Everything Elizabeth Smart Has Said About Motherhood

Child activist Elizabeth Smart is expecting her second child, a son, in April

Over a decade after Elizabeth Smart‘s 2002 kidnapping and rescue captured the nation, the 29-year-old child safety activist — who is expecting her second child with husband Matthew Gilmour in April — continues to embrace her new life.

As we await the arrival of the family’s newest addition (a baby boy!), we’re taking a look back at everything Smart has shared about motherhood and how it’s changed her life for the better.

“That is my greatest aspiration – to be a mother. We’ll start having kids and see how I handle that and then go from there. I don’t have a predetermined number in my head.”
— to PEOPLE in 2014

“It’s the best thing ever.”
— to the Oklahoman in 2015

“I’m definitely given a whole new depth of feeling about everything.”
— on her abduction experience, to the Oklahoman in 2015

“… The best punishment you could ever give them is to be happy, is to live your life, is to move forward and do all of the things that you want to do. Because by feeling sorry for yourself and holding onto the past and reliving it over and over and over again, that’s only allowing them to steal more of your life away from you.”
— on her own mother’s advice following Smart’s rescue, to the Oklahoman in 2015

“It’s probably made me like the most paranoid, overprotective, annoying parent ever.”
— on her abduction experience, to the Oklahoman in 2015

“… When I had my little girl, it felt like my heart was relocated into my throat, and every second of my day was – Is she breathing? Is she okay? Like what does she need? … “ — on her daughter Chloe, to the Today show in 2016

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