Ann Givens is the youngest of eight kids from Highland Park in Columbia, South Carolina, but as of today, she only has three still alive. Her father passed away when she was just nine, so her mother and step-father really raised her. Her older siblings were allowed to discipline her, which was different than most of her friends. Now, she sees herself as the leader of her siblings as they look to her for guidance.
Her best friend, Yvette, died from an aneurism, which is how I got my name!
Ann speaks highly of her mother and how much she gave to her as the youngest. They were very close. Her mother worked with special needs children and on weekends, would take in one of those children and care for them. She saw her mother’s authenticity in how she loved each child that came into her home as if they were her own. A devoted Christian, she led her household in prayer each Sunday before breakfast.
Her mother’s second job was cleaning houses, and Ann fondly remembers learning how to keep a house, cook, bake, fold laundry, and make decorations. She clung to her mom and was very close to her.
My mom loves our relationship. The honesty, the humanness, and the faith-filled conversations bring life to her. There is a deep friendship between us, and in my childhood, my mom kept such good boundaries in being my mom.
We had a deep sense of trust between each other.
She says she got to experience having a focused and disciplined child through me. She didn’t have to monitor me as much because I was self-driven.
When I gave birth to my first child, I had no idea that a baby had to eat from my boob. My mom wishes she would have had conversations more in-depth with me. When she hears How Married Are You? and hears what I didn’t know, she feels embarrassed and wishes she did that differently.
My mom has been at all four of my children’s births, and my listeners wondered what her birthing experience was like verses mine. My mom had all three of her kids in a hospital, while I had two kids in the hospital and two at home. I had a doula, but my mom had her entire family there.
At first, my mom was very nervous about my home birth with Anaya, but after being there, she saw how relaxed and peaceful it was.
A lot of tension in our relationship have come down to me breaking tradition such as the home birth, homeschooling, etc. As time has gone on, she has realized that she has to respect my boundaries and decisions that I make with Glen in our home and with our children. She’s realized that the world is different than when she raised my brothers and me, and the decisions we make are based on our world today.
When she was raising us as kids, even though there was no social media, she still struggled with comparison. My mom advises that if you’re in that trap, get out of it and get out quickly. Sometimes that means guarding your heart by distancing from friends, or triggers from friends, so you don’t compare your relationships, parenting, house, etc. She got advice from a mentor that some things someone else will do for her husband may not be something she is willing to do for hers, and that’s okay.
Ann didn’t feel confident in her motherhood until us kids went out into the world and got through life. She would fall into the comparison traps and have moments and wonder if she was doing a good enough job, but now, she sees where they are and knows she did well. She attributes all the glory to God in her motherhood, and can look back with adult children and feel confident in how she did.
Looking back, she wishes she taught me more about my body and had those deeper and more blunt conversations. But, at the same time, she knows that each step was important in developing who she is and who her children are.
Hey, hey! I'm Yvette!
I'm a thirty-four year old wife, mother of four, podcast host, and writer from San Diego, California. I'm a former math teacher turned stay-at-home parent and influencer with the unique opportunity to bring women into community with one another and encourage them in their seasons of life through my podcast, Yvette, Unplugged and my online community, Women, Unplugged.
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