Blogs > Media Moms

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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A surprising Valentine's Day

Sometimes it's the little things that help you course-correct in your life.  A letter in the mail, a friend's gentle reminder, or in my case - a birdhouse and a piece of jewelry.

My mom called yesterday morning to see if she and my dad could come up to the house and bring my son his Valentine's Day gift.  It was a quick phone call (I'm busy, after all) and within a minute we'd confirmed the time that they'd be arriving.  Later on, and moments after I met my son at the bus stop, my parents arrived with a balloon, a card, and a box of SweetHearts in hand.  After a lot of hugging, my son opened his gift, ate a few candy hearts and punched away at the balloon (not its intended use). Then, to my surprise, my parents pulled out two additional gifts - both of them for me.  Last I knew, we didn't exchange Valentine's Day gifts. Did I miss something? Two gifts, really?

My dad had handmade a little birdhouse for our deck.  Apparently, he and my son made it together on a recent overnight visit as a 'special project'.  My dad had taken care to place a little wire netting above the birdhouse floor to keep the bird's home clean and comfortable.  He thought I'd like it, and I do; very much in fact.

My mom's gift to me was a little jewelry box wrapped in a red ribbon. "I thought you'd like to have this", she said.  I opened it up and lifted a beautiful rhinestone choker from the box.  It was a piece from my grandmother's collection of costume jewelry (nice stuff, actually).  She had impeccable taste, but not much of a budget.  I also have her beautiful 3/4 sleeve faux fur with mink collar, which tells me that she made the most of her limited resources!  It's really too bad that she died when I was just five years old, since both my mother and I agree that we would have gotten along famously.  This gift really meant a lot to me.

These small acts of kindness from my parents made me realize that my parents are still mine and although they act a whole lot more like grandparents these days (giving my child gummy worms and doing WHATEVER he wants, whenever he wants), I'm pretty lucky to have two living parents that I see on a regular basis.  I'd honestly gotten so used to them being Grandma and Papa, that I'd pretty much stepped out of the parent/daughter relationship all together without truly realizing it.

This year my parents will both turn 70, so it feels pretty important to savor these moments and appreciate them in a way that matters.  Because they do matter.

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Sleep deprived, but it's my own fault

Ever since I slipped into a pattern of getting only 6 hours of sleep a night tops, I wondered how it would manifest itself physically. And I believe I am beginning to see. The dark circles are starting to appear under my eyes, and I have to say -- I'm pretty freaked out about it.

I've typically been an 8-hours-a-day type of person. But in September — when I started getting up at 5:15 a.m. some weekdays to go to the gym and the rest of the weekdays at 6 a.m. because my now middle-schooler son's bus comes at 6:45 a.m. — 6 hours a night became the norm.

I kept saying I was going to start going to bed earlier, but it ends up being impossible. On the sort of rare day when we don't have something going on in the evening, I am usually not home from work till nearly 7 p.m. (newsrooms can hold you hostage in the evening very easily). By the time dinner, dishes, homework, showers, laundry, etc. are wrapped up, I'm not heading upstairs to the bedroom till 10 p.m. or later.

Then sometimes there is paperwork, bills or reading to do. It's pretty rare to be able to settle down before 11. And when that alarm goes off just after 5 a.m., I really regret that.

What to do? I often say there are not enough hours in the day, but I think I need to probably go the route of trying to do less in the day.

I've heard so many things about how getting enough sleep is so important to good health. I'm sure the dark circles are not the only issue my lack of sleep is creating.

So, I'm on a mission to remedy this. It's just deciding which things can be trimmed out of the day when everything seems to be a priority.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An on-time valentine

I am so proud of myself this Valentine's Day. You may recall the insanity I endured last year , which involved grabbing leftover candy from the office for my children's Valentine's Day "gifts" (Tacky, I know. But desperate times, call for desperate measures.)

This year, I vowed to be more prepared. That doesn't mean I went all out, but I did manage to actually purchase items BEFORE Valentine's Day for my husband, son and daughter. Thankfully, I had plenty of prompting from my daughter, who LOVES V-Day (and any "holiday" for that matter). She always fills out her valentines for her classmates early and was preparing cards for us several days ahead, too.

So, I decided to take a page out of her playbook and bought my husband a card on Saturday while I was shopping at WalMart, and I picked up and some goodies for him and the kids Monday (a whole day ahead!).

My husband and I had this pre-Valentine's Day conversation:
HUBBY: I'm sure you'll be impressed; I already got your card.
ME: (all excited) Yeah! I got yours on Saturday!
HUBBY: Wow, we're really on the ball this year!

Indeed! For once ...

Of course, the day is still filled with the usual chaos. We have multiple activities tonight (soccer, basketball and a church group meeting), so we'll all be in different places till day's end. Good thing we all expressed our love for each other early in the day.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday silliness

Super Bowl Sunday was certainly interesting in my house. My 12-year-old son was super pumped about his team (the Patriots) being in the big game (which is why his mood went downhill toward the end of the game as is evidenced in this photo), and I think my husband probably was rooting for the Giants just to spite him a little.

For someone who isn't a hard-core Giants fan, my husband got very into this game. Early last week he told me he needed to find facepaint. Very important, apparently. I didn't know how crucial this was until he insisted we go to Ocean State Job Lot after church Sunday so he could find some.

I met with my Skidmore News students (I am their newspaper club adviser) in the afternoon instead of our normal evening meeting, so we all could watch the game. I came home to some wild and crazy stuff. My kids' faces were both painted in Patriots' colors with names and numbers of favorite players on their cheeks, and my husband's face was painted in blue and white with "NY" on his cheeks.
They were all whooped up and were heading next door to our neighbors' Super Bowl party to -- as my husband put it -- "raise a ruckus."

I admit I rolled my eyes at how nuts the three of them were acting -- especially my husband. I mean it was pretty over the top to see my 41-year-old husband with his face painted blue and white.

I was even pretty sarcastic when he said there was a little girl next door who thought he was the bees knees. "That's because you look like a smurf," I mocked.

But, now I'm doing some Monday morning quarterbacking on my behavior. The kids loved it, and he was being a fun person, something I think I used to be better at.
So even though my son was a bit depressed about his team's loss, the overall experience was certainly positive in my house.