It’s possible that the saying “Work Hard Play Harder” was written for my neighbours, The Breau’s. They work harder than any two parents I know…and the opposite is true as well. From their two high-demanding jobs to their hobbies, children’s activities, social engagements, family and friend time…there’s always a whirlwind of activity mixed in with a whole lot of love and laughter.
I’m not an early morning person. In fact, it takes a little bit to get me going. Monday mornings being the worst…where I lag a little from the weekend. My alarm goes off and I hit snooze before crawling out of bed to brush my teeth. I pour my tea, put the dog out, and run my kids to school…usually in jammies. I come home for another cup of tea and try to get my day started by 9:30…my creative head never quite being able to function until a little later…so it’s paper work and organization until ideas hit me.
It’s usually as I’m pulling into my driveway on the way home from dropping the kids off…before getting that second cup of tea…that I see them. Kathy and Jamie Breau, in their driveway with trunks open…transferring boxes from the garage to their cars…organizing their week.
Both are in sales…”car stock” they call it as they move things around…rearrange their “mobile offices” for the week ahead.
By the time I’m dragging myself into the house…Kathy looks like she’s stepped from the salon, her hair beautifully coiffed…her outfit divine…a smile on her face and a warm wave as she jumps in her KIA and heads off to see her first client.
By that point, she’s already been to the gym and supermarket as her day started at 5:30 am! For Kathy, it’s the key to her success…an hour at the gym to herself each morning may be the only hour she gets for the entire day…followed by a run to the market to gather whatever she’s making for supper that day…a two week rotation of crock-pot meals she’s been perfecting for the last four years!
As an Account Executive with Loreal Canada for Nova Scotia for the last 20 years, Kathy travels for work logging around 50,000 kms per year, a whack of Air Miles and that many more hotel points!
Kathy has “working mom” down to a science as she’s organized beyond belief. With a husband who also travels Atlantic Canada, their schedule has to be laid out sometimes months in advance to make it all run seamless…calendars taped to the inside of the pantry tell the true story.
Like most working parents, it’s the evenings that get crazy! In the hours between 5 and 9 pm, Kathy and Jamie are chasing their children, Ryan (14) and Karen (12). Both kids (who I should add are lovely and respectful…always with a smile on their face and a greeting as they see me in the driveway) are in competitive sports. Between Hockey (for both) and Soccer, they have a total of 16 after school/evening commitments weekly!
Kathy and Jamie aren’t doing it alone…they depend on a car-pool for everything from school activities, sport games, practices ….even the orthodontist! At the end of the day, it’s shared chores between the couple before they fall, completely exhausted, into bed…to do it all over the next day.
Their relationship works…both with the same set of goals and parenting styles…married over 20 years and completely smitten with one another…they are proving that love and commitment are at the heart of their family’s success.
And it’s not just to one another…their extended family of siblings, nieces and nephews, parents and friends who are treated as if they were family…are all in the mix! With a mother who’s in a nursing home, Kathy fits in doctor’s appointments and visits with her mom to her busy schedule…as well as spending time to help out her fabulous sister and three beautiful nephews.
Where is it failing? Admittedly, Kathy finds it easier to do it all herself. Her biggest challenge is allowing her children to do more around the house…while it sounds great in theory to delegate a bit of the work…Kathy knows she can accomplish two tasks in the time it takes to show someone how to do one…and on a tight schedule, it’s often easier to just do it herself!
She misses nothing! With a demanding job..it’s also fairly flexible. The “mom I forgot my lunch/permission slip/gym shoes” phone calls can usually be handled between clients and it’s rare for her to miss an important milestone.
It’s impressive to watch from the sidelines and while I’m running my own busy schedule from my home next door…Kathy is one of the first to pitch in if ever I need a helping hand! When time allows, we try our best to grab a quick coffee break in my office…for a catch-up and de-brief that usually includes a whole lot of belly laughs…as staying in touch with friends is important to this busy mom.
Full of energy, vivacious, a huge spirit and an even bigger heart…Kathy is absolutely nailing this “working mom” gig! Her husband is her rock, her children are her joy…and her family and friends are well loved and taken care of…all while she’s pulling it off with a great amount of both style and grace.
Disclaimer: I’m thrilled to introduce you to Kathy. Once a month, Curtains are Open will focus on a different #KIAWorkingMom as part of our partnership with O’Regan’s KIA Dartmouth. Follow KIA Dartmouth on Twitter and Facebook for all of the latest news and to see the amazing things they’re doing in our community.