It is my pleasure to introduce you to Smarty Mom, Missy Owen. I have to tell you, I don’t know how she does it all but she has managed to acheive a great blend/balance of family, work, and community and she has maintained a great sense of humor. Missy is married to Geoff, and is mom to Caroline(3 1/2) and Mary(1 1/2). I am going to use Missy’s words from here to continue her introduction: My daughters are the center of everything but in the down time (ha ha) I am a criminal defense attorney at Tin Fulton Walker and Owen. I am at the office two full days a week thanks to my wonderful mom who lives here and watches the girls but then accessible by blackberry to the office and my clients all the time. I also lend a little brain storm support to Geoff, my dear husband of ten years, who owns Owen’s Bagel and Deli.
In addition to the real “work work” our family likes to be involved in the community. Geoff is the president of the Dilworth Community Development Association and I am heavily involved in the Dilworth Home Tour and the Dilworth Jubilee. I also serve on the Board of the Summit House, an organization that is an alternative to incarceration for mothers and their young children that helps the mother straighten her life out while fostering good parenting to break the multigenerational cycle of crime. Geoff and I are also on the Board of Advisors for the Relatives, a shelter for runaway and homeless youth.
Wow, what a Smarty Mom!!
How do you balance work and home?
Hmm- Balance sounds a little too sane for the way our life operates. I think juggling act is a little more accurate.
We believe that we are responsible for creating the world that we want to live in. With every task we take on, we ask whether it is getting us closer to that place. We also ask what positive lesson our girls could take from what we are doing and whether the good outweighs the sacrifices it requires of our family. Sometimes we make the right call, and sometimes we don’t, but life is just sort of that process of trial and error.
That said, the mere function of our family only occurs with much help from our wonderful extended family (my mom is with the girls on the days I work and every Monday my 86 year old grandmother brings us dinner). But we have incredible support from people we love.
What is your favorite activity with the kids?
Gardening. Caroline my older daughter loves playing with worms we dig up, naming them, and attempting to make them her pets. Mary just loves picking the flowers. I used to hate this but then realized, if I bought plants that need deadheaded, like marigolds and petunias, they would flourish with all the flower picking.
What is your favorite restaurant with the kids?
Owen’s Bagel and Deli, of course. While I do like a change every now and again from bagel sandwiches, I like it because it is a place I can totally relax in, not be worried that someone will climb out of their high chair or make too much noise. Since there is a play area for kids, it is the only place I get to drink coffee and read the paper.
What is your favorite restaurant w/o the kids?
Carpe Diem. Fabulous food, great wine, really nice owners and staff, and a lovely atmosphere.
Funniest thing your kids have ever said?
I think it is pretty funny when they say things that really reflect whatever the current state of affairs in our family. For example, Mary, who is 18 months and the poor second child who gets dragged around to whatever her big sister is doing probably, has only 20 words to her vocabulary. But as we were doing the daily rush out the door to something, Mary, bumping along holding her sippy was saying, “I’m comin, I’m comin”. That is the most recent thing that has me laughing.
Best birthday party you have attended?
I am a big fan of home parties. The kids often seem more relaxed there (because the buildup of a birthday party at my girls ages can be overwhelming) and it enables the parents to focus on something special to the child. However, my girls have had tons of fun at parties at Charlotte Junior Gym.
Favorite kids boutique?
My boutique shopping is limited mostly for buying gifts but I can find something perfect for young children at the Milky Way in Dilworth and have received many a great gift from Shower me with Love in SouthPark.
Where do you go to find great deals on kid’s clothes?
I don’t spend the time I think you need to really bargain shop so most of my kids clothes come from Hanna Anderson because while they aren’t inexpensive in the short term, my girls wear them over and over and over and then they get handed down. Hanna stuff lasts for an eternity and the busy patterns hide stains.
What are your favorite parks in town?
Latta is our favorite. Soft rubber pieces under all the equipment have protected us during many falls, good tree cover keeps you from getting too hot, nice places to picnic, and the spray ground in the summer is a huge bonus.
Minivan or SUV?
Oh- neither. We have an old Volvo that will probably go to the girls when they learn to drive.
Favorite weekday activity?
Nature museum in winter and spraygrounds in summer.
We like to try to do something out of the ordinary on weekends. Recently we went up to Dan Nichols State Park up beyond Salisbury. It was wonderful. Paddle boats, mini zoo, train rides, and a great playground.
Best thing about raising a family in Charlotte?
The supportive network of moms around town.
I could not live without my…?
Husband who is the ying to my yang, but since no one else can run out and buy a Geoff Owen to improve their life, I will say my Blackberry. I couldn’t work part time without it.
Best kept secret in Charlotte?
Elder Art Gallery. One of my favorite things to do if I am sans children on a Saturday morning is get a cup of coffee and go to Elder Art gallery. It is always changing and a half hour there makes gives me some different perspective in my life.