Austin is bursting with people doing exciting work, and that includes moms who work hard to raise their kids. Every other month Austin Family features a short interview with an Austin mom doing the extraordinary work of parenting.

Austin, meet Annie Denton.  

AF:  Tell our Austin Family readers a little bit about yourself.

Annie: I grew up in Austin and attended St. Edward’s University where I earned a degree in business. I work for the Secretary of State’s office, and my husband and I have two boys, ages five and three.

AF: What is some of the best parenting advice you’ve received?

Annie: My boys’ daycare teacher reminds me that it’s so important to spend one-on-one time with each of my children. My boys don’t even remember what they got for Christmas but my five-year-old remembers the time he and I had a special “date,” just the two of us together at Thinkery.

AF: Who has been a role model for you as a mom?

Annie: My mother-in-law. She has two sons, one of whom has special needs and won’t ever be able to live by himself. She’ll never be an empty nester, but she takes it in stride. She’s a true caregiver.

AF: The best thing about your kids at this stage?

Annie: My five-year-old is finding his voice. He’s been using my own words against me. Yesterday he said, “Mommy, it’s not time for screens, it’s time for bed. You need to let your brain rest. You can check your phone in the morning.”

AF: What’s one of the biggest challenges of parenting you didn’t expect?

Annie: Managing other people’s expectations of my children. My kids are pretty free-spirited. I don’t want to put that fire out, but it’s hard to manage other people’s expectations of how they should behave.

AF: What are a few good things about raising kids in Austin?

Annie: Mostly good weather in Austin. Also, as a metro area, Austin is relatively safe. There are great things to do with kids in downtown Austin like the Austin Public Library. We walk the Ladybird Lake trail on weekends and then let the kids play at the Auditorium Shores Playground.

AF: If you had known then what you know now, what would you have worried about less as you entered parenting?

Annie: Milestones. Now I realize that kids develop at their own pace.

AF: What do you love these days about being a mom?

Annie: I love it when my kids are excited to see me after a workday. I know they have a great time at daycare, but when they run up to me for a hug after work, that really touches my heart.

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