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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Smarty Mom: Elizabeth Douglass

By Rachel H

This week’s Smarty Mom is Elizabeth Douglass. Elizabeth is a wonderful mom and an amazing person. I truly think she has a secret twin because that is the only way I can explain how she is able to do all that she does! Elizabeth has two sons, Jacob who is 9 and Jack-Elden who is 6. She has a full-time job as a flight attendant with American Airlines and also works as a substitute teacher in the Forsyth County School System. Since that is not enough to keep her busy, Elizabeth started Salem College a few years ago, earned her teaching degree, and is currently working on her Masters. Elizabeth is very involved with her children and always hosts wonderful playdates at her home! She volunteers at the kids’ school and also at their church where she served 3 years on the Children’s Advisory Committee. Elizabeth has still found a way to take time for herself by completing two triathlons last year. She is currently training to do two more during 2009.

I hope you enjoy getting to know her and hear how she balances school, her jobs, and mommyhood.

My first question to you is the obvious one – how in the world are you able to juggle all of these things while being a single mom?
Time management, setting my priorities, and organization. (none of which I’m great at!)

I admire the fact that you still find time to plan wonderful activities with your boys. What advice do you have for other single moms in your situation who find it hard to spend quality time with their children?
Again, it’s all about time management. First and foremost I have to get a good night’s sleep to be able to function everyday. Next, prioritize…spending quality time with the boys is more important to me than cleaning house. I can clean when they are sleeping but we only get so much time with our children. We have to make the most of what we have! Also, keeping up a regular routine~ although our activities vary daily, we do our best to stay on a regular schedule with getting up in the mornings, meals and snack times, and bedtime.

The life of a flight attendant has always seemed so intriguing! What is your favorite part of that job?
The whole thing! Traveling to great places, working 6-12 days a month, and I really enjoy my days off to be home. And best of all, I NEVER have to bring any work home with me!

What inspired you to go back to school and earn your teaching degree?
The year I returned to NC my dad endured several health problems. My parents are the primary care givers of my boys when I am away and with his failing health I was not sure how much longer my parents would be able to care for the boys. I have always had the desire to be a teacher but have never had the time to go back to school to pursue this interest of mine. The timing was just right.

You grew up in the Triad, but also moved around quite a bit before settling back here. What is the best part about living in this area?
The sense of community~ it seems people really look after each other here. The friendships I have formed since moving back here are much stronger than I have had living in other parts of the country. People really reach out and care.

What is your favorite activity to do with your boys?
Riding bikes or scooters or just walking through the neighborhood in search of other friends out playing. Also, having playdates over to the house on a regular basis.

Favorite place to get a good deal on kids clothes?
I don’t buy a lot for the boys and Jack-Elden is the lucky recipient for most of Jacob’s clothes. Most of their clothes come from some great, low price stores in London.

What is your favorite park in the Triad?
Summit School playground in Winston. We always run into people there to play with and it has a lot of fun things to play on and with!

What is the funniest thing that either of your children have ever said to you?
One time I was singing in the car driving back from Discovery Place in Charlotte. It was a Mariah Carey song (why did I even bother?!?!) …. Anyway, when she was singing in her many octaves I tried to sing along and Jacob asked me with a VERY concerned tone what was wrong with me. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about and when I asked him he said I was moaning and he thought I was in pain. HAHAHA. I informed him I was singing. Needless to say I stay far away from Mariah these days!

What is your favorite restaurant that you go to as a family?
Golden Corral b/c we always have many choices of good food and everyone finds something they like. Plus, they have an awesome array of desserts!

Favorite “Mommy Time” activity?
I consider my work a “mommy time” activity. I get to spend a whole day in London by myself or with friends. But I also enjoy meeting friends for coffee after dropping the boys at school (if I’m not teaching). And I love riding my bike, swimming, or exercising at the gym. That helps release any stress I may have.

The best birthday party you ever attended?
They have all been lots of fun. Bounce U is a favorite of the boys but I always like the down home ‘at your own house’ parties!

What has been your favorite blog thus far on Triad Smarty Pants?
My favorite part of TSP by far has been the Day Trip Series! I love having new places to visit!

You could not live without?

Friends and family. They are what keep my world moving!

Thanks, Elizabeth, for your Smarty answers!

If you know a Mom or Dad who you think is Smarty, email us at with your nomination!


Cara said...

I like the Mariah Carey story. I never realized I was such a terrible singer until I had kids. They remind me of it daily!

Anonymous said...

CONGRATS Elizabeth! You really are a Smarty Mom!

Anonymous said...

She is a GREAT teacher! Camille loved her!

A.D. said...

I'm so glad you chose to feature Elizabeth! I had the pleasure of serving as a gradeparent with her when Jacob and my daughter were in Kindergarten together. I was so thrilled when she decided to attend Salem for her teaching degree. She is truly an exceptional Mom and person and deserves your accolades.

ForCryingOutLoud said...

Elizabeth was a "smart choice" for this! She's such a talented lady, always optimistic and a definite "smarty"!

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