We were already in awe of Paulette Light's ability to make parenting a brood of 4 kids seem easy when we learned about her amazing company, Momstamp. It's basically an Angie's List for all the things a mom needs--from the best tutor to pediatrician to painter--but with the seal of approval from moms you know and their friends of friends. So you know you can trust the recommendations. With 4 kids, she has a lot of memories, and not a lot of time to organize them. She told us how she manages the impossible balance, and which mementos made the cut for college.
What's in your Library? Letters that my mother wrote to me all through my childhood and gave to me when I turned 16 come to mind. However, as my oldest is turning 18 in a few days and preparing to leave for college, she is front and center in my mind these days. For her, she still sleeps with “dolly dolly”, a cloth doll that someone gave us when she was born. Dollydolly is frayed and has been through multiple “operations”. I remember during one of my hyper-parenting phases after reading one of those “your kid shouldn’t rely on security blankets” articles, I suggested that we put dolly dolly in a shadow box and my daughter was horrified. I look back at that time and laugh. Dollydolly will go to college this year.
2) When my kids grow up, I want them to remember....
That family is everything—your biggest fans, your biggest critics, your team.
3) My favorite family tradition is….
Shabbat dinner. We don’t always have challah and matzaball soup- it might be pizza, but we all try our best to be together for dinner and take a deep breath.
4) Packrat or tosser?
I am a little of both. I am utterly unsentimental about stuff and can totally get rid of things…. BUT then I get kind of paralyzed…I want to donate to the right place or repurpose things this way etc so often things sit around for longer than they should.
5) On weekends my family....
We have pretty busy weekends- between baseball, girl scouts, friends, synagogue and other plans, sometimes it feels like we are busier on the weekends than the week.
6) Behind the camera or in the picture?
I am a mom…. Behind the camera, of course!
7) My favorite family photograph is...
I recently found this fantastic picture of my kids on my Ipad. They are all sitting around on the floor of our family room, with one of our dogs in the background looking on. One is lying on her back, another is playing guitar, another checking his phone – they are just hanging out and talking. So slice of life and so precious.
8) My favorite tip for traveling with kids is .....
Don’t pack what you can’t carry yourself. I am really big on teaching my kids to be self sufficient. I don’t pack for them which means that we have been places and a kid has forgotten something --- um like pants for example. To remedy that, I started making packing lists for them- but now that they are older I am trying to wean them from the list and think through the trip and what they need by themselves.
9) What's your best tip for managing kids and a business?
Being a mom of 4 has taught me to be super-organized and delegate whenever I can. My goal really is to raise kids who can sustain themselves and do good in the world. I also know I can't do everything. So for chores like laundry, making lunches- that's all on my kids to do for themselves.