Smarties, We are happy to introduce you Dr. Dawn O’Malley. She is a clinical psychologist and nationally trained cognitive-behavioral therapist with SouthPark Psychiatric Associates located in the SouthPark area. She and her husband, Dr. Stephen Strzelecki, a clinical neuropsychologist, offer a comprehensive array of psychological services for children, adolescents, adults and families. Along with aiding youth and families, she has a special nack for interior design scouting for vintage “junk” that adds the perfect touch to a home.
Smarty Mom Stats:
Married to: Dr. Stephen Strzelecki
Years in Charlotte: 17
Occupation: Licensed Psychologist
What is your typical day like?
Ensuring the morning is calm and positive for everyone, getting to my job as the Clinical Director of a large non-profit mental health agency late (it takes a lot to keep it calm and positive), driving across town to my private practice, sharing a late dinner at home with the family, and then either doing a word jumble with my son or “planning outfits” with my teenage daughter. Sleep and Repeat!
What is the biggest challenge of being a working mom?
Since I work with kids, I am busiest during the hours after school. This means I get home pretty late most evenings and I miss being home after school for my kids. This is why our weekends and evening rituals are sacred.
What is the funniest thing that your kids have said?
I taught my young son to break lengthy school assignments into smaller steps and then to give himself a small reward following completion of each step. One afternoon I sent him to his room to put away his clean laundry and I heard him playing basketball. I asked him what he was doing and he said, “I put away half my laundry and now I am rewarding myself!”
Favorite Activity to do as a Family
Right now our favorite thing to do as a family is to plan weekends away. We head somewhere a few hours outside of Charlotte and explore new restaurants, attractions, and activities. Most recently, we explored the towns and wineries of the Yadkin Valley. On that trip, the kids really enjoyed a tree canopy zipline tour.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I am taking piano lessons again after 30 years. I am horrible, but it is amazing how much more fun it is when you choose to take them.
What do you do when you’re not working or with the family?
I have a real love of interior design. I spend the time I have to myself, reading design magazines and visiting local furniture and design shops. My friends have to endure unsolicited design advice and frequent rearrangement of their accessories.
I could not live without…
My friends! I am happiest when I am talking and laughing with my close friends.