I am a Twin Cities Mom: Kristin Gifford

Today’s I am a Twin Cities Mom feature is all about Kristin Gifford!

“I’m the mother of an amazing, autistic five-year-old. I’m the spouse of a fantastic person I met 18 years ago on my college cross-country team. I’ve worn many hats in my life–driver’s ed instructor, professional pianist, middle school English teacher, volunteer clown–and the one I am currently wearing as “parent” is just as challenging and humorous as any of the others. I’m passionate about confronting injustice, particularly the racial and gender injustices that surround us, and have been learning and learning about the role I play in perpetuating or dismantling oppression. I write, read, run, knit, garden, crochet, sew, and organize Legos in my “free time.”

I am a Twin Cities Mom: Kristin Gifford - Caucasian woman smiling at the camera

Outside of your role as a mom, what are you passionate about?

Along with some awesome co-creators, I run a nonprofit called Kids4. We promote local love, literacy and service learning by organizing community events for young children that involve local authors and community service. We believe in the power of story to connect. We’d love to have anyone who wants to participate! Check out our website for more https://heartsbrokeneyesopen.com/Kids4

What do you love about calling the Twin Cities home?

The trees, the trails, the myriad of services for autistic individuals.

If we peeked in your purse right now, what would we find? 

Yikes! I normally try to not look too closely in here! Deep breath–a pile of receipts, a variety of kids socks, sunglasses, journal, wallet, glasses cleaner–ok, that wasn’t so bad!

How do you prioritize friendships and connections with other women? 

I love that some of my closest female friends are able to have a full relationship with me via texting–one of these friendships began when we were both new mothers and needed an adult to commiserate with during 2:00 a.m. feedings. I also love finding time to write with other women and share writing experiences together.

Being a mom is no easy task. How do you relax and take care of you? 

I’m working on finding ways to calm my body and mind in the midst of each day’s predictable and unpredictable events. Taking designated time for therapy, spiritual practice, nature, music, creating (writing, sewing), and exercise are all important for my well-being.

What’s been your greatest joy in motherhood?

The relationship with my child. I am continuously learning to release my expectations and delight in exactly who he is.

What have you found most challenging in your motherhood journey? 

My child and I experienced an act of violence that resulted in trauma for both of us when he was quite young. Living with trauma, grieving and healing have been (and still are) the most challenging parts of my motherhood journey.

How do you hope your life influences and/or inspires other women?

I care deeply about helping women and children heal from the trauma that they have experienced. I know that what I have experienced has opened up places in my heart to be with other women who are traumatized.

Twin Cities Favorites

Date Night Restaurant: We are still restaurant-shy, but are ordering plenty of take-out from Milton’s, our favorite, local date spot.

Best place to hang out and have some fun: Any Three Rivers Park during any season!

Local Boutique: Imagine a boutique stocked with just popcorn–delicious, addictive popcorn in all sorts of styles and colors and flavors. Redmon’s Popcorn is that boutique!

Local Coffee Shop: Triple D Espresso in Golden Valley. It’s hard to know if it’s the scones, the coffee, the refills, or the service that top the list of why it rocks.

Locally based online business: They just opened a storefront in Mankato, but every product I have purchased from Lakota Made is fantastic.

To learn more about Kid4 please visit – https://heartsbrokeneyesopen.com/Kids4
We love having the opportunity to share the personal sides of local moms of the Twin Cities! If you would like to recommend another local mom you think should be featured in our I Am a Twin Cities Mom series, please email us at info@twincitiesmom.com.
Kim Mortensen is the Co-Owner of Twin Cities Mom Collective. She has held many different titles throughout her life including, teacher, fundraiser, coach, and marketing professional. However, the titles held most dear to her are wife and mom. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Alex, and together they have three kids, Lucia (10), Ellia (9), and Decker (7). Kim is passionate about connecting women through the journey of motherhood, normalizing the hardships and challenges that come with the territory, and finding moments of joy and celebration in between.

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