The Washington, DC area is full of amazing moms: working moms, stay-at-home moms, single moms, moms of multiples, foster moms, adoptive moms, etc. We want to highlight some of those moms like Chelsey Christensen! Each month we will feature one special mom as the mom of the month. Know a fellow amazing local mom here? Nominate them here!
Chelsey Christensen: July Mom of the Month
Chelsey Christensen is originally from Decorah, IA and has lived in Washington, DC since 2008. She resides in Columbia Heights with her husband John, their (almost) 4-year-old son, infant daughter, and fur-baby. Chelsey works as Director of Development at Imagination Stage. She is a consecrated Deaconess through the Lutheran Diaconal Association and an active member of Luther Place Memorial Church in downtown DC where she serves on the Faith Formation team. Chelsey serves on the Parent Advisory Council for My School DC and is the newly appointed Parent Ambassador for the Read in Color Little Free Library at CentroNia. She is passionate about the arts, education, and equity. On weekends you can find her exploring neighborhood parks and playgrounds with coffee in hand.
Here is our Q&A with Chelsey:
What do you want your children to learn from you?
I hope our children learn the importance of community and mutuality – caring for and receiving care from – our community. Additionally – while I feel this is something I’ve learned more FROM our children instead of vice versa – I hope to continue to nurture their contagious joy, their natural curiosity and wonder, and their incredible imagination and creativity.
Share what it was like being pregnant and delivering a baby during a pandemic?
Pregnancy after loss during a pandemic was incredibly isolating and anxiety-inducing – especially during my first trimester. I had to attend appointments and scans solo in the same offices where we were told our baby no longer had a heart beat. I lived in constant fear of history repeating itself at those appointments. I also found the comments regarding having a “COVID Baby” to be incredibly triggering/annoying – this baby happened to be conceived during the pandemic but that didn’t take into account the months of loss leading up to this pregnancy.
There were also a number of positives that came out of pregnancy during a pandemic. I was incredibly grateful for the ability to set healthy boundaries and spend so much quality time with our oldest before the baby’s arrival. I am also grateful for the many ways I was still able to build community even in the midst of a pandemic. I worked with Adrienne from MotherNation to co-create and co-facilitate a virtual pregnancy loss support circle. Additionally, I created a Facebook Community for expectant parents in the DC-area and was able to participate in my doula’s virtual pregnancy circle, a virtual “second thoughts” seminar through the JCC for second-time parents, Fit4Baby with Fit4MomDC, a “second timers” virtual PACE group, an in-person, outdoors Playwell Wellbaby Session at The Lane, and continue in my MotherNation virtual mama circle.
Ultimately, my parental leave could not have come at a better time. Our daughter’s birth coincided with beautiful spring weather, vaccinated family members and friends, and the world starting to open and feel more hopeful again. I will forever be grateful for the twelve weeks I had to slow down and focus on our growing family after a wild year of pandemic parenting/telework.
What are some of your very favorite reasons for raising a child in DC?
There are so many reasons I love raising our children in DC. There are amazing arts organizations and cultural institutions (many of which are free). There are incredible outdoor spaces and playgrounds – including the splash pads and pools which have reopened this summer. I love our diverse neighborhood and schools. We have a wonderful church home in DC. Additionally, I’m incredibly grateful for DC’s investment in children – from universal early childhood education, to the Imagination Library program, and more!
Do you know an amazing mom that would be a great mom of the month? Nominate them here!