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Headshot of Karen Lane, 2019 Tennessee Mother of the Year

Charitable Cause: Jonesborough United Methodist Church

What is your favorite memory as a mother?

One of my favorite memories is our movie nights. Since the kids were little we would shut off all the lights, pull down all the shades, pop popcorn and then sit down to have a “movie theater” as the kids called it. We would all pile on the couch together – each parent with a child between their legs. The kids are now 9 and 11 and we still have a “movie theater” at least once a month.

Are there any celebrity moms you would rate as a “Perfect 10?” Why?

Not really but one mom that impresses me is Julia Roberts. She has kept her kids out of the media and when asked about her favorite things to do with her children she said sit around the table together and play games. Nothing impresses me more than mom’s spending time – good, quality time – with their children because I think being a good mom is all about “being present” with our children.

What is the best or worst “mom purchase” you’ve ever made and why?

Best mom purchase ever was the dance mat for our daughter. When we were buying it I was sure it was going to be another one of those things that never got used and was always in the way. Wow was I wrong. Not only does it get used all the time for practicing dance, it also has been used to put on shows for the family – dance shows, gymnastic shows, puppet shows, magic shows and more by both children. We have been entertained well.

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what would you ask?

Do my kids know how much I love them? Do they know this mother’s love is never ending? Do they know there is nothing they could do to make me stop loving them? We have so many jobs as a parent and I want to help my children grow up to be healthy, happy, productive adults but more than anything I want them to know how loved they are because I believe knowing they are loved will enable them to succeed in life.

What is the craziest thing one of your kids has done?

When our son was little he liked to wear costumes. I don’t mean once in a while, I mean every day for years but the funniest moment came the day he was Superman and Clark Kent. We were shopping in Wal-Mart and he kept running behind the display racks to change – going from Clark Kent to Superman and back gain multiple times. It was so cute – the only thing that would have made it better was if he could have found a phone booth.

What was your biggest misconception about being a mom?

That we have it all together. I think social media has done mom’s a big disservice as we post all these beautiful pictures and perfect stories about our families making it look like we’ve got it all together, all the time when the truth is we rarely have it together. We are usually being pulled in too many directions and always wishing we could add more hours to the day.

What is the most useless or unique talent you have?

My most useless talent is that I can remember exit numbers and I not only remember the numbers I also remember what’s at the exits as well – like what kinds of gas stations and food places are located there. For example I know that exit 21 off of I-95 in South Carolina has a favorite restaurant we like to stop at. I know – pretty useless except that it amuses my husband when we are traveling.