If this is your first time to visit Hug All the Moms. Welcome. Darling Unleashed is where I, Becca Caney, share my heart about being a mom, wife, and Jesus follower. Maybe you stumbled over here because you know the mom we are featuring? For the newbies, you can read the whole purpose behind Hug All the Moms HERE IN THIS POST, or I can just give you a little snippet.
What: An initiative to enlighten moms about other moms from different walks of life in an effort to aid some relief to the mommy wars and give us all some insight to each other’s lives.
Who: Working moms, stay-at-home moms, single moms, divorced moms, mixed family moms, step-moms, adoptive moms, home school moms, moms of multiples, moms of a ton of kids, soon-to-be moms, wish to be moms, special needs moms, and all the other moms to the moon and back
Why: Thinking I had it all figured out, in my early years as a mom, I was quite judgmental about all moms who had not chosen a way of life like mine, i.e. stay-at-home vs. work, Baby Wise vs. attachment parenting, organic vs. non-organic, etc. The more children I have and the older I get, I have learned that all the moms out there have the best interest of their child at heart and that is all that should really matter to any of us. Sometimes we all just need another mom to tell us we are doing a great job and give us a big hug.
When I first met Allison almost two years ago at my Crossfit box, she was NOT my friend. Gorgeous, every hair in place, everything all together– I knew there was something different about her. Then they told me, “That’s Allison. Doctor Allison. She’s a surgeon. An ENT (ear nose throat) doc.” I honestly can’t even remember who said that to me, but who ever it was, put so much emphasis on the word ‘doctor’ that I knew she was a force I did not want to mess with. Of course, at that point in my life, I was all Judgey Mcjudgerson and only wanted to be around other women who were like me, so I was totally content with keeping my distance. I became a regular at her 5:30 a.m. class and so we were forced to spend an hour with each other daily. I’m not saying I didn’t like her; I just didn’t know how to be around someone who was so completely different than me. As luck would have it, I began experiencing some chronic sinus issues and it made sense that I should pay her a visit as a patient. Over the next few months, I’m not sure how, but we actually started becoming friends, and not just two ladies in the same exercise class. Little by little, we shared more of our lives with each other and our respect for one another grew. Now, she has become one of my closest friends and one of the major reasons I have started this whole #HugAllTheMoms movement. There is still a mile long list of differences between us, but we have both grown to love and admire those differences in one another.
If you have read a few of these, there is a list of standard questions I ask all the feature moms to complete. I was thrilled to receive Allison’s answers. Hers really got to the meat of the reason why I started #HugAllTheMoms. She gets pretty vulnerable here and opens up her heart. I know ya’ll will appreciate her transparency.
What is your day job?
I am a physician called an Otolaryngologist or Head and Neck Surgeon at North Dallas ENT. Most people know me as an ENT Specialist—Ear, Nose, and Throat.
What other activities are you involved in?
This question is a challenge to answer and provokes many emotions. My time is very limited as a full time working mom. I struggle with this and have since my kids were born. It is a constant balancing act to find my own personal time and time for my family. So, the activities that I am involved in fluctuate between those that are personal to me and those that are centered on keeping our family moving in the right direction. I have been doing Crossfit for nearly 4 years and this has been a tremendous source of happiness for me. Crossfit gives me my own personal time to work on my health, well-being, and provides great stress relief. Also, it has been the place where I have made some of my dearest friends. I spend a great deal of time involved with my kid’s sports, helping with homework, and managing the details of their lives. It is not unusual to have 6 or more games every weekend so I am playing taxi with my husband going from activity to activity. Fortunately, we have made great friends with the families that play with our kids so sports practices and games are both fun and social. I enjoy being with my girlfriends and our occasional girls nights—going to concerts, dinner, or a wine bar. When I am not too exhausted from my long days I enjoy reading. Oh, and there is that husband guy… He unfortunately gets the leftovers of me. Fortunately we have the same interests so we make the most of it.
What religion, if any, do you and your family practice?
