Dominque Harris is Mum to an energetic five-year-old Boy named Carlin. She juggles full-time work and studying alongside her role as Mum. Like so many Mothers, she has plans for her future and herself, but the balancing act is not always easy. Life is busy and there is a lot to juggle. We asked her to share her story with us as part of our celebration of Kiwi Mums.
Dominique, tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a 34-year-old single mum to a five-year-old boy. I’m a former Event Manager, who is now working in accounts, completely unrelated to anything I have done or planned to do but the job works around my life as a Mum and has grown from part-time to full-time. I also study full-time. I am in the first year of a Masters of Psychology (among other things) which has always been my long-term career plan. However, the specifics of this have changed over time.
Constantly learning, keeping busy and not getting complacent about what I have in life is what makes me continue to strive for more. As a single parent, I want to be able to offer a life for my son that means he is well rounded and well provided for. I want to instil in him the importance of learning and knowledge. I hope I do that in a lead by example kind of way.
My friends and my family are instrumental in providing support for me They remind me when I need remain grounded and support me when I literally don’t have the time do fit everything in.
Please tell us a little bit about how you juggle life being a Mum.
I don’t always juggle well. Sometimes I lock myself in the bathroom with a wine or go on a cleaning binge because it all gets too much. Like every parent, I worry that I am doing the right thing and raising a happy healthy human. This is particularly frustrating with a very fussy eater who also has my very stubborn personality. I love Mondays because work has now become ‘me’ time! I am a big fan of routine, and feel that is the only way I manage to keep sane. I also realise how important routine is for setting boundaries and good life practice for my son, so it is something I am pretty strict about.
As a Mum, I think it’s less about juggling life and more about just doing what you have to because you love your child and want what’s best for him.
I also think it is so important to have like-minded people in your life who you can call on when you want to moan about your demon child, or talk you out of running away. It’s good to know you are not alone. That feeling tired or down doesn’t mean you are failing or that you love your children any less.
And all of that frustration is made up for every morning when I get morning cuddles. Even the night time ones that mean my son is still not sleeping through the night. Being told you are the best Mum in the world. Seeing parts of you (good and bad) come through in this little human that is yours. Watching them grow and learn things and be amazed by what they see.
If you could tell your pre-Mum-self something, what would that be?
I would have lots of advice:
- Don’t read all the books
- Take advice with a grain of salt
- Have confidence in what you do
- Don’t be unrealistic in your expectations
- Enjoy sleep because you have no idea what tired feels like
- This is the best thing you will ever do, so try to remember that!
Being a Mum is extraordinary because…?
Being a Mum is extraordinary because I get to leave this incredible legacy behind in my child. I am challenged in ways that are constantly different and unknown and I do things now that I never believed were possible!
How do you celebrate Mother’s Day?
Mother’s Day is relatively quiet in my house. I am an only child myself. It usually involves morning tea/ lunch and some wine and just hanging out with my Mum and my son. Because I am so busy on a day to day basis, this is all I need, an excuse to do nothing and hang out with my faves.
If you could choose a favourite Sisters Wine, which would it be?
It would have to be the Rosé. Because pink is always good, and when it’s not rose tinted glasses are helpful!