SANDRA GUIRGUIS @Dopey’sMom (it’s the dog’s name!)

Oh, Canada!

AGE   39

HOMETOWN / WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?   Ottawa, Canada / New York City

@TWITTER   @dopeysmom

ON THE WEB   NYC Its Always an Adventure

NUMBER OF CHILDREN   Two Girls- 9 & 6

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK   We love books in our home. One of our family favorite’s is “Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson. When my girls were young we read it over and over again and they can still recite it. Now we still like to snuggle on the couch and read chapter books together. Both of my girls love books about fantasy and adventure. We encourage them to read whatever interests them as long as they are reading!

DAY JOB   Currently a stay at home mom, was a high school teacher for 13 years

RELATIONSHIP STATUS   Happily Married

HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY?

We have just recently moved to NYC from the suburbs of Ottawa, Canada. Needless to say there was a bit of a cultural adjustment. Manhattan is a fast paced city and my husband’s job is very demanding of his time and energy, he also travels a lot. Luckily since the move I have had the good fortune to be able to stay at home and make sure the family transition has gone smoothly. I take care of the parenting revolving around the girls school, homework and extra curricular activities as well as the day to day groceries, laundry etc. Ron is a hands on dad and is very involved when he is at home. I am now on the search for a job and one of the fears that I have will be our transition from having me at home full time to going back to work and how the roles will shift. It is always a juggling act trying to maintain the work/life balance. We try hard to spend much needed time together as a family on the weekends usually exploring our new home, NYC.

HOW HAS PARENTING CHANGED YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL?

You mean besides craving alcohol and more sleep? Just kidding. Parenting has made me more of a worrier, I worry about the small stuff as well as the big stuff. It doesn’t just affect me anymore, I want to protect my daughter’s from all of the negative going on. I know that I can’t and instead I will teach them to be strong, independent, intelligent women but still, I worry.

HOW HAS PARENTING AFFECTED YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

Parenting has definitely made our relationship stronger. Stronger, in the sense that we need to work together to make decisions that are less about us and more about the children. For example, when we were deciding about moving to NYC, the ultimate decision came down to the lifestyle we would be able to give our children and the way if would affect their lives. We chose our neighborhood based on schools, parks etc. The challenge now that we have children is to actually make time for us and to not make it just about the kids. We actually have to plan dinners alone, time to talk without interruption and about something other than the children. It’s a busy, crazy life and we love it but there are definitely times when the communication and intimacy breakdown. You can’t take the relationship for granted or the other person for granted. You need to find the couple time!

WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS AS A PARENT AND WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?

Well, my weakness is definitely my level of patience when I am tired or stressed. I am also more of the pushover when it comes to keeping the rules. I know, not good! I also wish I wasn’t such a nag, I get sick of my own voice telling them to brush their teeth! My strength is my compassion and love that I have for my children. I am involved, listen and encourage them to talk to me about everything and anything which I think is extremely important especially as they get older.

WHAT ARE YOUR SPOUSE’S/PARTNER’S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?

My husband Ron is an incredibly loving father. His super power is to motivate the children and encourage them without coming across as a hardass. I think his biggest weakness is that he can be persuaded by their cute, daughterly ways- fathers and their daughters. One thing I do know, God help the first boy that comes and tries to date either of them 😉

WHO ELSE PROVIDES CHILDCARE FOR YOUR CHILDREN?

We will use babysitters when Ron and I get out to enjoy those precious “date nights”.

WHAT IS YOUR WORST PARENTING MOMENT?

My worst parenting moments happen when I have totally run out of patience. I always told myself that I would not be a parent that yelled. And well, then I had children and that fantasy went away. There have been a couple of times when I have actually found myself apologizing to the girls for losing my temper and taking out my bad day on them. Hopefully it just makes them see that I am human too. Hopefully??!!

WHAT IS YOUR BEST PARENTING MOMENT?

My best parenting moments happen when I just let myself go and totally be in the moment. I listen to what they are saying, get caught up in their world of imagination and exploration. We talk and giggle. I cherish these moments and will try and remember them when the girls are teens and they are too embarrassed to be seen with me!

Lisa Duggan

Lisa Duggan is the Founder and CEO of The Modern Village, and publisher of TheParentduJour.com and TheMotherHoodBlog.com.

4 thoughts on “SANDRA GUIRGUIS @Dopey’sMom (it’s the dog’s name!)

  • January 26, 2012 at 10:09 am
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    A great take on balancing life with children. Well done Sandra.

    Reply
  • January 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm
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    Way to go Mrs. G!! You’re doing great, keep it up! Gloucester misses u! <3 😀

    Reply
  • January 28, 2012 at 9:53 am
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    loved reading your story – we don’t know room on the broom, will have to check it out with my kids!

    Reply
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