Zerline is a mom first. But she knows that she is more than that. She is a writer second. And then an editor, Zumba instructor, dancer, daughter, spouse, hard worker, dreamer, and the list goes on, and on…and on.
She became a parent in 2003 with no idea what was ahead of her. Then, in 2005, she birthed no. 2 and as she describes, still no clue on what was ahead of her. Zerline’s life consists of battling with the education system of Washington, DC, meandering about co-parenting while 250 miles away from her ex-husband, and managing an entrepreneurship. But somehow, she makes it all work.
MTCM: What makes you more than your children’s mom?
What makes me more than the Js’ mom is the fact that I make sure to do a little bit of this, that, and the other — with and without the Js. I love being mom to the Js, but I also make sure that my wants and desires don’t center around their activities, wants and desires. I’m mom first. Second, I’m a partner, friend, daughter, entrepreneur, dancer, event planner, writer and lover of all things fun. I’m lucky, though; most times the kids can fit into all of those areas with their great ideas and input, their growing knowledge of the world and their fun spirits, but I have to remind myself that I do not have to include them in everything!
MTCM: How do you balance the role of a mother, partner and business owner?
Balance? What’s that? In between Google calendars, task managing apps and alarm reminders, I’m still working on balancing the role as mother, etc. But the one thing I’m sure of is that if Zerline is not happy, my kids, my partner, my clients will not be happy. So I remember to put ME first — even if its just once a week or once a month with a massage, a happy hour escape, a restaurant lunch all by myself or something as simple as a nap.
MTCM: How do you make time for yourself and what do you do when you have me time?
I have promised myself that whenever my kids are at their extracurricular activities of music lessons or swimming or karate, that I must, too, be working on myself. So instead of sitting in their lessons and staring at the ceiling, or sitting in the car, I should be at the gym, or doing something that benefits me. When I have more exclusive me time, I’m dancing (I can’t live without it), eating a great meal, or enjoying a drink and comedy show with my guy.
MTCM: When was your last “more than a mom moment”? What did you do?
My last “more than mom moment” was in December when I was able to sneak away to the amazing Salamander Spa and Resort in Middleburg Va. It meant a lot because my son was just released from a two-night hospitalization due to pneumonia. I felt guilty about keeping my pre-scheduled spa appointment, but had to come to realize that after dealing with all of that stress, it would be negligent not to unwind and recharge.
With understanding and assistance from my partner, I was able to escape to receive a mani/pedi, recharge in the steamroom and jacuzzi and even get a massage. I must confess, though, during any massage or even a meditative yoga class, it’s hard not to think about the kids, the job, the next big event or client. I need to train myself to relax and let go more. But I’m working on it.
Are you more than your child’s/children’s mother? Share your story with us or let us know of a mom you think would be a great example. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org