Ever wonder how you can balance it all as a mom? This is one interview in a series talking to mums who have found a way to make it work. Meet Dr. Jenn Berman, mother to Mendez and Quincy, four year old twin girls, and a child therapist, author, speaker and media personality.
Not one to sit still, Dr. Jenn Berman has a private practice in Beverly Hills, can often be seen on the likes of The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, and The Early Show, and is also a radio show host. In addition, she writes a parenting column for Los Angeles Family Magazine and is on the Board of Advisors for Parents Magazine. As if that were not enough, she has authored two books The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy Confident Kids and her newest book Superbaby 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years. She has accomplished all this, and more, while raising her twin preschoolers.
1. What do you love about being a mom?
I love how my heart grew when I became a mother. I am an only child and I had expected to only have one child. When I gave birth to twins, I was very surprised at my capacity to love two people so completely. When you are a mum, you feel like you invented love.
2. What do you enjoy most about working?
It really excites me to make a difference in peoples lives. In my private therapy practice, I get to help people one on one. As a writer I get to reach out to so many people but never get to see their faces. On the radio I get to have personal contact while helping so many listeners. On television I get to send out a message in a big way.
3. What is your biggest challenge in juggling both?
I need more hours in the day. I do most of my writing while the kids are sleeping which means I do not get a lot of sleep. While I was writing SuperBaby, I had a four-month period where I was up until 4 a.m. writing and woke up at 7 a.m. to get my kids off to preschool.
4. How do you deal with it?
I am so passionate and eager to get the message out about the topics I write on that my adrenalin keeps me going. Having a super supportive husband who is a very hands-on dad helps too. My parents are also involved in my kids lives and help out on a regular basis. Another thing that helps is that I have a great group of friends, many of whom are working mums themselves, and we share our "me too!” moments. It is easier when you know that other mothers have the same struggles as you.
5. How do you re-charge?
Aside from a date with my husband, there are three things I do to recharge. First, I watch old DVDs of Sex and the City and Friends while soaking in a bubble bath. One episode and some lavender bath oil and I am a new woman. The second is I go out on a date with myself after the kids are asleep. My husband stays home with the kids while I go out and get a bite to eat and spend a few hours at the bookstore. The third thing that helps me recharge is having dinner with my three best mummy friends. They are my lifeline and talking to them always helps put things in perspective.
6. What advice would you give other women considering being a working mom?
Do not make any major decisions based on how you feel the first year and take advantage of any opportunities you have to work from home or have more flexible hours. The first year is a huge transition on so many levels and you do not know how you will feel until you are there. In the beginning, most mums feel like they are not doing either job – work or motherhood well. It takes a while to catch your stride.
7. Who inspires you?
I am inspired by my own mother who was a working mum and managed to have an incredibly successful career and be a spectacular mother. I always felt like she was there for me. I hope to do the same for my kids. To me, that is success.
8. What is one thing can you not live without?
9. If you had an hour of time to yourself, how would you spend it?
If someone said I could not do anything work related, I would get back into that bathtub!
Click here to for our awesome SuperBaby Giveaway courtesy of Dr. Jenn!