Frisco mom Alana Matthews lives in a boy’s world. Not only is she surrounded by her two sons, Declan, 3, and Thatcher, 9 months, and husband Grant, at home, but she’s also the executive vice president, business operations and general counsel of the Dallas Stars Hockey Club. The 33-year-old mom tells us about her superhero strengths, her creative side, the importance of resilience, and her most daring (yet relatable) mom moment.
DFWChild: What’s your super-power as a mother?
Alana Matthews: Creativity, listening and cooking! No matter how much is on my plate with my job, the house or other demands on my time, I make creative ways to have fun with my kids and to include them in things. My son and I bake and cook together, and it is one of my favorite things.
C: In your eyes, who’s a superhero mom? What makes her a supermom?
AM: My mom was a superhero mom! [She] filled us with love, supported us and was fiercely protective of our dreams and interests. She provided an atmosphere where we felt loved unconditionally and where silliness and laughter were always welcome. [My mom] put all the effort she could into raising us. I know so many amazing mothers. Moms are all superheroes—[they] are just incredible.
C: What’s the best advice that you’ve been given from a fellow mom?
AM: “If it is not a problem for you, it is not a problem.” Also, to ask for and accept help. It is so hard to accept help sometimes. Moms take on so much of the burden.
C: What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done as a parent?
AM: Trust my son to eat chocolate chip cookies on my ivory couch.
C: Do you have a motto or golden rule for yourself or your family?
AM: For the family we emphasize that “All feelings are welcome but not all behaviors are okay.” We support all big feelings and talk about them, but we hold boundaries on what are acceptable ways to handle those feelings. For myself, I live by the notion that resiliency is more important than perfection. I may make mistakes or get knocked down, but I will never be knocked out. I will always learn something in the process.
C: Tell us about some important lessons you have taught or are teaching your kids.
AM: I strive to teach my sons the importance of persistent effort and resiliency. I want them to know that they can achieve anything with clarity of purpose, determination and effort. I also want them to know that it is always OK to be silly, to find humor in all things, and to just try again if you have to. Life can be too short to not have fun.
C: It seems that every mother has a little—or a lot of—mom guilt. How do you deal with yours?
AM: I do experience this at times. [If I have to be away and miss family moments,] I process these feelings by talking to my kids about it … openly and honestly, so they know my feelings and I know theirs. I also know that my husband and I are fully invested in our kids, and we have a clear sense of our priorities. I remind myself that all of our efforts match with our family values and are designed to benefit our kids in the long run. I also remind myself that I want to raise my sons to see me as a working mother. I want them to know, support and appreciate empowered women.
C: What’s the best lesson you’ve learned along your life’s journey thus far?
AM: One of the last things my mother said to me before she passed was to remember that the most important thing is to be kind, and if hard things happen in life, you just have to get through them. I find that those words help me in almost every situation. I learned that kindness, love and determination really are the most powerful, transformative forces on earth.
C: What or who keeps you grounded?
AM: My children and my husband keep me grounded. My husband, Grant, is an extraordinary person. He is a source of strength. My children give me purpose and fill my days with joy, which always keeps me grounded. It is easy to be grounded when you are covered in spit up with graham cracker crumbs in your hair.
Children’s Health, AT&T Discovery District and DFWChild Magazine join forces to celebrate SUPER MOMS leading up to Mother’s Day. From patient mothers and health care heroes to everyday working moms, we’re proud to celebrate the #SuperMoms who help defend and protect kids.
For more information visit redballoonleague.com.
Photo courtesy of Alana Matthews.