CEO of Kathy Ireland Worldwide (KIWW), which offers home decorating, fashion, entertaining, and family solutions; a design empire, according to Forbes, Newsweek and Wall Street Journal
Chief Designer of KIWW
Named Mother of the Year by National Mothers Day Association
Named one of the 50 Most Influential People in Fashion by Fairfield Publications
Sunday school teacher
Married to Greg Olsen
Children are Erik, Lily, & Chloe
Kathy Ireland: Help for Busy Moms
By Christy Biswell
The 700 Club
DREAMS AND OBSTACLES
As a wife and mother of three children, Kathy admits that she shares the same feelings that many moms struggle with each day from feeling overwhelmed to feeling underappreciated.
“Motherhood is such a responsibility and challenge, and such a privilege,” shares Kathy; but in addition to taking care of your family you have to take care of yourself. Part of that process involves rediscovering and nurturing your dreams as well as removing obstacles from your path.
“The problem, too often, is that we miss out on that future because we let something get in the way,” admits Kathy.
One of the obstacles women often let get in the way is fear. She recalls the first time she ever gave a business speech before hundreds of people. Her hands were sweaty and her heart was pounding. When she leaned over to a family friend to share her overwhelming sense of fear she got an unexpected response.
“Kathy, you need to get over yourself,” he said. “This isn’t about you. There are people out there who need your best, who need the information and insights you have to offer.”
Kathy admits he was right. So often, we miss out on fulfilling our destiny and being of service to others simply because we are afraid.
“Even today whenever I speak in public the butterflies are still there,” shares Kathy.
FAITH & FAMILY
Kathy and her husband place a high priority on introducing their children to the Lord and allowing them to develop a relationship with Jesus.
“By teaching them early in life about the Lord they will be better equipped to deal with the fears, anxieties, and challenges that will come their way. And, it’s a lesson that likely to stay with them for the rest of their lives,” shares Kathy.
At the age of 18, in the early days of Kathy’s modeling career, she picked up a Bible that her mother had packed in one of her bags and began reading it out of boredom. As she began to read the book of Matthew, her life was changed forever. As her faith has increased through the years, Kathy shares how the power of prayer is incredible in the life of a believer.
On Christmas Eve in 2007, her husband Greg, an emergency room physician and commercial fisherman, was fishing in the Channel Islands off the coast of California. While driving one of her children to a friend’s house, Kathy received a call from the Coast Guard. A distress signal had been sent to the Coast Guard from her husband’s boat. Greg had been fishing alone that night. As she spoke with the Coast Guard, a radio call came through that was Greg on the other end. It seemed as though everything was under control, but then the weather conditions drastically changed. Kathy called on loved ones and asked them to pray for Greg’s health and safe return. When the Coast Guard rescuer found Greg he was curled up in a fetal position at the bottom of the boat and in a coma. Doctors later said Greg could have slipped and cracked his head against the boat and that carbon monoxide poisoning may have played a role in the crisis. Kathy credits the prayers of many people around the world with making the difference in Greg’s rescue and recovery.
Healthy living is a huge challenge for busy moms. Mothers tend to put everybody else's needs before their own. Recently, Kathy discovered that she had put on 25 lbs. without even really realizing it.
"I was not making enough time to take care of me," says Kathy.
With the help of a personal trainer and nutritionist, she began making healthier food choices, cutting down on snacking and desserts, and exercising three times a week. Kathy says she is almost back to where she feels her best.
“I want to be healthy, to be there for my husband and my kids,” she says.
Equally as important as the physical health of your family is developing an environment that promotes strong emotional health. Kathy encourages spouses and children to communicate clearly, effectively, and with love. Family interactions will be more effective.
BECOMING A PRIORITY
Despite what many women believe, making yourself a priority is not selfish, but rather a gift to those you love. Your family will benefit more when you take care of yourself. One of the ways Kathy reminds herself about her priorities is by writing on a sheet of paper, JOY.
“After each letter, I fill in a word: Jesus, Others, You,” she says.
She keeps one of these signs on her bathroom mirror and another in her kitchen to remind her of what is important. Kathy also offers some practical steps to help you make yourself a priority:
- Recognize the power of words – Kathy says one of the toughest lessons she has had to learn as a mom is that “no” is a complete sentence. She says it is okay to say “no” to a request when it does not line up with your priorities.
- Don’t neglect your own feelings - they usually reappear in unhealthy forms such as depression or overeating.
- Renew and recharge – Take time for yourself - schedule at least fifteen minutes for yourself every morning and afternoon. Put that time on your calendar and then protect it as if you would a meeting. “I often set my alarm for 15 minutes to an hour earlier each morning and spend that extra time studying the Bible, talking with the Lord and listening to Him,” shares Kathy.
- Rediscover your dreams – Regardless of our age, Kathy stresses the importance of goals and dreams for your life. “Living without your dreams is miserable and unnecessary,” says Kathy. Write out a plan that will enable each of your dreams to come true.
- Believe that you are worth it – Every woman is worthy of self respect. Kathy shares how her youngest daughter, Chloe, was sad that she would never really be a princess. Kathy explained to her daughter that she was indeed a real princess. “You are the ultimate princess because your Father in heaven is the King of kings,” recalls Kathy.
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