I am sure that I have seen you in the grocery store, at the library classes for toddlers, at the playground or maybe even wandering the mall on a rainy day –while I am pushing a stroller with 2 “energetic” boys. Perhaps I just recognize myself in you because we both have bags under our eyes from lack of sleep (my mom calls them my “duffle bags”). You are carrying your kid(s) around, trying to think about dinner, cleaning the house, cooking, working, attending to your significant other, taking care of the pets, and maybe even squeezing in a shower. I see your thoughts. They may be my own- I am not sure. But, I feel this kindred spirit: we are part of the sisterhood. #mommylife.
6 months ago, I returned to Tampa- after having been in NYC for over 13 years. As I said, I have 2 boys (#toddler is 2 years and #baby is 9 months). I met my hunky husband over 8 years ago- and we have been married for 5 ½ years. I rescued fur-baby # 1 (a 6lb Chihuahua) 6 years ago. Fur-baby # 2 (black cat) was rescued 4 years ago (side bar: Why do we label dogs by breed but cats by color?). Before having kids, I SWORE I would never own a minivan. Fast forward to life with 2 boys under 18 months: I love my Honda Odyssey! I wish that I could take it for a long road trip, but my kids seem to have limited tolerance for spending extended periods of time (longer than ½ hr) in the car. #sigh
When I left Tampa, I was 18. After 4 years as a Florida Gator (Gator for life!), I moved to NYC to pursue a career in theatre. As life offers many twists and turns, I decided to use my dramatics in the classroom and obtained my MS in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College. After 6 years as a preschool teacher (sometimes it felt like every day was a new episode of “Preschool Musical”), I finally realized what I wanted to be when I “grew up:” an occupational therapist. I went to Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and received my MS in Occupational Therapy. As I clearly love school, my next Master’s will be an MS in Mama (somedays, I totally wish their were instructions or rule books…).
Needing to be closer to family with 2 young boys, husband and I decided to leave the frigid winters for sunshine, beaches, and plenty of babysitters. Living in Tampa with kids has been a totally different experience. The boys and I get to play outside every day- whether the playground or our backyard! We can go on adventures in our little red wagon, looking for snails, ducks, and acorns.
In addition to being a full-time mom, I own a private Occupational Therapy practice (www.etikids.com), where I teach private and group parenting classes (examples of topics: preparing for baby, positioning and playing with your baby, and engaging your toddler), private Occupational Therapy sessions for kids, and social skills classes. I also work as an occupational therapist for the Hillsborough County Public Schools.
As you can see, we are pretty similar. I am just a working #momofboys and cheerleader of #teamnosleep. Being a mom new to Tampa, it is nice to have a sisterhood to be a part of- with activities, event listings, and endless support. Once upon a time, children were raised by the people in their neighborhoods and extended families. Nowadays, people are so busy with work and all of the stresses that accompany being “dual-income” families, they do not always get to meet “the people in our neighborhoods.” As I truly believe that it “takes a village” (to raise a child), I look forward to being a part of the Tampa Bay Moms Blog sisterhood and having this community become my village.