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 Michelle Kuhn.  


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

Michelle: My husband and I are both from the Midwest. We moved to Austin right after we were married so that I could complete my PhD at The University of Texas. Like so many people do when they come to Austin, we just never left. Now we’ve lived here for 11 years and have three kids ages three, five and eight. I am co-founder of an autism care organization called, Galliant. I am also an adjunct professor at St. Edward’s University.


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

Michelle: My older brother and his wife are empty-nesters and while visiting us here in Austin about a year ago, he saw how frustrated I was with the 25-minute process of getting my three small children into the car to go somewhere. He laughed and said, “Believe it or not, you will forget about this frustration.” I remind myself of that perspective now when things feel hard with our kids. These hard stages will pass.


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

Michelle: My mom always keeps family at the center of everything, and I think she’s done a good job of fostering that while navigating many different stages of life.


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

Michelle: I love watching them develop relationships with each other. As they grow, they play and talk with each other in new ways. It’s fun to watch them grow up together. I also love to see when my kids master something academically. It’s so great to watch them feel proud of themselves for overcoming challenges.


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

Michelle: We don’t have extended family here in Austin, and I am the only driver in our family as my husband is visually impaired. I have had to learn how to ask for help from friends and neighbors. I am learning how to trust that people who say they want to help actually want to help.


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

Michelle: Compared to Chicago where I was raised? The weather in Austin! We can hike or bike or go to restaurants with playgrounds. The outdoor quality of life in Austin is the best.


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

Michelle: By my third child I realized that kids are more resilient than we give them credit for. The world is scary, but kids can be taught that they are resilient.


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

Michelle: This will sound cheesy, but I love it all. I love the daily stuff. My favorite times are on the weekends when they wake up sleepy and we all cuddle on the couch and watch TV together.


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