Kristen Watson, Mom of the Year!!
"My mom is a teacher in the Worthington School District where she works in three different buildings and has to sometimes teach and go to classes even on the weekends!
My mom also donates stuff to people who cannot afford it. My mom does this because she wants to pay it forward because people did this for us when we needed it. When I wasn't even 1 year old, my dad went to the police academy in Cleveland and my mom was by herself for around five days at a time and my dad would visit on weekends. This went on for about three months.
One time when we were saying goodbye to my dad, we got locked out of our house. We went next door and called my grandpa and he came and let us in. This may not sound like a really big thing, but it is. My mom stayed totally calm and didn't let her frustration get the best of her."
To read Cassidy's nomination of her mother, click here.
Kristen Watson, a teacher in the Worthington School District, is also the wife to husband Craig Watson a mother to seven children. She had trouble getting pregnant with her first daughter Cassidy and when it came time to expand their family from a three-some to a four-some, Kristen went to the doctor who decided to use fertility shots to help her conceive again.
Once pregnant with baby number two, Kristen and Craig went for an ultrasound. During the examination the doctor said, "It's a little confusing in there." In the beginning of the pregnancy, Kristen and Craig thought they were having triplets. At about 17 weeks of gestation, the doctor discovered a fourth heartbeat. It wasn't until the delivery day when the Watson's got a fifth surprise and learned they were adding five new babies (Caroline, Connor, Corinne, Kyle and Katelyn). Casey came along seven years later to finish out the bunch.
"We do a lot as a family together," Kristen said. "We play a lot of board games, we like to go out to eat, we have to be careful with that but we enjoy it. We love parks, pools, and water parks that are free."
The Watson family loves sports and almost everyone is involved. Cassidy plays basketball, soccer and baseball, Katelyn struggles with spina bifida but doesn't let that stop her she plays basketball, softball and is into sled hockey. Caroline plays basketball and soccer, Connor plays baseball, Corinne plays basketball, soccer and softball, and Kyle plays basketball, soccer and baseball. Casey, the youngest, "gets dragged everywhere," Kristen said.
The team of kids is led by their coach and dad, Craig. He was a police officer, but put his career on hold to be there during the hours his family needs him. He is home when the kids get home from school, helps with homework and coaches their sports teams. Kristen said, "He has always put his family first."
Kristen said that her challenges are the same as any parent: "Making sure each child is getting their needs met, mostly with time, but also with money," which is the biggest challenge she and Craig face. "Sometimes sacrifices are made, but not in a way the kids would probably notice and the benefits offset that."
Kristen seems to have a great balance between spending time with her family and making time for just Mom and Dad. Family and friends help by watching the kids and on occasion they have time to get away together for a night or a weekend. She also makes time to donate to "pay it forward," as Cassidy said, by helping families like others have helped them. Kristen is a member of a book club, something she's done for herself since the quintuplets were one. The last book she read was The Red Tent which she endorses. "It's a nice book about bonds among women."
Kristen said the quintuplets were confused when they went to first grade because they were split up for the first time: two in one first grade class, two kids in a second first grade class, and Connor in a third first grade class by himself. He came home confused and asked, "Mom, are other kids in classes without their brothers and sisters?"
Kristen was proud to talk about each of her children and it's obvious that our Mom of the Year, like most good moms, really knows her kids. Here is how Kristen described her kids in her own words:
"Cassidy is a-well rounded oldest sibling. She has lots of interests and is a good leader. Keyword -- bossy -- to her younger siblings."
"Katelyn is independent and funny, has a very mature dry sense of humor and has mastered the art of the eye roll."
"Caroline is inquisitive and the family calls her Princess Caroline because she likes to do things her own way and take her own path."
"Connor is artistic, loves drawing and putting things together. He is very creative."
"Corinne is very sweet; she's the peacemaker and the nurturer."
"Kyle is my wild child: ornery, energetic, rambunctious, but very logical and a great math student. He beats me at chess, even though I'm not that great, but I am an adult!"
"Casey, he's the baby, and he probably will always be the baby. Right now, he's two but he's quiet, he holds back, love sports and loves what other two-year-olds love car and trucks.
Kristen said her favorite part of being a mom is watching the interaction between her kids. "When you see them work together, see them playing and you see their different strengths come out, their different personalities and interests, it's really neat."
For being our Mom of the Year, Kristen received various prizes from our sponsors. For a list of items she won, click here. She said that Casey and Craig have been hanging out at Premier at Sawmill and that they've been able to use their Mama Mimi's Take and Bake Pizza prize twice already. Hopefully they'll be taking their trip to Lodi Station Outlets shortly, so look for pictures soon.
This is the first time Columbus Parent Magazine has conducted a contest of this size and we thank you for your support and feedback. We had over 177 fabulous moms nominated for Mom of the Year, over 2,800 people register to vote, and over 10,000 votes for the Mom of the Year.
We appreciate your support and thank you for making us your local trusted parenting resource for more than 22 years.