My Mom Life: Tara

20160508_145620 For the next few weeks some Mamatoga readers are going to be giving us a glimpse into their lives as mothers in the My Mom Life series, this week, meet Tara...

What is your typical schedule like during the week?

We get up mornings and eat as a family, then off to school for my 4 year old and my 1 year old comes along with me either to the office or to get something done. On Tuesdays I have a meeting at work, so I have a babysitter for the little one. We have no school on Friday this year so that's our free day. I work most afternoons at the office, or I'd never get anything done, so when my husband gets home around 3, I head out. Then home between 6 & 7, mostly, for dinner and bedtime.

What do you find tricky about your current set-up/schedule? What would you change if you could?

The hardest part of our daily life is the opposite hours from my husband. Most of my work requires nights and weekends and we are always passing each other. I would definitely like to change that part most.

What do you like best about your current set-up/schedule?

I love that I get to be with the kids during the day and be a part of all their activities.

What are some of your top must have products for the parenting part of your life? What are some non-mom must haves?

I'd be lost without Earth's Best smoothies and baby food. Both kids love them and they're easy to grab in a pinch. Also, my Arbonne Baby Care diaper rash cream, Lansinoh lanolin cream and my stroller. It's a generic umbrella stroller and it's a life saver. Non-mom must haves include my Arbonne RE9 line, Shea butter body wash & lotion. I'm pretty minimal these days.

What is one thing you’ve realized/learned about motherhood that no one ever told you before you had kids?

I don't know anything about parenting! Like so many others before me, I thought that I knew a lot about raising children. I was wrong. There just isn't a way you could know until you're mom. It's amazing how much you love your kids!

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If you had an extra hour in the day you would spend it…?

Sleeping. These days, with the pregnancy (#3 on the way) and the baby, I don't get enough sleep and I really need it. It's selfish, but I think our days are very fulfilling as a whole so it's okay for me to want that little extra for me (and baby).

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?

I really don't have a large group of close friends without kids and the ones I do are so great it's easy to stay connected. There are many things that we do differently in our social lives, but we make the effort and that is the only way to make those friendships work. There are a few that I've grown more distant from, but when we do finally catch up it's as if no time has passed.

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Do you have time for yourself? What do you do during that time?

Not much these days, but when I do I enjoy a walk in Congress Park, a nice massage or a mani/pedi.

What advice would you give to other moms about how to balance work and life?

It's not so much a balance as separation. I try to designate time specifically for work when necessary and the rest is all for family. However, I'm fortunate to work for a company that allows for blending the two when needed.

Do you ever wonder how other women manage the juggle? Do you think people are open about it?

All the time. I always feel completely scattered and think 'how do they do it?' Some of my friends are super open about how hard the juggle can be, but I think most women keep it to themselves. I definitely think it's more apparent when you're close to someone.

Is there anything you find yourself doing as a parent that you swore you would never do before you had kids?

Oh yes! Quite a few things. The biggest one is bribery. Sometimes you just have to do what it takes to get by!

Thank you to Tara for sharing her Mom Life with us. To read more from this series, click here, and to take part yourself, simply email me at jenny@mamatoga.com for details. xoxo