Meet A Mom: Katherine | West Boston Moms

Can you tell us a little about yourself: where are you from, how long have you lived here, and what brought you to the area?
I grew up in Concord have been connected to the town in some way or another since, including teaching sixth grade Social Studies at the Concord Middle School for several years. It’s a special place – two vibrant and walkable centers, excellent schools, lots of conservation land, a rich history and an involved community. When my husband, Steve, and I were looking to purchase a veterinary hospital and we found Concord Animal Hospital was for sale we were over the moon. We moved to town two years later and we’re thrilled to live, work and raise our kids in town. My parents and two of my three siblings also live in Concord and Sudbury, so we feel very lucky!

Tell us about your business!
My husband and I own the Concord Animal Hospital. He’s one of four veterinarians and I run the business side: finance, human resources, operations and marketing. We have 15 other awesome vets, technicians, groomers and reception staff on the team. We all feel lucky to spend our day with animals and privileged to help keep them healthy. Everyone’s an animal-person (of course!) but we’re all also people-people! We always say, “you love your pet, you should love your vet.” We want to be a trusted partner in caring for the pets of Concord and the surrounding community.

How has the community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Being connected to the community is fundamental! The people of our community have to trust us with their pets – members of their family. Knowing us and our team personally through community involvement means people feel connected to us and trust that we’re motivated by what’s best for their pet.

Do you have children?
We have two: Johanna, age six, and Peter, age two. Of course we also have pets, though not as many as we want: Smooch the cat and Bubbles the guinea pig. We’ll be adding a dog to the mix once the kids are a little older, likely another French bulldog. Steve and I had a Frenchie named Wallace, the best dog in the universe, who passed away much too soon. The Concord Animal Hospital logo is designed after Wallace and Smooch, our first babies.

What are your favorite things to do in the area with and without your kids? Family friendly restaurant? Date night?
We moved from Somerville two years ago, so our go-to family restaurant is still Flatbreads in Davis Square. The pizza is the best and the staff and atmosphere is so much fun. We used to be there at least once a week – I don’t know what all that pizza might have done to our son while he was in utero but I’m sure it can only be good!
When the weather’s nice my husband and I will get a sitter and walk down to 80 Thoreau or Karma in Concord center or drive over to Wood’s Hill or Adelita in West Concord. With the kids we like strolling down to the Colonial Inn or Trail’s End for ice cream and a beer.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I taught myself how to drive a standard. It started when my sister, two good friends and I went to Cuba when I was in my early twenties and our travel plans were complicated when the rental places only had manual transmission cars. I thought it was so ridiculous that among four competent adults no one could drive standard. When we returned I needed to buy my first car, so I bought a used manual at a used car place on Moody Street in Waltham. I got a ten minute lesson from the salesman and then they rolled me out of the lot – the lesson didn’t include learning to go in reverse – and I drove it straight to my apartment in Boston! The next week was pretty terrible, I was shaking after every drive. Little by little my brain and body figured it out, I was so proud!

Name a favorite book?
I’d answer this question differently every week of my life. At the moment I love “The O’Henry Prize Stories”, a compilation of the year’s best short fiction. If you have 20 minutes you can read a wonderful story end-to-end. I also have a few magazines I love: the New Yorker, Atlantic, The Week and Real Simple.

What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms? What was the best advice your mom gave you?
My advice: when you’re home with your kids for the day, your to-do list should either only have one or two things on it (empty dishwasher, brush your teeth) or it should include all of the things you’ll do for and with them during the day (dress them, give them lunch). Otherwise you will feel like a failure when you were really caring for your kids all day!

What are you looking forward to this summer?
The beach with my family! It’s not the same as the old days when I went to the beach with my girl friends, a towel, magazine and a water bottle, but seeing my kids loving the water, playing in the sand and hunting for hermit crabs with their dad is amazing even if it means hauling 200 pounds of gear and snacks.

What is your local go-to store for children’s clothes? Yourself? Furniture?
I love Carters for my kids – true to size and cute clothes for both boys and girls. For myself I generally stick to Ann Taylor Loft. They have classic looks at reasonable prices. I’m down on the floor petting dogs and cats at work (I’m not complaining) so my clothes take a beating.

How do you relax and unwind?
My husband and I love taking the kids for walks in the woods or I take them on bike rides. Our days are so busy that we also love just hanging out as a family in the yard or biking around our cul-de-sac. The kids are old enough to play with and entertain each other so Steve and I can unwind and have an almost complete conversation!

What is next for you?
Our big next is building a new animal hospital behind our existing building. We’re psyched! We’ll stay open throughout in our existing building and (fingers crossed) move into the new building in early 2020. The new building will have separate waiting areas and exam rooms for dogs and cats, increased capacity for new pet patients and great facilities for acupuncture and dog grooming. We can’t wait!

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