HEATHER BENNETT My music no longer defines me.

AGE   over 40

HOMETOWN   Bergenfield, NJ

ON THE WEB   Heather Bennett.net

NUMBER OF CHILDREN   Two and an adult stepson

DAY JOB   Musician/educator

RELATIONSHIP STATUS   Married

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK  It’s between Stellaluna and Stranger in the Woods. Stranger in the Woods for the photography and poetic way to capture childhood fascination with snow/nature.

HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY?

The kids definitely come first. I squeeze practice into the small holes of time when my daughter is in preschool (two mornings per week). My husband and I are usually able to cover for each other when we are out playing music but we also have a long list of babysitters.

HOW HAS PARENTING CHANGED YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL?

My music no longer defines me. Hopefully, when I have more time to devote to it, I will be a much more mature player and composer.

HOW HAS PARENTING AFFECTED/CHANGED/IMPACTED YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

Our sex life has slowed, but we have much more understanding of one another.

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

I tend to lose myself and center everything around my children’s needs and wants. My strength is that I study the art of parenting through books and online discussions and so I’ve developed some effective techniques in discipline, plus I genuinely have a lot of fun with them. My weakness is that I still give them too much power, which will give them a distorted view of the real world.

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

He is able to balance work and child care better. Plus he takes everything much more in stride than me — probably because of his experience with his son (who is 20). Also he takes time to paint with the kids which I have zero patience for!

WHO ELSE PROVIDES CHILDCARE FOR YOUR CHILDREN?

Paid babysitters. Sometimes if we have an hour or less that we need to cover we will leave them with friends.

DO ANY OF YOUR CHILDREN HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS? AND IF SO, HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOUR PARENTING?

No but I have an extremely strong willed son. Does that count? He’s been testing me since birth.

WHAT IS YOUR WORST PARENTING MOMENT?

I lost my temper once when my son (who was struggling with potty training) flushed his underwear down the toilet. We had just dealt with a nightmare plumbing problem. I had a serious mommy tantrum! Luckily I didn’t get physical, but I scared us both!

WHAT IS YOUR BEST PARENTING MOMENT?

Spending quality one on one time with either child always makes me feel good.

Lisa Duggan

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

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