Des Moines Parent Spotlight: Kimberly Isburg
Kimberly Isburg is a local mom and fellow postpartum doula! We first crossed paths at a FemCity Des Moines event and I was so excited to hear that she was working to become a certified postpartum doula also. Not only is she passionate about supporting women after birth, but she is also a birth story writer. She is helping moms everywhere to help tell and celebrate their birth story. Learn more about Kimberly, her business and family below.
Give us a little background of your family and personal life! How many kids do you have? Have you lived in Des Moines all your life?
I grew up in a small town in Northwest Iowa (go E-Hawks!) before moving to the “big city” to attend Drake University and study magazine journalism.
I fell in love with Des Moines (and my husband) and have been here ever since. Sam and I met at Drake, got married in 2006, and spent a couple of years in Sherman Hill before buying a home on the north side of Des Moines.
We have two boys, Jack (5) and Henry (2). I never expected to be a boy mom, but I LOVE how much my boys love their mama. They also love construction equipment, fire trucks, ambulances, lawn equipment, and playing in muddy puddles. They keep us busy playing outside and playing pretend.
What is your business, and what do you do?
I am a professional postpartum doula and birth story writer, and my business is Sweet Beginnings by KAVI. I completed my postpartum doula training through the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association in 2018 and I am currently working on certification. I also believe in the power of storytelling and enjoy helping women to document, celebrate, and process their unique birth experience through a birth story writing service.
I am fairly new to the “birth” business, but I am so excited to support new moms, babies, and their families during the transition of adding a new baby to their family. I am a helper and an advocate by nature, and I truly feel this is the work I was meant to do!
It’s my mission to help new moms adjust by providing physical, emotional, and informational support. I am an extra set of hands around the house, someone to focus on taking care of mom so she can take care of everyone else.
Why did you become a small business owner?
I didn’t set out to become a small business owner, but when I lost my corporate newspaper job (and my grandma in the same week) in 2017, it was the right time to reassess my passions, experience, and desire to help other people.
I had been thinking about postpartum doula work since having my second baby in 2016 and started the process of learning more about training and certification. Once I completed training in 2018, I quickly realized that deciding what I wanted to do was only the beginning.
As a small business owner, there’s a lot to learn and you’re always trying to wear different hats, but it’s been a wonderful experience so far and I’ve been inspired and supported by a lot of other entrepreneurs along the way.
Where is your favorite place to take your children to play indoors?
The Des Moines Children’s Museum is one of our favorites! I’ve been following along with their journey since they launched their traveling exhibits a couple of years ago.
It has been so much fun to watch them grow along the way and my boys always have so much fun exploring the new toys and exhibits and meeting new friends while we are there. And the Valley West Mall location makes it really convenient to grab lunch or run a couple of errands before or after we’re done playing.
Where is your favorite place to take your children to play outdoors?
I discovered the Nature Play Area at Brenton Arboretum last year and it’s one of my son Jack’s absolute favorites. He calls it the “wood” park because of the huge tree limbs you can climb on. It’s a fantastic spot for little ones to explore and burn some energy, with huge tree stumps, a vine-covered tunnel, and lots of other natural features.
There’s also a large Pavilion just up the hill from the play area that is the perfect spot for a picnic and to enjoy some beautiful views of the surrounding arboretum trails. If you’ve got time, there’s a lot of other amazing features and trails to explore at Brenton Arboretum too.
Parent’s day/night out. Describe your perfect parent only day/night out in Des Moines.
Flix Brewhouse is our go-to for a parent-only night out in Des Moines. We haven’t seen a ton of movies in the past five years since we became parents, but it’s still one of our favorite things to do together. We love that at Flix you can have dinner, a drink, and watch a movie all at the same time. It’s like date-night multitasking!
What are some tips on juggling parenthood, working, and personal life?
I feel like figuring out how to “juggle” it all is the biggest question out there for mothers. I’m not sure true balance really exists. But I am sure that we’re all trying to do our best and that we’re all facing the same internal and external struggles, and that no one has it as “together” as it may seem from the outside.
Since becoming a mom, I’ve realized it’s important to fill my own cup. I didn’t realize how much I needed time to myself, or exercise, or warm coffee until those things were in short supply.
My mantra is this: “You can’t drink from an empty cup. Fill yourself up; you’re worth it.”
That’s a lot of the reason I decided to become a postpartum doula, too. The demands of motherhood are so high and we’re all trying to do our best while juggling motherhood, sleep deprivation, work, family, friends, and other commitments, and sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves, to do things that fill our own cups.
What is your number one parenting tip?
Don’t start with your best offer. Kids are master negotiators. Whether it’s another show on the iPad, 5 more minutes at the park, or another scoop of ice cream, they’ll almost always ask for more. If you’re OK with staying 10 more minutes, tell them 5 and you might just end up leaving on time.
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