Meet Heather Perkins, Our August Mom of the Month!

Hi! My name is Heather Perkins and I am honored to be August’s Mom of the Month!

Soooo… Who am I? I am wife to Kit, Mom to Reece who’s 2 and a half, Weston who is about to be 4 months, and Finn who is 4… or 28 depending on your perspective since he’s a dachshund. I was born and raised in South East Texas, but escaped the mosquitoes and humidity as soon as I graduated high school. I studied at Southwest Texas State (Texas State before it became Texas State) where I received my bachelor’s degree in Health and Wellness Promotion with an emphasis in Public Health. Weirdly, I choose this for my major because I was/still kinda am deathly afraid of needles, and I figured if I could manage to keep myself as healthy as possible I could probably avoid at least some of those little pricks. I also find learning about what we can do to keep ourselves and our family’s healthy absolutely fascinating…I mean your genes load the gun, but your lifestyle pulls the trigger, right? RIGHT! I also love reading, watching movies (especially documentaries), travelling, watching live music and organizing things. I realize the last part is a little odd to put in my list of things I love, but seriously what’s better than pulling out your label maker and making a perfect little space for your craft supplies or cleaning provisions?

Fast forward about 6 years after graduating from college, to when I met my husband Kit and where I suppose my “Mom Story” begins. Its 2008, and I had hosted a Christmas Party where I met Kit. This new friend of friend and I had lots in common, chiefly that we both wanted to quit our jobs and join the Peace Corp (a dream we both shared – I was going to teach people about infection control, and he, a civil engineer, was going to help them get clean water). We were both a little nervous about joining, so we decided that very night to get married platonically so that we could go together. Side note- they don’t let you go anywhere with anyone you know unless you are married, thus the rouse. Knowing that if you are going to marry someone, even just as friends, you should probably get to know them, we started hanging out; within a few weeks we dropped the platonic part and started dating. It wasn’t too long after that, I knew that Kit was my soulmate, and the one person I couldn’t imagine living life without. Thank goodness, he felt the same way and 3 years later we got married for real instead of platonically! We both still wanted to do the Peace Corp, but surprisingly neither of our families were ever really on board with the idea. So my brilliant hubby, found another opportunity for us to serve our fellow man, but with significantly less risk.

One month after we were married, Kit and I moved to Christchurch, New Zealand. Kit was going to help repair their infrastructure from a devastating Earth Quake they experienced the year before and I found a job working for their District Health Board, promoting and marketing their adolescent oral health services. Those two years were filled with the most amazing experiences- travelling to exotic places, meeting new friends, falling even more in love with each other***sigh***it was amazing… but also lonely… and cold! We missed our families and friends. Also, I had realized long before we got married that the world needed more Kits and I knew I didn’t want to do that on the other side of the world. So we decided to leave Christchurch and settle down back home in Austin to start our family, but not before we decided to knock another item off our bucket list and backpack through Europe. We slept in tents and hostels and took busses and trains and saw as much as we possibly could in 2 months and it was magical!

Once we go back to Austin, we got jobs, found a place to live, and within the first year we were expecting Reece. I can still remember telling Kit I was pregnant- it was my 34th bday and he had taken me to Kendra Scott (because hello birthday discount!) and we walked across the street to Home Slice and while standing in line he asked if I wanted a Dr. Pepper (which is truly my favorite thing to drink on the whole planet) and I said no and he was like WHHHAAAT?? And I blurted out , “I can’t drink Dr. Pepper because we are having a baby!!!” Not really how I planned on telling him, but memorable none the less… ***more sighing***

Fast forward a little more, to the first 6 months with my first son, Reece…that time was INTENSE! He had acid reflux and cried all the tears… and then I would cry all the tears- it was rough stuff! Also my whole life had changed! I went from a sorta put together lady that had at least a somewhat interesting job, to a stay at home mom with a baby that couldn’t stop crying! And the isolation! I mean I had friends that had babies but most of them worked or they lived down south or their kids were way older, or… you get it. And it was hard to make Mom friends because Reece was so young and I didn’t know where the other cool moms were. Thankfully, I met a mom that was in the same boat as me. I actually met her while out on a walk. She lived around the corner from me and we would both see the other walking aimlously with our strollers, and eventually after seeing each other many many times we started chatting, and that clever girl told me that she was going to go to a free Stroller Strides class and that I should come along too. One class is all it took and I was ready to sign up!

I loved how positive everyone was and that it was a structured activity outside of the house that I could do with Reece! I know everyone says it, and most of you probably all feel the same way, but the benefits of having this tribe of women that I get to share in this thing called motherhood is not only unbelievably powerful its life changing! I knew that for at least an hour a day, it was ok to put myself first for a few minutes (granted that was after handing out toys and snacks to a needy toddler, but after he was distracted I could actually focus on me!) I can also remember choking up during the first couple of classes, when we would say the affirmations at the end. There was something so powerful about saying out loud that I was fit and healthy and a good mom…things that I would have never said on my own much less believed… but things that I’ve said so many times now that I think I actually believe them! I am truly thankful to get to spend my mornings with such amazing, empowered, beautiful women that I learn from and just get to share stories and experiences with. And if all that weren’t enough, I love that my boys get to see that exercise is important and that taking care of our bodies is just what you do. I can’t wait till the first time Wes shows me how he can do jumping jacks or burpees***again with the sighs***

And that’s me in a nutshell… I can’t thank all of you ladies enough for sharing your mornings with me and accepting me into your tribe. You all are fit, and beautiful, and healthy and most of all GREAT MOMS!