Staff Interviews – Stacy Lappin, Director of Program

Stacy and her kids (from the left) Sam, Stacy, Olivia, and Raymond.

March is Women’s History Month as well as National Working Mom’s Day. We asked several of our Sound Discipline colleagues to share the stories of their experiences as working moms. Thank you Stacy for sharing your story!


Why do you work in education and in supporting educators?

I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher, ever since third grade when I had an incredible teacher who helped me believe in myself. She inspired me to become a teacher so that I could help other kids who were discouraged or felt left out know that they could learn and belong.

For ten years, I taught at the elementary level, starting with 3rd grade and 4th grade and finally had the privilege to help open a new school and co-design and teach in  a 1st, 2nd , 3rd grade multiage program. It was there I first learned about Positive Discipline and class meetings. Our students were like family and we had the chance to see them grow and thrive in community with their educators and peers.

Now I have the opportunity to work in partnership with educators across Washington state who are working to improve education. I am passionate about education because I want to be a part of transforming schools into more safe, equitable, and caring places that allow all of our children to feel connected, have agency, and develop into their best selves.

What’s it like being a working mom of littles? How has that shifted as your kids have become more independent?

Stacy with her young adult children. From left, Olivia, Stacy, Raymond, and Sam.

Being a working mom when my kids were little often felt overwhelming. It seemed like there was always one of the three of them needing something. Managing the home routine with co-op preschools, elementary school, friends, and afterschool activities along with things like dinner on the table, baths, homework, and time to just be together required a lot of juggling. Routines were really necessary for them and me. As they became more independent being able to support them and be fully engaged in work definitely got easier. I always felt lucky because being with my kids I got to practice my work tools, mess up and learn. I always say my own kids are my best teachers.


How has Sound Discipline supported you to show up in both the roles of being a mom and an employee?

The beliefs, values, and tools of Sound Discipline allowed me to become the mom that I am today. I got to learn and practice the values, mindsets, and tools every day at home and at work. I believe that the foundation of being connected and firm, co-regulating, finding solutions, and giving my kids opportunities to contribute and have a voice have helped us have the relationships that we do today. It gave me courage to know that when I mess up I can go back and fix it later and my kids will be ok. One funny thing that my kids say sometimes is, “Mom, stop doing your work on me.” Who I am at work and who I am at home is intertwined.


What is one thing you’d tell your younger self during your (first) pregnancy knowing all that you do now?

I would tell myself to enjoy the journey. Trust that you are the right mom for your kid and it will all turn out ok. Create memories. Give one more hug. Listen just a little bit longer. Leave the mess. Play a game. It goes by way too fast!


What advice do you have for working moms?

My advice to working moms is to be gentle with themselves and enjoy the moments. We are all doing the best we can with the tools we have or have access to in the moment. Being a mom is a hard job that takes your whole heart. I don’t think it’s about finding balance, that’s not really possible. It is about being present as a parent. Show up, create memories, and enjoy the moments. Expect that mistakes will happen and recognize them as helpful steps along the way.