11 Questions with… Karen Szabo. @AntsyButterfly #bdk11Qs
02 Sep 2019
Welcome to “11 Questions with…”. This edition’s guest is Karen Szabo.
11 Questions with… Karen Szabo
1. Elevator pitch… tell us about yourself.
My name is Karen and I work for my school board as an ESL Teacher. I have also just become a postpartum doula. On the side, I wrote for my blog, theantsybutterfly.com, writing about my life as an anxious mom. I write mostly about parenting and mental health.
2. Your spouse… tell us about him.
I’m married to a wonderful and supportive man. We’ve been married almost 10 years. We are polar opposites yet we work. He’s a wonderful father and our son is crazy about him. He’s pragmatic and logical while I’m free-spirited and emotional.
3. Your kids… tell us about them.
We have one son, a four year old boy. He’s quite the go-getter. He’s a wild child, stubborn, strong-willed, and free-spirited. He’s both me and my husband all wrapped up into a tiny human. He spikes my anxiety to no end but he also makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world.
4. Do you have any pets? Tell us about them.
We have a dog, a four pound yorkie-poo named Starbuck (not after the coffee, but after the tv show Battlestar Gallactica). She’s almost 12. My husband and I got her together when we lived in Vancouver when she was 13 weeks old. We love her to pieces and she plays a huge part in our family, of course.
5. What have been your biggest challenges as a parent?
My biggest challenges are controlling my anxiety. My son and I have opposite personalities even though we share some characteristics. I have hard time getting him to listen to me without freaking out. He’s very stubborn, did I say that already? It’s been hard to block all the sounds of people giving their opinions and advice about what I should do with my kid. It makes me question my parenting and how good of a parent I am.
6. If you could pick any career in the world for yourself, what would it be, and why?
I’d be an actress or a dancer because they both allow me to express myself in a safe and happy manner. Dancing is my happy place. It’s where I can express myself freely and where my heart lies. Acting is always something I wanted to pursue, but never went for it due to self-esteem issues (never thought I’d be good enough). I know though, deep deep down, I would have killed acting. I’m very dramatic – overly at times – and I think it would have been good for me mentally as well.
7. Growing up, who inspired you the most?
My Savta (grandmother in Hebrew) inspired me the most. She was an incredible lady. She survived Auschwitz and is the strongest woman I have ever met. She – along with my grandfather – were my best friends when I was little. We were inseparable. My grandmother died at 96 and I believed she waited for me to have my son before she let go. We had a connection like no other.
8. How do you balance work life and family life?
I manage with support from friends and family. I work part time at the moment and it seems to be working well for me as I have time after work to come home, clean up, blog, write, workout, and pick up my son from the bus stop. My husband is a huge supporter and we work together to make things as easy as possible. Sometimes it’s hard and some days are harder, but ultimately we’re doing okay.
9. What advice would your “current self” give to your “just about to have my first child” self?
PUT DOWN THE BOOKS! I made myself crazy by reading everything I could about having a baby instead of letting myself just go with it. I’d also take what everyone said with a grain of salt. I lost my intuition paying too much attention to everyone else instead of listening to my gut and myself.
10. Has there been a piece of advice you were given about parenting that really stuck with you?
Every baby is different, and it’s true! No 2 children are the same. What works for one kid doesn’t for the next.
11. What advice would you give to new parents?
Listen to your gut first. Follow your path, no one else’s. Do you and don’t worry about anyone else. Bottle feed, breastfeed, sleep train, co-sleep, baby-wear or don’t. No one else has a say in what you do with your child. If it works for you, then have at it!
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“11 Questions with…” is an on-going feature. I will be interviewing parents with the same 11 questions, who like me, live in the digital world. The goal is to examine different perspectives, advice, challenges, and experiences from how people parent their children, and live a successful work / life / online balance.
With all the challenges of parenting these days, we could all use stories from fellow parents, who may have already gone through a similar experience, or were offered advice that you could use.
If you would like to be interviewed for an upcoming edition, please contact me at email@example.com.