along with capturing unique and genuine family connection through photography, Tropical Moms interviews Maui mothers, learning more out about their experiences, challenges, and passions. Tropical Moms showcases families throughout the island, and what an authentic, honest, and inspiring life they live.
name: Sommer “Kehau” Kimokeo
‘Ale’a Kimokeo – 13 yrs
Naehu Kimokeo -11 yrs
Kualii Kimokeo – 6 yrs
where do you live on Maui?: Pukalani, Keanae on the weekends.
occupation: I work almost full time for Pukalani Elementary as an Educational Assistant, also full time as the Marine Wildlife Educational Outreach Coordinator for Maui, also am a Beach Body Coach, and Thirty-one Gifts Consultant, yard and home maintenance for 2 homes in Keanae and a taro farmer.
what are you passionate about?: My kids and cultural/environmental education.
why did you choose to raise a family on Maui?: I was born and raised here on Maui. Its hard to pull your roots up and plant them in a place where you have never frequented but its more than that. Here is where my family originated, where the host culture is my culture and my children’s. We are Kanaka Maoli. I chose to honor that and raise them knowing where their roots came from and teach them the traditions of old in today’s society. I am fortunate enough that my husband had so much to add to teaching them about our culture and that my own family is widely versed in many different aspects of our culture. I would love to visit other areas where other parts of my genealogy is from like Japan and Okinawa but Hawaii and especially Maui will always be home.
what is the best part about being a mom?: The true love. Its unconditional no matter my faults. The way they look at me and see me as special. Its in the way they hug me and I get to hold them. Its the way I feel when I watch them reach an accomplishment no matter how big or small. Its in their laughter and how it lifts my spirit and put such joy in my heart. Its in their wonder in everything new and through the different stages in their lives. Its in the pride of not only when I see them but when I even think of them. Its in the awe of knowing I could make such a masterpiece and the wonder of whats to come. Its in the challenges and how it strengthens us. Its in the singing and dancing and goofy times where I can only laugh and smile with them. Its in knowing I need to be the best I possibly can be for myself so I can be so for them.
what has been challenging since raising a family?: Learning my limits both big and small. Learning that I cant do everything and that everything wont be perfect or completed everyday. Knowing that every action has a consequence that can potentially alter our entire lives and the future of my children. Finances is another challenge and learning what financial limitations you are faced with in different situations.
what’s your favorite thing to do as a family?: We love to laugh together. We are goofy together and love to laugh together. I have a bunch of clowns it seems and it is my special moments when I get to hear them laughing together. It sounds really boring but my ultimate favorite thing to do with my children is when we get to do our movie marathons. We are such a busy family that those moments when we really get to sit still and climb in the big bed together or gather in the living room with a good movie is so rare. I love when my kids all jump in bed with me and we watch movies and love each others company.
how did being a mom change you?: I have someone to put before myself. I know what sacrifice really is and how it feels when you do something or accomplish something that makes your family happy. I work hard for my children so they can have what they need. I dont think I have ever worked so hard in my life. Every moment I do I remember why and it helps to keep me going. No matter how much I need to do I always make sure Im there for my children and be there for what I need.
what are your favorite forms of self-care?: Exercise. I recently became a Beach Body Coach because I wanted to take care of me and share it with others. I take 1 hour for myself to exercise, normally 30-60 minutes of exercise and some time for personal development. The personal development might be reading or listening to something. I love to read and would have my own library in my own home if I could. I do this for my mind and body because I’ve found that when I did I could do better for my family both physically and emotionally.
how do you balance your passions and raising a family? any tips for time management?: I feel that when you have passions it becomes a part of who you are and it naturally forms with in your family. If it fits it will grow and blossom but if it doesnt then it becomes a burden or secluded from the family and your find your passion may not be as important any more. If your passions are positive it will positively influence your family but if they are negative they will negatively effect your family. If you care about your family you will find yourself including everyone in the positive passions and away from the negative.
I struggle everyday with time management. The best thing I could suggest is to prioritize. Really know what is important to you and why and set time limits for yourself. If your strapped for time set the timer. If you want to check out something on social media but not enough time to do it all day? Set about 20 minutes a day to catch up with social media or longer if you have more time for example. Or if your going to take work home, limit how long you do so. Write everything down and look at it so you are aware. It doesn’t really matter what you do, its more about how you do it.
any advice to families and future moms?: Plan. Plan how you want your life to be and how/what your need to do to get there and follow through. Yes the unexpected happens but the more you plan the more prepared you will be and thus allowing you to be happier or even more accepting of the unexpected. You need to know your destination before you jump in the car to drive there right? These decisions are important and the only one who is responsible for your life, regardless if you have a partner or not, is you. Blame never gets anyone anywhere it always holds people back. Its all about how you, yourself handles things. Remember when people say pick your battles? Well its not just the battles you choose but what you do to deal with them. Parenting is the hardest but most important thing you will do in your life, take that job and be the one who defines how it will be. You don’t go into a job not knowing the job requirements. You don’t pick your firm partner without them having the right requirements. You also take training to get better at the things you might not be good at now. Never be afraid to ask for help because every parent needs a break with friends or attending that dance exercise class you know you’ll suck at but “hey its me time”! Have fun and enjoy every moment because it goes by so fast.
Piko Aʻo o Paeloko (PAOP) is a Native Hawaiian organization providing hands-on learning opportunities through indigenous ancestral arts, culture, and language to the children and community of Maui Nui.
Ma ka hana ka ʻike, e mālama kou piko.
Living your passion by doing the work.
to get on their mailing list and stay in touch with future events about Hawaiian culture and the taro patch, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your email.
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learn more about cadence and her love for photographing families, here.