Rossford Mother finds joy in raising kids of all agesWritten by Lori Golaszewski | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Most moms will gladly talk about the joys of parenting, and Kathleen Walsh is no exception.
Her joy comes from being blessed with three children of different age groups who make parenting all the more fun and unique.
Kathleen and her husband, Bill, are the proud parents of Kelly, 16, Liam, 8, and Jack, who turns 2 in May. They reside in Rossford.
“Most people who have children that far apart are on a second marriage,” Walsh said. “We didn’t plan it this way. This is how God blessed our family. The best thing about it is, I can be focused on three different age groups and there’s no intermingling.”
Walsh said one advantage of having children so far apart is that their activities don’t overlap and there is little competition between them. During a recent weekend, Walsh helped her daughter get ready for the prom and took her oldest son to a first communion retreat at their church.
Having children of varying ages also makes it easier to appreciate each child as a unique individual, Walsh noted, and it allows her to view any given situation from three unique perspectives. Simply eating dinner together is a delight, she said, because each child perceives the meal differently.
“Kelly helps to make dinner; Jack is happy being with everyone, and Liam quizzes every item on his plate, wondering if the white things are really onions,” she said, laughing.
Walsh and her husband both work full time, but having opposite schedules allows each to spend quality time with their kids. Bill has an afternoon-to-evening work schedule, while Kathleen has a day job at the UT’s Center for Creative Instruction.
“We’re very dedicated to our children having parents there all the time,” Walsh said. “This is our version of ideal. Bill is home during the day with our kids, which makes him a great dad and a great marriage partner. He appreciates the difficulty of changing diapers and getting the dishes done.”
Having Bill at home with Jack is especially important to Walsh because Jack has hypotonia, a disorder resulting in low muscle tone.
Jack has speech and mobility delays, Walsh said, and attends physical and speech therapy and is enrolled in an early intervention program for children with developmental delays.
Walsh credits her faith, a large extended family and a supportive work environment with helping her stay positive, while helping Jack make progress.
Walsh said one of the biggest lessons she’s learned from being a parent is that “it’s not all about me. Kids challenge you to be a better person and think beyond yourself.”
She’s also discovered the importance of using everyday moments, such as washing dishes or making dinner, as opportunities to bond with her children and talk about what’s going on in their lives.
If she could impart motherly advice to others, it would be this: “Be involved; balance the line between being involved and giving them space and put all your resources into parenting.”