As campaign season and the weather heats up, I want to talk a little about the coordination it takes to be a parent, professional and a candidate in 2022.
"How do you do it?" It's a question I hear constantly while on the campaign trail. As a mother of active kids, ages 7 and 3, who also works full-time and is seeking a seat on Louisville Metro Council, people want to know how I manage it. While I often wish I could say "I wave a magic wand and add 6 hours to each day," the truth is much more practical than entertaining.
Planning is vital, but so is grace. The events of every day come at all of us fast and furious. Even if you are not doing three things at once, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. I cut down on chaos by keeping to a schedule, clearly communicating it to everyone in our house and being realistic about what can be achieved on any given day. Expecting and accepting the unexpected is a great place to start from when you're a candidate, mom and professional.
Take things one hour at a time. This is really key to not becoming overwhelmed. One of the best pieces of parenting advice I ever received was that with kids "everything is a phase." Nothing last forever and situations undoubtedly change. By breaking down your time, it is easier to adjust your plans and your attitude about the demands of daily life.
Lean on your support system. This is the biggest asset for me. My husband and I moved back to Louisville to be closer to our families and friends. I am blessed that the people who raised me are here in Louisville and supportive of my campaign. I have a really strong partner who is an excellent father and I lean on them for everything from child care to giving advice to taking my mind off of work to sit back and laugh. This campaign has made me realize that many of us have people in our lives who believe in us and they want to offer support. The biggest barrier is that we often do not ask for that support or worry about being a burden. Asking for help is difficult, but it is one of the most necessary things to do in times of great change.
What did I miss? I would love to hear more perspective on this topic. One thing I didn't add in here was the importance of SNACKS and WATER for every family member on the campaign trail.