Honestly? Twenty years ago, if anyone had asked me if I thought I would be the mother of two, write a series of interactive, character-building books for children, or be writing a column about parenting, I'd have—LOL'd. At the time, my sites were set on my acting career, relationships, and living an exciting life in New York City (OK, it wasn't really always that exciting).
Anyway, love happens, time passes, priorities change, and now being a mother is one of the best things in my life. Unlike my husband, I had a fairly good idea of what I'd be getting myself into when he and I had children. He had no real exposure to kids. But I am the youngest of seven and I learned to pay attention, while watching my siblings raise my nieces and nephews.
It is the equivalent of having someone else taste the milk before you pour it on your cereal. If they make a face, just have toast instead. But even though I had an idea of what might be coming, both good and bad, I wasn't really prepared for the way I would worry about our kids, or the efforts it would take to maintain my sense of self (for a good laugh about this, see the attached video).
On challenging days, when I have heard one too many complaints from the 'mini-me's', I admit that I have had the occasional twinge of 'what ifs' and 'should haves.' Sometimes, filling the well seems to be the only thing standing between me, a box of donuts, and a jug of wine.
But I must give credit to my husband and kids because they go out of their way to make sure I am appreciated and have ample opportunity to fill that well. As my 9-year-old says, "when mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." She got that off of a refrigerator magnet, but felt it was worth repeating.
All of that said, my family and I have relocated back to Westchester County (where I spent my high school years), leaving behind a farmhouse up in the country (insert crickets chirping here), and I will now begin my exploration of New Rochelle.
I am on a mission to search out places that provide my children with new and stimulating experiences, while still allowing me to enjoy myself, and stay sane. Sound like a familiar challenge? If so, this column is for you.
In addition to a weekly dose of parenting stories, I will find interesting activities, educational content, exciting events, great family restaurants, and the best parks— preferably located next to the best coffee places, the cleanest bathrooms, and fabulous shoe stores along the way. We start this weekend. Wish me luck and check in next week. I will let you know where you might find some balance of your own.