- What is your biggest struggle as a mom? Finding the time to do it all and to do it well. I work full-time and although I firmly believe that’s the best option for our family, it becomes difficult to come home from work and have to deal with temper tantrums, make dinner, tidy up, find the energy to play, and then do the bedtime routine thing. It’s also a struggle to balance family time and me-time and to not feel guilty about it.
- What was the biggest surprise about being a parent? Discovering just how much you can love someone else and how proud you can feel of the seemingly little accomplishments.
- What is something you have caught yourself doing that your mom used to do and you swore you wouldn't? Crying when I’m angry or frustrated with my son. My brother and I used to make fun of my mom for crying all the time after she got mad at us and now I do the same thing and I hate it.
- Share something funny your child has done or said. Duncan is a little ham and is always saying funny or cute things. The other day when I picked him up from daycare, though, he had star stickers all over his face and he was so proud of them. Then his teacher warned me that he’d put his cardigan on all by himself; we got home and took off his jacket and his sweater was on upside down and zipped up. The waistband was all folded over at the neck and the collar was trying to fit around his waist. I was so happy he didn’t want to take his jacket off when we were at the doctor’s; that could have been embarrassing.
- What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate...
- How do you unwind? I enjoy reading and try to take the time to do some every night after Duncan’s in bed and before I go to bed, but it’s often hard to find the time.
- Favorite television show? Ugly Betty
- How did you decide on the names of your child or children? We agreed that we wanted names that weren’t too popular (my brother was one of 5 Chris’s in his class and we didn’t want that) or too weird. Duncan was an easy choice; it was my maiden name. His middle names are after my dad and my husband and were actually put together by a friend of my mom’s who was calling the baby “James Robert” before he was born. For this one, it was a bit more of a challenge. I wanted to give her a Filipino name as my husband is from the Philippines but he didn’t want that. He and my mother came up with the first name, assuming it will be a girl. I guess we’ll have to wait and see...
Aren’t we always, as wives, mothers, women, trying to find that magical solution that makes our lives easier? Lots of products claim miracles and although some come close to delivering, most of the ones I’ve tried have potential but aren’t quite worth the hype. Until now...
The item I use on a regular basis that really has made my life easier is my iRobot Roomba vacuum. With the simple push of a button, it cleans my floors, including in corners and under furniture, leaving me with time to play with my 2 ½ year old son or complete other chores around the house. As a working mom, it’s hard to find that balance; time with my son is so valuable but the housework can only be put off for so long before the dust bunnies take over! This little robot solves that problem for us. For best effect, we pick things up off the floor and usually flip Duncan’s chair upside down on the dining room table as his spot is always the messiest and then let the Roomba do its thing. It has a bizarre little cleaning pattern but it gets the floors clean; it’s amazing what you find in the dirt bin when you empty it after a cleaning cycle. It doesn’t get tangled up in power cords or fall down stairs and easily moves from hardwood to carpet to vinyl floorings without fuss. If it happens to find itself stuck somewhere, it just stops and beeps to let you know that it needs help.
There are several different models available. We have the 530, which cleans up to 3 rooms on a single charge and comes with a docking station and 2 virtual walls. The vacuum will actually return to its docking station when it is done cleaning or when it needs recharging. The virtual walls allow you to block off a particular area you want cleaned and the Roomba won’t go past them (we use this feature a lot when we’ve picked up one area but don’t want it going into another one yet or to keep it out of our son’s room while he’s sleeping). There are more basic models that aren’t able to clean as many rooms or have a docking station to return to and more advanced models that have scheduling systems. There are also models designed specifically for pet hair, workshops, and the Scooba which apparently mops your floors as well.
Unfortunately, it won’t clean the stairs so I still have to get out the regular vacuum for that job and to my knowledge they haven’t yet designed a model that will scrub my bathroom, but my only regret is that we didn’t discover the Roomba earlier. My husband is hoping they come out with snow-blowing and lawn-cutting versions soon!