A work day immersed in cases of child abuse and neglect can show Assistant District Attorney Kaelyn Avery the dark side of the world but at the end of the day she knows there will be light.
No matter what trial she may be in the middle of or how crazy the caseload, Avery goes home to 3-year-old Clara.
“Being a mom is a joy,” Avery said. “I do a job every day where I almost see the worst of the worst. To go home and have her show me her dinosaurs or have her want to play outside on the swings or tell me something funny in her 3-year-old way, it gives me a rest from all of the bad. In what, unfortunately, can be a real dark world she is a bright light for me. She is my heart and it is a joy to parent her.”
Avery is just one of the many women around Onslow County juggling roles as mom, wife and career woman but one role they say is a bit out of reach is that of supermom.
There are no capes or super powers; just moms on the job 24/7 doing their best for their children.
“I think everyone is supermom. It’s never-ending; you are always mom,” said Bethany Anderson of Jacksonville
Anderson is mom to 3-year-old Lane and six months ago she and her husband, Josh, opened their first business, bringing The Little Gym franchise to town.
In a sense, they are raising a new business as well as a child and each have different needs and challenges.
“The hard part about having a new business and a young child is that they are both constantly changing,” Anderson said.
And because it is a kid-friendly business, Anderson said they are fortunate that they have the flexibility of bringing Lane to work. But she said she has also had to prioritize and work at separating work and home life.
“I try to compartmentalize when I’m being mom and when business is just business,” she said.
Anderson said everyday of motherhood is more special as she gets to see Lane grow and develop as a person. And while she struggles with there not being enough time to do everything that may be need to be done, Anderson said all is OK when she’s home with her son is snuggled with her reading a book before bed.
“At the end of the day, if he’s healthy and happy that is what is important,” she said.
Stacie Huntington has worked as Family Support Supervisor for Onslow County Partnership for Children for seven years and brings her own life experience to the job as the mother of five children and now as a grandmother.
“That’s why I do what I do. I think being a parent is important and family is important and I want to be able to help other families in the community,” Huntington said.
Huntington was a stay-at-home looking for place to go where she could have some ‘me time’ and learn new skills and ways to connect with kids and tips for handling stress when she was drawn to the job opportunity at OCPC.
From her perspective, every mom faces challenges whether they are working outside the home or not.
“I don’t think one is easier than the other; both have different challenges,” Huntington said.
Huntington suggests setting expectations for each family member so that everyone knows their responsibilities and pre-planning so that everyone knows what’s ahead.
“It is all about pre-planning and making sure everyone’s needs for the household are met,” Huntington said.
And after the planning is done, remember to be flexible; plans change. And don’t forget to include time for yourself, something mom’s tend to forget, Huntington said.
Huntington admittedly didn’t see herself being a mom before she married but there has been no greater reward.
“I was going to focus on a career and do all these things but after I married and had my first child, I loved being a mom. I’m so thankful and blessed I get to be a mom,” she said.
Huntington, Avery and Anderson all say they are fortunate to also have great support from their families and the task of parenting is not one they do alone.
“I think all parents who are actively involved in their child’s life and work to do the best they can for their child, they are all super heroes,” Avery said.
Reporter Jannette Pippin can be reached at 910-382-2557 or Jannette.Pippin@JDNews.com.