6. Rachel Heinz Q&A

1. What does being a mom mean to you? 
Being a Mom to all three of my kids {Hudson, Harper, and Hadley} has completely changed my life. My kids have made me a better person and are a reminder of what truly matters in this world. The way they find joy in everyday life has helped me appreciate the simple moments that I might typically take for granted. Motherhood is unconditional love in the purest form. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be a Mom to my kids. Being a Mom is a gift.
2. What is the hardest thing you've done being a mother?
The hardest thing I have experienced as a Mom {and in my life}, was going through health issues with my son Hudson. The first few years of his life, Hudson underwent major surgeries, and spent many weeks in hospitals. There were times when Hudson was in a really rough place with his health. In those hard times, I felt like my whole world was crashing down. I am thankful for our family and friends for stepping in to support us during those difficult times. Motherhood has taught me a lot about resilience. 
3. What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

My favorite thing about being a Mom is watching my kids learn new things and experience joy in their everyday life.

4. Is there a moment or event that changed the way you view motherhood? 
My view of motherhood changed when I found out my son had Down syndrome at birth. I had this view of what my story as a Mom would look like, and this was completely different. The things I never expected about motherhood have turned out to be the most beautiful, perspective building, and life-changing moments of my life. 
5. Do you feel like your purpose has shifted before and after becoming a mom? 
My purpose shifted when I became a Mom and Hudson was diagnosed with Down syndrome, a severe GI disease, heart condition, and later, Autism. My greatest hope for each of my kids is that people see them for who they are and not a label or diagnosis. A passion that my kids have instilled in me, is to advocate for inclusion, for the opportunity for all of my kids to be around those of all abilities at school and in throughout their community. 
6. How do you reset? 
I reset through taking time to do things that bring me joy - going to yoga, reading a good book, listening to music, getting coffee with a friend, or planning something fun with my family. We really enjoy traveling, going to the lake, playing sports, and riding bikes. I also love having “mommy dates” with my kids and taking them out 1:1 to do something that we both enjoy together - it is a great reset for both of us. 
7. Where do you find your strength during challenging times?
I find strength in challenging times through my faith and the support of family and friends. I’ll never forget driving to STL Children’s Hospital in the middle of the night when Hudson was two - he had a horrible flare up with his GI disease. I was texting with a close friend and she told me she would set a timer and pray for Hudson every hour. It is in those times that family and friends have stepped up to support us when things were really scary with Hudson’s health {and in other situations with our kids}. 

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