Dr. Renae Reinardy, 2019 National Mother of the Year®
Dr. Renae Reinardy is a Psychologist and Director of the Lakeside Center for Behavioral Change. She is the Program Developer of CourageCritters.com, a plush animal and online program to help children learn adaptive coping skills. She received her doctorate at Argosy University, Washington DC. After several years in Washington, she returned to her home in the Midwest where she started a non-profit and continued to be an advocate for mental health. She has been a Professor and travels across America presenting at numerous conferences and trainings. Dr. Reinardy has been interviewed on Good Morning America, North Dakota Today and the Joy Behar Show. She was featured on Dateline NBC and A&E’s Hoarders. She currently resides in Fargo with her husband Chad and their 7-year-old daughter Fiona. Whenever she is not working, she plays a competitive game of Twister, and enjoys traveling, hiking and finding new adventures with her family.
Charitable Cause: Child Mind Institute
What is your favorite memory as a mother?
A trip to Disney World confirmed many beliefs I hold about my daughter. Fiona was 4 years old and a Star Wars fanatic. She dressed in Star Wars costumes every day and when others referred to her as Princess, she would assert that she was a Jedi. The moment that exemplified her personality was when she was dressed as Rey and approached a group of Storm Trooper yelling, “I will never go to the dark side” while holding her hand out in front of her “using the force”. The crowd erupted in cheers and laugther at my brave little girl.
Are there any celebrity moms you would rate as a “Perfect 10?” Why?
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton demonstrates love for her family and compassion for others while also undertaking her royal duties. Her charitable involvement centers around mental and physical health, maternal mental health, and early intervention for vulnerable children. Many discussions on mental health, postpartum depression, and childhood wellbeing have resulted from her efforts. She is often photographed with her three children and appears to be actively involved in their care. The Duchess engages in healthy behavior and appears to genuinely enjoy time with her husband. In sharing her experiences, she inspires others and decreases stigma for struggling families.
What was your biggest misconception about being a mom?
My biggest misconception of being a working mom is how much I believe I can complete in a day. As a mother, I want to inspire my daughter to play outside, learn something new, or just be silly. As a Psychologist and mental health advocate, there are endless opportunities to help and educate others. I never wake up dreading my day but tend to approach it with a little too much enthusiasm. As I have adjusted my expectations, I have learned that it is okay to delegate or save a little for the next day.