A few days to enjoy just being a mom…
On December 21st our show, The Office, shut down for Hiatus (show biz for “we stop filming”) until January 7th, 2013. During this time off, I always feel pressure to work on HairFerry. I try and plan meetings, continue to fine tune new products and of course do any projects around the house that need to be done. With two young boys…there is always something. I look forward to seeing friends, playing with my kids and sleeping in past my usual 4 to 5am wake up calls that I have when I am working on set full time. But the thing that really gets me excited about these small breaks in filming is being a mom…full time. That opportunity is priceless to me.
I cannot put into words how much it means to me to take my sons to school. To pick them up, to stay and watch school assemblies. To volunteer in their classrooms and to just have play dates with them and other families. Even small talk, seemingly simple chats with other moms about kids, home, life make me smile.
The entertainment industry can be really difficult on families. As the Head of the Hair Department, I am on set with actors every day while filming. I watch continuity, take care of them, design new characters hairstyles and attend production and logistic meetings. It is rare when I can leave for a few hours, or have a half day off. Even on slow days, I give my team days off but always feel I should be there to make sure production stays happy. When the actors work…I need to be present, available and watching. My hours are long, and some days I can start at 5:12am and work until 8:00pm. I live about 40-45 minutes away from the studio I work at so you can add the travel time to my day and get what I am saying. Long days. When I get home, I help with homework, make lunches, go through backpacks, and help my sons get ready for bed, lay out my clothes for the next day…and usually drop into bed wiped out. Sometimes I will read. (I love reading!) It calms me down and helps my mind get sluggish and stop it from processing my busy day. Then, the whole long day starts all over again. I could have my wonderful sitter Sara make lunches…or make dinner…but I really want to make their food. I guess it’s the Mid-Westerner in me. I love cooking, I want them to know I care enough to make their food, pack their lunches with care. No matter how busy I am, they come first. I would never want them feeling work was more important than them although they do understand that work sometimes keeps me away when they want me home or at school with them.
I made a difficult choice this holiday season. I did not go home to Gurnee, IL to see my father. I have been working so much I really liked the idea of staying put…and I am saving to buy a home for me and the boys. We are renting, due to my divorce and selling of our family home. We are in a wonderful neighborhood, but small apartment with no yard. Honestly, having nothing to garden and dig into is getting the better of me. I also really need a garage for all of my hair tools. Keeping a storage unit is another expense and the drive to get equipment and holiday items…well, it gets old. Anyone who has a storage unit can surely relate. I am hoping and planning on moving by April or May into a bigger place with a small yard and a garage. Fingers crossed…it will happen.
So the decision to stay in LA was a financial one. I am saving all I can and need to stay in town in spite of my guilt and sadness about not flying home to Grandpa. We are planning to go in July and celebrate July 4th. That will make up for it, at least that is what I keep telling myself.
The holidays flew by. I was delighted to cook and bake every day. Made my mom’s Apple Pie for the boys! I packed in dentists visits for all of us, took care of much needed repairs on my macbook-it had been going crazy and not allowing me to email, and had a few grown up dinners with friends. It was wonderful to have the Christmas decorations up at home and enjoy time with my sons with lights twinkling all around us. We played games, went to a trampoline place called Sky High in Camarillo and jumped like maniacs, had a few afternoons with friends and of course lot’s of movies and snuggles. Thankfully, they are still young enough to want to snuggle with mom. I treasure every second and hope it continues a little longer.
|Caramel Apple Pie-before sauce…|
|and after sauce is poured…just about to go in oven!|
I thought it would be fun to keep a journal of one day as a “MOM”. I have kept a journal about my small business for the last year or more so one day can’t be too hard right? I picked Wednesday..ok I had the idea on Tuesday night. I wanted to show the other side of my life. In this blog and with my life I have had to compartmentalize. I divide myself, don’t we all as parents? There is the business me, the mom me, the work ‘on set’ me. I have written about work and HairFerry…I wanted to spend a day writing about my favorite thing to talk about, being a Mom. So here it is…a day when I am not at work on set…I am just enjoying a day as a mom.
Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
10:20am I am close to my friend’s office so I decide to stop by and say hello. Bill Holmes and his wife Alice have been wonderful, trusted friends since I moved to LA. They are from my hometown Gurnee and they have become my family in California. I used to babysit their three kids when they were young…all three are unique, funny and truly amazing. I love them all. Now the oldest is planning his wedding! Tikes they are all grown up and it freaks me out. (note: I am of course doing hair for this wedding, poor kids didn’t have a choice!) I am bringing Bill a signed cast photo from The Office, one of his students had seen his and asked for one. Bill has been a voiceover actor/director for 30 years and teaches Voice Over skills, directs, and hosts voiceover classes in his studio in Burbank. Actors always fly though and record/audition every day, all day long. And as anyone who knows Bill will tell you- there is always time for a few dart throws after the audition is over. I stay for an hour enjoying chatting with him, and his daughter Marissa. Her sense of humor matches her beauty…I adore her. Bill actually talks me into recording a commercial plug with him, it is for google-about a couple planning their wedding. He gives me some direction and we do a few takes. He will send all recorded voices later today. It’s funny, I am NOT an actor, but I record my voice anyway, giving in to peer pressure. It actually ended up being pretty fun to do with him…just don’t tell Bill I said that. I leave smiling, I always do. Any amount of time spent with the Holmes family always makes me happy.
