Reagan Kerr on Balancing Work and Parenting
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am the proud mother of two young children, three years and 20 months old, and also the owner of Reagan Events where we design and plan weddings and special events across the country and abroad. I am a Charlottesville, Virginia native and have been a Charleston, South Carolina transplant on and off for the last nine years. Now my children and I are happily settled in the Lowcountry and are excited to expand our roots here!
What was happening in your life when you decided to become a parent?
When we decided to have our first child, my husband at the time was transitioning out of the Marine Corps. We were excited for the next chapter of our lives, free of deployments and trainings that would separate our family for weeks or months on end. “Civilian” life seemed like the perfect time.
If you don’t mind sharing, were your pregnancies planned or were they surprises?
My pregnancies were all planned.
How did your pregnancies differ?
Both pregnancies were almost identical! So much so that I was convinced I was having a boy with our second after having a boy first. When our daughter was born, I couldn’t believe it. :)
Did you experience any unusual / surprising / weird changes in your body when pregnant?
Fortunately, no. My pregnancies were (thankfully) very uneventful. I didn’t change much of my daily routine or diet and remained very active throughout. I continued to exercise at least three days a week (with my first, I was an avid CrossFitter up until seven months into my pregnancy!).
With both pregnancies, we moved into a new home in my final two months of pregnancy (in the summer months, nonetheless!), so both times I found myself painting rooms, refinishing furniture, packing/unpacking, and embracing the unexpected...all while wrapping up spring/summer wedding seasons. It was a bit too much in retrospect, but don’t we think we can do it all?!
Tell us how you found out you were pregnant (each time). We'd love details!
With my first pregnancy, I was anxiously counting down the days until I could take an early pregnancy test. Nearly two weeks after we decided to try, I shockingly got the positive result I had been hoping for...but didn’t dream it would happen so quickly! I was ecstatic and nervous all at the same time. Sadly, my first pregancy ended in miscarriage.
Following the miscarriage, we were advised to give my body time to recover before trying again. Our schedules had us apart for most of the coming month so when I was due for my period a month later and it didn’t come, I chalked it up to my body just getting back into rhythm. I decided to take a pregnancy test for the heck of it and was floored to see a positive result! Concerned it was related to my recent miscarriage and also afraid of losing another pregnancy, I didn’t believe it until several successful doctor’s visits later. Our son was born happily and healthily!
With the third pregnancy, I experienced the same luck of conceiving quickly, so we truly planned exactly when we wanted to have the baby. As fate may have it, both of my children had the exact same due date! Our daughter was born almost exactly two years after our son.
As a successful owner of a wedding event planning company, I imagine you have a demanding work schedule. Can you tell us how you manage to balance work and parenting?
It is tough!! As a single mother, I am constantly trying to find the right balance to be the best mom and businesswoman while also taking care of myself. Because I do not have any family in town, I’ve had to build my village from the ground up. I could not survive without the amazing teachers at my children’s full time creative arts school or the nighttime babysitters who have allowed me to attend after hours work functions. How I can ever thank my family who will fly in to cover long days when I have to work weddings, I do not know. I’ve also hired additional hands at work to help me not only continue my ability to work, but to allow me to grow so that hopefully I may be able to offer an even better life to my children. Additionally, the extra help at work allows me to catch a workout during the day before picking up my children...“me time” is essential for my mental clarity and attempt at balance (although this aspect of my life could use the most improvement). Lastly, home delivery services for groceries and weekly dinners have been lifesavers! Cutting out the stress of coming up with weekly menus, putting together shopping lists, and then going to the store itself has allowed me more time with my children and more time to breathe. It is an incredible juggle, but little things go a long way. I found that if I could identify what was causing me the most anxiety and find a way to eliminate it, I was one step closer to a more sane life.
What has parenting taught you?
Patience! Parenting has taught me that not everything has to be perfect. It has taught me to roll with the punches and to pick my battles. It has taught me that I can be much more laid back than I once thought possible and that there is immense joy in all of the imperfections parenting brings. But overall, parenting has taught me that there’s nothing a hug, kiss, or dance party can’t fix. :)
What's your wish for women who are trying to conceive?
To have faith. While I recognize how fortunate I was to conceive easily each time, I can identify with the pain associated with miscarrying a child. It’s not something anyone can plan for or prevent, and you just have to have faith that your successful pregnancy is coming. My doctor at the time told me that I had to have faith that I had “someone” looking out for me and that something was just not right with the pregnancy. He said that my body was my greatest protector. Whether you believe it may be God or your body, having faith that something greater than yourself is at work could be a great comfort. It was to me.