5 Minutes with a Mom: Rebecca Haden

Name: Rebecca Haden

Children’s names and ages?
Rosamond, 29
Josepha, 28
Gideon, 23
William, 21

You can tell which kid was born after we learned how complicated life is for kids with Interesting Names.

Where are you from and how did you land in NWA? I was born in Florida, grew up in California, and came to Arkansas after my parents retired here. We came to visit in May and of course immediately wanted to live here.

You have a really cool job. Can you tell us about it? I own a web firm. I started out in 2006 as an in-house SEO for a book and toy store, and in 2008 I became a freelance web content writer. In 2009 I was featured in the Wall Street Journal and things got out of hand ;-) My daughters started helping me out, and in 2010 my eldest daughter came on board full time. Now we build websites and provide complete website management services for clients on four continents. I still spend most of my time writing.

What is it like to mother “older” children? It’s the payoff for all those years of bringing them up right and developing good relationships with them even when they’re teenagers and hard to deal with. My kids are some of my favorite people. Of course, this is also the point where you have to let them make their own decisions and only give advice if they ask, so it has its own challenges. I’m fortunate to have close relationships with all my kids, and two of them still live here in Fayetteville — my older son comes home for dinner several times a week. I’m also fortunate to work with my daughters.

What are some of the traditions you started when your children were young that still continue? We still keep most of the holiday traditions. Everyone comes home for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, and we still have stockings and Easter baskets and the same meals — though the guest list changes. Whenever we’re all together, we spend a lot of time playing board games. We also go down to the square to look at the lights. When the kids were small, we always went caroling, but now we’re more likely to stay in and sing. We usually go to a performance of some kind, whether it’s a show at the Walton Arts Center or a movie — or our oldest boy’s band playing on Dickson street.

What’s your favorite thing about winter? I like cold weather — I like winter walks and also curling up by the fire with a good book when it’s cold out.

What are your plans for the holidays? I’ll be home with the kids. My husband is going to visit his family in California this year, so he won’t be with us, but otherwise I expect we’ll just hang out and have fun as we always do.

What are your favorite hobbies? Music, needlework, reading. I also enjoy camping and hiking, but I find it hard to fit that into my life right now. Once my business is out of its mad growth stage, I plan to spend more time outdoors again.

What’s something your NWA friends might not know about you? They might now know that I went away to college at 14. As a parent, I now feel that my parents must have been crazy to go along with that.;-)

Finish this sentence: One thing I have been meaning to do is: Travel more — we have two kids in college right now, so that’s been put off, but I definitely plan to see more of the world once we finish paying tuition. I got to go to Rome for Google Camp last year, and it reinforced my desire to experience more of the world.

And: I always have these three things with me: Something to read (often my Kindle), my planner, and a pen.

How do you relax at the end of the day? If I don’t have a rehearsal or choir practice, I walk the dogs with my husband, feed and talk with my family, and then read. But actually the workday sometimes extends way too late and I don’t have time to relax. I’m working on that.

One word to sum me up? I can’t come up with a single word, I’m afraid. What’s coming to my mind right now is how, when I first started doing SEO and writing websites, people would look at me oddly and say, “You don’t look like a computer geek!” I always agreed with them — I look like a mom. I think that’s still true. I may be a computer guy, but I’m a motherly computer guy.

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