I never learned how to parent as a mother who works outside the home. I was blessed with an loving and attentive mother who stayed home with the kids and poured all of her time and resources into raising us. So, the balance between work and home life was never modeled for me. After my own first child was born, I went back to teaching two ballet classes a week for one year before throwing in the towel because he was such a high needs baby who didn’t sleep more than 45 minutes a stretch for the first three years of his life. For the next eleven years I stayed home with our three children. So the things a mother learns to juggle with a job outside the home with first one child, then the next and the next on a somewhat steady learning curve was never my trajectory.
I went from being a full time stay-at-home-mom of three to a full-time-stay-at-home-mom-of-
So as I try to figure out how to make it all work, I have come to certain realizations that I must do which has shaped this year’s New Year’s resolutions. Firstly, I plan to eat to maximize my energy levels. I have always purchased organic, local whole foods. But as I have aged my body has begun to reject certain foods that I love. I still love them and when I indulge in them my energy levels come crashing down, or I wake up the next morning fatigued. This lack of productivity is no longer an option and as it happens, I love the feeling of opening my eyes in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.
Secondly, I plan to spend focused time with each child. These days I no longer have very much time to just *be* with my children. And this perhaps makes me the saddest. On the other hand, thankfully it has directed me to spend meaningful time focused on each child versus the old me half listening as I washed dishes since I was around all day. It should also be noted that while I did not possess the skills to parent as a working-outside-the-home mom; my children did not know how to be the kids of a working mom. The learning curve to age appropriate independence was a steep one for them as well, but I have only seen positive outcomes as they have flourished in the past year.
Lastly I plan to carve out more “me-time” or as my friend Rochelle calls it, “Defensive Calendering” because if I don’t, I end up short of patience and stamina and not the mom or business woman I aspire to be. Me-time is anything that feeds my soul and gives me a physical, mental or emotional break from the daily grind. For me, this includes taking ballet classes, watching live performances (in any form), nights out with my core group of women who make me laugh until I cry, and help me cry until I laugh. And lastly, but certainly not least, time with my husband.