Moms Around Town

It’s no secret that Anthony Around Town can’t get enough of hearing the stories, experiences, and perspectives of some the fascinating people who call Elko home. So far, we’ve chatted with business owners, city officials, fast food veterans, and even a superhero! What these people have had to say matters, because, when it comes to being a community, everyone’s involvement is essential and by keeping that in mind will be how we (the Elko area) will continue to thrive and grow with one another.

With this being said, there’s one giant demographic in our city that we haven’t heard from yet, our local moms! We can’t have that! Sometimes, it’s easy for this role to be perceived as “lesser,” especially when listing off all of the fancy job titles found in our city. “I’m a miner. I work in medicine. I own a restaurant etc.” However, if you think being a mom is less of a job compared to any other type of occupation, then I’m afraid you’ve sadly been misinformed. There’s no such thing as “just” being a mom.

Moms, here at Anthony Around Town, we have your back. Your voice matters. Your story matters. Motherhood matters, and today, we’re going to highlight that truth.

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For this feature, we have five local mommies who are going to speak on specific topics for us regarding motherhood: Brittany St. Germain, Cynthia Shedd, Cherish Guitar, Catherine Valdez, and Fawn Reyes Bailey. We’ll hear some of their points here in part one, and we’ll continue the conversation in part two of “Moms Around Town.”

The first thing we asked these moms was about their journies as mothers. What has it been like so far? Smooth? Difficult?

Brittany: “My experience as a mom has been wonderful and at the same time like a roller coaster, like most motherhood journeys. I became a mom when I was 17 years old. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t have a tribe or many people to go to for “mom advice.” At 17 none of my friends were mothers yet, so I was kind of alone in the process of finding out what would be best and how to parent. Fast forward five years later, and I gave birth to my second son, but this journey was completely different from my first. In my 20’s some of my friends had already started to have their children, so I was able to use their experiences and advice to help shape my parenting style. It’s true when they say, “it takes a village.” I found my village in our local MOPS group. I was quiet and shy and didn’t know what to expect from this group, so I went alone, and on the outside, I was cool as a cucumber {but on the inside I was shaking like a leaf.} Now I’m outspoken and helping other mothers shape their parenting style through my website “Barbells & Brownies.” We all parent differently and there’s absolutely no way to be “the perfect mother” so you have to find your tribe full of wonderful, imperfect women and love them hard. I have also been a surrogate mother. Being able to carry a child for a mother that physically cannot do it on her own is an experience I will never forget. Going through the IVF process, everything that it implies, and watching women struggle with infertility around me is a whole different side of the spectrum. I have never struggled with infertility so to go through IVF for my surrogacy journey was a huge eye-opener.”

Cynthia: “To be honest, My journey with my 6-month-old has been rough. We have both suffered many medical setbacks and complication, but we are stronger for it. I love watching my little man grow into the personality that God has given him!”

Fawn: “My journey as a Mom has been challenging but so rewarding. My first daughter was stillborn on January 1, 2006, and then I was blessed with a beautiful, healthy daughter Dec of 2006. That year was a complete emotional roller coaster for my husband and I. My daughter is my greatest blessing and accomplishment! She and I have been on a journey together since day one but, in 2015 my husband was diagnosed with cancer, and that was a life-changing diagnosis that included a series of events that brought us closer together. Fourteen months later I was a widow, and my daughter had lost her father. This situation changed our family dynamic and made our bond even stronger. She has taught me through all of our challenges together that my only option is to be fearless and teach her that we have our faith unconditionally and that we find our greatness through gaining strength during our times of difficulties. That we must follow our dreams and live life fully.”

Contributors: Cynthia Shedd (Top Left), Fawn Reyes Bailey (Bottom Left), Brittany St. Germain (Right

No matter where you live, being a mom (or a parent in general for that matter) is going to come with those up’s and downs the ladies have mentioned; furthermore, individually, what are their thoughts about going through those peaks and valleys in the Elko area? What is it like to raise a kid/kids in our area?

Catherine: “Raising my kids in Elko and Spring Creek was the best decision that we made for our children. It has always been a great supportive community. The kids were always so close to each other, and so were their friends. Elko and Spring Creek is a tight-knit community. I loved this about Elko and Spring Creek. People are so kind and generous. It’s a perfect place to raise children.”

Brittany: “I was raised in a city so living in Elko has definitely been a struggle for me at times. I’m not going to lie; there have been multiple times that I have wished for something kid-friendly to do around town. We have the splash pad and multiple sports fields which are great, but it would be wonderful to have some sort of indoor kids play area. I have just had to become more creative; that’s all. We do multiple science projects at home and lots of arts and crafts. I try to do something “hands on” with my kids every weekend. Life happens so sometimes we can’t do an activity, but I make sure to do a family movie night every Saturday with them at home. Pinterest gives me hundreds of ideas at my fingertips. I do love that Elko offers kids things at the library and the different runs that are offered throughout the year because we love to be active. Also, since it’s warming up, we’re so excited to go to Lamoille. It’s one of our favorite places to go.”

Being a mom matters. We’ve been preaching on and highlighting this. However, even though a woman may know this in her heart, discouragement may still creep into her head. What kind of encouragement would you contributors offer to all of the current and future mommies out there who may read this?

Cherish: “No self-help parent books will help you.  Every child is different even that person who wrote those books children.  I have a mellow son who very rarely gets in trouble. He loves to remain active. I have a drama queen daughter who has cried since day one over something she can’t have or because she can’t wear a dress and flip flops when it is raining or snowing. I know that may seem to mean to say about my daughter, but it portrays a picture that all kids are different, even when it comes to school.  My son, like me, has a reading disability. However, he can do math in five minutes flat; my daughter is excellent in reading and can tell you beyond context what the book was about, and she has to have brother tutor her in math.”

Cynthia: “I would love to communicate the beautiful mess of being a mom. Sometimes you love your kids, and sometimes you can’t wait for bedtime because they literally are driving you crazy, and that’s ok. You are not a bad mom; we are all human. Let’s support each other.”

Catherine: “Being a mom is hard work, but being apart of your kids’ schooling and life is very important. Go to the schools and help in your child’s classroom, and be supportive of their education. Know your children’s friends and get to know their parents. It is important to be active in your children’s lives. Make the eighteen years that you are given count. Before you know it, they are graduating and moving on.”

Contributors: Cherish Guitar (Top), Catherine Valdez (Bottom)

You can stay caught up on everything going on around here at AAT by checking out our “Stay Connected” page! Make sure you never miss a feature!

See you around, Elko!

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