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Moms And The Roles They Play

From taxi driver to bed & breakfast owner, mom wears many hats

A mom plays many roles. She is a nurse when there is a tumble, a storyteller at bedtime, and a counselor when feelings are hurt. She is a chef, a taxi driver, a hair stylist, a tutor, a coach, and so many more things. These Huntsville moms share the wisdom they have learned along the road of motherhood, funny moments from their daily routines, and what is most important to them in raising happy, functional children.

HILLARY DUNHAM, owner of Mint Julep Monograms,, is a mom of 3 who often feels like she's running a Bed & Breakfast.

Do you try to have breakfast with your kids daily?

Yes. I try to make sure they eat at home, but with 3 teenagers, eating doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Do you have to deal with any specific food requests?

For dinner, I make one meal for everyone and have solid rules of engagement:

1) You have to TRY the food because you can’t dislike something that you haven’t tried.

2) You are allowed to not like something; everyone has different tastes.

3) If you do not like the family dinner, you have to make your own dinner out of whatever you can find. We call that “Christopher Columbus” - which means they have to search and find their own dinner.

For breakfast, though, I make them what I know they will eat because we’re usually in a hurry!

Any funny stories from family breakfast?

I am a morning person. The rest of my family is not. My favorite thing to do is put on music and make up ridiculous dances to make them smile. If it wakes them up, then I’m all for it.

Any tips for helping moms get out the door in the morning?

Just do the best you can every day:

  • Pop-Tarts in the car trying to avoid being tardy? That works.
  • Gourmet, sit down breakfast because that’s how you show love to your family? Awesome!
  • Eat breakfast at school because there was nothing at home? Winning!

There’s no perfect way to get it all done. Give extra doses of grace to everyone in your family, especially YOU. Making it through the morning rush means you are doing a GREAT job.

CATHERINE COURTNEY is a health and fitness coach, who's raising 2 boys to be strong, healthy and independent. 

Where does a new mom begin with creating an exercise routine?

You're not able to create more time - you have to use what you have. If you had a doctor's appointment, you would schedule it and write it on your calendar. Do the same with your workout time.

Tell us about your typical day.

I wake up before everyone else - I like to have the morning to myself. I meditate, pray, make coffee, have reset time, walk, look at my schedule. I also religiously drink lemon water first thing and have done this for 15 years of this health journey.

Doing all of these things makes me happy. I strongly believe that the way you start your day is the trajectory for how your day is going to go. 

What are your non-negotiables?

  • Lemon water 
  • Sleep - Protect your sleep fiercely, no kids or pets in bed. I prefer the room be cold and dark, no TV, no blue lights.
  • Find your thing - Find what you'll do on a consistent basis.

How do you get the kids excited about exercise?

By not talking about it. They're watching you. If you're moaning about working out, your children are watching you not enjoy exercise. They need to see an active parent enjoying it. Typically they'll see you doing things and then ask to do it alongside you. 

Do you encourage an exercise routine with the kids?

It's a good idea to have a workout guide - there are great YouTube videos and Netflix has awesome 10-20 minute workouts.

What if someone only has 30 minutes one day, what could they do to make sure they are doing something?

If you only have 30 minutes for a workout:

Air squats: 45 sec

Rest: 15

Walking lunges: 45

Rest: 15

Supine heel touches: 45

Rest: 15

Push-ups: 45

Rest: 15

Glute bridge with alt leg extension: 45

Rest: 15

Repeat x 5

This is a great bodyweight circuit that can be done anywhere with zero equipment.

How important is nutrition?

Nutrition is the priority over exercise. You can't out exercise a bad diet.

What nutritional myths do you see happening that are unhealthy?

People are scrambling for something fast because that's what we’ve become conditioned to. Don't get drawn into trends. Keep it simple. Stop the negative self-talk. No one is meaner to you than you. Fortify yourself for the onslaught of the day in the morning.

What are your top 3 tips when it comes to nutrition?

(1) Read your labels 

(2) Eat 5 colors a day 

(3) Protein, fat and fiber at every meal 

Oh, and water! 

HALEY MANN, mom of 4, plays many roles including taxi driver and does it all in style.

What is your funniest memory from carpool?

One morning my child came out in a full dinosaur costume, got in the car, only to find out it was not in fact book character day. 

Pros of being a taxi driver: 

  • Get to spend time with my kids and hear about their day.
  • Encourage creative and athletic development with after school activities. 
  • Get to know our car pool buddy’s little girls and get lots more information than my own kids would tell me. 

Cons of being a taxi driver:

  • I go back and forth on Leeman Ferry 3+ times in an afternoon on occasion.
  • The baby sometimes has to be taken places he doesn’t want to be.
  • Being told what music to play (often the same song on repeat).


  1. Lay out clothes the night before down to the socks.
  2. Never wait to get gas in the morning (worst adult decision ever).
  3. Always have a backup Lunchable for mornings when you run out of time to pack a regular lunch.
  4. Always have favorite quick breakfasts stocked and ready (and teach your kids how to prepare them if possible).
  5. Have a bow/hair tie/brush dedicated drawer.
  6. Get yourself a really good car pool buddy (shoutout Meagan Tortorigi)!