Moms Who Keep Priorities in Check

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As women, we step into so many roles.

We’re wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, entrepreneurs, and career professionals – even caregivers. Lissette Gonzalez, award-winning journalist and CBS4 meteorologist, spoke to us in this special Mother’s Day issue of Kiddos Magazine about how she keeps motherhood and career priorities in check.

 Written by: Michelle Nuñez-Mendoza
Q. How do you prioritize the ever-increasing demands of motherhood and career?
A. Motherhood is the greatest and most fulfilling job in the world, but it is also a very difficult one. And when you add a career into the mix, it can be quite challenging. Whether I’m at work or at home, I always give it my all. I try to do the best job I can as a meteorologist. And I try to do the best job I can as a mom and wife for my family. It isn’t easy with my demanding work schedule, but I am so grateful I can count on the help and support of my husband and my mom. When I’m home, I make the most of my time with my daughters Sofia and Elise, whether I’m playing with them, changing diapers, preparing dinner, doing bath time, or reading them books before bedtime. I try to be present and in the moment, and show them as much love and attention as possible. At the end of the day, no matter how tired I am, as long as I know they are happy, that fills my heart with joy and motivates me to keep going. When Sofia says, “I love you Mama,” or “I’m proud of you Mama,” and Elise smiles from ear to ear, it makes it all worth it.
Q. It’s clear that you’re dedicated to both your family and your career. Do you incorporate your family life into your career endeavors?
A. I’ve been a meteorologist for CBS4 for close to ten years, and it’s been quite a journey. Viewers have seen me grow professionally, and seen my family grow as well. They now know me on a more personal level since I’ve shared many personal milestones including my marriage, my pregnancies, and the arrival of both of our girls. During the newscasts, I sometimes mention my husband or my daughters if there’s a story related to parenthood or kids. During special holidays such as Halloween or Christmas, I’ve shared photos of my family on the air. A few years ago, I covered a story for CBS4 News on one of my favorite places – The Biltmore Hotel – and my husband and daughter Sofia were part of that feature. Baby Elise joined me when I covered the CBS4 “Moving U” campaign, which helps motivate moms to get moving through a program called, “Baby Boot Camp.” 
Q. You support various charities and speak to students in schools throughout South Florida. Tell us why this is important for you and your family?
A. I feel blessed to do what I love in my hometown, and it’s always been important for me to give back to the community that I grew up in and that has welcomed me with open arms. Through the years, I’ve had the honor and pleasure to support many charities and speak to students during “career days” at schools across South Florida. I hope my example will inspire my daughters to serve their community, pay it forward, and help others when they are older. A few weeks ago, we all participated as a family in the, “Live Like Bella 5K Super Hero Run/Walk,” at Zoo Miami to help raise funds for children fighting cancer. I served as emcee of the event and I was very grateful that we showed our support for this cause. My parents always encouraged me to volunteer and help others. And now my husband and I hope to do the same with our children. It’s never too early to show children how to be giving and compassionate.
Q. As a mother of two young girls, how do you plan to show them the principles and values that led you to where you
are today?
A. My own mother always placed her family first. She is one of the most selfless, giving women I know.  She continues to do anything and everything to help her children and her grandchildren. I only hope I can follow in her footsteps and pass along the values and principles she taught me. She always encouraged us to be kind, respect others, study, work hard, and pursue our dreams. She made us believe anything was possible. I want to do the same for my daughters, serve as their role model, and teach them the importance of self-respect, hard work, perseverance, sacrifice, and humility.  
Q.What advice do you have for mothers who are managing a lot and just can’t seem to make time for them no matter how hard they try?
A. I think most mothers feel there is never enough time in the day, right? But somehow, we manage to get so much done. I often feel like I could have done more, but lately I’m trying to not be as hard on myself, and more at peace and happy with what I was able to accomplish in a given day. Many friends and family members gave me this advice when I became a mom: “Ask for help when you need it, and don’t forget to take care of yourself.” I am guilty of not dedicating enough time for myself because honestly, I would rather be with my family than at the gym, or getting my nails or hair done. But it’s so important to carve out a little time to disconnect, relax, pamper yourself, or exercise, so you can feel refreshed and ready to get back to running this marathon called, “motherhood.” Thankfully, my husband and my Mom are there to support me when I want to take a little time out for me. I realize that some moms might not have the benefit of the kind of support that I have. Hopefully they can find a way to carve a little “me time” out of their busy days. A fulfilled life makes us better wives and mothers, and that’s what truly matters.