Smarties, meet Smarty Mom, Lindsay Barry. I first met Lindsay a year ago, and I could immediately tell there was something special about her. She had this unbelievable calmness about her that made me feel so relaxed and at ease. I soon found out that this tranquil woman was a mother of FOUR. Of course, I had to know more like How do you do it? What are your secrets? After spending time with Lindsay, I soon realized she is a great listener, helper, and friend to all she knows. She does this so effortlessly and at the same time managing her busy family of four children (3/4 being TRIPLET BOYS!). Wow. Lindsay also manages to keep herself even more busy these days helping her husband start a new church. So that’s her other secret…her faith. Smarties enjoy reading more about Lindsay Barry. She’s great!
Smarty Mom: Lindsay Barry
Smarty Mom Stats:
Married to & years: Wes Barry for 12 years
Children: Ellie, 7 years-old; Jack, James, and Thomas (Triplets): 5 years-old
Hometown: Denver, CO. As a non-Charlottean and non-Southerner, I’m a bit unusual in my social circles. In answer to the questions I get most often: Yes, I miss it and yes I love to ski! Ellie and I take a mother-daughter ski trip to Colorado each February and it’s a highlight for both of us.
Alma Mater: Davidson College
Years in Charlotte: We have been in Charlotte for the past seven years, but we spent four years in Davidson and two years in Charlotte right after college, before a three-year stint in Princeton, NJ for Wes to attend seminary. So, it feels like the Charlotte area has been our home for much of the past 16 years.
Neighborhood: South Park. We love the convenience and proximity to the Harris Y, Whole Foods, and so much more.
Tells us about your life as a mom of 4? Wow, you are very blessed, but very busy, I imagine? Well, I am an only child, so my life has reached a level of chaos beyond what I can tolerate. I had no idea how much siblings can fight with one another over E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! We often tell people that the first few years were insanely difficult, but now we think we have it easier than other families with four children, because things are somewhat efficient now. Our boys go to the same school, make up half their soccer team, and have the same routines. So, it’s like we have only two different schedules to juggle between the four of them.
Any tips for us on staying organized and stress free? I have always been an organized person and need to be for my own sanity. I guess that’s why my friends said I was the “perfect” person to have triplets. Wes is the “fun” one and I’m the one that makes sure we have the plan and the things we need while having fun.
Multitasking is my main strategy. I don’t waste a second of my day. Sometimes while my kids are eating breakfast, I’m packing TOMORROW’s school lunches, prepping dinner, and doing a devotional with them. I definitely get stuff done, but I need to work on simply being present in relationships and making sure I’m listening and not just task-mastering.
A few years ago, we created a Family Mission Statement. It’s been helpful in guiding us in decisions and shaping the vision we have for our family. Most of the things that matter to us are about building character. One thing that we determined from this exercise is to be intentional about drawing a hard line with scheduling. We want to avoid the temptation to over-schedule our kids. We work as a family unit, and we only do one or two activities each season. We want our children to have down time and we want to eat dinner together at home. I know it means we are not giving our kids the best chance to perfect their off-season swimming or master an instrument, but for now we are happy with the trade off.
Please share with us a little bit about your past careers. We love to know what our moms have done and are doing. I am professional counselor. I got my official, hard-earned license to practice therapy the same week we found out our “second” child was our third and fourth as well. I haven’t earned a penny from that license, but it’s a career I am passionate about and I get to use some of the skills on my kids, husband, friends and running partners!
In New Jersey, I worked with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. I feel very passionate about the cause and the national attention these matters are getting.
If the right situation came about, I’d love to go back to counseling.
And how about now? What are you up to these days? I’ve heard you are very busy helping your husband start a new church. Wes and I, along with a small group of faithful and adventurous people, launched Waypoint Community Church in April. Wes felt called to start a church that would be relevant and that would challenge people to apply their faith to their daily lives. Many people in Charlotte have a church home, but most of us (we were there for many years!) sit in the pew and passively absorb things without giving another thought as to how to use the truths and message in some meaningful way. Things are different at Waypoint and we love seeing the ways people are inspired and encouraged. We meet at Myers Park High School on Sundays at 10am.
