Having children and raising them to become a force for good is one of the toughest challenge that a parent can tackle. It gets even more difficult when you’re working and you have to balance the responsibility of your career and the responsibility to your children. So obviously, there are times when tough choices are necessary.
Kristen Hewitt publicly discussed a parenting choice she made, and she knew full well that not everyone would see things her way. But she certainly didn’t anticipate all the backlash she would end up getting. This just proved that when it comes to parenting, everyone has different opinions, and what might be right for one parent, isn’t right in the eyes of another.
Kristen is 41 and a working mom. As a reporter, she’s covered the Miami Heat for Fox Sports for over ten years and won two Emmy awards. She’s also an entrepreneur and a blogger on the side, so it’s obvious that her career is very important. But when she started having kids, she had to make a few adjustments in her life.
Kristen’s job required her to cover the Miami Heat’s home and away games. This meant that she had to travel a lot. But once she started a family, she opted for part-time work so she could cover the home games only. Since she didn’t get paid maternity leave either, this sports reporter had to cover the basketball game three weeks after she gave birth to her baby girl, Lila. But she’s still making it work eight years later.
Kristen now has two kids at home who are eight and a five years old. Not only does she continue to cover the Miami Heat’s home games, but her blog has become a mini-media hit. Kristen is even helping other bloggers start their own businesses. But as her kids got older, her responsibilities as a mom grew. And while her husband is very supportive, some responsibilities have fallen solely on her shoulder.
Kristen had a rough time last December. She had made it through all the work that went on with making the Thanksgiving holiday a success. The following week, her hubby went on a business-related trip, which meant she had to look after the kids. She was also having health problems and was virtually tapped out.
One day, Lila had to attend an honor roll ceremony at her daughter’s school, but Kristen told her daughter she couldn’t make it. Her daughter was cool with it since her dad and grandmother were going to be there. Kristen wrote on her Facebook post: “She understood, gave me a hug, and thanked me for all I do for her.” But she had bigger concerns than not hurting Lila’s feelings.
The following day, Kristen had taken her kids to school, and the other moms asked her why she didn’t attend the ceremony. She told them it was because of work. But then Kristen felt ashamed. It turned out that she had told a little white lie. She didn’t have to work when she claimed she did. So, she had no other choice but to confess why she didn’t go to Lila’s ceremony.
Kristen confessed everything on her Facebook page. “So I did something that some may think is selfish recently, but I really needed it. I missed my daughter’s honor roll assembly so I could work out.” She went on to explain how anxiety and exhaustion had taken a toll on her and that she needed some alone time. But the reactions to her coming clean were divided.
Kristen was relieved when she was praised for being honest about her struggles. One commenter wrote: “It’s a necessity in order to be the mom and wife your family deserves to have and the happy, healthy woman you deserve to be!” Another commenter said, “I love the lesson you taught your daughter: that you love her, and that you care deeply, but that you’re not always going to be there, and that that’s OK.” But others weren’t quite so nice.
Kristen was deemed selfish by some folks. One person wrote, “You have lots of other days to workout, your daughter won’t have that many special award night, I never missed any of my kids’ award nights, all I felt was proud, wouldn’t miss it for anything especially to work out.” Despite the harsh criticisms, Kristen is happy to have shared her parenting experience with everyone.
On her blog, Kristen explained: “I make no apologies for missing that assembly that day, nor do I regret posting it on social media. And I encourage more women to do the same. It doesn’t matter if you’re a single mom, a stay at home mom, or work 80 hours a week…And you don’t need an excuse for why you’re missing it.” She also stressed how important self-care is.
“Sure we have responsibilities, bills, kids, and other work and life priorities, but that doesn’t mean we have to lose ourselves in motherhood. If we aren’t enjoying and living our best life, how will our children learn to do the same?” Kristen said. “It’s not selfish – it’s called self-love.” There’s no way you can argue with a statement that comes from someone as resourceful and accomplished as Kristen.
Kristen majored in Communication at the University of Central Florida. Then she went on to cover a bunch of Floridian sports teams as a reporter and a producer. She even met basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal when she covered the Orlando Magic. O’Neal even asked her to cover his birthday party. That gig gave Kristen the break she needed.
After covering O’Neal’s birthday bash, Kristen won an audition to cover the Miami Heat. From there, she went on to report the news on the air. But after that, she went on to create a blog which won her awards like “Voice of the Year 2017” and “Best Blog Miami.” And did we mention that her sports coverage won her two Emmys? Her hectic life also taught her a lot of things about how to deal with parenting.
“What kids need is for us to show up at home.” Kristen shared. “To be there to teach them to love themselves. To encourage them to work hard and show them the discipline it takes to get good grades. To model kindness and gratitude, and value those traits more than the letter on their report card. And to not be everything for everyone else, but forget to first give to ourselves.”