I am so happy to introduce you to Kristin Harman. Kristin and I work together, and she is the mother of an adoable little girl, Brianne. Kristin works very hard to be successful at work and at home, and always has a smile on her face. I hope you enjoy getting to meet her.
You had your first baby, a little girl, fourteen months ago. How has becoming a mom changed your life?
Becoming a mom has made my life more complete. Although there are moments when I wish I had the freedom I used to, I would not trade in this new life for the world. I never knew a gummy smile, sweet giggle or impromptu hug would melt my heart the way hers do. What a magical little gift she is!
You came back to work full time after two and a half months, tell us about your transition back to work?
Like every working mom knows, leaving your baby in the care of someone else is incredibly difficult. However, I feel extremely lucky to have the most wonderful mother-in-law who volunteered to help transition us my first week back in the office. Knowing that Bri survived without me that first week, and having the ability to obsessively call every hour to check on her, made the second week (and Bri’s first at daycare) that much easier and I will always thank her for that.
Tell us your favorite thing about being a working mom?
Being a working mom allows me to keep my identity in a professional environment and continue working in a field that I enjoy, all while knowing my daughter is receiving the care and education she needs. I think having Brianne in a “school” setting has been such an integral part of her development. She is in a classroom environment where she is constantly learning and stimulated, and is socializing with other toddlers her age – something that I may not otherwise be able to provide on a daily basis.
What is your favorite activity to do with Brianne?
Honestly, I find it most fun to be in the playroom with her and just play. Whether it’s dancing to silly songs, building with blocks, or reading books, it doesn’t matter as long as she is having fun and smiling.
14 months is such a great age. What are you enjoying best about Brianne right now?
Oh, there are so many things that I am enjoying right now. I love how she watches so intensely and then mimics. If I put lotion on my hands, she will pretend to rub lotion on her hands too. And, I’m constantly impressed that she understands what we are saying and provides an action (“Blow kisses!” followed by blowing kisses, or “Bathtime!” and she heads for the bathroom.) I also love that she can communicate what she wants with actions or simple words like crawling into my lap with a book or pointing to something she can’t reach and saying “that.”
What is your must have toddler product or toy?
She loves her Leapfrog My Pal Violet puppy. It is programmed with her name and favorite things – food, animal, color, etc. She walks around hugging it and dances to all the songs. Oh, and our dogs… She LOVES them and they love her.
What is your favorite park in Charlotte?
Walter Elisha Park in Fort Mill, S.C. It is just a short drive from our home, has a playground, and a large lawn so we can bring a picnic and our dogs, if we want.
What is your favorite restaurant that you go to as a family?
We have family breakfast dates on Saturday mornings (as our schedule allows) and usually end up at Cracker Barrel.
What is your favorite restaurant that you go to with just your husband?
We are frequent visitors to the Chic-fil-a drive-thru, but for date nights we usually head to Rock Bottom Brewery. Hazelnut chicken, yum!
The best birthday party you ever attended or gave for a child?
This is easy. Bri’s first – pink cupcakes and ice cream for everyone!
Minivan or SUV? SUV
What is the best thing about raising your family in Charlotte?
Being near family! I grew up with my cousins nearby and I always wanted that for my children. My nephew and niece are only a 15 minute drive and Bri absolutely adores them. I love watching her interact with them and observe my niece’s every move, like she is learning how to be a “big girl.”
You could not live without?
Besides my husband and daughter – my daily phone conversation with my mom as I drive from work to daycare.
I wish someone told me sooner about… how much I would grow to love, want, need coffee. I wasn’t much of a coffee drinker before becoming a mom and was strict about no caffeine while pregnant, but I sure do love my cup of Joe in the morning now!
Thanks Kristin for sharing with us.
We love our Smarty Mom Kristin!! I was very touched by your comments – you have a beautiful family – thanks for sharing!
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Thanks for the Smarty Mom tips, Kris! You are a wonderful mom – thanks for sharing your thoughts!