I can imagine this is a huge task, what is your role in this process? It has been an amazing process, both incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding. I coordinate our children’s ministry program, but I’m eager to pass the baton on to someone far more gifted than I am. The rest of my duties are serving and supporting Wes wherever he needs me. It varies considerably, but I’ll help with emails, bills, meeting planning, getting to know new people, editing and proofing documents, and discussing sermon material. It’s all worth it, though, when we see the impact on others who didn’t know church could be such a fulfilling place.
How has this impacted your family? It’s almost all been positive. I’ve never seen Wes more fulfilled. Doing what you’re truly called to do is a gift. His contentment sets the tone for all of us. Wes works out of the house a lot, which is a blessing and a curse. There have been many times when he’s been able to help me out with childcare needs, but then there are other times where I need to respect his work obligations and not assume he’s at my beck and call. But, it has benefitted us all to have him more accessible than when he was Uptown all day. On a deeper level, our children’s faith has grown a lot. A start up church requires people to serve in some way whether bringing refreshments, setting up chairs, or leading a prayer. For my children, as for the people who attend our church, having to get involved forces people to take things to a new level. I’m grateful for what this season has done for our family.
What is the hardest part of starting a new church? The hardest part is the risk of failure and the vulnerability of putting yourself out there. I’m the type of person who likes to shield myself from the negative opinions of others, so it’s hard to know Wes is taking such a big risk. But, this isn’t about him or me. This is God’s church. God does the work, we do not. That’s the other challenge. We are people who are very capable and rely on ourselves to get things done. But, our efforts will always fall short. We have to trust God’s leading and God’s plan or we steer things in the wrong direction. It’s hard to be patient and submit to God’s plan.
What is the most rewarding part? I’ve shed a few tears of joy at the miraculous ways God has brought together people within our community. It’s also encouraging to see the profound impact this little, infant church has had on people’s lives already. Getting to witness God’s story and movement among us is powerful as is getting to see God use Wes in this process. Very few women have the opportunity to see the influence their husbands have at work. I’m fortunate, as it gives me a better perspective and a greater appreciation when I can see the effects of his efforts.
Now for some fun questions to get to know you better!
What is your go to family meal you like to cook? Taco Salad. It’s hard to find a meal that pleases all, but this one always does. And, it looks different every time, so I don’t feel like we get into a rut.
What is your favorite activity to do with your kids (at home and/or out & about)? We like to be active and outdoors. The kids enjoy sports in the yard (preferably with lots of neighbors joining in) and once we had an epic game of Capture the Flag that we hope to replicate. Biking the greenway or hiking are things Wes and I like to bring the kids to do, but they are not yet appreciating these outings!
What about a best activity for a date night? In our professional and personal experience, we see people struggle to keep the focus on their marriages. Often, the marriage takes the back burner to parenting and career. We fight this as much as possible, though we are better in some seasons than others. We will put the kids to bed promptly at least one night a week to have dinner alone. And, we do routinely hire sitters and go out for a quiet, slow dinner. We will also go for a run or hike when the kids are in school. It’s fairly simple, but sharing a meal or activity together really strengthens those bonds.
What’s your favorite family friendly restaurant in Charlotte? We used to rotate through our six favorite pizza joints, trying not to overwhelm any one place with our chaos and mess. Recently, our kids have enjoyed Chuy’s. The patio, live music, bottomless chips, and push pops at the end seem to do the trick.
When you get a few minutes to yourself, what do you like to do? Have any hobbies? I’ve been a runner most of my life and it’s my passion and release. A few years ago, I started adding Athletic Conditioning classes at the Harris Y to my routine and I LOVE them (Mary Dare, Mary Q, and Neal are fabulous instructors). I’m much stronger now and I need this area of my life where I feel a sense of accomplishment by working hard.
Favorite TV Show? I seriously watch no TV. I have a hubby who loves to unwind with it, but it’s just not my thing. I can’t sit still and I have to be productive. I will read a book or surf the web, though.
Favorite App? As if the no TV thing didn’t make me weird enough, I do not have a smartphone. This is actually my solution to my unhealthy need to be productive. If I had a phone at my disposal, I’d totally check out of the world. I’m sure I’d be very unsafe driving, as well. I like being out and knowing I can be more present than I would be otherwise. I have an iPad and my favorite app is Accordance. I’m sure there are others like it, but it’s a Bible reading app that lets you view several translations simultaneously. It’s kind of geeky, but fairly useful for folks like me who often find the Bible hard to understand.