Congratulations to Becca S. for being named our SuperMom of the Month! She is receiving a $100 gift certificate!
Becca has been in our group for over a year. She is an active member of the group who consistently shows support and compassion for other moms. Our group is lucky to have her!
I asked her some questions and here are her answers (edited for clarity):
Can you tell us a few things about your family? I'm going to skip over many details to keep this brief. We are a mom & kid family, along with our two dogs Izzy & Faithy. My daughter Ella is 6 and about to begin 1st grade (how did that happen?). She is sweet, smart, silly, beautiful (she prefers "cute") and very strong. She's my hero. Ella was born 15 weeks premature and spent a very traumatic 164 days in the NICU, that's 5 1/2 months! She received early intervention/therapy since her NICU days however was formally diagnosed with cerebral palsy affecting all four limbs at the age of two. She is very smart however she is still non-verbal so she is often underestimated. She requires support sitting and does not yet stand or walk independently. She has a couple of secondary conditions as well. Ella is a really hard worker, we will never say never when it comes to her future progress. What things do you struggle with as a mom? Our family has always been a huge support, but they are not local. Because of Ella's prematurity, constant doctors appointments, and therapies, on top of working full-time, our first couple of years after NICU were a blur. I simply didn't have the capacity to be a good friend and some formerly close friends became distant friends along the way. I had to rework what my support system looked like. My biggest struggle overall has been childcare, however this is so much better in years past. I can't simply call up a random teenager down the street to stay with Ella while I go out somewhere. What I have thankfully been able to build is a great team of young ladies who know Ella; they understand how she communicates and how to do g-tube feeds, as well as making sure she is secure in her wheelchair, working on her therapy homework, and simply just goofing off together. Ella also has 1:1 support at our neighborhood school. And of course I struggle with "mom-guilt". There is never enough time to research and explore all of the cutting edge therapies and doctors, many who are not local. As much as I work to give her every advantage in life, I never feel like I am doing enough. I guess I could also throw in IEP's. Anyone who has a child with one knows what I'm talking about. How do you balance time for yourself? There really isn't too much "me time" in my life, but I'm okay with that. Last year I really took time to assess my priorities and what our future looks like. I left a corporate career of 20+ years where I was a senior VP and transitioned to residential real estate. In this career there is a very fine line between work and family time, but it allows me flexibility to balance the two. I love being out in the community daily. I've met so many wonderful people, more than you realize who have close connections in their lives to cerebral palsy as well. Why do you like Charlotte Moms? I love the diversity of women who are part of this group, race, nationality, age, beliefs, orientation, identity, working moms, stay-at-home moms, single moms, special needs moms, multiple kids, one kid, home school, private school, public school, and so-on. Every woman in the group has a perspective and everyone in the group can learn from one another. I also think Jessica does a fantastic job helping the group to be respectful of different opinions. What makes you want to be supportive of other moms? It took me until Ella was nearly three to fully accept that our life was going to look different than what I had once imagined. After I accepted that different is okay, I truly learned how to advocate. Everyone has a story; everyone has struggles. If I can use what I have experienced and learned to try to help someone else, then something good comes out of our trauma and evolution (just please never ever tell me "everything happens for a reason" - that's NOT my mantra). What is your favorite restaurant? I don't know how to name just one. Do you have a guilty pleasure? My guilty pleasure just this week is the insane amount of money I spent on a ticket to see Hamilton :-) Happy birthday to me! Anything else fun or interesting about you? I'm a helicopter mom by default. I don't get the opportunity to sit back on the bench at the park and chat with other moms. I'm sliding down the slide with Ella or swinging with her on my lap. I'm carrying her to jump the waves in the ocean or getting soaked with her at the splash pad. She needs assistance to play and I'm going to make sure she has fun experiences for as long as I'm able. I now advocate for support, inclusion and acceptance of differences of all kinds. There are two events close to my heart coming up in September: * CPARF STEPtember Campaign - a corporate wellness challenge (teams take 10,000 steps a day) to raise funds for global groundbreaking CP research and innovation. Sign up now to participate with your company, friends or family this September. * Premature Oktoberfest benefiting Pierce's Project - a local organization that provides many types of support to NICU families, including paid parking passes and most recently counseling services
If a reader takes anything out of this interview let it be this: rather than telling our children 'not to stare' at someone different than them, teach them to smile and say 'hi'.
is proud to sponsor August 2018's SuperMom of the Month!