Hiking, takeout and Zoom were on Kathy Cochran’s to-do-list for this past Sunday.
As a mother of three and grandmother of three, Cochran would have enjoyed her Mother’s Day with her extended family but understands the need to social distance.
“My wish every Mother’s Day is to plan a nice long hike with my husband and all or some of our family,” says Cochran. “With this our daughter Stephanie’s very first Mother’s Day, we would have planned a visit to Maryland to spend a day or two with Steph, her wonderful husband Keith and our precious grandson, Camden Nicholas, whom we haven’t seen for several months now due to the pandemic and will be turning 5 months on May 9!”
Cochran and her husband Larry Cochran had other ideas in mind, but still hoped to connect with their son Sean, 36 and his wife Lauren; daughter Stephanie, 32, and her husband Keith; Kimberly, 29; and grandchildren: Emma, 6; Declan, 2; and Camden, four months.
“My husband and I will visit our kids and grand-babies on a long Zoom call,” says Cochran who moved to Mt. Olive 32 years ago “for better schools and landed in a wonderful, child-friendly development in Budd Lake.”
She admits: “I’m so thankful for Zoom and FaceTime during this Pandemic! Permits us to feel close to family and friends while remaining safely apart.”
She shares, “My husband and I are planning a walk at Waterloo Village, takeout at Bistro 46 and our Zoom call with our kids and grand-babies.”
Reaching out to her mom and mother-in-law will be through her memories.
“Sadly, I lost my mom when I was a teenager, and we lost my wonderful mother-in-law several years ago, but I’ve learned so much from both of them that I try to bring into my parenting and grand-parenting every day which allows me to keep them both close,” says Cochran.
Cochran embraces her role as a mom and is grateful for the experience.
“I’m always grateful for the most amazing, fun, wonderful and important job in the world, being a mom to our three amazing kids, and a Baba to our three beautiful grand-babies, and having a wonderful husband to share it all with,” she says.
“It’s so rewarding and such a gift to be where I’m at in life to see what your kids accomplished more than you did and that they’re good, responsible, hard-working, kind adults,” she adds. “They all inspire me to be a better mom, wife, grandma (Baba), friend and person, and I’m so very proud of them all.”
She offers some words of wisdom to other moms on how to overcome challenges and be present in the lives of others held dear.
“My advice to all moms is to Celebrate Being a Mom Every Day... Being a mom is truly a most wonderful gift, and an opportunity to make yourself and the world a little better,” says Cochran. “Try to remember what you needed and how you felt when you were the age(s) of your children. Remain present in your children’s lives, especially when its hard and when they’re teens; and stick to your morals and values even when it’s difficult. Set boundaries with your children, but explain why, and that it’s because you care and love them. Live by example, and remember to give priority to your relationship with the father of your children.”
Cochran admits to challenges that moms can face, and from experience, offers her opinion on how to cope.
“Being a mom, especially a working mom or a mom with children with special needs, or in a family with extenuating circumstances, can and will test you,” says Cochran. “Try to relax, have fun, control what you can control and above all, enjoy your children for who they are and make every effort to give your children opportunities and experiences that will allow them to grow to be the best person they can be. Ensure your children know they’re loved by your actions as well as your words. Remain focused on the goal... Raising little ones to be well-adjusted and good big people.”
Cochran’s son, Sean, lives in Chatham with his wife Lauren and their son Declan was born with a genetic condition called CTNNB1. They started a foundation a year or so ago to find cures and treatments for CTNNB1. They have a Facebook page called “Advancing CTNNBI Cures and Treatments” and a website at curectnnb1.org where there is a story about Declan and his family, as well as stories and pictures of other children born with this condition, the current research, history of this condition, explains Cochran.
“Through their foundation, Sean and Lauren have partnered with two geneticists thus far: Dr. Wendy Chung at Columbia University in NYC and Michele Jacob, PhD at Tufts University School of Medicine,” she explains. “They’ve raised quite a bit of money already, which has resulted in mouse models to find better treatments and we pray a cure, and they continue to connect with other families across the world with loved once managing CTNNB1 in hopes to build a stronger network to bring awareness and increase the research.”