What is the best part of being a working mom and most challenging part of juggling two full-time jobs?
The best part about being a working mom is that I fulfill every aspect of me. Since my work is sporadic, I really get to enjoy being a stay at home mama and getting to do what I love as well. It was hard at first to go back to work the first year of Beau's life. I couldn’t let anyone else take care of him, and that was a big time mistake on my part. I needed breaks and moments to breathe, especially because for half of every year, I am a single mom while my husband plays baseball. Lesson learned the hard way. I still find the challenge of mommy guilt when I am away from him when I am working, but I really try and make a conscious effort to be in the moment of where I am while working and enjoy the fact that in a short while I will be back full time with him again. It makes me well-balanced. Having amazing childcare also makes it a lot easier for me. I found a nanny who takes wonderful care of both of us.
Did you have any issues sleep training your son? If yes, what methods do you find work best to help with sleep schedules?
I did. I sleep trained him with the help of Jill Spivack from The Sleep Planet when he was three months old and it was heaven. Then when we started traveling and being on the road with his dad, it all went away and we had to start from scratch. I find, especially if you travel often, consistency is key. Doing the same routine, such as bringing the same blankets and a few stuffed animals and the same sound machine helped with sleep training. Now, Beau is two years old and will sleep in any new place we go. It was work, but so worth it!
How do you discipline your child when he is acting out?
OOF, I am still trying to figure it out. He thinks "time outs" are hilarious. He doesn't respond to me raising my voice, so I have started taking things away. That seems to be working because I follow through on my words. His absolute favorite activity is to play baseball, and now after a warning or two, if he still does not cooperate, his things get put in a closet for the rest of the day. It's been working thus far!
How do you carve out “me” time? And how do you like to spend this time?
I have a nanny two times a week when I am not working, when she is with Beau, I usually schedule appointments I need to make and squeeze in lunch or dinner with friends. I get manis/pedis, workouts, massages, anything that makes me feel like I am taking care of myself during these times.
What is your favorite kid-friendly vacation destination?
Because we travel so much during the year for baseball, we haven't really taken any vacations. I would love some recommendations!!:)
What are your favorite kids clothing shops in NYC?
Barney's has the cutest selection. ZARA, H&M, and GAP have great boy stuff too. I thought it would be hard to dress a boy, but I love it and have so much fun with it, especially all of the sneakers. (Mini Jordan's anyone ??!!)
Favorite kid-friendly restaurants?
Au Fudge in L.A. is fantastic.
In NYC I love Bubby's. I used to live around the corner from there and went there all the time, and now to be able to enjoy it with my son, makes it extra special. I also love P.J. Clarkes by the water in Tribeca. It has great burgers and is great for having to take those breaks and walks while waiting for food.
What are your favorite products or most useful products for you and your son?
Aveeno everything for him. He has sensitive skin and that’s the only brand his skin handles well. I love their lavender products before bedtime. It calms both of us.
What classes do your kids most enjoy? Which have been most helpful in their educational development?
Music Together has been an amazing class for Beau since he was tiny. Their program is particularly great for us because they have class all over the country with the same music. When we are in New York for a while, we can sign up there, or we even did a class in Syracuse last summer where my husband was playing ball. It's good for Beau to get exposure to other activities other than sports.
How has your struggle with MS impacted your role as a mother?
It has greatly impacted my role. It has made me step aside at times and let others do fun things with Beau, when I physically cannot handle it on my own, like taking him to the beach or Disneyland. I can go, but I need help and I am not the mom running into the ocean with him, I am the one waiting on the towel for when he is done. It's really hard for me at times to accept, but I want him to have as full of a life as possible. He has shown me I am much stronger than I thought I was. He has taught me how to ask for help, and that being limited just means I have to find other options sometimes.
How has your strength from fighting this illness benefitted your relationships as a mommy and as a wife?
Fighting MS for the past 15 years has taught me to be a lot more patient about things and that has definitely benefitted me as a mother. It has also taught me to appreciate the little things. It forces me to slow down and be home more often, which can lead to a lot of family time and togetherness. It also leads to crashing on the bed a lot, which my husband doesn’t mind.