Kathy Ireland has many titles. Supermodel. Author. Businesswoman. But the one she’s proudest of is Mom. Kathy recently wrote Real Solutions for Busy Moms: Your Guide to Success and Sanity to help moms navigate through their daily lives. Kathy Ireland spoke exclusively with Celebrity Parents Magazine about faith, family and finding her own solutions.
Why did you decide to write this book?
The book was a result of moms coming to me with questions. They needed solutions to their problems. Kathy Ireland Worldwide is all about solutions. That was our mission when we started the company in 1993. When I became a mom, that mission just crystallized.
I certainly don’t have all the answers. Moms are spending their money on the book and they need to get value from it; they need solutions. I’m lucky because I have access to experts in various fields. The book was a privilege to write. It was an adventure of learning for me.
What are some of the issues touched upon in the book?
They run the gamut from financial solutions to decorating your home on a budget, to putting yourself first. Moms will ask, “Should I save for my children’s college education or for my retirement?” My answer may not be the most popular, but I think you should save for your retirement. Your children will go to college, and you don’t want to be a burden to them later on.
I’m also a firm believer in moms taking care of themselves in all aspects of their lives. When I had my son, Erik, I realized that taking a shower was a luxury! Moms are underserved, and being a mom is a career that doesn’t have a paycheck. That’s why it’s crucial for moms to take time for themselves. I personally have to work at it every day. It’s very easy to put yourself on the back burner and take care of everyone else first.
You have a very interesting anecdote about a photo your son took of you.
Our son got a camera and was running around the house taking pictures. He started laughing and said, “Mom, you look pregnant.” I looked at the photo, and he was right! It caused me to take a good look at myself in the mirror. I realized that I wasn’t necessarily taking the best care of myself. I looked overwhelmed, overstressed, over everything! I had been guzzling coffee and eating cookies, and not dedicating time to myself, and it literally showed.
Sometimes the most profound lessons can come from our children.
It’s true. We are all role models, especially moms. Our children pay attention to everything we say and do. We have to make sure that we are sending the right messages to our kids. There’s a section in the book about talking with your children about a variety of topics. A lot of parents don’t want to speak with their kids about touchy subjects, like drugs and sex. I feel if parents don’t speak with them, someone who may not have the best of intentions will.
As parents, we have to get our heads out of the sand, and just get over ourselves! I tell parents, “It’s not about you; it’s about your child.”
Is the book for both moms and dads?
Absolutely! There’s a whole section for dads and husbands. We love dads! I’m a mom, so I felt that I had the most to offer to moms.
This is the fifth book you’ve authored. In addition to the huge success of Kathy Ireland Worldwide, how do you do it?
It’s amazing. We started our company in 1993 with just one pair of socks, and we just sold our 100,000,000th pair.
It is. From that one pair of socks, we now have 15,000 products that are sold in over 28 countries. And I’m involved in all aspects of the company, from marketing, sales, distribution, even HR issues. I personally make sure that we have retail relationships that honor mothers.
It’s refreshing to find a company that places so much importance on moms.
Moms are incredible. We can multi-task well and take on a lot of different things at the same time. I think that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by our problems, though, and not be able to find the solutions.
I love how you stress the word “solutions”. In our house, we don’t use the word “problem” since it is such a negative word.
I love that! That’s wonderful. As women, we are not good at saying, “No.” We have to learn that “no” can be a whole sentence. Not, “No, but…”. A simple “No” is enough sometimes, and we don’t have to make excuses for it.
How do you find your balance?
We have to find our priorities and then honor them. For me, my priorities are my faith, my family, and finding solutions for busy moms. Faith is a huge part of my life; it’s my foundation. So if my priorities are out of order, it’s apparent to me right away. When I keep my priorities in check, everything works. I feel fulfilled, energized, refreshed and I’m able to be better at everything. I’m a kinder mom, a kinder wife, and more patient. I don’t get frustrated and use what I call “The Ugly Voice”!
Of course, there’s a daily balancing act, and some days work out better than others. But I think that moms can have it all, just not all at once. Our life comes in seasons, and we have to enjoy each moment.