Real Mama: Susan Klinsport

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Susan, a 51-year-old (ouch! #@!) single, work-at-home mama of two teenagers. Alisa is 18 and a freshman in college, and Edward is 14. I love to run, read, stroll on the beach and be with my family.

My husband and I grew a successful company in New Jersey. Work was our commonality, and in the beginning I never thought I would have children. My career meant everything to me (at least that’s what I told myself). I had Alisa when I was 33, which is not uncommon today, but back then I was pushing the clock. When she was born, I looked at her and fell madly in love! My life changed focus, and even though I continued working until Edward came along, she was the center of my world. I really felt like being a mother made me better at everything.

We sold the company intending to retire immediately before the birth of our son. We moved to Vero Beach, Florida, where my husband spent holidays every year during his childhood. My husband failed at retirement and decided to start another company. Tragically, he suffered two strokes, and in a split second my role became caretaker to my husband (for eight years) until he passed away.

Our family life was never traditional and my children learned early to go with the flow. It’s never been my nature to sit around, so I became restless and decided to start a company. I was working on an idea/invention with a friend and realized with everything we had done together that I could do this! I really want my kids to see me strong. Being a role model for them keeps me moving uphill! My company is called IntelliDent and you can visit our site to learn more.

Where is home?

Home is Vero Beach, Florida.

What are your secrets to balancing your life as a work-at-home mama?

As a WAHM I have to balance home, children and work. Juggling the three is not easy, especially without having a live-in back-up team. I try to stick to a schedule, which keeps me from getting distracted by the house during the day. Luckily, my son’s school is two miles away so I can be there if he needs me. I have great supportive friends around me that jump in if I have to travel (my family lives up north). As far as having your own company – I am always “plugged in.” However, I can be there for my children.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Biggest inspiration? No question there, my kids.

What has been the best advice you’ve received as a mama? What do you feel is the best advice, if any, that you’ve given as a mama?

The best advice I’ve ever received as a mama is to always take time out for yourself. In order to be a good mama, you have to be happy! My advice – I pass the same along to other mamas, Keep your kids at the top of your food chain (they are the prize and our legacy) but make time for YOU, even if it’s something small (sneak away and get a facial, read your favorite book in a hot bath – whatever might give you some relaxation or rejuvenation).

Are you the kind of mama you thought you’d be?

I never thought I’d be a mama, so I didn’t think much about the type I’d be. I have definitely evolved as a mama, having been through sickness, play-dates, dance class, little league, tennis lessons, boyfriends, prom and graduation. There are a lot of things I might like to do differently but each child is so unique so it’s always new.

If you could have lunch with anyone famous (dead or alive) who would it be?

I would love to have lunch with Dr. Oz!!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

If I could have a superpower, it would be to fly, of course.

Was your birth experience all that you hoped it would be? If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

Honestly, I don’t remember my actual birthing experience, but I do remember counting fingers and toes.

How has your mothering evolved since those early newborn days? Is there anything, thus far, in your approach to mothering that you swore “I’d never do…” and you are?

Almost everything! It’s so funny because the newsflash to new mamas is, “It all comes back to you,” especially when you have teenagers. You plan to do it so perfectly, and the reality is the only thing you can do is survive it! The reality is, all the perfect planning in the early years may go out the window in the stage called “surviving the teenage years.” Now my daughter is in college, and I think I did my job and did it well.

Do you have a mama mantra? Or something you find yourself repeating over and over when times are tough?

“Choose your battles carefully, and don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Is there anything else you wish to share with the Mama Say What?! audience?

Remember ladies (mamas), we are all trying to achieve the same thing – get through each day, make it through another year, and be the best mama possible. Don’t be afraid to take advice! It’s tough to know and be everything. 

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