Happy Mother's Day
I actually received my mother’s day gift early… by having a Grandmother’s week with Micaela, Bruce’s daughter. I had not been with Micaela or any of our grandchildren since Xmas 2019. We met up with Micaela and her friend in St. Petersburg, FL and enjoyed dinner and conversations. Then, we visited the James Western Art Museum in St. Pete and the Ringling Bros Museum in Sarasota. I recommend visiting both. Roger and I grew up in the heyday of going to circuses…so it was a treat not to only see the amazing… maybe 50,000 exact miniature replicas of the circus, but also to share our childhood experiences with Micaela.
We headed back to Miami for the rest of her visit with us. A week alone with our granddaughter is a unique gift…we had lots of time to share stories, debate ideas, laugh a lot and eat her favorite foods, which always includes going to Joe’s Stone Crab and eating key lime pie.
Dining at Joe’s with Micaela
As a special treat, I have turned over the rest of this Musing to a special mom and a long-time Starner Group Team member, Jessica Delgado. Many of you know Jessica from her friendly voice on the phone and her excellent service. Today, you will get a glimpse into her experience as a mother during the Pandemic. Take it away Jessica!
“Motherhood is a walk in the park… Jurassic Park.” Now don’t get me wrong, I love my children, but at the ages of 2 and 5 they can go from being sweet little angels to velociraptors in no time flat. And honestly, I cannot blame them. As we are all painfully aware, these last 14 months have been a struggle for all of us, parents and kids included.
For our family, we went from a very structured schedule of morning drop off, afternoon pick up, dinner, and bedtime where we only actually spent a few hours total each day together. For a little over a year now, my husband and I have been home with them all day, every day. Balancing two full-time jobs while caring for Leah (five years old) and Joshy (two) has been both exhausting and rewarding.
I am very grateful for both virtual work and school, but the pandemic has clearly blurred the distinction between home and work. My amazing husband Robby and I still constantly explain to the kids that “Mommy and Daddy are working right now.” Tough concept for young kids.
Celebrating our children’s milestones during a pandemic has been…interesting. Leah’s fourth birthday was the very first week of lockdown, which resulted in a modest homemade cake and a cancelled party. Fast forward to March 2021, where I still made her birthday cake (I had a lot of time over the year to perfect my cake decorating skills), but we were able to have a socially distanced drive-through party. Joshy had a similar second birthday in November, where everyone joined via Zoom to sing, watch him eat cake (another of my own doing), and open presents that had been mailed to the house.
During the past year, I have learned that our family is far more resilient than I ever thought. We have taken new schedules, new routines, and new “normals,” in stride. I gladly admit that without Robby, I could not be the mother I am today. He sacrificed so much of his own time to take on the kids (while working for a demanding legal practice), so that I could focus on my daily work while also studying for, and ultimately passing the SIE, Series 7, and Series 66 exams. I have also learned that self-care really is important! I used to feel selfish when I took a few more minutes in the shower, or went for a run by myself and left Robby with the kids. Now, I have realized that taking care of myself makes me a better mom, so self-care is now a regular part of my routine. Wine also helps… a lot!
I’d also like to thank our clients. During the pandemic, many of you have been on the phone with me and heard Leah or Joshy interrupt with a question…or perhaps just heard them screaming from across the house. In either case, you greeted them with a chuckle and some much needed understanding. Though I have had to “mute” myself a few times, I have never felt the need to apologize for their presence.
Early evening walks with just me and the kiddos has become my favorite part of the day. Our walks allow Robby some uninterrupted time since he works the majority of the day in the same room as the kids. These walks have been one of the pandemic’s blessings as they were never possible while maintaining our old schedule of one hour commutes (each way) to the office. Getting to spend my days with the kids and seeing them growing is an unexpected gift.
My wish for this Mother’s day is simply to be able to share time with those I love the most. Some, I will be seeing in person, others will have to settle for a WhatsApp video call. No matter how it happens, I believe that sharing time with loved ones is the most important part of life. I am doing my best to remember that truth when the kids keep interrupting me when I am trying to concentrate at work. When it comes to children, we may hold them in our hearts forever, but we only hold them in our arms for a little while.
Happy Mother’s Day fellow working moms!
Margaret C. StarnerSenior VP - Financial Planning