Rob and Jill Bigelow met on a blind date at BYU. Ten children and thirty-four grandchildren later, they keep saying they’re glad they’ve been blind ever since! J They always wanted a child who would stay in each adorable stage long enough for them to enjoy it. When their eighth child, Stephen, was born with Down Syndrome, they knew their wish had come true. They feel Stephen was sent to teach his parents to slow down and love! He keeps their television broken and blesses their lives in many ways.
They raised a musical family (and much of their own food), and Jill loves cultivating the gift of music in children. But most of all, she loves nurturing her family through daily music mentoring, weekly “Grandma School” and gatherings, annual reunions and Cousins’ Camps, and writing family history. Rob and Jill adore their precious family, each so satisfying to them.
Philosophy on Parenting
First and foremost, we feel that effective parents must intentionally and diligently carve out precious time daily to connect with their Higher Power. Without the transforming power of this Higher Light and Love flowing through them, they can never, ever meet the heavy demands which parenthood makes upon their time, their bodies, and their compassion. Without this daily Connection, parents and children suffer (not to mention the community, nation, and world).
But when parents proactively make time daily to connect Vertically, they are empowered with Light, Love, and Wisdom far beyond their native capacity. They feel inner peace despite the storms that may rage about them. They are empowered to love, to Love, and to LOVE even more, which is the essence of effective parenting.
How Being a Mother Has Impacted My Life
As young parents, we actually believed that we were raising the children. On hindsight, however (always clearer than our foresight), we realize that all along they were raising us! Now, when we see young parents with children, we say softly with a smile, “Those children will raise their parents.” J
Motherhood has had a profound impact upon my life. It has softened and changed this “hard old heart, so plagued by pride and encrusted with ego.” Though a slow study, motherhood has helped me begin to gradually cultivate the “fruits of the Spirit,” those cardinal qualities which Paul defines as “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22).
Yes, motherhood has had a profound impact upon my heart which will influence the lives of generations yet unborn. I am absolutely passionate about the powerful role of motherhood in shaping tender lives, families, communities, nations, and the world!
With a love for children, learning, and teaching, Jill served many years as principal organizer and as a teacher for Founders’ Academy, a home school co-op which has served over a hundred students and their families. She has had significant experience developing curriculum and providing inservice training, founded and implemented a successful community ESL program which is in its tenth year, and has served widely in her church.
She currently serves on the American Heritage School Board of Trustees, and on their Family School plus Teacher Development and Curriculum Committees. At church, she serves as stake music chairman, ward choir director, and Primary pianist. She loves cultivating the gift of music in some fifty weekly piano students.