MEET RUNAWAY MOMMA, HILLARY ATKINS

I started this blog when I decided to run my first half marathon.  I wanted to document the training, the emotion and of course the big race.  Once the race was completed, I morphed the blog into adventures that mommy had on her own.  After my move to Berkeley, California, the blog changed yet again into a window into my new life here in the San Francisco Bay area.

The one common denominator that has not changed is the “mom factor”.   I am, and always will be, a mom.   Since I am only four, almost five years, into this new role anytime I catch someone talking about being a mom my ears perk up.  I remember watching Michelle Obama tell Oprah on her show about how her girls did their own laundry because she wanted them to learn responsibility at an early age even though they were in a privileged situation.

An excerpt of the interview on Oprah.com:

The Obamas say they try to give their daughters as “normal” an upbringing as possible for children living in the White House. Given Sasha and Malia’s level of privilege, Mrs. Obama says she tries to instill a sense of responsibility in her daughters.

You go back to the basics. I hear my parents and his mom’s voices ringing in our heads. ‘Turn off the TV. You have chores to do in this house.’ You have to get creative in the White House giving kids chores, because they don’t understand. ‘Why do I have to make my bed?’” Mrs. Obama says. “When you’re in that situation, we have real discussions about responsibility and, you know, not taking anything for granted and not having a bunch of grown-ups doing stuff for you when you’re completely capable of doing it yourself.”

One of Malia’s new chores, Mrs. Obama says, is going to be doing laundry. “Grandma still does her own laundry at the White House so she’s going to be in charge of laundry duty,” she says. “[Malia] has to learn how to do that. I don’t want her to be 15, 16 and be that kid: ‘I’ve never done laundry before.’ I would cringe if she became that kid.” Read more about this interview at Oprah.com

It inspires me to be a better mom and to love what I do when I hear other mom’s share about their experiences.

Along this new role as a mom, I have met some wonderful women who are mothers and I thought it would be fun to feature one to two a month as a RUNAWAY MOMMA.

My first inaugaral mom is my dear friend Hillary Atkins.   I met her at a mom/baby workout group called Stroller Strides.  She became my running buddy, fellow mom’s night out participant and lovely friend.   I asked her seven questions about being a mom.  This is what she had to say.

MEET HILLARY

I am a wife to Brian and a stay-at-home Mommy to Colden & Brindley! Two of the best jobs I’ll ever have! I taught first grade for 5 years before having my own children & loved every minute of it!

I am an extremely blessed woman who loves life! I enjoy exercising (calling all Club Sarasa members!) & I’m addicted to hot yoga, playing with my kids, decorating my house, shopping for clothes, hanging out with friends, and of course my daily trip to Starbucks…ok…sometimes twice daily!
I thrive on routine, cleanliness, organization, taking pride in who I am, & most importantly my beautiful family!

7  QUESTIONS

1.  What is your favorite part about being a mom?

I love, love being a mom.  I think the best part is seeing life through my children’s eyes. The innocence and love for life is contagious.  I wish I could bottle it up!  I also will admit that I find it so satisfying that my children “need” me.  It makes me feel important and special to them.

 2.  What is your favorite part of your typical day?

I have two favorite parts of my day (well if you count my trip to Starbucks, it would be three favorite parts)! First one of my favorite parts is picking each of my kids up from school!  Usually they both come out just beaming about their day!  Brindley is so quiet, but she adores school, she will talk to me about her day the minute I pick her up!  Colden is much more outgoing and he too, will tell me all about his day!  I enjoy it so much because this is a time they are away from me and I can’t see or hear what they are doing, so I’m thankful they will tell me all about it!  And secondly, I love bed time.  Yes for me too, but putting my kids to bed…after their bath and after we read them a story, I snuggle with each one of them.  We often talk about what tomorrow will bring, we say a prayer and we just snuggle.  It’s the best quiet, one on one time ever!!!!

 3.  What can you not go without in your everyday life?

Haha…well, you should know the answer to this one based on the previous statement I made about Starbucks.  I cannot go a day without my grande, 2 pump, non fat, no whip mocha!  And while I can go a day without exercising, I usually can’t go more than two without it.  It just gives me the energy I need to get thru my day even if I have to get up at 5:30am to get it in!

 4.  What is one life lesson that you want to teach your children?

Mostly, just to make sure you are happy and knowing what happiness really is.  I want them to know that “things” do not make you happy, and right now teaching a 4 and 6-year-old that is impossible, but eventually I hope I have done enough that they will understand this.  I also want them to be humble…which is a challenging thing to teach them.  I’m finding more often these days that kids especially lack this characteristic and it drives me nuts, so I’m constantly trying to redirect or choose different words for my children to use and I hope it sticks so that when they are older they can apply it to their life and others as well.

5.  When you are having a tough day as a mom what helps you through it?

Knowing that it is just a day…that it will pass.  Sometimes that is easier said than done, and I definitely fall victim to bad days here and there, however once I put things in perspective, I get over it pretty quick. Oh and maybe another Starbucks trip.

 6.  What made you decide to start a chapter for Ben Towne foundation?

Oh boy…a lot made me decide to start the eastside chapter.  When I followed Ben’s story and read his Mom’s journals (Carin), I was touched in a way that I cannot honestly put into words.  Carin was honest, raw and amazing in her writing with what she was going through.  IF I could imagine going through what she did (and I really can’t), I feel like I would have been saying the exact same thing.  Saying it like it is, not making any part of it pretty or “readable.”  There is nothing “pretty” or “readable” in losing a child.  It’s a parent’s worse nightmare and she was living it brutally.  As Ben was battling, I thought to myself I need to do something to support this family, however I didn’t know this family!  I only knew their friends (that’s how I knew about Ben).  So the timing wasn’t right for me, but it was in my head for sure.  After Ben lost his courageous battle, Jeff and Carin started Ben Towne Foundation and I went to their launch.  It was there that I committed myself to starting a chapter for this foundation, for this incredible family.  These are all surface answers, I can’t explain the way my heart feels for this family, even now…I also have healthy children that I sometimes take for granted, but when you stop and think what this family has gone through, suddenly nothing is taken for granted.  I have the ability to help make a difference and as long as I have that ability, I plan to do just that.  www.bentownefoundation.org

  7.  How do you make it work being a mom and running a foundation chapter?

Well, being a mom is what drives me to running this chapter, it’s why I’m running this chapter.  Thankfully the logistics work, I don’t have to work outside of our home.  I get to stay home and I get to be a stay at home mom.  I have the time and energy to put towards this chapter!  Not to mention, the 11 other women on my chapter that have also committed themselves to this!

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One response to “MEET RUNAWAY MOMMA, HILLARY ATKINS

  1. Proud to call Hillary my sister.

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