Interview 29










MiMi:  How many children do you have? What are their names and ages?

Antonia: I have two toddler girls, Addison who will be 3 in June and Riley who will be 2 in August.

MiMi:  What challenges do you face as a working mom? How have you been able to cope with these challenges?

Antonia: On my first day back to work after having my first baby I ugly cried from the moment I left the house until I pulled into the hospital parking lot.  Even though I knew she was in her dad’s very capable hands, I had not left her for the first 4 months of her life, and I didn’t want to leave her.  The mom guilt is always number one.  My work days are 14 hour days, between my commute and a 12-hour shift.  I work 12 pm to 12:30 am, and because my hours are long and my job can be physically demanding, I try to sleep in on the mornings I work.  I always feel like I should be spending time with my girls instead, so I will wake up earlier than I should just to spend some time with them before I leave for work, especially since on those days I don’t get to see them at night because I get home so late.  My husband and I are lucky in the sense that we can alternate our work days so that our girls never have to be in daycare, he is a firefighter/paramedic, so he works 48 hours on and 96 hours off, and I will work on his days off.  So another challenge, because of our schedules, is getting any time in for myself, or to have time any alone together as a couple.

MiMi: Do you feel the roles of women have changed throughout the years? How so?

Antonia: Definitely, especially since I was born and raised in Brazil, which is still pretty behind the U.S when it comes to gender roles. I am the first in my generation to go to college and have a career outside the home.

MiMi: What activities do you like to engage in when you find the time?

Antonia: We are lucky that we live in Southern California, so the weather is mostly sunny and warm, and there is so much to do. We take them to the Safari Park, San Diego Zoo, Legoland, and Disneyland when we can.  California also has a lot of fires in the summertime, so as a thank you to the hard-working firefighters, we often get passes for our whole family to those parks for free, and we definitely make the most out of them.  Our kids also love the San Diego beaches, and our in-laws swimming pools.  There are also a ton of wineries where we live in Temecula, CA, and some of them have playgrounds and petting zoos, so we will just enjoy a glass of wine while we let our girls run wild and burn off some energy, while we have a quick date.

MiMi: If you had just 1 piece of advice to give to a woman who struggles with family and career what would it be?

Antonia: You need time to yourself.  Between work and being a mom, it’s way too easy to make yourself the last priority.  However, mom guilt aside, you will be a better and more patient mother, once you have some time to recharge your battery.  Also, don’t get so caught up in being a working mom that you neglect your partner, they need your love and attention too!


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