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Mom Life: Shawn Dunworth

Lives: Westminster
Family: Husband and three children, ages 16, 10 and 8
Occupation: Owner, Sunset Slush of Glyndon

I am the owner of Sunset Slush of Glyndon, a beach-inspired classic Italian ice dessert shop in historic Glyndon, which has become a favorite spot in the community to gather with family and friends. We have a retail shop and also do off-site events.

How did I get into this field?

As with many great ideas, this one came to me on the beach. This conversation spanned many years as my family and I vacationed in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina each summer and enjoyed the classic Italian ice served on the beach from a push cart. It was unlike any treat offered in Maryland. A couple times, my husband and I returned home with the idea of a shop fresh in our minds and wanted to pursue this further. However, with three very young children at the time, the idea was set aside and life returned to “normal.”

My professional background was in healthcare management, but I had made the choice to stay home and raise my children once our family began. Once the children were all in school full time, we began entertaining the “vacay convo” once again. We wanted a business that our children could become a part of, something we could do together, grow together and learn together. For us, that business is Sunset Slush. Our vision was a place to enjoy a treat and feel like you are on vacation, if only for a short time. I believe that is what we have accomplished.

Do you have a mentor or role model?

Yes, my maternal grandmother, Mildred Genevieve Joerdens is my role model and was my greatest mentor. She was the best lady and everything I strive to become. She passed away in May 2009, shortly after my oldest son was born. She was hard working, nurturing, warm, supportive, easy to talk to and loved by all who knew her. She understood me better then most, gave great advice and listened and loved without judgement. I miss her dearly.

What advice can you give working parents?

It’s the advice I give myself regularly: balance, prioritize and make time for fun. Don’t forget yourself! These things are different and an equal struggle daily for all of us. Some days I’ve got it, some days I struggle with it. It’s always a work in progress, I’m a work in progress. Always working, always progressing.

What is the best advice another parent gave you?

Many years ago, when my daughter was going into kindergarten, I was stressed because the kindergarten cut-off date was five days prior her birthday. At the time, I worried and stressed over the idea that if she was born five days earlier she would be a grade older. I was discussing this with a seasoned mom, and the advice she gave me was that one day I would be thankful that my daughter was the oldest in her grade, because that now 6-year-old would one day be 16 and bigger things like driving would stress me out. Being older than her peers would allow me to place my trust and confidence in her versus others. Here we are with a 16-year-old, and yes, I couldn’t agree more.

How do you manage your career and family life?

It is a day-to-day challenge. My husband and I are both business owners, and being in business for ourselves does offer some flexibility that we would not have working for someone else. However, that being said, our work days can be much longer, too. Our motto is to work smarter, not harder. We remind ourselves of this often. Family comes first and we are determined to do it all. With three children in many activities, life is busy. Most often we have activities every day of the week, which leaves very little time to spare, and that’s where we get creative. We figure out what works and do it.

We are not stuck in a rut of a rigid schedule, we seek balance. Sometimes balance is dinner at 4 and sometimes it’s dinner at 8, sometimes it’s a home-cooked meal and sometimes it’s carry-out. Either way our children eat, and they are happy and connected to us, and each day we check in, talk, share in laugher or tears, and that’s what matters to us most.

How do you de-stress? Hobbies/outside interests?

Working at Sunset Slush is complete de-stress, I love the environment, Glyndon, the customers, my employees, the music. It’s a good vibe and makes me feel like I’m on vacation. I also enjoy getting regular manicures and pedicures as well as exercise and yoga, though I need to make exercise a bigger priority in my life again. All of this along with eating healthy and drinking a gallon of water a day helps me de-stress. I enjoy reading, going to the beach and watching my children live their best lives.

What’s next for you?

The sky’s the limit!

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