A fun look into the lives and lifestyles of some of our favorite mamas.
This month I sat down with top relator, philanthropist and mother of two, Kari Schlegel Kloewer to discuss how her own mother and upbringing impacts the way she raises her sweet boys Tobin (3) and Teddy (10 months).
Q & A
An interview by Catherine Hill
D - Take me through what your typical morning looks like.
K - Our mornings involve a lot of coffee, baby snuggles, negotiating with a 3 year old about what he will wear, breakfast as a family, packing school lunch, school drop off, then putting the baby down for his morning nap. We usually manage to get a little bit of play time in together too. After that, I head off to work. Although they are hectic, mornings with the kids and Troy are usually my favorite part of the day.
D - What is your advice for new moms going back to work?
K - My advice is to embrace your time at home with the kids and embrace your time at work with other adults. Also, chances are at your work place there are other working moms who have come before you -- remember that all mothers have a special bond and understand what you're going through. I am lucky that the nature of my work is flexible and allows me to carpool in the middle of the day, schedule showings when the kids are napping and don't even know I'm gone, and do paperwork after I have put them down to bed. If your job is more structured then I think it is nice to plan a little ritual that you do with your children before you leave in the morning or that you can all look forward to as soon as you get home. It can be something as simple as snuggling and reading a book!
D - Did your mom always work when you were growing up?
K - My mother always worked. In her early career she was a nurse. This led her to run a large organization of nursing homes. During this time I saw my mom work tirelessly while somehow always managing to put her family first. Although she worked more hours in a week than I could count, there was never a time that she was not there for me or one of my siblings. Sometimes this meant we were going to work with her. At the nursing homes I would serve ice cream, sing, or play checkers with residents. Sometimes I would sit in the office and pretend that I was being helpful by sorting through papers. The thing I remember most though would be watching my mom smile or say something nice to a resident that would make his or her face light up. Growing up my parents work was just a part of who we were as a family. It taught me so much: empathy, persistence, kindness, generosity, patience, and that most good things in life require hard work.
D - What is one thing you admire most about your mom?
K - The list is endless. If I have to tell you just one I would say it is her smile. It is genuine and it is always on her face. I believe it is a reflection of her strength and her kind heart. I truly believe that I am the daughter of Super Woman!
D - How does it make you feel to know that when you buy Dondolo clothing you are providing jobs for single mothers in Colombia?
K - It seems like a no brainer. These clothes are precious and made from high quality durable fabrics. The best thing about them though is that single mothers in Colombia are reaping the benefits. I believe that it is the inherent nature of a mother to want to provide both unconditional love and lifes necessities to her children. If buying Dondolo means that another mother can do this then buying it makes me feel wonderful.
D - What is your favorite Dondolo outfit and why?
K - I adore the Noah Set Tobin has on in these photos. It is polished, classic, and flat out adorable! most of all, it still really comfortable for Tobin to just be a kid in!
D - What is one thing you hope to teach Tobin and Teddy?
K - Kindness - it gets one very far in life!
D - Where is your favorite place to go with your family?
K - Ontario, Canada. this is where my family is from. We gather there every summer for fun times together on the beach. It is where I have my best memories from as a child and I want my children to grow up with the same experience.
D - What is your proudest mom moment so far?
K - With Tobin it is when he tells me at bed time that he has had a great day! I couldn't be more proud thanto just say I have a child who is happy and loves life! With Teddy, I wish I could just bottle up how he applauses every morning when I walk in the his room. To me it says: I'm so happy to see you mom and I can't wait to see what life will bring me today.