Before I had children, my life was all about me time. I did whatever I wanted when I wanted. My husband [actor Jason Thompson] and I were very spontaneous and lived a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants lifestyle. When I got pregnant with our son Bowie, I was so excited but also got hit with this unexpected grief for that independence. I was terrified to slow down—I thought the wheels wouldn't kick up again and I would be stuck in a lagging place for the rest of my life.
The more I thought about it and talked to other women, the more I realized that there is this passage that we take when we go from maiden to mother. I was so concerned with how I would have time for myself, how I would work and be a good mom. I couldn't get my head around it and instead of just relaxing and knowing that things will be what they are and trusting in it, I got myself quite worked up. Then Bowie was born and everything fell into place. Slowing down is how I found I connect with my kids the most—it's when the most amazing moments happen.
Motherhood is always like a fine balancing act that we are struggling through—that's part of its beauty and fun. For me, the biggest challenge of it all was learning to live by a schedule. I tried to split my time between my work and my kids each day, but that became really difficult. Now that Bowie is 3 and my daughter Rome is 19 months, I set my schedule that half the week I am with my kids and half the week I work. This really helps me since part of the week I can focus on me and have full days to prioritize my business and get a lot more done. Then on the days I am just with the kids, I can focus entirely on being with them. It's on those days that I learn the most about myself.
Before I was a mom, I didn't realize just how much time I was spending focused on myself. Not just what I was doing and where I was going, but even internally I was me, me, me all the time without realizing it. It was such an unexpected blessing that having a child would blossom this new passion for something much greater than yourself. My joy of parenting is that so much of my drive in life is about fulfilling this important role of being a really good parent and making sure these little people grow and be beautiful and incredible human beings. When I am with my kids, I get to enjoy the small things in life so much more.
Slowing down was challenging in the beginning, but I love it so much. There is something so magical about sitting with a child and watching something that before you would have stepped right over or walked right past. All of a sudden it's the most amazing thing to the person you love the most. Of course, you can't help but stop and take in that moment as well.
Even though I still try to find personal time for myself between work and my kids, I have settled into something I was afraid of and it feels so good. When I had Rome I had no idea how I was going to juggle two kids—I barely got into a good rhythm with Bowie when I was pregnant again—but it gets easier and easier each day, week, and month. Jason and I still find time to sneak away for spontaneous lunch dates and we love to travel as a family, which is important for us since travel was a big part of our lives before kids.
Every time I'm frustrated in the moment and find myself needing more time for myself, I remember that one day the kids will have their own lives and I will give anything to have them back and pulling at my leg wanting me to watch their dance moves or push a scooter around the room. I think about how quickly time flies and to enjoy and appreciate my kids through every chaotic stage.