Both my husband and I are Jewish. We are raising our two boys, Dylan (9) and Ryder (6) jewish as well. We belong to Anshai Torah in Plano
Do you feel like this has shaped the type of mom you are?
Being Jewish has more of a cultural influence in our lives rather than religious. Both of our families are your typical and stereotypical Jewish families. It impacts us in many subtle ways from the foods we eat, social views, and opinions. Our kids attend Parish Episcopal. Thus, they attend Hebrew School at our synagogue to make sure they understand their own religion and the differences that they learn at Parish. It is important to my husband and I that our kids understand and learn about many religions. We feel that our kids will learn to appreciate other religions with this exposure and ultimately, learn to respect them.
Give us a glimpse into your daily life; a sample schedule of one day in your shoes.
On most days, I wake up at 5am and go to work out at Crossfit at 5:30. I return home around 6:45 to help get kids ready and fed for school. Typically my husband takes them, although occasionally I do as they like that time with me. I then shower and leave for work. My clinic runs from 8:30 to 5. Although my days when I am operating I am at the hospital by 7:30. I often try to run errands at lunch time if there is time ,being efficient as possible in my “free” time. I finish up my charts after clinic ends and then drive home. I typically am home around 6. I check on the homework and help out as needed to make sure it is completed. At which point I typically take one child to their soccer or basketball practice. We eat dinner after sports practice then get them showered and into bed by 8:30 or so. Then I start winding down and go to be soon thereafter. Usually 9:30-10.
What is your favorite thing to do with your kids?
I love love love, more than anything, watching my kids play their sports, currently basketball and soccer. Both of my kids excel, especially in soccer. I feel so proud to be their mother when I watch them play. Since we are an active family, I love to play sports with them– tennis, basketball, soccer, biking, running at the track….anything sporty.
Would you say that the majority of moms in your social circle are very much like you, or opposite of you?
I have a mixture of friends that are like me (working moms), and some that are not. The ones I relate to the most, hands down, are the working mothers. They know the struggles and challenges that we working moms go through. I have several working mom friends that work from home or work part-time, so they still are available for their kids, picking them up from school, volunteering at school functions, and organizing playdates. I do not have that luxury. Thus, I am always battling “mommy guilt” for not being able to give this to my kids.
When your kids go to bed at night, what do you find yourself doing?
When my kids go to bed I usually crash! I do not have much energy left after getting the kids down. Rarely do I watch TV. I am good for a few pages of reading and then I am waking up at 5:00 for Crossfit. Lather, rinse, repeat—Uhg!
What is the single hardest part about your role as a mom?
GUILT. I feel constant guilt for all the time I spend working and not being available for my boys. I wish it was something that was easier to deal with. It’s not easy to block out time for their doctor appointments, school parties, or social functions. Fortunately, my husband has a flexible schedule and can be there for the kids. But, often, this just adds to my feelings of guilt.
What do you envy about other moms?
I am most envious of the friendships non-working moms develop with each other by having time to get together in the middle of the day, with or without the kids. I can’t do the play dates, mom coffees, or tennis clinics because I am always working. I have typically been too tired from my long days in the office for the moms’ nights out during the week, but I am trying to attend more of these. The more friendly I become with the moms at the school, the more integrated I feel with the school community. And I think my children benefit from my building relationships with fellow parents at school.
I also envy their freedom. If I am at a work lunch or meeting mid week, and see women enjoying a relaxing lunch after having played tennis or exercised or even gone shopping, I find myself envious. I would love to work less and integrate some of that playtime in my life. I think in time I will try to create a better balance. For now, I stare at them with envy and ask myself several questions…Is my job taking away my own self fulfillment? Am I sacrificing my kids development for my career? Is the grass really greener? And, why does it consume me and annoy me so much!?!?
God put this jewel in my life for a reason. What started off as something scary and intimidating to me, has now become just another beautiful facet of what it looks like to be a mom.
Love you Allison!! xoxo
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