Karen. Mom to know.


“Karen Putz is one of the most inspirational women and moms I have ever met! Again, I don’t actually remember where or when I met her (I seriously have a terrible memory!), it was through Naperville Moms Network and I knew a minute into our conversation that she and I would be friends. When I was growing up, our family vacation was always at Lake George in Upstate New York. It was so beautiful and peaceful there and at 6 years old, my dad taught me how to water ski. I took to it quickly and soon was able to slalom. I remember my dad waking me up at 5:30 AM saying, “Cathy, the water is like glass, do you want to go?” My answer was always yes and it remains one of my favorite memories of my childhood. Today, at 45 I am not sure I could get up on 2 skis, but Karen is a barefoot water skier. WHAT? She, her husband and her 3 children are also deaf. I have no idea the challenges that has brought to their lives, but I will tell you this….Karen is an amazingly upbeat, positive and happy person. She inspires thousands as she speaks around the country about finding your passion. I admire her more than she knows and maybe, just maybe she will take me out water skiing sometime soon.” – Dr. Cathy Subber

Meet Karen!

What is your name, town you live in and how many kids do you have?

Karent Putz, Naperville, 3 kids

Give me a little background on your life and motherhood journey:

When my first child was born, I went back to work reluctantly. Even though a friend was watching him, it killed me to go to work every morning without him. I quit my job two months later and became an at home mom. I worked part time jobs teaching at JJC and at a printing company. It was so worth having that time at home with my kids.

Did you know you always wanted to be a mom?

Yes, ever since I was a little girl, I loved to play with dolls and “be a mom.” I dreamed of  the day that I would have a family of my own.

Did you know you always wanted to be a mom?

Yes, ever since I was a little girl, I loved to play with dolls and “be a mom.” I dreamed of  the day that I would have a family of my own.

What are the greatest joys in your life?

My family.  I love spending time with them.

What challenges have you faced?

I was born normal hearing and grew up hard of hearing. I became deaf as a teen from a fall while barefoot water skiing. Group conversations are very difficult for me. I rely on lip reading, which isn’t accurate at times. Communication access is always a challenge.

Who has inspired you over the years the most?

Judy Myers, my barefoot mentor who is now 76 years old and still skis!

Dan Miller, author of “No More Dreaded Mondays” and mentor.

What are you most proud of?

That I can barefoot water ski backwards on one foot. 🙂

What do you like most about being a mom?

I love how connected I feel to my kids.

What part is more difficult for you?

When they go through struggles—that’s tough. All three are deaf. My instinct is to make it easier or comfort them.

Do you work outside of the home or stay at home raising your kids full-time?

I did both. I held a variety of jobs that worked around their schedules.

If I had one week by myself, I would go _______________ or I would do ________________.?

I would go barefooting and write.

What makes you the most unique as a human being?

There’s no other Karen Putz in the entire world! 🙂

What rules did you think you would follow as a mom that you totally break?

Not taking them out of school for vacations. We totally did that and it was worth it. Even the truancy letters. 🙂

What is your favorite family tradition?

Making turtle candy at Christmas.

What makes you feel alive?

Being able to help others. Impacting transformations. Doing what I love.

If someone could describe you in one word, what would that word be?


How do you rate your level of “mom guilt” on a scale of 1 – 10. Explain. 

0 — I’ve learned to let go and let be. To love them fully and enjoy the journey.

Do you have a favorite hobby or activity that you intentionally make time for each week?

Painting! I love alcohol inks and acrylics. And writing.  In the summer, barefoot water skiing.

What about yourself and your journey has surprised you the most?

That I’m looking forward to growing older—I used to dread it.

What do you love about yourself that has nothing to do with being a mom?

My creativity. It grows each day!

Any life lessons that you live by and would like to share?

Unwrap your passion. Create fun and adventure. Your kids will benefit when you tap into that energy.

Words of wisdom for other young or new moms?

Don’t go “by the book.” Kids are dynamic and unique. Follow your instincts. Trust yourself and your abilities as a parent.

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