“How I Do It” introduces you to a local mom and how she juggles life. This week: Millie Smith, a bilingual teacher who launched a Spanish immersion camp at the Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue. She’s a 33-year-old mother to three children – Abram, 5, Elgin, 2, and Alexandra, 5 months. She and her husband, Brian, are raising their children in their Gifford Park neighborhood home.
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In her 33 years of life, Millie Smith said she finally accepted who she’s supposed to be.
She’s learned to embrace her culture which in turn has shaped her passion for helping others.
“I am a Latina woman born of a Mexican mama and a Dominican father,” she said.
Seventeen years ago while living in Milford, Mass., she thumbed through college recruitment letters when she came across one that read, University of Nebraska at Omaha.
She couldn’t imagine living in the state.
Sixteen years later, here she is — married, educated and a mother to three little ones whom she raised to speak Spanish.
When she had her son Abram, she left her first-grade dual language teaching position to become a stay-at-home mom.
“It was difficult for me because I enjoy being busy and being with people.”
She was torn about her new role as a stay-at-home mom. She wanted to continue helping others and teaching. So she organized a Spanish immersion camp that’ll kick off this fall at the Fontenelle Forest. The program is called “Jardin de Niños: A Spanish Immersion Program” for ages 2 to 12.
Here’s a few bits of mom advice she shared with us:
A piece of mom advice
Once you become a mother you enter into a world of “guilt”. We just love these little guys and it rips our hearts apart if we feel that we’ve failed them. Being married and a mom, I’ve realized both my faults and the gifts that I was created with. To moms I would say, get out with your kids, take a walk without your phone or declare a day without TV. Don’t feel guilty. Sometimes just getting the dishes done is the equivalent of a “clean house” or cereal that says, “Fiber” on the box is good enough for dinner.
Favorite things to do as a family
This past Father’s day my husband told me that I don’t like to do outdoor stuff. I, of course, took great offense to this and so got us both brand new bikes and a trailer for the kids. Now, the kids are enjoying bike rides to Midtown, T-ball games and the farmers markets. I guess the argument was worth it if it means that it got us active and starting family traditions!
Most influential person in your life
Eight years ago my husband asked me to marry him. He opened up this wonderful moment by reading to me Proverbs 31 from the Bible. Hear me out, I’m not trying to get religious on you! If you are not familiar with that proverb it basically describes a woman of character by her strength, honor, wisdom, kindness and love for the Lord. I was beyond touched by Brian’s affirmation, but at the same time I knew I was as far as the end of the earth from that Proverbs 31 woman! From time to time I still read that Proverb when I suck as a wife or mother and think, “Who the heck is that woman and is there such thing in this day?” So, I would say that I aspire to be that Proverbs 31 woman and indeed there is a woman who portrays that in my life… my mother in law, Patti Smith.
I wish I could…
Add more years to life with Brian. The times when we are in perfect harmony, even 40 years doesn’t seem enough. Although life seems routine sometimes and arguments happen I can confidently say that I am smitten by him.
Something no one knows about me is….
There is not much that people don’t know about me considering that I am almost an open book, but for the purpose of sharing here is one or two… My bed crinkles because sometimes I still pee the bed! And I use to have a unibrow, thank goodness for laser hair removal!
For more information about the bilingual program at Fontenelle Forest, visit www.jardindeninosomaha.com.
Danielle Herzog, a mother to two children, wrote this blog for momaha.
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