Baby Mama of the Week: Kara Thom of Mama Sweat

kara thom baby mama of the weekI'm in awe of moms who find time to work out. Moms who find time to work out, inspire others to do so and write a book, Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom (in stores April 2011) make me re-think my complaints of being soooo busy when that Pilate's class rolls around and I'm still sitting at my computer.

Kara Thom is that hot sweaty mama of four -- count 'em, four -- children including three daughters and baby boy. She writes on Mama Sweat about being a fit mama and how you, too, can achieve better health through moving your butt. Luckily Kara does it in such a way that you find yourself laughing and relaxing your shoulders in preparation for a good run instead of clenching and wondering who, exactly, does she think she is?

For these and other feats (including convincing me I need a head lamp and posting adorable pictures of her baby) Kara Thom is our Baby Mama of the Week.

Here's what she has to say:


Name one thing about you that would surprise your readers.

That this 2-time Ironman spent her last two teenage years competing in beauty pageants. This is one of those things that really tastes bad in my mouth when I talk about it. I just shake my head thinking of my 18-year-old self. That said, I got my first gym membership and personal trainer out of the deal. I worked out far and away more than the other contestants (an early sign of things to come) and I was ripped for the swimsuit competition. Apparently, however, that's not what the judges were looking for. Sigh.  

What is your proudest parenting moment?

It certainly isn't right now. I have an errant 6-year-old refusing to go to bed. It's 9:30 p.m. (I'm a morning person, thank you) and I don't like myself as a mother at night. So it's quite likely all of my proud parenting moments take place early in the day.

Truly, though, I have lots of little moments that make me proud, and certainly I've got a ton of those head-fake moments (like last week when this old man stopped me in the grocery store to compliment me on my well-behaved children and for being a good mother -- what he didn't know is that they had just scarfed up their free "if you don't behave in the store you won't get a cookie!" cookie and I was using my "people are watching" voice.

The absolute proudest, though? I'd say surviving--even thriving--the year after my third daughter was born. I had three children under two. My choices were to crumble under the stress or rally. I rallied. When the next year rolled around we were having so much fun I didn't send my twins to preschool. Yes, you read that right. Second place goes to tying the sled around my waist with a dog leash and running the girls around the neighborhood after a fresh, thick coating of Minnesota snow.  

What's your secret coping mechanism?

What first came to mind is my need to talk, blab, chat about my life (which dovetails quite nicely with blogging) but then that's not very secret, is it? Well, what else . . . I have four pints of Ben and Jerry's in my freezer at this very moment. And sometimes, I go to my gym, check the kids into the childcare center and go straight to the spa for a massage. Yep. I do.  

When your baby is old enough to Google, which blog post are you most afraid of him reading?

I think all writing mothers wonder, not if but when, they'll cross the line writing about their children. I'm quite certain I've already passed it in many posts, but the one post where I replay the conversation that took place in my house about pooping our initials might be the one that gets me in trouble. Truth is my defense.   

What is the best piece of parenting advice you can give?

Every now and then when your kids ask for ice cream before dinner, give it to them. When they come into your room at night for the 7th time, let them snuggle with you. If your child asks you to join you on something you intended to do alone (an errand or a workout), change your plans and let them come. Let them get away with something they want that, in the grand scheme of things, isn't going to ruin their life. Sometimes we can be such power mongers as parents. I mean, we have to, for the most part, but I love to catch them off guard every now and then; let them indulge in whatever kid fantasy they are after at the moment. When you do, you will almost always hear, "You are the BEST mom ever," and dang if I we all don't need to hear that more often.
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