Name: Tara Luba
Town: Hilton Head Island
Children: Harrison, 10; Fisher, 8; Bennett, 5
Occupation: Retired pharmacist; stay-at-home mom; learning coach to Harrison, who is homeschooled; afternoon taxi driver for the kids
Favorite mommy moment: Harrison winning the Southern Boys 10 and under (tennis) sportsmanship award in June 2013. I received an email from one of the tournament officials while I was recovering from surgery in a New York hospital, about Harrison's display of good character, model behavior and positive attitude. In 10 and under tennis, our goals (for all of our boys) are for them to develop not only into better tennis players but into good citizens off the court. As a 9-year-old, Harrison displayed great sportsmanship under extremely challenging circumstances, especially in his parents' absence. Our friends took him to Columbia, where he met up with and stayed with his doubles partner's family for the weekend, and as a mom, I was so relieved to know Harrison was in such caring hands.
Most challenging moment: Trying to keep some sense of normalcy for the kids in June 2013 and January, while I was in New York Presbyterian Hospital for unexpected, emergency surgeries. Fortunately, we had so many friends and family offering their help. We are also incredibly fortunate to have all four parents living on Hilton Head Island and supporting us during these stressful times. From my hospital bed in New York, Scott and I created a schedule, and once we saw where help was needed, we asked our friends and family to take on tasks.
Hobbies: Tennis, needlepoint (when I find time), soccer and being a tennis mom
Go-to dinner: Gluten-free pasta with semi-homemade sauce and a green vegetable
Go-to date ideas: Movies, a light bite to eat and in bed by 10 p.m.
Phrase you can't believe that you use with your children: "Holy Cow." Who still uses that phrase? I do.
Hardest age for your kids: Each child is proving to be so unique, and each has different issues at different ages. If only the issues with the oldest son could prepare us for the issues that we are facing with the middle and youngest sons, but, of course, that is not the case. That would be way too easy.
How do you stick to routines in your house? Scott and I communicate often with each other and the kids regarding their responsibilities at home. Practicing music, keeping their rooms tidy, limited use of electronics and TV, and routine bedtimes all help us maintain a peaceful household.
Advice for other moms: Try to recognize each child as unique individuals with their own talents, goals and personalities. Help your kids recognize this also so that they never compete with each other for attention or success. Foster symbiotic relationships between each of the siblings while also recognizing that these relationships could be vastly different from each other. It's much easier (and more peaceful) for me to get dinner on the table when the kids are playing with each other rather than arguing.
Follow reporter Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.