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Meet our Marvelous Moms!

Each month a few wise women from our new Marvelous Moms panel sound off on an important family topic and share their real-life advice. Here, meet our first six members.

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Sheri Rizzo
Macomb, MI 
Kids: Anthony (12), Dominic (11), Natalee (7), Nicolas (5)
Occupation: College Advisor

Hot Tip: It’s important to try to let go of “mom guilt.” Sometimes I struggle with the fact that I can’t give my kids everything. We don’t have a vacation home or a million presents under the tree, but we do have a lot of time to spend with each other. That’s the most important gift. The other day at school one of my sons was asked his most valuable possession, and he said his parents . . . so I guess we’re doing something right.

 

 

Lois Eatherton  
Garland, TX
Kids: Hannah (10), Rebekah (10), Ruth (7), David (5), and Sarah (1)
Occupation:  Stay-at-home mom

Hot Tip: It’s natural for kids to want everything. I explain to mine that some toys are just too expensive. Last year, for instance, they wanted a Wii game system. I said they could choose to combine their holiday gifts and get that but, in the end, they opted not to. I also remind them that we are lucky to have a house, food, and a family.

 
 

 

Erin Kramer
Nevada, IA
Kids: Andrew (7 months) and Gabriel (4)
Occupation: Education graduate student

Hot Tip: Play dates are really important, but can be difficult with young kids. If my child is having a hard time dealing with another child, I try to separate them. Maybe instead of doing an activity where they have to work together, we will focus on something like coloring. That way they can do the same activity without getting in each other's way. Once they have a little break from each other, things are usually fine.

 

 

Dionne Penman
Chicago, IL
Kids: AJ (9) and Gabe (5)
Occupation: Substitute teacher and EMT student

Hot Tip: Both my sons take the bus to school, so mornings get really busy! To keep everyone on track, I set a timer for 20-minute intervals. Giving them each a specific amount of time to get dressed, eat breakfast, brush their teeth and hair and get their book-bag packed ensures that they’re ready to go when the school bus pulls up to our door.

 
Julee Morrison

Taylorsville, UT
Kids: Jake (21), Zac (18), Abi (9), MacKenzie (7), and William (5)
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom

Hot tip: I’ve found that homework is less of a struggle when the kids know exactly what to expect. We set aside one hour each night to work on assignments. Even when the teacher sends home less, that hour is spent reading or reviewing.

 

 

Kris Quinn Christopherson
Clarkfield, MN
Kids: Jacob (11), Shelby (8), and Ellie (5)
Occupation: Book reviewer

Hot tip: I love being a part of my school’s PTSA — getting involved in your child’s school is extremely rewarding. There are so many unique projects you can do. For example, I’m working on coordinating an Artist in Residence program where writers, painters, poets, and musicians stay in our community for a few weeks and provide art programs for our elementary school children, as we do not have a formal art program at that level. 

 
 

Nicole Foxwell
Baltimore, MD
Kids: Thomas (6) and Charlie (4)
Occupation: Office administrator

Hot tip: I’m very careful not to over-schedule my children. They crave a routine, and too many evening activities wreak havoc on their sleep, eating, and behavior. We stick to activities that are educational and happen directly after school.

 

 
Tracey Porcher

Mount Pleasant, SC
Kids: Wilson (8) and Zach (6)
Occupation: Preschool teacher

Hot tip: I think it’s important for parents to choose volunteer projects based on their personal talents. For me, I want to be directly involved with the children, as that is where I feel I can do the most good. Sometimes I think I relate better to children than adults!   

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