My Favorite Pittsburgh Thing To Do With Kids: Single Mom Defined Heather Hopson
“My family nicknamed me the Activity Mom,” says Heather Hopson, founder of Motor Mouth Multimedia and producer of Single Mom Defined. “Since Pittsburgh is filled with endless family-friendly activities, we never run out of things to do on the weekend.”
For an educational outing, she and her 7-year-old daughter Caitlynn head to Penn Hills Library or Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s main branch in Oakland. “You can never read too many books!” she says.
“If we want to burn energy and exercise, Riverside Park in neighboring Oakmont lives up to its name with scenic views,” Heather says. “Then we put the calories back on at Brr-Kee’s Homemade Ice Cream Shop.”
For an artsy escape, they check out make-and-take places, like Kolor-n-Kiln.
“Our most favorite thing is trying new things,” she says. “This winter, Single Mom Defined co-hosted an event with the Pittsburgh Opera and we saw ‘Hansel and Gretel.’ “
All that family activity parallels Heather’s busy career. Not long ago, she lived in the Cayman Islands and hosted a television show. Back home in Pittsburgh, she’s writing a different type of story at Motor Mouth Multimedia, a communications and marketing firm made up of a collective of creatives and consultants of color. Clients include Gwen’s Girls, United Way of Allegheny County and the Women and Girls Foundation.
Her Single Mom Defined photo essay and video series provides a more accurate definition of single black motherhood and eliminate cultural bias.
Other mom-centered endeavors include serving on the advisory committee for The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Single Mothers Project and Healthy Start Pittsburgh’s Center for Urban Breastfeeding’s advisory board. She runs the national award-winning parenting website DiaryofaFirstTimeMom.com, SingleMomDefined.com and a T-shirt company called Mommynmetees.com.
But Heather says the best job she ever held is being a mom to her beautiful and bright daughter.
“Family is everything,” Heather says. “In fact, they are the reason why I left the Cayman Islands to move back to Pittsburgh. My parents, who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and my sister live minutes away. My grandparents were married for 65 years and welcomed 15 children into their Pittsburgh home, so there is never a shortage of love and laughter.
“Although I am technically single, I’m definitely not alone,” she says. “My family and friends serve as a strong support system, and my daughter’s dad plays a very active role in her life and shares custody.