Beautiful Everymoms: Kelly Eckerman
Everymom Wisdom: Favorite moments are with my children.
Kelly Eckerman loves her job, but can't wait to remove her news anchor persona at the end of the day and be with daughters, 11-year-old Sadie Gerri and 15-year-old Aubrey Doris. The KMBC personality, celebrating her 28th year in the business, is a mom who--no apologies here--adores motherhood.
Born in Russell, Kan., and raised in Waterloo, Iowa, Eckerman's parents demonstrated unconditional love regardless of their daughter's failures, disappointments or childhood dramas. Her mother, Doris, and father, Jerry, today live a couple of blocks from Eckerman and their granddaughters--which gives the talented newscaster a large dose of peace-of-mind.
"The girls have a close relationship with my parents," says Eckerman, whose father drives the school bus that transports Sadie to and from her Blue Valley school. "We all have dinner at least once a week. Plus, Sadie and Aubrey are surrounded by their friends' folks, teachers and neighbors--all whom I trust when I can't physically be around. They keep me informed and in touch."
A single mom with a demanding career, Eckerman says she wishes she could tuck Sadie and Aubrey in her back pocket. In fact, Aubrey often accompanied Eckerman to the studio as a baby, where she would be safely stowed under a desk in a baby seat.
"It would be terrific if the news could air at a convenient time for me," laughs the congenial Eckerman, who spends her annual vacation with her children, "but that's obviously impossible. I do my best to carve out quality experiences with the girls."
The Eckerman household is a beehive of dance and cheer activity. Sadie, who dances at Overland Park's LE Dance Studio, is involved in frequent competitions.
"Some days the living room is transformed with racks of costumes, make-up and other dance paraphernalia," says Eckerman. "I was a baton twirler, and my mom was involved in everything--we did that together. It's special I can share this with my daughters."
Eckerman attends as many of Sadie's and Aubrey's dance recitals, cheer meets and volleyball games as her packed schedule allows. Her desk at KMBC is a self-described shrine to her daughters, displaying pictures and mementos of life with two active girls. At home, Eckerman enjoys puzzles with Sadie, helping with homework and delighting in the antics of the family cat, Claire Angel. The trio also likes spending time together at Park Place's ice skating rink.
Everymom Eckerman and her daughters also enjoy staycations. One of the most memorable was for the anchor's 50th birthday. "We were in the middle of ratings at the station, so I couldn't leave town," says Eckerman. "We checked into a nearby hotel and ate at restaurants we don't normally choose. It was magical."
Eckerman says she was born with an extra guilt and worry gene, but knows that her mothering decisions are sound.
"My daughters make good choices," says Eckerman. "It takes a lot of people--not just a mom--to raise a child. I'm blessed to have unwavering support and caretakers when I can't be there with Sadie and Aubrey."
words: Kimberly Winter Stern
photos: Laurel D. Austin