At Bellē Up, we understand and appreciate that being a mom is the hardest, yet least recognized, job ever. Yes, we said EVER! We created Mom of the Week (MOTW) as a way of recognizing moms who do the hardest job ever and then some. It is our honor to present you our Mom of the Week … KATRINA PAVLIK!
Katrina is one of those women who's just MAJOR! Don't believe me? How many women do you know who can boast that they organized a Guinness World Records event to help set a World Record?!@ I had the pleasure of working with Katrina when she approached me last year to host The Great Cloth Diaper Change of 2011 (left). Katrina organized and executed the details, as I mostly sat in awe of her and her power to move people. As the founder of Breastfeed Chicago™, Katrina and her Board members are currently gearing up for another monumental event: a World Breastfeeding Week celebration at Garfield Park Conservatory on August 4, 2012. Katrina's passion is infectious, yet her disposition remains calm and humble. Engaging her in conversation is like medicine for the soul, but beware: she's a total mother hen and she is unapologetically protective of her family, friends and those who (for whatever reason) cannot protect themselves. She's just one of those genuinely good people ... who happens to leap tall buildings when no one is looking! ~Jamenda, Owner of Bellē Up
Katrina is a wonderful friend, caring mother, and peerless advocate for women. As an advocate for mothers and babies, Katrina is able to educate without judgement and lead through her example. We are lucky to have her in our community. -Kelly Vaughan
Katrina pays attention to the way in which she impacts other people and the world, and she tries to make that impact a positive one, both on a large scale—in her work to reduce waste in landfills by promoting cloth diapering or to provide advocacy and education for breastfeeding—and a small one (in the calm and compassionate way in which she interacts with others). -Dr. Mirjam Quinn
Q&A with Katrina
Name: Katrina Pavlik
Hometown: Glendale, WI
Current Town/Neighborhood: Beverly
Age: 35 (when did that happen?)
No. of Children: Two boys, ages 6 and 3
Tell us about your family: Great hubby, two great kids and one little one in heaven.
Career: I love connecting people and organizations. By day, I work part-time for a non-profit called Communities in Schools of Chicago. I help connect Chicago Public Schools with needed resources to better serve their students (www.chicagocis.org). I focus mainly on connecting students with eye exams and glasses.
By night (and on the weekends), I run Breastfeed Chicago—an organization that connects breastfeeding moms with each other to share resources, advice and experiences. As a postpartum doula and a lactation specialist, I’ve learned that mothers learn best when they have access to the wisdom of other great moms. Breastfeed Chicago is all about supporting moms to achieve their personal goals of breastfeeding.
Hobbies: In the winter: knitting, watching romantic comedies, snuggling with my boys, reading. In the summer: gardening, gardening, gardening. I’d like to say that yoga is also a hobby because I love it, but I don’t get to it nearly enough to call it a habit … yet.
Hidden Talents: I make terrible puns.
Favorite family activities: Driving out to Palos and picnicking/hiking, playing outside, family fun nights (“beach night” in the middle of winter is a favorite).
My favorite part about pregnancy is/was feeling the baby kick. I LOVED that a little someone was living inside of me and moving their little body around.
My least favorite part about pregnancy is/was the swollen ankles. Oh man, were they huge!
When I was pregnant, I wish I had known giving birth is only the first part in the process of parenthood. You have a lifetime of learning after that!
I would tell a new mom the following three (3) things:
(a) Birth can be really awesome if you have the right people around you.
(b) Good parents are not perfect, and good parents need help to become better parents.
(c) Go easy on yourself. Babies need two things: love and food. If you’re providing those two things, you are doing a great job.
When I became a mom, I was surprised to learn that I had a lot more strength than I ever gave myself credit for. It took me a while to find my "mommy voice" that advocated for myself and my children, but when I found it, I realized I was unstoppable.
When I hear the term "Work/Life Balance" I giggle uncontrollably.
The most important thing(s) my mom taught me about parenthood was parenthood is hilarious, kids are treasures, and mud is good.
If you put me in a philosophy, I think my parenting style is best describes as ... attachment parenting, but nobody sticks with one credo for everything. As my kids are getting older, I’m loving the mutual life discovery that we are doing together. I’m learning about new things as the kids are learning about them. I know more about construction equipment, trains, bugs, wild animals, and cars than I ever thought I would know, and I absolutely love it!
The most incredible part of parenthood is getting a smile and a snuggle from your kid for no apparent reason.
The most difficult part of parenthood is feeling like you don’t have enough to give to everyone who needs you.
The funniest part of parenthood is the crazy theories your kids come up with. I was told by my 6 year old the other day that a worm hole (in outer space) would be better to go into than a black hole, because you can get out of a worm hole, but you’d be stuck in a black hole forever.
My greatest hope for my children is that they feel good about themselves and they care for other people.
My mom is my inspiration as a mom, because she is my sounding board, my therapist, my cheerleader, and my comforting hug when I need her the most.
I try to set aside at least a couple hours per week as “me time”. I spend this time taking myself out to a movie alone, or hunkering down in my garden to weed – both are therapeutic.
Favorite book about pregnancy or child birth: Ina May Gaskin’s "Guide to Childbirth"
Favorite book about parenting: Dr. Sears' The Baby Book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (La Leche League),
Faber's Siblings Without Rivalry
Favorite movie about motherhood or parenting: "Away We Go" – hilarious!
Favorite children’s book: The Lorax by Dr. Suess
Favorite children’s movie: "Mary Poppins"
Favorite item at Bellē Up or BelleUp.com: All the Melissa and Doug toys – great gifts for our baby friends!
To nominate a Mom of the Week, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.