Mom is glue that holds seven-member family together

RUSSELLVILLE, Mo, — When Heath Waters was hired for his first administrative job, that meant leaving his hometown near Branson.

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Submitted photo

The Waters family lives in Russellville, Mo.

He and his wife, Tabitha, decided to move up their wedding plans, so the family could move together to Russellville from Hollister.

Tabitha already was the mother of three, then two more little ones have been added to the Waters family in the past two years.

The entire family can be seen supporting Heath at Cole County R-1 High School activities.

Tabitha Waters knew the responsibilities she was taking on marrying a school administrator, she said.

“She’s very supportive of me and the amount of time it takes,” Heath Waters said. “She’s a special person, and I can’t say enough good things.

“As a bonus, she’s awfully beautiful, too.”

Tabitha’s induction 13 years ago was not the typical first-time mother experience.

Isaiah, 13, was born with heart issues that posed concerns for the first few months.

Then, nine months after Mariah, 11, was born, she was diagnosed with infantile scoleosis.

“The first two were kind of trying,” Tabitha said. “I worried what number three would bring.”

But her pregnancy with Sariah, 8, was so textbook perfect, she told her doctor its was “boring,” Tabitha said.

Tabitha was the baby of her family, born six years after her brother and sister who were only 16 months apart.

“I didn’t want that to happen with my kids,” she said.

Sophiah, 2, and Patrishiah, 11 months, have added to the busyness of life.

“But I couldn’t imagine life without any of them,” Tabitha said.

Although having so many siblings can become annoying, the older children agree life would be boring without them.

Sariah said she likes having the babies around because they are fun to watch. And Isaiah said he likes having all sisters.

What holds the family together is its faith.

Her strong beliefs are among the reasons Heath admires Tabitha, he said.

Keeping her children involved at Solid Rock Family Church in Jefferson City is a priority, though it also is a sacrifice.

And Tabitha has taken on a home-based business as well as baby-sitting to provide the “extras” for her children.

“When we need to go places, she takes us,” Mariah said.

Sariah added, “She let’s us do things like cheer camp and gymnastics.”

Tabitha holds high expectations for her children, too.

“I usually know when I do something wrong,” Sariah said. “I know she loves me and is working with me to get better.”

In addition to character growth expectations, Tabitha also expects the older children to pitch in with home and family responsibilities.

“Folding clothes for seven people can be a real chore,” Tabitha said.

They may not always be enthusiastic or speedy, but the children say they do appreciate all the work their mother does and they will help out.

“She wants us not to learn by her telling us, but by doing chores,” Isaiah said.

Tabitha added, “It takes a whole family to keep this family running.”

Isaiah is amazed at how many varied details his mother can remember. And Sariah and Mariah are grateful for the many activities they’ve been able to participate in through her sacrifices of money, time and transportation.

This Mother’s Day, the older children said they will attempt to help more with housework like folding clothes or cleaning the kitchen.

Mariah and Sariah also plan to make a picture or other artwork for her, “to say ‘thank you’ for all you do,” Sariah said.

“Mom is very caring and does a lot for us,” Mariah said. “Even if she has holes in her tennis shoes, she might get you a new dress for a dance.”

Isaiah agreed, “When we ask, she gives.”

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