I have been very fortunate to meet Ellie of Musing Momma through blogging. We are both fairly new to the blogging worlds, and have had some fun emailing and exchanging ideas. I am thrilled that Ellie is one of my featured “Real Moms”, because I feel like our struggles and answers sound similar, but I didn’t have to fill out the questions (kidding! I will sign up to be a “Real Mom” soon, although you probably know more about me than you could ever want to!).
So here are is Ellie….a Busy Working Mom of 2 Boys, who is also crazy enough to enter the blogging world!!
Mom Q & A
Occupation? I’m a child psychologist by training, but I now work in policy & program development
How many children do you have? What are their ages? I have two boys, ages 2 1/2 and 5. They are a wonderful handful!
How many days a week/typical hours do you work? After my first was born, I went from full-time to working 3 days/week. My job is very flexible, which is one of the reasons I love it. I am able to change days or work from home when I need to. One of the reasons I stopped working as a therapist was that I just couldn’t stand being away from home in the evenings after I had kids!
Do your children attend school/day care? If so, what type? Both boys had a wonderful sitter – a family friend with an “empty nest” – for their first year, and then each transitioned to a day care center around his first birthday. They both attend a great center 3 days/week, while I’m at work. This fall will be a major transition for us. My oldest will be starting kindergarten (how did that happen?!) and the little one will be transitioning to a new day care, since our current one is closing (cue the tears!).
Describe your typical weekday…The boys usually wake around 7:00 and we hang out in the little one’s room reading and getting dressed. Then the whole family convenes in the kitchen for breakfast before my husband heads to work. The boys watch one tv show after breakfast which gives me time to get us ready for the day (straighten up, get myself dressed). In the morning we might go on an outing (library, park, errands) or just hang out at home playing. Then I make lunch and the boys play while I clean up. They both take naps in the afternoon – even my 5-year-old! When he outgrows the need, we’ll definitely have mandatory quiet time. This is time I use to relax and catch up, whether it’s napping or blogging or crossing things off my to-do list. After nap we often go outside until I need to get dinner started. The boys usually watch their second tv show while I make dinner. After dinner we just hang out – playing, cleaning up, whatever – until it is time to get ready for bed. We shoot for lights off by 8:30 and then my husband and I relax – usually with our laptops and tv or a movie – until bedtime. If I have to work the routine is similar, except that after breakfast my husband drops them off at day care and I pick them up before dinnertime.
What is your biggest daily struggle? How do you cope with it? My biggest struggle is definitely balancing time with my family with time for me. It is hard to find time to do the things I’d like to do for myself – or even things that “need” to be done – and I often find myself not being as “present” as I’d like to with the kids. One way I handle this is by finding things to do with the kids where I don’t have any distractions – like going outside and leaving my phone in the house, or just going OUT somewhere so I don’t see the stuff that needs to be done at home! Another is time management – like using nap time or the evenings to do “me” things. (Oh Ellie, you just echo-ed every one of my struggles!!!! EEK – Scary!)
What is your secret for finding a healthy balance between all of your responsibilities as a mother? I wish I had a one! In the past, I would take one evening “off” each week and do something like have dinner with a friend or shop or go to yoga. That fell by the wayside at some point and I think maybe it’s time to start that again! I think our schedule is key, and being able to work part-time.
What is your least favorite household “chore” and why? Brushing the kids’ teeth! It is an ordeal at least 50% of the time. I usually try to have my husband do it. It’s not household-related, but it IS a chore!
What is your favorite mommy moment? I love the moments when I am suddenly aware of everything around me and it just feels perfect. Maybe we’re walking down our block and the birds are chirping and the boys are running excitedly ahead of me. Or maybe I’m snuggling my little one at bedtime and he’s all smiles. Or my 5-year-old is digging in the garden beside me and the sky is a perfect blue. It’s these pauses in the day when I find myself soaking it all in, being present and feeling content – before it gets crazy again!
What is the one thing about your children that worries you and keeps you up at night? I don’t worry much about the small stuff. My biggest worry is their safety. I have an overactive imagination and I think about all the freak things that could happen to my kids. I try not to let my worries make me overprotective, because I would rather be a free-range kind of parent than a helicopter parent.
What is your biggest indulgence/thing that you do for yourself? Blogging. I say this because it definitely consumes a lot of my leisure time. But I really enjoy writing and connecting with other moms, especially other mothers in multiracial families. It is very affirming and I learn a lot from reading about others’ experiences and perspectives. I also love getting together with girlfriends for dinner.
Thank you, Ellie, for being a featured mom and sharing your story and family with us! Readers…please check out more of Musing Momma at http://www.musingmomma.com/.
If anyone is interested in being a “Real Mom” please let email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.