Mom to Mom with Ronda Cherry-Smoke

mom to mom family RRP Dec 22

You are a very busy lady, Ronda! How has serving as an Ambassador for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and board member for Second Chance Foundation, River Region United Way, and Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama enriched your life?

Ronda: Serving as an ambassador has grown my professional network, enhanced my professional skills, and provided exposure and insight that has enriched my life and career. I am a natural connector and people leader. The relationships I have developed with a diverse network of sharp, passionate, ambitious, knowledgeable, and experienced individuals from private, public, non-profit, and government sectors are a huge professional and personal reward.

Motherhood will always demand your max capacity. What is it like having five children?

Ronda: It’s a blast! We love to laugh, play, and have fun. Since the older children are nearly adults, I miss the busyness, chaos, and excitement that was the norm when they were all still at home. Recently, another parent told me that she loves how my children all support each other as we all sat in the stands at a football game where my daughter Abby cheered. All my kids played sports and were involved in extracurricular activities, and we always support one another- we support, cheer, love, and have fun!

What’s the best part about being a blended family?

Ronda: Bonus family! I do not differentiate my children. They are all my children, and unless someone personally knows my family, they would not distinguish between the two. I love the bond between my children, and they never refer to each other as step-sisters or step-brothers.

What advice would you give to new moms?

Ronda: You’re doing better than you think. No one has this mom thing down perfectly, even if some make it look easy. Don’t be so hard on yourself, and remember to prioritize some self-care. I know many moms who continue to pour from an empty vessel. They’re tired, stressed, overworked, overwhelmed, and often on the verge of burnout. I would also tell parents to show empathy and teach their children to be good people and show kindness, generosity, courage, character, and love.

Your children range from ages 25 down to 11. How did you build relationships with each of your children?

Ronda: I have to be intentional and listen instead of offering correction, direction, or advice, particularly with the older ones. I learned how to connect with each one based on their personality, needs, and stage of life. I am active on the social media platforms they use and engage in family group chats with each of them individually. I embrace the changing ways our children connect and communicate because I understand the importance of being visible, connected, and engaged.

As a parent, it’s challenging to mourn the loss of a child/children. How did your strength and bravery prevail in your healing process?

Ronda: For years, I never spoke about losing my twins because it was too painful. In those moments, I felt neither strong nor brave. Joshua and Jeremiah were very young, and I had to keep going to care for them. When Jared, my “rainbow baby,” was born, I began to make choices that brought me hope and strength. I started work at the Power Company when I was pregnant with him. A new baby and a new career helped me to regain the courage and motivation I needed. Through counseling and faith, I was able to complete the healing process.

When it comes to stress as a mom, what steps do you take to combat it?

Ronda: Only in recent years have I learned to manage stress. It is now a requirement and will always be a priority. I have learned that a holistic approach is the most effective. I have five stress management priorities: Prioritize sleep and rest, Create positive relationships and boundaries, Drink enough water, Eat real food at the right time and Move your body and be active.

Not only are you active in several civic and charitable organizations, but you’re also the manager of the Montgomery office for Alabama Power. Tell us, how do you balance it all?

Ronda: I live by my calendar and enter everything that needs to happen on my calendar. I have learned that it’s easy to miss a meeting or appointment or create scheduling conflicts if I don’t utilize the tools available. I find that balancing work and life makes everyone more productive.

Ronda Cherry-Smoke was born and grew up in Middletown, Rhode Island. She has five children; Daniel (25), DeAnna (25), Jeremiah (21), Jared (18), and Abby (11).


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