Bridgette Gallagher is a Mom, Teacher and blogger at Shortcut Girl. She and her husband Michael live in Saratoga Springs. She enjoys reading, writing, blogging and chasing around her two little people Parker, 3 and Celia, 2. What do you like best about your current set-up/schedule?
I am a teacher and have to be at school at 7:45 each morning. This was early when I was childless but it’s VERY early when you have two toddlers. Therefore, my favorite part right now is that summer is around the corner and that means my schedule is about to change for the better. Read: sleeping in and no rushing around in the morning.
What do you find tricky about your current set-up/schedule? What would you change if you could?
I would like a device that puts shoes and coats on kids and a way to teleport them from the kitchen to their car seats. All without having someone fall in the mud, lose a shoe, rip out a pigtail or spill my coffee. Mornings tend to be the time when I lose my patience the most.
Do you have time for yourself? What do you do during that time?
Naptime is my favorite time me for me on weekends. I make time for myself to read, write and blog. I find when I do get an outlet for myself, I'm a better Mom all around. I also like to watch really, really bad reality TV when I just want something mindless to watch. I also nap---Moms need all the extra sleep they can get, let's face it.
What advice would you give to other moms about how to balance work and life?
My biggest piece of Mom advice is this: know what you are good at and what you are not so great at. Don't measure yourself against other Moms. You can still be the best Mom ever and not be crafty or have a clean house or be a good cook. You just have to be the best you. It took me a while to get there, but that's the biggest thing I've learned.
I am mostly in awe of my stay at home Mom friends. I think they are truly the most selfless and hardworking women I know. Their patience and their ability to make such wonderful lives for their families is so inspiring.
I think people are open about how they juggle when you ask them. I remember guiltily confessing to a Mom that I opened a bag of goldfish in Target to pacify my toddler one day.
Her response was, "Are you kidding? That's survival."
Instantly I realized that talking to other Moms about your struggles is the best way to help assuage your frustrations and Mommy guilt. No one can be Wonder Woman 100% of the time. Share with other Moms the times when you struggle.
Everything is a phase-- the good, the bad, the ugly. Everything you could possibly fall in love with or dread about motherhood is---a phase. So appreciate the phase you're in (right now we're in a "taking the diaper off" phase and the "I'm afraid of monsters under my bed" phase) because you will soon realize you had almost completely forgotten certain little things that used to drive you crazy about your little person-- and you will miss them.
If you had an extra hour in the day you would spend it…?
I would lounge and sip coffee on the couch as I wait for the rest of the house to wake up. This is my favorite part about the summer months-- kids sleep later and the morning coffee lasts till noon.
Do you find it hard or difficult at all to stay connected to friends/people in your life now that you have kids? Do you find there is any gap or gulf in between you and the friends/people in your life that don’t have kids? Any tips on how to stay connected to those people?
It's hardest to stay in touch with my friends who don't text/call/ Facebook. It's my quick way of touching base and a good way to keep an eye on each other. I actually find friends who don't have kids easier to connect with-- you don't have to worry about the bedtime phone call or the impromptu invitation out-- they are up for it!
But the by-far-best-way to stay in touch with anyone is to make an effort to email every day. My best friend since fifth grade and I email each other 5 things that make us smile every day. It's wonderful not just in the outlet it provides but in how it keeps us connected to each other's lives so intimately. You have to be dedicated though- she is always the first one to send the email and it keeps me in check.
Is there anything you find yourself doing as a parent that you swore you would never do before you had kids?
Bragging. It's so hard not to list the cute things your kid does to everyone. Or show a photo, or play a video. That's why it's great to have your own mother and your fellow Mom friends--- they let you brag with no guilt at all. My friend Julie and I call these "baby genius" stories.
Thank you to Bridgette for taking part in the My Mom Life series, for more from the series, click here. If you would like to take part in the series, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. xoxo