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It turns out I am 'that' mom

Val Kleppen, Parenting Perspectives columnist

I am "that" mom who homeschools. We started last fall and love it. The flexibility, the fun the kids have while learning, time together, playtime (where most learning happens, coincidentally), the peace in our home, have all been huge affirmations this was the right move for us.

After homeschooling for several months and attending my first homeschool conference, I feel better equipped, more in-tune and more excited about helping my children learn and grow through the next year (and every year following) in life.

My kids see my joy (and frustrations) in parenting, they see, and participate in, the running of a home, and they understand learning is a process that happens everywhere in everyday activities.

I am "that" mom who works from home. I not only work from home, but I own and run two fledgling businesses - one as a virtual assistant, and one training others to become virtual assistants - and love the work I do. I help clients build better businesses, I help marketers write better copy and I help other mamas build a life and career they may not have considered previously.

My tank is filled when I write, speak and when I turn around a project I've poured my heart and soul into. I can work from home, or from the road, but I'm not chained to it. I do what I love in the time I've made for it.

My kids see work ethic, they see me fulfilled and invested in the work I'm doing and they see an outside-of-the-box way to provide for our family.

I am "that" mom who runs an organization to support bereaved parents who have had to say goodbye to their babies. Babies who didn't live outside the womb, or who died within the first year of life. I have come alongside brokenhearted parents for the last five years and shared grief, despair and hope - that there is, hard as it may be to believe, life after loss.

I have cradled more crying parents than I can count, and I have cried with them. Our tears are shed because we know the worst pain of all: the pain of losing a child.

I have defended their right to grieve messy, fought for their freedom to own their scars and have petitioned for pride in learning how to make a broken heart beat again.

My kids see healing isn't possible without brokenness, and no one else's timetable dictates that of your own heart. They see honesty is healthy and fighting through the pain is nobler than pretending it doesn't exist.

Yes, I am "that" mom. I am the mom who turns every day into a learning experience. I am the mom who builds character through businesses. I am the mom who nurtures compassion through heartache.

While I am not the mom I always thought I would be, I am exactly the mom I'm supposed to be. I am that mom.

Val Kleppen is a local wife, mother, blogger and co-founder of Harlynn's Heart, a group that comforts families who face infant loss. Her blog can be read at