What's Her Secret?: 'Do what works for you'

abredeson@islandpacket.comJune 24, 2013 

Catherine Darling-Ashbrey stands with her husband, Mark Ashbrey, and their 10-month-old twin daughters Anna, left, and Elizabeth, right, on Thursday, June 13 in the backyard of their home on Hilton Head Island.

DELAYNA EARLEY — Staff photo Buy Photo

  • The moms featured in this column are not bragging about themselves. They often have no idea they are even being selected for the weekly feature until they get a phone call. Most are recommended by readers. Please send your suggestions of Lowcountry moms to features writer Amy Bredeson at abredeson@islandpacket.com.

Name: Dr. Catherine Darling-Asbrey

Husband: Mark Asbrey

Town: Hilton Head Island

Children: Anna and Elizabeth, 10 months old

Occupation: Optometrist and owner of Darling Eye Center

Go-to dinner: "Whatever my husband cooks," Darling-Asbrey said with a giggle. "My husband is the cook of the family."

Biggest pet peeve: Laziness

Hobbies: Running, going to the beach and reading

Volunteer work: Darling-Asbrey volunteers as a Eucharistic minister at St. Francis by the Sea Catholic Church on Hilton Head. And she recently donated her time running in the London Marathon to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She raised about $3,800.

Favorite mommy moment: "My favorite mommy moment would have to be every morning when I go into their room and they're in their crib, and they smile and laugh and clap their hands," she said. "It's just the sweetest thing."

Most challenging moment: Darling-Asbrey said her most challenging moment as a mother was the first six weeks of her twin daughters' lives. She said Elizabeth cried at least 20 hours a day. She was eventually diagnosed with acid reflux. Once they got her on medicine and started adding rice cereal to her bottle, she became an entirely different baby.

Stress reliever: Reading and running

Advice for other moms: "Every child is different," she said. "Do what works for you. ... Before they were born, I read all the books, and I knew exactly what I was going to do. My kids were going to never cry, and I was going to feed them every two to two hours and 15 minutes because that's what it said. ... I was busting my hump, trying to do everything right." Then her mother came to visit and offered her two cents -- don't ever wake a sleeping baby. After a few days, she decided to listen to her mom's advice, and sure enough the babies woke up on their own when they were hungry. "I just kind of let them take the lead. I think different strokes for different folks, but for me it was -- attend to your kid, not try and do exactly what the book says."

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