Amazing Moms of Huntsville: Lady Smith, the Book Slinger
Welcome to our series where we explore amazing local moms and their impact on our community. We’ll hear about their journeys, inspiration, advice, and snag a few gems off their playlists! Thank you to Advanced OBGYN for sponsoring Amazing Rocket City Moms.
It’s no secret that we love books here at Rocket City Mom – we even have our book club! So OF COURSE we wanted to share more about one of the local moms that makes it possible for us to discuss our favorite titles and authors together. We’re so excited that Huntsville has a new independent book store – that’s owned by a mom to boot! Meet Lady Smith and hear about her mompreneur life…
I love sharing books and stories, and I’ve done that in different ways most of my adult life. I’ve been a teacher, a writer, an editor, and now I’m an independent bookseller and owner of The Snail on the Wall, which is a bookstore without a store. It’s been a wonderful experiment to see how The Snail can build community without a physical location: at pop-up stores, online, on social media, during book club meetings, and at author events and book signings.
I enjoy joining and supporting local communities of readers, too; The Snail is currently sponsoring the Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club, which is a perfect example of people having meaningful conversation about books via social media. If you believe, like I do, that books have the power to change us and the world we live in, then the conversations we’re having about reading are important and impactful, even when it feels like we’re simply having fun.
Being a mother is truly different every day. Just as I figure one stage out, my children move on to the next one. (Funny how growing up is like that . . .) And, since my kids are three years apart, I’m dealing with several different stages at once. On any given day, I may be helping my oldest child with college applications, while shopping for dance costumes with my middle child, while finding creative ways to get my youngest away from the Xbox. They keep me guessing at all times, and I try to be ready to change my parenting tactics as they change.
Her Quest for
Balance Work-Life Management
I try to embrace doing most everything in a mediocre way — or at least it feels like mediocrity to me, even if it looks good from the outside. Part of the reason I’ve always worked is that it gives me a pass to be imperfect at home. And, by the same token, my family life lets me off the hook from constantly working. It’s ok to do everything well, without achieving perfection. You can do it all, just not perfectly.
Her Rocket City Favorites
My children usually tell me what my weekend will consist of, so I’m probably helping with a high school theatrical production; sitting in the stands at a sporting event (whether swimming, baseball, or basketball); and maybe taking a group of kids to a movie. But I always hope to build in time for a meal and glass of wine with my husband and some other grown-ups.
Funniest Parenting Moments
It happened at Big Spring Park, and I haven’t ever told this story because it doesn’t reflect well on the adults involved. About 10 years ago, my mother and I took my three kids downtown on a weekday morning; my oldest was going to an art class at the museum, and the rest of us planned to enjoy a few hours in Big Spring Park. My mom and I were helping my 5-year-old daughter feed the ducks, while my 2-year-old sat idly by in his stroller. In a moment, we heard someone shouting that a baby was in the pond. We looked up to see my toddler’s stroller bobbing in the water. A man (in a suit, mind you) hopped in and fished out both child and stroller. My child was hardly wet; his rescuer, on the other hand, was dripping in his work clothes. My mother and I were so stunned — and embarrassed — we could hardly speak, much less thank him properly. It’s a story we kept to ourselves for a long time, but now, when we tell it, we think of that man and the version he must have shared afterward.
Lady’s Top Parenting Tip
Plan family trips as often as you can get away with it. As my kids get older, their activities often keep us from traveling on breaks, or they get invitations to go away with friends. That’s fine, but every once in a while you all need a family trip together. We talk to each other better out of town, away from the routine and distractions of home. And we remember that we like each other and have FUN as a family.
The Super Power She Wishes She Had
I wish I didn’t have to sleep. I know, I know—our bodies need sleep, it rejuvenates us, etc., etc. But it still feels like wasting time. It’s not that I want to be productive 24 hours a day. But I do wish for more awake time that belongs just to me, so I can watch TV, read another book, or just veg while enjoying it.
Parenting Book Recommendation
Quiet, by Susan Cain, was a life-changing read for me. I’m an introvert, and always have been, but that term wasn’t well known when I was growing up. So I didn’t understand why I got tired two hours into a party that I’d looked forward to all week, or why I craved a night at home when my friends were itching to go out. Quiet explained myself to me, showed how the world is set up to favor extroverts, and also affirmed that introverted people have important strengths, too. I honestly think it’s a book everyone should read, so they better understand the introverts in their lives. It’s also helped me recognize these traits in my own kids so I can help them navigate the noisy world.
Name the song you think of when you need to:
I’m going with musicians, instead of specific songs, because sometimes you need the whole album!
- Get your Gameface on: Pink
- Recover from heartbreak: Jason Isbell or Adele
- Energize yourself: U2
- Let loose and have fun with your friends: Prince
Do you have a local mom in mind as an Amazing Rocket City Mom? We want to hear from you – send us your ideas and we’ll get in touch
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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.