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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Things I love about Saratoga, then and now

We're working on an upcoming special feature in The Saratogian called "Fifty Things I Love About Saratoga" (check it out on Sunday, June 26) which has been a little nerve-wracking and exciting, too. We started out asking each other "Do you think we'll be able to come up with fifty things?". Yet after crowd sourcing and brainstorming meetings, the shared sentiment became "How on earth will we narrow it down to fifty?!". That's the great thing about Saratoga. There's so much to love.

Since I've become a parent, my list of things I love about Saratoga has changed somewhat. Bars have been replaced by playgrounds, and white tablecloth restaurants are outnumbered by the kid-friendly variety. Don't get me wrong, this gal loves a romantic night out with a glass of Cabernet in hand, but the reality is that those nights are few and far between and finding a place to eat that will welcome our spirited five year old - most likely with a friend in tow - is a weekly dilemma. Although my son is pretty well-behaved at the "fancier" restaurants (he's been to most, including Prime and the Wishing Well), it's just not as relaxing for us or those diners decked out for "date night".

Just for fun, here's my 'short' list, "then" and "now":

Evening out - Evening in with D'Andrea's Pizza
Dinner at Chiati - Dinner at Forno
Sipping wine at the Wine Bar - Shirley Temples at Circus Cafe'
Gideon Brunch - Down home breakfast at Shirley's
Late night downtown on Caroline Street - Quiet morning at the Saratoga Farmers' Market
Attending a mid-week cultural event - Sitting on the bleachers at a T-ball game
Afternoons on the patio of a downtown restaurant - afternoons at the Children's Museum
Strolls in Congress Park - Strolls in Congress Park (with a little guy between us)

Although my life has changed dramatically, one thing remains the same: Saratoga is a great place to live, work, play - and grow as a family. There's no place I'd rather be.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chaos is the norm, I guess

It's just the DeMars way, I guess. There's no way we could do anything without it becoming chaotic. Case-in-point: my son's field trip day just before school ended.

I got home late that night after getting our monthly magazine off to the printer. It was a crazy whirlwind of a day in which I worked around the clock except for the hour and half I had to dart from Saratoga to Ballston Spa for my children's spring concert and back to work to finish up.

As I sank into bed, i was startled with the thought that my son's fifth-grade field trip to the Wild Center was the next morning, and we were responsible for getting him to school in the morning -- early. I made a mental note and drifted off to sleep.

I awoke to my son shaking me and reminding of his field trip. It was 6:30 a.m. "What time do you have to be there?" I asked.

"At 7:30," he said.

I told him I'd get up in a few minutes, and I did. Bleary-eyed, I started getting his lunch together and grabbed the info sheet about the field trip off the fridge to see if needed anything specific. The words jumped off the page at me: "THE BUS LEAVES AT 7 A.M. PLEASE BE PROMPT."

I glanced at the clock -- 6:45 a.m. (We live about 10 minutes from school.)

Of course, a whole bunch of yelling and racing around ensued, with me packing his lunch and backpack in record time. He and my husband were backing out of the driveway just a bit past 6:50.

They made the bus no problem, but I believe it may have taken a chunk of time off my life, or at least given me a few new gray hairs.