What's her secret?: 'Make it a priority to create memories'

abredeson@islandpacket.comJune 1, 2014 

Clockwise from right, Andrea Hayes is photographed on May 7 with her children: Evan Hayes, Skylar Hayes, Ali Hayes, Brooke Christian and her son-in-law Evan Christian.

JAY KARR — Staff photo Buy Photo

  • 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: Andrea Arrieta Hayes

Husband: Damian

Town: Bluffton

Children: Brooke Christian, 26; Ali, 16; Skylar, 14; Evan, 12

Occupation: Hair designer at Platinum Design and owner of British Open Pub-Hilton Head and British Open Pub-Bluffton

Favorite mommy moments: The look of pure joy in their eyes when they have accomplished something they have worked so hard to achieve, and how happy and beautiful my daughter was on her wedding day

Most challenging moment: Emotionally, not being able to "fix" something that is hurting one of them. I tend to be a control freak, but I know I have to step back and let them grow by learning from the situation. My three school-aged kids are involved in three different travel sports teams (horseback riding, competitive cheer and club soccer). I really stress when their schedules overlap, and I can't watch someone compete or play. It's not unusual during certain times of the year for me to travel 80-90 miles in a day to attend two different activities.

How do you keep your marriage a priority? Damian works so much, seven days a week most weeks, and I travel with at least one of the kids most weekends during the school year. So we try to make time to either get away for a night or two, or just enjoy time in our backyard after the kids go to bed. We have to reconnect or we both end up getting upset over little things. I remind him I love him, even though we have been together many years.

Favorite movie: "The Blind Side." I really admire Leigh Anne Tuohy and how one could make such a difference in someone's life, no boundaries, just love. I loved her no-nonsense, "Just go out and do it" attitude that she taught her children. (She's) a strong Christian woman I would love to meet and talk to someday.

Favorite age for my kids: The first thought that came to mind is when they were newborns/infants. All four were such easy babies, so I remember just holding and loving on them for hours. But I have to also say right now I am loving the quality time I get to spend with them. They are each so different, so it makes it interesting to be with them one-on-one.

Who inspires you? My husband and my mom. They both love unconditionally and give so much of themselves for their families.

Favorite family tradition: Christmas Eve, many years ago I would read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" to Brooke before she went to bed. Then one year she took over reading it to her siblings. She never missed a year, even when she drove back from spending Christmas Eve with her in-laws in Atlanta last year and woke the kids up at 2 a.m. to read it to them.

Volunteer work: "To whom much is given, much is required." I have been blessed many times over. So I try to give back, and we are teaching our children the importance of giving back to our community. Sixteen years ago, my husband and I started a charity golf tournament, The British Open Pub Invitational. And as much as it is a lot of hard work (with the help of many), we are so proud to say we have raised over $215,000 to help area students. We established a college scholarship fund at the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry 10 years ago and awarded $18,000 in scholarships this year alone. Every year, when we interview the applicants, I am so impressed with the high-caliber students our local schools have educated.

Hidden talent: This question stumped me so I sent a text to my oldest daughter, and this was her reply: "You have a ton, Mom. You are the only person that can fix people's emotions, no matter how you're feeling about the subject. You are way more creative than you give yourself credit for and can always make something out of nothing in no time."

Advice for other moms: I have learned to accept that my house will not always be the cleanest because I make it a priority to "make memories" with my kids. I look back at how fast they have grown, and I just try to enjoy whatever quality time I spend with them and their friends.

Follow reporter Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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