Proud Parents Mel and Carly Reid Enjoying Life With Infant Son

In his almost seven months of life, Kai Reid has flown more than some adults do in their entire lifetimes.

Having a professional athlete for a mom can certainly boost a baby’s airline miles account. But so does having a mother who wants to travel with an infant to support their wife and who wants to be there for every moment on the golf course, good or bad.

Carly Reid brought Kai out to watch her wife Mel play for the first time at last year’s Grant Thornton Invitational. He was just a month old at the time, born on November 8, 2023, at 12:29 in the afternoon. Mel couldn’t have been prouder to have her son and wife walking outside the ropes as she competed for the first time as an LPGA Mom, an experience she’s gotten plenty more tastes of this season.

“It’s certainly an adjustment, but it's awesome,” Reid told in December at Tiburón Golf Club. “He's not gonna remember it, but me and Carly will, and she's got all her family here as well, so it's a pretty special week.”

Motherhood has been a new journey for the Reids, who were married in April 2022 and announced they were expecting in May 2023. There is always a learning curve for new parents, as no amount of advice can prepare you for the feeling of having a living, breathing human being to take care of who relies solely on you for their survival.

But there are also unique challenges that come with being a mom and a professional athlete competing in a league that has events across the United States and worldwide. Traveling with a baby from tournament to tournament is tough, but Mel and Carly are finally settling into their new normal and are enjoying bringing Kai along for the ride as Mel competes on the LPGA Tour. It’s also great for Mel to be able to witness some of the milestones that Kai has started to reach as he’s grown out of the newborn stage.

“We're still kind of adjusting on the road, for sure, and with my maternity, because I'm only allowed to play 10 events because I'm on the adoption clause, I feel like I'm struggling to get into a rhythm this year from a professional standpoint,” said Mel. “But I feel like we're finally getting into a bit of a groove on the road, which has been nice. Daycare is an absolute lifesaver. These women do not get enough credit for the work that they do.

“To have them on the road has been great. Kai is changing every single day. It's almost like you become a kid again. It’s the little things in life, and the little progressions that Kai makes, it makes us so happy. People don't tell you how hard it is. It's really hard work, but it's just worth it, 100 percent.”

Mel isn’t the only one of Kai’s parents who has a full-time job. Carly serves as a senior public relations and social media manager for Betterworks, and while she often works remotely so she and Kai can travel with Mel as much as possible, it’s her newfound responsibility as a mother that has been her favorite role yet.

“It's the best job in the whole world, being a mom,” Carly said. “Somehow, we’re six months in, and it keeps getting better. It's hard to believe, but I feel like each stage is so fun for different reasons, and it's going to continue as he gets a little bit older. It seems like each day you see more of his personality, and there's seriously nothing more fun than that, watching your kid blossom and become an actual person, not just a blob of a newborn.”

Being working moms was a lifestyle to which Mel and Carly knew they were going to have to adjust, and the pair was more than aware of some of the adaptions they would need to make to accommodate their new life with Kai. But while some take a minute to get used to things as a family of three, or even four or five, the Reids have taken it all in stride.

“I feel like after every trip we do, I'm just so proud that we've made it,” Carly said. “You feel very accomplished when you make it somewhere with a six-month-old or younger. Once you get to the destination, it's fun. But it's also cool to think that he's not going to remember this, but we will.

“He's been on like 15 different airplanes. We've got like five sets of wings from all the flight attendants who think it's his first flight. It's fun for him to see the world and be a part of different cultures, and I hope that's something that we continue to do even as he gets older and can remember things like that.”

Mel also credits the community of supportive friends that she and Carly have built throughout the years as another reason for the couple’s success in this new journey as moms. The old adage says it takes a village to raise a child, and while Mel and Carly are often a village of two, watching others dote on Kai at LPGA Tour events reminds them that they are not alone.

“The people that have been very welcoming and open to staying with us have made a huge difference,” Mel explained. “It gives us a little bit of a break at the end of the day because they want to just hang out with Kai, as well. He is starting to recognize faces. He sees Emily (Kristine Pedersen), and he sees Carlota (Ciganda), and he sees Olly (Brett), and he gravitates to them. I think that's a cool experience, not just for us but for them as well.”

Parenting doesn’t just change lifestyles; it also changes relationships. Mel and Carly will readily admit to being opposites, something they’ve always considered to be an asset in their marriage and partnership. It’s proven to work well too, as they have mothered Kai in the first few months of his life, as both have been impressed with each other’s willingness to do everything they can to be with and support their child in all the ways he needs.

“We complement each other really well, and we are on the same page,” Mel said. “The thing that Kai has done is made us very present. That’s something that we spoke about before having him, and we’ve been very intentional about it, is that when we’re with him, we try and be very present. Because we are both working mums as well, I think that’s made it almost easier to leave the world behind.”

Carly agrees. “There's just something so awesome about living life outside of yourself,” she said. “When you have a kid, that's what you're doing. He is number one. It’s cool to watch someone live outside of their selves, live for something bigger. Kai has done that to both of us.”

Mel opened up at last year’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, sharing that she quit golf late in 2022 after an injury and had to rediscover her love for the game that has dominated so much of her life. But her perspective shifted when she found out Carly was pregnant, and golf just didn’t seem to mean as much anymore with a baby on the way.

Now that Kai has arrived, Mel’s outlook on life and golf has changed even more, and in a lot of ways, she’s having to re-learn how to be a professional athlete again, something that has been second nature for her since she chose this life in the first place.

“Golf is secondary, if not third, now to be honest with you,” Mel explained. “I've always played golf for myself and tried to prove to myself that I can do this. The competitiveness inside of me, it's almost taken that away a little bit. I can have a bad day, and it sucks, but it doesn't suck anywhere near as much as it used to. I have to find that little fire in me again to see what my purpose is on the golf course. That's probably been the biggest challenge for me this year.

“I turned a little bit of a corner at Mizuho. Kind of found the joy in golf again, just for myself, because I was almost playing for Kai in a way, and I've never really played for anybody else before in my life. It's different. The bad days are nowhere near as bad, and even the good days aren't really as good anymore because he and Carly are my good things in life.”

Despite the stress and challenge of being traveling, working mothers, Mel and Carly wouldn’t change anything about the life they are living together with Kai. Things can get chaotic at times, but there’s nothing like sharing experiences together as a family of three, and the joy that their son has brought into their life has been immeasurable.

Mel and Carly are more than used to being role models for others in their community and hope that their latest adventures in motherhood will encourage others who might be thinking about parenthood to take the leap. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always pretty, but the working mom life is an attainable goal, and that’s what the Reids hope this next chapter of their life shows the world at large.

“One of the overwhelming feelings I had when Kai was first born was, holy cow, moms really do it all. They just figure it out,” Carly said. “They find a way to do everything. People who are looking to become moms, that want to become moms, that want to be working moms, you can do it all.

“It probably feels overwhelming when you think about it. But once you're in the throes of motherhood, you find a way, and it's pretty magical.”