By the way if anyone is interested in doing voice overs, contact Bill!
phone: 818-506-5647 email: VODoctor@gmail.com
11:40am I head to my favorite nail spa in LA-Oasis Nails in Burbank.
12:00pm Since I am close, I see if they can fit me in…SO happy when they can. I have a gift certificate from Skyler Samuels (actress who played Chloe King) that I brought just in case. I sit at in my spa chair, close my eyes and relax—I was up at 4:30 with my son after all—and as the two women begin their work on my nails I sigh happily and appreciate being a girl.
1:10pm Leave with perfect nails and head home to get the boys.
2:05pm Pull up at school and park. Walking up the long sidewalk I can hear the kids playing in the school playground it is a wonderful sound. I wish I heard it more. I quickly spot the boys and tell them to gather their things. We go inside and I sign them out from the YMCA. (Love YMCA! They saved this single mom) We decide to skip back to the car, don’t know why, but we do, filled with laughter and cheers as we race to each get their first. Ahhh the simple joy of picking the kids up!
2:30pm I explain we have to stop at Best Buy, my phone charger broke and we will need it for navigation and phone charging. Of course they want to check out the Wii collection of Skylanders while we are there. Thankfully, no pieces we don’t have. Whew.
3:15pm Home and begin doing homework. Both the boys know the drill…we sit at the table, and work on everything together. Snacks provided of course!
4:45pm I notice an email about PayPal and a charge I do not recognize. I contact Paypal online not thru the e-mail sent, it is “scam-spam” trying to get info from me. I notice it does not look right and contact fraud alert at Paypal. I go online and safely enter my account to get the real contact info I need. I really hate these kind of crooks don’t you? As a person who has had her identity stolen I take it seriously and deal with it. Worth the time trust me.
5:30pm I start dinner (Mexican) and help to put away homework stuff. I set out Everett’s Cub Scout clothes, we have a den meeting later to get ready for so we have to eat and get on the road. Of course there is always time for dessert…ice cream is the choice tonight. (the boys ate it so fast I didn’t even have a chance to snap a photo! All I could get was the empty bowl.)
6:30pm The boys feed the cat and the fish as I finish clean up in the kitchen. Connor carries an ipad to the car. It keeps him busy during the hour long den meeting. He is not a cub scout so we play math bingo and other educational games while Everett participates with his fellow scouts.
7:00pm Den meeting in Oak Park begins. Everett sits at the dinning table with his den, Connor and I sit off to the side in the living room at our den leaders home. The boys are learning some first aid techniques tonight. They read about it and then try wrapping bandages on each other. Yes, it starts good…then breaks out into chaos…but the boys are having fun though.
8:10pm We leave Oak Park and head back home. We are all feeling the long day hit.
8:30pm Happy to be home! We all get into pajamas and brush our teeth. Boys need to wash their faces and hands. I lay out their lunch boxes to pack in a few minutes after I tuck them in.
8:58pm Boys cleaned up and ready for bed and tucking in process. One of the best parts of any day!
9:00pm Read one short book in bed with them…then shower their tired little faces with kisses and hugs.
9:16pm Done packing lunches and have them in fridge. Sandwiches made the way they like it. Their favorite sun chips, fruit, granola bar and juice. Ready for open school backpacks in the morning. I can just tuck them in and go. Coats are by the door, I also line up their shoes and un-tie Connor’s shoe laces so he can tie them up himself. He has a hard time getting the knot out so I help to prep the shoe laces for him the night before. Lily, our cat, inspected my work and gave approval as I took the photos. I clean up the house, and turn off the lights room by room.
9:17pm Must kiss my kids faces again. They are fast asleep, but I cannot help it, I stare and I admit here and now… I love watching them sleep. So peaceful and sweet. It makes my heart smile.
9:30pm I sit on my bed in my room and see my prototype of my caddy on my dresser. I stop and stare thinking…how can it be better. I grab a red marker and X off the changes I had discussed earlier in the day with Phil at Matz. I can see how it will look…it is really getting there. I mark the places where I will change the structure and when I replaced the cap on the red marker I know I am done.
10:05pm Putting the red marker away for the night. Eyes are demanding I close them. as I sit on my bed once more I suddenly remember our clothes in the dryer…ugh. I stand with a sigh and begin to fold laundry. Making my stacks of clean clothes for each of us…I clear out the dryer and finish my last task of the day.
10:36pm Hello bed! It is great to finally lay down and rest. It has been a full, productive day…but I had a day, as a mom, with my sons. I am so grateful…it is worth every tired muscle.
Mom falls asleep and ends her day.
I would never say it is easy. I can get even more tired being a mom then being on set at times…but I appreciate and love my time with my sons. I feel so grateful when I am with them. They are the reason I work so hard to make my small business succeed in the future. I want to spend more time with them and less time on sets. My schedule can be so rigid and confining. To have more flexibility on my hours and personal time would be more then ideal…it would be a dream. That said, I am not afraid to continue to work hard, just choosing more free time with my family in the future but what working mom wouldn’t?
I love looking for quotes to share with my sons about family or life. I looked up some tonight to add to this blog post. Quotes that spoke to me…maybe they will to you. Because I am not defined my my job or career, it is my family and my life experiences that define me and reflect who I really am.
Without doubt, no matter how successful my company may (hopefully!) become, my greatest accomplishment in life will always remain my two amazing sons. They humble me deeply.
Quotes from other well known, working moms: