What's her secret?: 'Savor and relish the time you have with your family'

abredeson@islandpacket.comMarch 9, 2014 

Jennifer Friend-Kerr is pictured with her son, Wesley, and daughters, Lily and Holly.

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  • REAL MOMS, REAL ADVICE

    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: Jennifer Friend-Kerr

Husband: Marty

Town: Hilton Head Island

Children: Wesley, 16; Lily and Holly, 14

Occupation: Third-grade teacher at Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts and tennis professional at Hilton Head Island Beach and Tennis Resort in the summer

Favorite mommy moment: I have many favorite moments, but the ones that stand out are: the birth of each of my three children; the pure happiness, excitement and joy on my young children's faces on Christmas morning; and when others have complimented my children for showing acts of kindness.

Most challenging moments: My most challenging moments were when I was on bed rest at the Medical University of South Carolina for 16 weeks during my first pregnancy and for six months at home during my second pregnancy. For 16 consecutive weekends, my husband, Marty, would work during the week, then drive up to Charleston, spend the weekend with me in the hospital, and then return to Hilton Head. I developed patience that I never thought was possible.

Favorite quote: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, and that is why it is called the present." -- Anonymous

How do you keep your marriage a priority? I believe in spending quality time together, whether it is going on a run or having a date night. Making time for one another is my priority.

What is something your child said that amazed or inspired you? When I was in graduate school, nervous about my first exam, one of my children said, "Don't worry, Mom. You will do great." I realized that I just got encouragement and advice from one of my children, which calmed my nerves immediately.

How do you teach your children respect? My husband and I model the importance of treating others with respect and prioritizing thinking of others before ourselves. My father always told me to "pass on the kindness," and that is what we do in our family.

Hardest age for your kids? I believe the hardest age for my children was about age 12, when they began middle school. Not only were their bodies and perspectives changing, but peer pressure became more prevalent.

Guilty pleasure: My guilty pleasures are going for a long run on the beach and sipping coffee while sitting on my porch swing overlooking the marsh on a weekend morning.

Biggest fear: My biggest fear would be not being able to be there for my family.

Most proud moment: My proudest moments are watching my children work hard and achieve their goals in academics and sports.

Advice for other moms: I would encourage other moms to savor and relish the time you have with your family because it goes so fast.

Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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