AMELIA S. GERWIRTZ The other parent with angst : )

AGE   46

HOMETOWN   Manhattan

@TWITTER   @parentwithangst (note, singular spelling is correct)

ON THE WEB   parentswithangst.com

NUMBER OF CHILDREN   One

DAY JOB   Real Estate Rock Star

RELATIONSHIP STATUS   Married (to Harold Stephan)

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK
What children’s book is a favorite in your house and why? Good Night, New York City by Adam Gamble, because it references all the places we go in real life. For our son it’s actually realistic. Good Night Central Park, Good Night Construction Workers, Good Night Animals In The Zoo, Good Night Art In The Museum. It’s very local and accurate it’s also written with a sense of gratitude for the special gifts and blessings we have where we live. I believe this series does the same thing for other places in America as well. So if they feature your town wherever you are – you can say good night to your special place!

What book has made a great impact on you or your kids? I think our son likes Harold And The Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson, a lot. It shows with your imagination you can do and go anywhere and do anything.

Was there/ is there a story that was passed down from generation to generation?
My best friend Rachel has given us two copies of 10 Minutes Till Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann, so we have a travel version and a home version. It’s her and her children’s favorite. They are now both older and since Rachel is like my sister, it’s as if it’s being passed down from generation to generation (ha ha ☺)

HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY?

When my husband and I first met we took a great interpersonal growth workshop together called Lifespring (now called Personal Dynamics). One of the relationship changing concepts we took away from the course was “Family As Team”, meaning the family unit functions best with a team spirit. Over the years we have just kind of fallen into our roles organically and we approach parenting in the same manner. We are both up at 7am getting our son ready for school. My husband makes the coffee. I pick out the clothes. My husband puts them on our son. (He’s just turned five so he’s not totally independent yet). I make his lunch. My husband takes him to school on the bike. And on it goes, back and forth, back and forth, like a ping-pong game.

HOW HAS PARENTING CHANGED YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL? F

I am much more careful in general. I always check in and ask myself, “Is this safe?” I am much more patient and have had to let go of trying to have everything be perfect and in my control because guess what?…it’s not. The first Parents With Angst song I wrote was called “No More Time”: “I wake up and I’m 12 things behind, before my day has begun, I check my list, I can’t resist, Though it seems obvious, That there’s no more time , there is no more time, Twenty-four hours a day and only twelve have sunshine.”

HOW HAS PARENTING AFFECTED YOUR RELATIONSHIP? 

Our relationship has grown in many ways. For example, we started a band writing songs and music about parenting topics. My husband and I make sure we have a date night scheduled once a week where we know we will be having dinner out and doing something fun together. Otherwise, it’s easy to get out of balance in the relationship.

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

My strength is I am a “plan-aholic”, “worst case scenario –aholic” and “list-aholic”. My weaknesses are the same. I need to be more “in the moment”, however the reality is my lists save us and make sure we have what we need when we need it. Sometimes, I forget to handle what I need for me.

WHAT ARE YOUR SPOUSE’S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?

He is very in the moment and ‘gets’ how to be silly and play, which is important for our son. He is very involved in every aspect of his son’s life. He has taken his parenting role very seriously because he understands he is altering this new human’s life for good or bad. And in a blink-of-an-eye these little people are big people, living their own lives, practicing medicine, creating art, or maybe even in the White House. (I wrote a song about this called “Four Years Old”). They become grown-ups overnight either improving the planet they live in or not. He is a great dad.

WHO ELSE PROVIDES CHILDCARE FOR YOUR CHILDREN?

We have an amazing nanny who works for us part-time.

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

Yes, our son has a developmental delay and special sensitivities. Through a lot of hard work over the past few years we are seeing major improvements. It has made my husband and I grateful for all of the amazing support available in Manhattan and all the dedicated individuals who devote their careers to our children. That’s whey we include educational support videos on our site (parentswithangst.com) — to help other families, that may be dealing with the same issues, find support from experts.

WHAT IS YOUR WORST PARENTING MOMENT?

I wish I had more patience and trust. I was a dare devil tomboy as a kid. I remember what I did. I know what my husband did. Watching my four-and-a-half year old flying high on a trapeze last year I was freaking out and he was laughing. I was freaking. So, I wrote a new song called “Mommy Gotta Let Me Fly” which talks about him flying on the trapeze and me trying desperately not to be a helicopter parent even though it was torturous. But he didn’t have an accident. In fact, he kicked butt.

WHAT IS YOUR BEST PARENTING MOMENT?

My hug is like Valium. I had a huge fear of being a parent and I am in awe–like an out of body experience–watching my son melt and calm down just from a simple hug from mommy. I am still in disbelief. But it’s true.

He has such peace and serenity from a mommy hug — and it’s free and simple and beautiful ☺

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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