Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life
By Kathleen Ellyn
Wallowa County Chieftain
Michelle Bedard says she has been lucky when it comes to her childrens’ personalities.
Mothers everywhere are throwing their heads back and laughing until tears run down their faces over that statement.
Sure, some kids are easier than others, but without some excellent parenting, none of them make it to young adulthood without bumps in the road.
Nevertheless, Bedard has been lucky in one way –– she is actually living her dream. She really wanted to be a mother –– a passion so deep that it will make her tear up just to recall that desire.
“I remember sitting in college-bound English Class, and the teacher asked the class ‘what are you doing with your life?’ Everyone was saying veterinarian, stylist, doctor, whatever –– and they became that. I said, ‘I just can’t wait to be a mom.’”
Fulfilling that destiny was so important that she recalls she and her now husband Jared talked about it on their first date. They were in total agreement. Six months later they were married. Michelle was 19 and Jared 21. Their first daughter, Reagan, came along two years leter.
Now that she’s the mom of three teenage daughters and an eight-year-old son, she’s still sold on motherhood.
“Being a mom is pretty fabulous,” she said. “I thoroughly enjoy my children’s company.”
She also enjoys the juggling that comes with being a mom of four.
Her first three children are 15 months apart: Reagan, 18; Avery, 16; and Karli 15. Then there’s a gap until Isaac, 8, came along.
“There needed to be that age gap to Isaac because he needed four moms,” she said. “Learning to raise a boy is a little bit tricky. I’m learning there’s just a lot more ... everything. He just never stops moving! Football, basketball, nerf guns, parkour –– it’s just nonstop. He wants to see what he can do.”
Michelle juggles many jobs. She’s the mom of children with lives full of cross country running, track, basketball, cheerleading, FFA, college prep, clubs, student government, volunteer opportunities and church –– and that’s just the girls. Michelle works as a substitute special education assistant at Enterprise schools and operates a cleaning business with eight business clients.
“When Jared and I moved to Wallowa County in 2002, we knew it would take two jobs, and it was just a matter of finding what I could do to keep being a mom my primary goal,” she said.
Jared, who is manager at Carpet One in Enterprise, shoulders plenty of responsibility, she said.
In addition to all of the traditional “dad” jobs, because of Michelle’s work schedule he’s gotten the kids off to school every morning for the last five years.
Fortunately, that responsibility has gotten easier over the years.
“With teenage girls, you don’t have to get them off to school –– and really I’m the only morning person in the house, so it may be better that I’m not here,” she said with a smile.
Asked her secret to raising three girls who are best friends and a happy and bright all-boy boy besides, Michelle shakes her head. No special quality or secret.
“I wanted to be the best mom I could be,” she said. “I was very focused and I wanted them to be the best people they could be. You never get it completely right, but it was a conscious effort to let them be as much as possible, guide them when I could, and pray a lot.”
There are no special plans at the Bedard house for Mother’s Day and that’s just fine with Michelle. As far as she’s concerned, she celebrates Mother’s Day every day.
“I’m really okay without any big hoopla,” she said. “Hopefully the sun will be shining, and we’ll go do something outside –– that would be ideal for me. Last year we went and caught butterflies for the biology department. Maybe we’ll do that again.”