Reflecting on motherhood

With beaches to run on and whales to watch, the islands are a beautiful place to be a child. Strong support systems from the community make it an amazing place to raise children as well. Keri Eathorne Talbott has experienced both. She said she feels very fortunate, however, island life has its challenges as well.

“Kids have so much pressure today with social media; what they should wear, what they should do,” Eathorne Talbott explained. That pressure comes from the outside, and local youth don’t often see the whole picture.

With the rise of social media mothers often find themselves in a catch twenty-two, and if mothers find themselves confused about best methods in today’s world, pressures on children have also grown.

Motherhood, she added is different these days. Social media creates more influences in children’s lives. ”I feel like it’s harder knowing [the details of their lives] but maybe it’s not. It’s just different,” Eathorne Talbott said.

Her daughter Carolyn Talbott agrees that the island is a wonderful place to raise children, but she has her eye on the big picture. Carolyn said she would always want to bring her kids to visit, but especially at this stage in her life, there are many options, and a wide-open world to experience.

Meanwhile, Keri has done her best to prepare her for what the future may bring.

“Even if she gets in trouble, she knows I support her,” Keri said, and Carolyn nodded in agreement. Carolyn has taught Keri as well.

“You have to be willing to change your perspectives. Some of my older friends say that with parenting it’s my way of the highway. That isn’t my philosophy. It doesn’t work. She helps me learn new things daily,” Keri said. Both her children are amazing, she added, and challenge her to alter perspectives on a daily basis, yet be prepared for whiplash as situations dramatically change. Motherhood for Keri has also been a class in the art of listening.

“Carolyn catches me all the time, saying I’m not listening, and I realize she is right, I was reacting and not listening.”

Her own mother taught her to be flexible in thought, and that seems to have been passed down to Carolyn as well.

“She taught me to be open-minded. To try to see the silver lining and that life is easier when you get along with others,’ Keri said.

“My mom taught me to always see the good in people and find the silver lining,” Carolyn said.

The mother and daughter duo share a love of travel. Hawaii is one of their favorite destinations, although they have not been there together. Spending good quality bonding time together might include eating out and shopping. Should they get separated in a store, Carolyn said she and her sister, joke they listen for her to laugh. They figure their mom is probably talking to one of the many islanders she knows, and once they hear that cheerful laugh, they follow the sound.

When asked what advice she would give to young mothers, Keri said, “Parenting can be tough. Lean on your friends, on your support network.”