Funny Mummy: Kathy Buckworth

by: Erica Ehm
Her name is Kathy Buckworth, but I refer to her as my Funny Mummy friend.

A multi-tasking mother of four kids between the ages of 6 and 17, Kathy has an innate ability to find the funny in the oddest places – the laundry room, her son’s early morning hockey game or a night out drinking with girlfriends. Her hilarious take on the rollercoaster ride of motherhood has become the basis of a very successful career for her in the media as an author, radio and tv personality and media spokesperson.

Kathy writes about what she knows, so it came as no surprise to me that my Blackberry addicted girlfriend landed a deal with KeyPorter Publishers to ramble about life with her Crackberry aptly entitled The Blackberry Diaries: Adventures in Modern Motherhood.

As someone who is constantly commenting on the state of being a mother I wanted to know how having kids changed Kathy.  “Believe it or not, it made me more organized” she says.  “With four kids you can't leave anything to chance or spontaneity.  Of course it also gave me a new career (after the fourth one I put down the briefcase and picked up the pen), and gave me Elite Status at the liquor store.”

Ah yes, Kathy is always the joker. She’s also an eternal optimist who discovered humour as a coping mechanism to deal with the never ending stress of parenting. “Honestly with four kids, if you don't laugh, you'd cry.  The woman who just had octuplets had better hone up her funny bone.  Come on - 108 diapers a day is hysterical.”

There is a unique ability amongst those with the gift of funny to step back and recognize life’s little absurdities and find the perfect words to make us laugh. When I asked Kathy what makes her chuckle, she snaps back with,  “Other Moms, of course!  Actually what makes me laugh the most is listening to myself have the most boring conversation about my kids, their school, or what I'm making for dinner that night, and then making fun of other women for doing the same thing.”

Like most women with children, Kathy is usually exhausted and overextended. So how does she balance home life with an incredibly busy career  “I listen to my kids when I should be working, and I work when I should be listening to my kids” she explains. “It all comes together in a working-mom karma balance kind of way.  Every mom tries to find her ideal "balance".  I like to say it’s less of a balance and more of teeter totter.”  
Frankly, it’s the Blackberry that helps Kathy survive her daily chaos.

Trying to cram radio and TV shows, books, media appearances, articles and of course carpool into a 24 hour day would be impossible if not for her her beloved smartphone.

 “I knew my worlds had truly converged when I got an email from my agent saying I had a book deal while I was standing in line buying lice shampoo.  I call my BlackBerry my fifth child - and let me tell you, often it’s my favourite.”

Kathy spent close to a year pondering the passion the Blackberry has evoked from millions of faithful users. So I asked her if Moms obsess over their Blackberrys differently than their hubbies?
Kathy has a quick answer for me. “When men are on their BlackBerrys, they're just continuing on with years of ignoring us, but in a much more visual way.  When WE'RE on our BlackBerrys, we have important information to send or receive (like who just snubbed your child with the birthday party invite.)  Plus, everyone knows that women can multi-task and men can't.  We're actually listening to them while we're on it.  Really.”
And then I throw the unfathomable question to Kathy. I ask her what she would you do if she had to give up her Blackberry. With a mischievous smile she says, “I might have to pay attention to my kids' hockey games, dance recitals, or miss out on why Karen isn't speaking to Jackie.  Don't make me go there.”

Erica Ehm has gone from rock'n roll to rocking the cradle. After a decade starring on MuchMusic, she had kids and is the founder of and the Ehm & Co, a digital agency focused on moms. Erica's two teens Josh and Jessie, and hubby Terry help her put life into perspective.