from perfect at these efforts- which you will find out as you share this journey with me- but I am quick to fix my mistakes and I try hard to listen to my mommy intuition instead of following the crowd.

Here are some of the many hats I wear in this beautiful game of life.

Hat #1 Mom– My biggest hat I wear is the mom hat. My oldest is Rivers, a 15 year old going on 21 who is beautiful and talented but thankfully shy with the boys so that drama has not begun-yet. I was barely 24 when she was born and had a lot to learn about being a mama. Any mistakes I made with her I owe to her being my practice kid:).

Then along came my only son, Everest, a 12 year old scooter park tender heart who practices his piano because of an impassioned speech I gave him to do it because he loves me.

Next was Sierra, a 9 year old ray of sunshine who typically answers most requests with a ‘yes, mom’.

And our little caboose is 4 year old Savvy, a spitfire, energetic ball of strong will giving me more gray hairs and smiles every day. I am proud to be a full time mom, even when I am working or away from home, they are full time on my mind and my priority.

Hat #2 Wife-I am lucky to have found my sweetheart young in life and snatched him up. We’ve been married for 19 years, and have great adventures every day as we raise these monkeys together. Many laughs, kisses (even when the kids roll their eyes), and shared glances that speak volumes help to get us through the sticky times, especially now that we are navigating the uncharted TEEN YEARS. Scary!

Hat #3 Yoga InstructorI love yoga, I love how it makes me feel, how it impacts a person’s entire lives, and how it can help to slow down the crazy. This love led to my training and becoming a 500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher. There is nothing more beautiful than the last 10 minutes of class when the students lay in savasana (corpse pose) and breath and I can feel the peace and calm descend on them and me. Namaste.

Hat #4 Organizer and System Creator- When I was a kid my mom taught me that everything I needed to know I could learn from a book. If you look at my library late fees you will see how true I believe that to be ( I mean really, can I ever get my books turned in on time? I obviously need to make a better system for that!). I love to organize and create systems, taking an impossible situation and create a flow to the chaos. Does that make me obsessive compulsive about cleaning and having things orderly? Maybe. Does it allow me to get a lot done in a day? Sometimes-when I don’t get distracted by the tupperware cupboard that MUST be sorted immediately. Enter in the yoga mentioned above:)

Hat #5 BloggerOver the last 10 years I have started and stopped with journal writing, blogging and book writing. But I have found that when I share my thoughts-especially the ones about parenting, it helps me to define what I believe about parenting, and makes me see my actions in a really big mirror. I don’t always like what I see, but it forces me to be honest and make the changes to become a better parent.

I asked my sisters and mom who know we probably better than I know myself what they see as my strengths in parenting (To be fair, I told them to only tell me the good stuff-because I am sure the areas I could improve would make for a much longer page:). But this is what they shared and helps you to understand my come from:

“Organized!!!! I don’t know how you manage 4 kids, house, dog, husband, yoga teaching and all of us. Self-disciplined. Ability to take care of yourself fitness and food and not give into binge eating. Or giving up when things get hard. Allowing the kids to have a say in family decisions whether it’s about the family or themselves.” Janelle, my sister.

“You are a fierce mama! You care deeply about your babies and try to give them life and growth. You trust your kids and give them the chance to stretch themselves. I feel like you are an old school disciplinarian, with clear and concise cause and effect. You are the epitome of a conservative mom.” Hayley, my sister.

“You truly enjoy your children. Being with them, teaching them, nurturing them. You have their best interests as the soundtrack of your life. You do the hard things in parenting–letting them learn the lessons and you don’t cave when they momentarily hate you. You raise them in order and give them clear boundaries so they know where the fence is. You allow yourself the momentary discomfort now and avoid the permanent regret later. You freakin’ ROCK! I wish you’d been my mom.” Deb, my mom and biggest cheerleader.

Bottom line-being a parent isn’t for weaklings. It’s hard, tiring, little acknowledgment for your efforts, and most days you go to bed wondering if you did even one thing right.

But there are those moments, when you hear the pitter patter of little feet and the small sleepy toddler crawls into your bed because they had a bad dream, or the night that your teenager comes home late and actually wants to sit and tell you all about it, that you realize the magic that comes with being a mom.

There aren’t any grand prizes from the world, but the prizes come every day if we slow down enough to see them.

To mom’s everywhere-we got this.