Michelle Storms, MD
Dr. Storms is a mom of 24- and 20-year-old sons and a 21-year-old daughter, the assistant director/research director of the Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program in Marquette, Michigan. She is also a member of the health professionals board for Intact America, an organization devoted to protecting the genital integrity of children.
How many children do you have? I have 24- and 20-year-old sons and a 21-year-old daughter.
What’s your specialty? Family Medicine
What’s your favorite parenting tip? Make sure to give your kids unstructured time for them to be alone and let their creativity come out. Our kids loved to come home from school,go to their rooms, and be allowed to decompress for a bit. They usually played or read quietly in their rooms and then joined the family or did their homework.
What has surprised you most about parenting? How much time and attention it requires and how much of a commitment it takes to be a good parent. It also raises issues from one’s own childhood that are often buried. This can include discipline issues, sexuality issues, communication and relationship issues, etc.
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? We prepare almost all of our food from scratch. We never have a lot of junk food, such as soda, in the house. Our kids always took lunches from home instead of buying school lunches. That way we could pack them fruit, cut-up vegetables and nutritious snacks with their sandwiches. We shop a lot at farmer’s markets and our kids are used to eating really high quality food. We have never been to McDonald’s. We don’t like the way they advertise food to minorities and to children. Their food isn’t cheap anyway! You can get cheaper, and much healthier, food elsewhere.
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? We carried our babies in front carriers and backpacks when they were little whenever we went hiking, biking or skiing. We also attached a Burley to our bikes for the kids to ride in They were taught to cross-country ski when they were around three years old, so they spent lots of time outdoors in the winter too. Our family played basketball or swam in the lake almost every night after dinner when they were older. Our kids attended Camp Manito-wish YMCA summer camp from age 10 through high school where they went on long wilderness canoe trips. These experiences taught them respect for the environment, their own physical abilities and leadership skills. We didn’t have cable TV, PlayStation, or Nintendo.
How do you recharge your batteries? That’s a struggle! I’ve worked full-time for the past ten years, but was part-time for eight years prior. It is very important to schedule “down-time” to avoid burn-outI try to schedule in exercise and regular massages. I also try to find time to garden and cook, because those are things I enjoy. Now that my kids are in college, it’s easier for me to find time to read, watch movies, and travel.
Dr. Storms’s Q&As