“Hands down, motherhood is the hardest job I have ever taken on. I am in no way a superhero because I am a mother. But, I do think that being a parent requires a certain amount of tenacity, selflessness and some level of insanity that make it a job not unlike that of a superhero.”
Katelyn is a mom to two beautiful children, ages 3 and 5. She is married to a funny military man and works as a pediatric nurse. I have known Katelyn for about 5ish years and our relationship has grown from work acquaintances to great friends. I am so grateful to have Katelyn in my life, and I’m honored to name her as Cincinnati Moms Blog’s Superhero Mom for this month!
The primary reason that I consider Katelyn a superhero mom is because her love for her children is fierce. Her 5-year-old daughter, Zoe, is a particular, giggly realist and her 3-year-old boy, Chase, is a willful wild-child (meant in the best way) who can never keep his tongue in his mouth. Not only does Katelyn nurture and support each one of these vastly different personalities, she does so while supporting her entire family through her son’s struggle with apraxia of speech.
In short, The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA) defines apraxia of speech as “a motor speech disorder that first becomes apparent as a young child is learning speech. For reasons not yet fully understood, children with apraxia of speech have great difficulty planning and producing the precise, highly refined and specific series of movements of the tongue, lips, jaw and palate that are necessary for intelligible speech.” What this means for Katelyn, as a mom, is endless therapy appointments, phone calls to employers and insurance companies, decisions about schools and programs, financial strain in paying for uninsured services, and the constant worry that her daughter isn’t receiving enough attention.
I think we can all agree that motherhood is hard enough without the added stress of illness or disability, and Katelyn deals with Chase’s speech apraxia with grace and humor. She is a fierce (there’s that word again) advocate for both of her children in their challenges, but she hardly every complains. When I asked her what the most challenging part of being a mom is for her, she had this to say: “This might sound odd, but my very least favorite thing about parenting is anything dental. Losing teeth?! Disgusting. Cutting 2 year molars? Pain in the butt. Taking a 3 and 4 year old to the dentist last year made me a total wreck. Teaching them to spit out the toothpaste…ugh it never ends. And the tooth fairy is an exhausting job.” Out of all the things she could have said, she chose the tooth fairy…that is totally Katelyn, and just one of the examples of why she is a superhero.
When I asked Katelyn what her favorite things about being a mom is, she said, “I love raising my kids to be kids…wearing spider-man t-shirts and tutu’s while they can. Letting Zoe paint my nails, and Chase take a train everywhere we go. I love their hugs, pictures, and happiness for life. I love spending one on one time with each kid and doing what they like to do.”
As I mentioned before, Katelyn is married to a man who is in the military. It just so happens that this month is National Military Family Appreciation Month, so I asked her to describe her biggest challenges in being the mom of a military family: “You can never plan anything. He is literally on call all the time. You never know if your summer vacation is going to pan out or if he will be home for the holidays. It’s really hard for the kids to understand too that sometimes daddy gets up and goes to work for 6 months. It’s a challenge for everyone. You never know when he might call, and if its at 3am, then the kids have missed it. Having family and friends to help me is my number one blessing.”
Thank you, Katelyn, for being an example of strength and compassion in this crazy world of motherhood! And a special shout-out to all of our military families in Cincinnati!