Name: Carolyn McRorie
Occupation: Professional curler / Carolyn and her husband Rod own Canadian Decal Installers.
Number of children: Shea is 16 (almost 17!) Shea is Rod’s son from his previous marriage who came to live with them when he was around 5 years old. Shea was diagnosed with cancer in 2002. Carolyn has worked with teachers throughout his schooling to ensure he is doing well. Because of the cancer, he has a learning disability.
Alexandria is 10 years old and is great at school and is a competitive swim club, she swims 3 times a week now!
Claim to fame: McRorie is an Olympic Silver Medalist in Curling.
WhereParentsTalk.com spoke with McRorie about her family and her golden tips for parenting:
Tell us a bit about your yourself and your family:
Rod and I have been together for 12 years, Shea his son from his previous marriage came to live with us when he was 5 1/2 years old, I was curling at this time also with Heather Rankin and we had won our spot at the Regina Olympic trials. I had Alexandria in 2001, Rod brought her to Regina, so I could be near her. Shea was diagnosed [with cancer] in the spring of 2002, we spent most of that year at the hospital. I only curled 2 bonspiels that next winter just to give me some of my own time, instead of running only for the kids. It was the hardest thing to do, but looking back it was the right thing to do mentally.
Rod had started a business, which I started working at full time, so that I could work from home, and look after the kids. We were still at the hospital quite a bit for the first 5 years, but it was manageable. When Cheryl Bernard asked me to curl it was a wonderful experience, I and the family was ready to go back to the competition. Rod would look after the kids, with help from his parents if it got busy with work. I always leave lists of what has to be done per day for the time that I was gone. A list for each child to remind them of their chores, a list of extra curricular activities the kids were in which night and times, and a list of food - for lunches and for suppers.
What has been your biggest success as a parent?
Listening to the kids talk to others with compassion and watch them grow the Olympics really helped Shea grow and come out of his shell. The kids were in a safe environment and were able to meet the athletes and listen to them (not just the curlers, but all of them), it was so wonderful. I think this was the best, Alexandria still sees some of the athletes when she participated at the COP camp this summer and a couple of them recognized her.
How have you been able to balance family and career?
By trying to be as organized as possible, I write things down, I work the spring and summer re-organizing my house again - I have a blackberry and I schedule everything in there to remind myself of what is happening when and what day!! I don’t go anywhere without it!!
What has been your biggest challenge as a parent and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge - being a controller, I have learnt that I can't do everything and that the kids do grow. When we curled one year 10 weeks out of 13 before Christmas, I would come home and Rod was giving the kids more responsibility than I had and I just saw them grow as people and individuals, it really opened my eyes and now, I try to step back as much as possible and let them learn and try even though I still want to jump in and help them with a problem!!!
What have you learned about yourself in the course of being a mom?
How very protective I am of who I have in my circle of family.
What golden tip or tips can you share that helped you as a parent? -
Be organized, write things down you can't remember everything and accept help from others. I would never have made it if I did not ask for help - with other parents, teachers, family and friends. You can't do it on your own!!
AND take time for yourself. The kids do come first, but when they are busy, do something for yourself, I get pedicures, or my nails done and that is my time no one elses!!!!