Our mom of the week is Monica Sakala. Monica believes that parenting in Washington, DC is never dull or easy but it can be hilarious. She is a fun-loving and great mom of two beautiful girls. She is also the founder of a social media firm called SOMA Strategies which focuses on issue-based campaigns and partnering with online influencers.
What makes you more than your children’s mom?
This is a great question. I have found that as my kids get older, it’s harder to keep your identity as more than the kids’ mom because that’s how all their friends refer to you and it’s how you sign off on emails when emailing other class parents for school-related purposes. Sometimes I want to mess with people and sign my name and then in parenthesis instead of writing “Emma’s mom” write “A cranky, cheese craving and vacation deprived woman” – right? To see if anyone is paying attention and if they’re also sick of identifying that way. Now to answer your question, I think my work helps me carve out an identity that is separate from my kids and it’s something that my kids learn isn’t about them and is part of what makes me, me. I think it’s important not just for our own identity to remember we are more than the kids’ mom but also for our kids to realize we are more than a parent. I also think when my husband and I set aside time for just each other, it shows the kids that we are more than just their parents, we are a couple, and that is incredibly important for them to see.
I try to avoid the word balance because then I’m just mad all the time – because I certainly don’t have balance in my life. Instead I try to focus on the choices I make, how am I choosing to spend my time, and what will my future self think of that. Truthfully, when I am being introspective, I consider what I will think of when I am on my death bed and this helps me determine how to spend my time. Will I lay on my death bed and think “I wish I had spent more time doing X” or not – and it does center me. Of course I do this within reason because there are still bills to pay, college tuition to save for, and a mortgage. But I think any one of us can get pulled in far too many directions and we have to draw some lines in the sand. As for being a business owner, one thing I constantly struggle with is how to grow and continue to challenge myself without over-extending and losing sight of the time I want to dedicate to my kids.
When was your last “more than a mom moment”? What did you do? Dinner, concert, trip…?
I had dinner with girlfriends two weeks ago. Last winter I went to a warm destination with a girlfriend for a long weekend – just us – it was fabulous! I have some concert tickets for this coming summer with groups of friends – no kids – and it’s really nice to have those dates locked on the calendar.