Recognizing your volunteers is a surefire way to increase morale in your community group. So imagine how Kat Whiteley, technology guru and leader in her Seattle parenting group, Eastside Mothers of Multiples (EMOMS), felt when she was named Mother of the Year by the club.
“Actually, I felt a little bit embarassed,” says Kat. “I’ve never been ‘good’ at receiving compliments, and this has been about the biggest compliment I could ever be given.” Kat is a mother of two sets of twins (yes, you read that right) and describes her parenting role as “the most important job I’ve ever had.”
Kat, Dave, and their two sets of twins
Since EMOMS has been active on Big Tent since August 2007, we’ve been fortunate enough to ask our resident Mother of the Year to share some parenting advice with us. Kat, in her usual down-to-earth manner, assures that “you do what you have to do.” In her words:
So much of the time we worry about doing the exact “right” thing. But when you are in the thick of things, living one day at a time, and sometimes one hour at a time, you have to just do what is appropriate in the moment. Maybe that means turning on the TV for half an hour so you can have a quiet moment to regroup. Getting through each day and being true to yourself will let you be the best mom you can be for your kids.
Throughout her busy days of parenting, Kat finds time to roll up her sleeves and get to work in the community. When EMOMS jobs for an email and website administrator went unfilled, Kat stepped up. Scanning the group discussion forums for members’ questions with zero responses, Kat chimes in — researching outside resources as needed — and makes sure everyone feels supported. In addition, Kat serves as Publicity and Web Site Manager for her church group, Northshore Baptist MOPS.
What keeps Kat going? “I know what is possible using technology, and I am anxious for groups to reap the benefits,” she says. “The other major force that fuels my continued passion for volunteering is my faith, and the belief that I can make a better world by doing what I can, one mom at a time.”
Kudos to Kat, another wonder woman walking in our midst! And when she’s not wrapped up with her seven-year-old boys and five-year-old girls, look for her to whizz by, riding a dirt bike — one of her favorite hobbies.
Vroom, vroom, there goes Kat