Meet the mom whose balancing skills inspire us every day! You can find Katiya McKinney volunteering in her community, playing at the park with her kids, or hard at work as the Sales & Marketing Director of Progress Bank. Balance is a tricky thing for all of us parents, and it’s great to see a local mom doing it so well!
I am truly passionate about educating women about heart disease through my work with the American Heart Association over the past 13 years. Heart disease is the number killer of women, and providing them education to spend more time with their families is priceless. Knowing that I can help in a small way to improve the lives of women drives me each and every year.
Being a mom has brought more joy to my heart than I could ever imagine. My husband and I waited for over 10 years before we had kids so we could travel, advance our careers, and really be a couple. When we were finally blessed with two children, I knew that my mission in life was to be the best mom possible. My children are minis of my husband and I, so it just amazes me that they’ve developed our same characteristics.
Ask any of my friends, ‘balance’ is definitely my mantra. I work full-time and am active in the community, but still think its important to book activities each month for my friends and family. I try to work in two date nights with my husband, two girlfriends activities, and dates with each of my kids.
In order to keep up the energy, I exercise (a combination of training for half marathons, YMCA, and Pure Barre) daily for a minimum of an hour, so I can have time for myself and clear my head. Although I use Outlook for scheduling, I have also used Franklin Covey planners for years and write everything down on the weekly/monthly calendar. Then I check all the tasks off that I’ve completed because I like to see what I’ve accomplished.
Her Rocket City Favorites
My perfect weekend begins with a Friday date night with my husband at Grille 29 on the patio in the Spring with live music. On Saturday morning, I would head to Pure Barre class, then pick up the fam to play at Dublin Park. We’d lunch at Red Robin, and take a walk through Bridge Street that ends with a carousel ride and popsicles at Steel City Pops. Then on Sunday, go for a long run with girlfriends, head home to grocery shop and meal prep for the week with the family and then get a mani/pedi in the afternoon while the kids nap.
Funniest Parenting Moment
I feel like I have a funny moment each and every day, but my favorite has to be the time when my daughter had to get her 4 year old immunization shots. She sobbed at the very thought of shots before, during, and afterwards. I did everything I could think of to calm her, but as soon as I mentioned allowing her to pick any pastry she wanted at the bakery, she calmed down. I don’t like to resort to bribery, but it totally works. Of course, I didn’t limit which section of the bakery she could choose a pastry and she chose the largest one possible.
Happily, she devoured the pastry and I drove her back to school. She skipped into class with a big smile, but as soon as her classmates saw her, they screamed ‘Did you get a shot?” She falls to the ground in the pain, so my automatic reaction was to scurry out the door, wave at the teacher through the window and leave.
Katiya’s Top Parenting Tip?
Your children live in your world, not the other way around. As a parent to two young children, my husband and I decided early on that we would not create an environment where our children guided all aspects of our lives. Too often, I see the children deciding where and when meals will be or kids bossing their parents around. That is nuts just so you can keep your child ‘happy and calm.’
The Super Power She Wishes She Had
The power of persuasion would be a fantastic super power to have in order to make sure my kids know they have options in any situation that they are in and feel stuck.
Parenting Book Recommendation
There are so many parenting books out there that really can tell you what you want to hear. My all time favorite book that guides my life is The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. I read this in college and realized that the lessons I learned would help me throughout my lifetime and especially in parenting. I was lucky enough to hear him speak several years ago in Birmingham and he reiterated the need for respect and compassion.
Name the song you think of when you need to:
- Get your Gameface on: “Stronger” by Kanye West
- Recover from heartbreak: “All of Me” by John Legend
- Energize yourself: “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars
- Let loose and have fun with your friends: “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake
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Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.