Kristi Longley is a Smarty Mom extraordinaire. She is a neighbor and friend and has a contagious energy that draws people to her. She will volunteer for just about anything and can organize an event in her sleep. But what I admire most about her is her optimism, and after learning about Kristi’s story, that is no small feat. But like Kristi says, “I love living in Charlotte, love what I do and regardless of the lows, I’m optimistic about life in general.”
You see Kristi met the love of her life Chris Longley in high school and continued to date him while they were both college students at Clemson University. They moved to Charlotte in 2001 and were married in 2003. Unfortunately Chris was diagnosed with Sarcoma in 2002 and lost his battle with cancer in 2006. At the time, their son Connor was just 3 months old. But even when faced with such heartbreak, Kristi didn’t let it break her. She has a strong faith, strong family support and is in an inspiration to anyone trying to do it as a single parent!
Meet Kristi and how she does it all! Plus she had some great ideas for helping our single mom friends out, because I know I barely keep things together and I have a partner to split the workload with!
Smarty Mom Stats:
Mom of 1 Boy: Connor
Years in Charlotte: 11
Alma Mater: Clemson University
Occupation: HR Professional
Smarty ‘hood: South Charlotte
What is the biggest challenge with being a single mom?
Not having someone to “throw the baton too!”
Are there any misconceptions people have about single moms?
Maybe that we are pitiful human beings and we mope around like Eore. I do NOT feel sorry for myself and I have NO time to let single parenthood slow me down.
If I could offer advice to anyone struggling, I would say, “everyone has a story and it’s all relative to what you know! Your life may be hard, but you know what, almost everyone has a huge struggle. None of our struggles are any worse than anyone else’s. We need to be compassionate and understand this about each other — this was a realization for me after losing Chris.”
What can friends do to help out single friends?
If they have kids, offer to do play dates. Even babysitting swaps are great. I’ll take your kid if you take mine. I’ll help out, but would love the help in return.
I have three:
• “God never gives you more than you can handle.”
• “never, never, never give up.”
• “Make your dreams big and your worries small.”
What is one piece of advice you would give to a stressed out single mom?
Get organized, create a schedule for you and the kids and stick to it. MAKE SURE to carve out two things: 1) down time/quiet time/nap time (whatever you need to call it!) for both you and the kid (s) during the day
2) make sure at least once a month you get 1-2 nights away to yourself. Have Grandparents come, hire a sitter or bribe a friend!! Whatever you need to do to get some time to yourself to Recharge!!!
Favorite lunch spot sans kids?
By the Pool at Ballantyne Resort!!!
Favorite place to take the family for dinner?
Sweet Home Alabama
Best birthday party you’ve attended/hosted?
Any party where I can DROP OFF!!! (single moms need that more than anyone!)
Favorite phone app?
Artkive – This application lets you take a picture of your child’s art work and archive and share it. Then you can trash it and not feel guilty! I just love it.
I could not live without my…
Desk calendar—yes I like to hand write it so I can SEE it, touch it, feel it!