For more than 25 years, Kathy Davis has been the trusted voice of heartfelt connection. We can always count on her for the right words to offer comfort, share joy and celebrate life’s moments, big and small, which is why she continues to be a great friend and content partner. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we are excited to share a recent conversation we had with Kathy, and her daughter, Katie, about the journey of motherhood, and the importance of recognizing and celebrating the moms in your life.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received about being a mom, and who did it come from?
Kathy: One piece of advice that sticks in my mind came from our pediatrician at the time. She was an older woman, pretty matter of fact in her delivery, but so very experienced! After she performed her doctor duties on my toddler, she turned to me and said, “Now you will want to go for walks with him, but let HIM take the lead. He will want to stop and pick up a leaf or look at a worm. Your job is to let him take the time to really experience nature and the world around him. Don’t hurry him.” It truly was a lesson for me about mindfulness! So, the task was not about getting from one place to another, it was about enjoying every step along the way. Good advice no matter what you are doing! Katie: My best friend encouraged me to scale back on work when the baby came and to take the extra time and just BE there with my baby. You never get that time back and I never regretted it for a second.
What has your daughter taught you about motherhood now that she is a grown woman with a child of her own?
Kathy: Katie is a natural when it comes to motherhood! I can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to become a mom. I’m very proud of the way she nurtures little Sammy, and she enjoys him immensely. Katie trusts her instincts and I admire that. There is so much conflicting advice about child rearing, but trusting your instincts and knowing your child is the best compass, and Katie accomplishes that effortlessly. She is in her element!
What is it like watching your own mother as a grandparent?
Katie: It’s so fun! My mom LOVES LOVES my son and its obvious he loves her! I can’t wait to see what kind of relationship those two forge. I’m betting it will be pretty special. I was extremely close with my grandparents and the relationship I had with them is one of the most precious things in my life and my hope is he has the same with her.
What is the biggest struggle you have encountered on your own motherhood journey?
Kathy: Keeping my life in balance has always been my biggest challenge, especially as a mom (and, in particular during the years I was a single parent!) Being there for my two kids as much as possible while juggling a job and maintaining our home was a struggle. My daughter used to say, “I wish you were a stay-at-home mom,” and it would break my heart. Katie: I have found that once my son (Sammy, 7 months old) was born, I immediately shifted into mama bear mode. I prioritized his needs above everything else in the world, which I think is mostly instinctual and very necessary to care for a new baby especially in those early days and weeks. What I didn’t anticipate was how difficult it would be to pull myself out of that bubble and take care of myself. Regular things I didn’t think twice about doing before baby like yoga, spending time with friends and even cooking a healthy meal, seemed really impossible and totally unimportant in light of the new baby.
What did that struggle teach you and how did you find your way out?
Kathy: I have learned that keeping my life in balance is something that just can’t happen on a daily basis! Most days just get out of whack and are top heavy with one thing or another. But, the key for me is making sure that over the course of time I give attention to all of the top priorities in my life, and my family is so important to me. As a mom I have tried to really be there when I am with my kids, making sure they know how much they are loved. As an artist, business owner, wife, mom, and now, grandmother, keeping my life in balance in the big picture is something I continue to work on! Katie: Only recently have I realized how important those things are to who I am. As a mother you give everything to your child: your body, all of your positive energy, every waking moment and many not-so-awake moments, and honestly I was SO in love with my baby that I didn’t really care. It was only, at my husband’s insistence that, I finally went back to my old yoga class, something I hadn’t done since I was 17 weeks pregnant. It felt so great to workout, and to sweat and bring some of the focus back onto myself and find what my body and mind need to feel balanced and healthy. I didn’t even realize how much I had missed it until then. I came home energized and clear minded with the realization of how important that time is for my well-being. Being a mom has certainly changed me but I don’t want it to replace my identity entirely. It’s something I’m sure will be an ongoing struggle but I’m thankful to have an awareness about it now.
What do you wish you could tell other moms who are feeling unappreciated or insecure about being a mom?
Kathy: Before I had my children, I was worried that I wouldn’t know how to be a mom! We had a small family and I was not around babies very much, so even though I knew I wanted a family, I was very insecure in my abilities and wasn’t even sure that motherhood was for me. But after I had my son, I quickly learned that so much of being a good mom comes naturally! My advice to other moms would be to not worry too much about the little things! None of us are perfect, and we can’t expect our kids to be perfect either. Going with the flow makes everyone happier! Mostly, just LOVE. Katie: I absolutely LOVE this quote from Elle Rowley. I remind myself of it every time I feel frustrated or start to second guess myself. “I know very few mothers who don’t impress me for one reason or another. I reject the notion that there are good moms and bad moms. There are good and bad drivers, good and bad hair stylists, dentists, even friends, and just about everything else, but those polars don’t really work when it comes to mothers, at least not any of the mothers I know. Every mom I know is doing the best she can and that is inspiring.” _ Elle Rowley
Kathy Davis recently launched her Open Heart campaign, which celebrates how she’s always been inspired by how sharing what’s in our hearts with the ones we love, deepens our joy and connection. Open Heart celebrates those very moments by inviting people to take the time to open up and express how they feel to a woman who means the world to them. By sharing these video tributes of love and gratitude, the hope is that others will be inspired to create their own, just in time for Mother’s Day. To follow along as Kathy takes you on this heartfelt journey and to learn more about making your own video, click here — and enjoy this sweet glimpse of what makes the relationship between Kathy and her daughter Katie so very special.
To see more of Kathy and Katie in their own Open Heart videos, click here.