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Brenda Arens Reed 2018 Wisconsin Mother of the Year®

April 21, 2018


Meet Brenda Arens Reed 2018 Wisconsin Mother of the Year®!

Brenda Arens Reed grew up on a farm in Northeast Nebraska where she learned the value of family, community, and hard work. On the farm, Brenda showed a love for animals at a very young age. It was no surprise she decided she wanted to be a veterinarian when she was in junior high. She worked hard throughout her high school and college careers to be able to one day attend veterinary school. Brenda attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa graduating Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Research. She then attended veterinary school at Iowa State University in Ames Iowa and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. Brenda married her husband, Joe in 2014, and gave birth to their son, Clay John, January 15, 2017. Brenda continues to work as a small animal veterinarian while enjoying time with her growing family.

Brenda’s Parenting Philosophy

One could say my parenting philosophy is simple – give your child endless love. While no doubt love is essential to the well-being of a child, parenting is much more complicated. I am only about a year into parenthood but have quickly realized being a parent is much different from any other job or task I have set out to accomplish. One thing I have learned so far is to listen to others’ stories of parenthood and learn from them, but do what works best for you and your child because every child is different. I see my son every day and therefore am more aware of what his behaviors might mean, what he wants, and what he needs.  It is a constant balancing act of considering and taking advice and doing what I think is best for my son. I know parenting will present new challenges when my son reaches the age to question situations and the world around him. When this starts I will try to remember how my parents handled these situations with me. They always tried to explain to me why something had to be this way or that. They never said, “because I said so.” They were there to offer advice and support but gave me space to figure it out on my own. I know I will not always make the right decision in regard to parenthood, but I can learn from my mistakes and do my best to raise a baby into a wonderful human being.

Serving in the Community

Brenda has been involved in various activities in the veterinary community. Participating in several Rabies vaccination clinics in southern Wisconsin, these clinics are sponsored by a rescue organization called Friends of Noah out of Janesville, Wisconsin. The clinics offer a free Rabies vaccine to cats and dogs in low-income neighborhoods. Brenda says, “the people are so thankful for us to be there. I’m not sure the cats and dogs feel the same way.”

Brenda has also participated in elementary school programs, talking to children about being a veterinarian. The students enjoy seeing x-rays of pregnant dogs and cats, and of dogs that have swallowed various objects that then show up on the x-ray in the dog’s stomach or intestines. Brenda brings stuffed animals and let them bandage their legs and also let them listen to their own heartbeat with a stethoscope. Brenda says “it is so fun to share my love of animals and my profession with the next generation.”

What Others are Saying About Brenda:

She has a way of welcoming you into her life without reservation that I absolutely adore abore her. I don’t know how she does it, but she is always there for me regardless of how crazy life is or how much she has going on.  Whether I need a laugh or a shoulder to cry on, she makes the time to be the person I can always lean on.  Her sweet and generous spirit carries over into everything she does and her world revolves so beautifully around being a mother.  What a blessing Brenda is to all who have the privilege of knowing her. Lyndsay Duquette

Brenda has always loved animals, and exerts a motherly protection over them—she has done this since we were children.  I think that this prepared her for motherhood—she was constantly taking care of weak kittens, dogs with broken paws, and birds with broken wings.  Caring for God’s creatures, four-legged or two, is inherent in her nature.  That is probably why she maintained such grace during her son Clay’s first few months of life—she knew before she started that mothering is hard, and requires much sacrifice. Although Brenda’s family is in just the beginning stages of growing, she already has the fundamentals of motherhood down pat, and I am certain I will continue to be inspired as I watch her find joy among the many sacrifices that motherhood can bring. Jennifer A. A. Gubbels