After becoming a stepmother in 2006, Amy Urbach dedicated herself to connecting blended families with the resources to help them succeed. The 41-year-old mother of two children (Stephanie, 20 and Shawn, 16) and stepmother to three children (Cameron, 13; Sierra, 9 and Brianna, 7), Amy founded a nonprofit organization called Blended and Bonded in 2011. Working to help blended families grow, connect and bond keeps this Edmond area mom at the top of her game. Here’s more about Amy, her family and her work to make blended family life easier.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I grew up on a farm. I have slopped hogs, gathered eggs and worked a garden bigger than my yard.
What are you passionate about?
I am insanely passionate about supporting and helping blended families. I’ve had a stepmom since my parents divorced when I was five. I am a stepmom and my own kids have a stepmom.
How has motherhood changed you?
I became a mother at 19, so I grew up with my kids and they got to experience all of that with me. I love that I am a younger mom of older kids now, and I am really enjoying my friendship with them. I thought becoming a stepmom five years ago would just be an extension of my mom role, but I quickly realized I had to re-learn what my role is and adjust accordingly. My stepchildren are younger than my kids, so it was basically like starting over in some ways.
How do you banish stress?
Alone time is how I relax and recharge at the same time. For me, that means inside with no noise (no TV or music) or quiet time outdoors. I love nature and taking adventurous trips by myself.
What inspires you?
Nature. The beauty of it and how it interacts with me inspires me to enjoy and appreciate what I’m blessed with. I connect spiritually through nature.
Along with your job as a mom, what do you do?
I just recently stepped out of a position at LifeChurch.tv. It was an honor to work with such a great staff over the past 5 years. I will be focusing on Blended & Bonded and a few other things that may come my way.
What is on your wish list?
My personal wish is to travel to Bora Bora someday.
What are you most proud of?
I am super proud of my daughter and the leadership she is displaying as president of her sorority. I am proud of my son and his dedication to his passions, as well as my husband and his persistence to pursue his relationship with his kids despite sometimes difficult situations.
What motivates you?
Seeing others realize that they can be and do more than what they think they have in them to do.
How do you find balance in your life?
I tend to live life in a sprint mode rather than marathon mode. I go until I crash and then I have to regroup before I go full force again. I recognize that there are seasons in life that are going to be busier than others. I try to give 100 percent during that time and rest as much as I can when I’m not in a busy season.
Advice for other moms?
Time flies, so enjoy every moment with your kids. Sometimes when you are in the thick of it, the days seem long but the years are short. You blink and they will be grown!
Where are you from originally? What brought you to Oklahoma?
I was born and raised in Oklahoma, but I have lived in Texas and Missouri.
What’s the biggest challenge in your life?
Managing my high expectations of those around me with what I want for my family.
How do you help others?
I have a nonprofit called Blended & Bonded (www.facebook.com/BlendedNBonded) that provides resources and support for blended families, I lead workshops for blended families and offer support for stepmoms.
What is your parenting style?
I like a very structured house that involves taking care of your own surroundings, picking up after yourself and respecting others in the process. Since my kids are older, my role is now to help guide them in the decision-making process.
Favorite quote or advice about motherhood?
“We must not raise young people who believe that the world is all about them. Parents who do not have a life apart from their kids teach the kids that the universe revolves around them. Meet the child’s needs, and then require him to meet his own while you meet yours.” (From Gifted to Lead by Nancy Beach)
Quick Facts About Amy:
- What‘s on your playlist? Dido, Norah Jones, Chris Botti, Bon Jovi, Train, James Taylor
- What can’t you live without? My iPhone and Twitter.
- What’s your favorite date night venue? RePUBlic Gastro Pub and Cuppies and Joe afterwards
- What’s always in your handbag? My debit card, because I never carry cash, and lotion
- What’s your favorite movie? Steel Magnolias
Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.