Working Mom Motivation, ft. WPXI’s Cara Sapida

Cara Sapida is a smiling breath of fresh air to anyone who knows her.

When you see on her on television, her tone and expressions adequately reflect her assignment – which is usually something difficult or tragic that has happened in our region.

She is a true professional who has found a way to better balance work and home life.

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Cara and her daughter, Lilah.

Her son, Greyson, is 3 and her daughter, Lilah, is 1. Cara doesn’t get much sleep (what parent does…) and yet still looks refreshed when she pops up on my TV.

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Cara and her son, Greyson.

When her career and mom life weren’t meshing the way she hoped, she found a way to better balance both. Cara realized that stepping back from a full-time position would give her more time with her kids, while still allowing her to be a working mom.

Going part-time is something many women I’ve met only talk about but are too afraid to ask.

As any reporter knows, you should always ASK…you just might be surprised where the answer takes you.

You can catch Cara on WPXI’s 5:00 and/or 6:00 p.m. news Monday-Wednesday.
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Oh, the joys of trying to get 2 kids to look at the camera 😉

INTERVIEW WITH CARA SAPIDA

Q: “TV news schedules often involve long days, so how do you make your schedule work for your family?”

A: “It wasn’t easy in the beginning.  Between the long days and heartache from missing my son, I decided to go part-time.  It was the best decision I’ve ever made because I can be a dedicated, focused reporter while I’m working knowing I have four days home with the children.”

Q: “When you returned to work after having your children, did anything surprise you?”

A: “It was exponentially harder than I imagined.  One of the hardest parts was pumping.  As a reporter, I’m in the field 99.9% of the time.  I had to find time to pump, often in a moving vehicle.  Also, we present the news to you during what’s typically dinner time.  So I would get home after the baby was fed, bathed and in bed and that was hard for me!  But once I found a good routine that worked for mom and baby, things became a lot better.  Sometimes that means my husband keeps the baby awake until I walk in the door and then I do the bed time routine immediately.  Both of my babies learned to help me wipe my tv lipstick off the second I walk in the door!”

Q: “What have you learned about yourself as a you juggle a career and family?”

A: “I learned how to become better at juggling!  I try to put every single thing in my Google calendar.  I don’t want to be the mom who missed pajama day at daycare because news breaks and I have to rush out the door in the morning with one eye of mascara on my face and mismatched shoes.”

Q: “What advice would you give to women preparing to go back to work after maternity leave?”

A: “Honestly, it gets easier.  The first day is heart wrenching.  Every single day it gets easier.  And reuniting with your baby at the end of the day is the greatest feeling.  Also, if you’re pumping, invest in a good pumping bag.  I found one that fit my huge Spectra pump, ice packs, bottle bag, wipes, work laptop, makeup bag, etc.  It’s much easier than carrying three bags, a car seat, a baby, a purse, a coffee!  You won’t regret the purchase.”

Q: “How has motherhood changed you as a journalist?”

A: “Every time I cover a child abuse story, I’m affected for days, even weeks. The details are harder to erase from my brain.  I hold my babies tighter at the end of the day.  I dream of adopting every child that’s been harmed.”

Q: “Just for sh*ts and giggles…what would people would be surprised to know about you?”

A: “I am such a homebody. People sometimes say their weekends changed so much since they’ve had kids. I love having babies as an easy excuse to stay in with sweatpants and wine! Even if we have a date night, I’m excited to be in bed by 10.”

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Working Mom Motivation with Jennifer Tomazic, WPXI

She’s awake, showered and put together before you even open your eyes in the morning.

Jennifer Tomazic anchors the Saturday and Sunday morning news on channel 11. From Monday-Wednesday, she’s on the air as early as 4:30 a.m. reporting in the field.

What you may not know, is Jennifer is a new mom. Her little boy, Zachary, is 6-months-old.

So how in the heck does she make it all work?

INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER TOMAZIC

AKA, TOTAL BOSS MOM 😉

Q: “TV news schedules can be crazy, so how do you make your early morning schedule work for your family?”

A: “I LOVE my schedule! I go in early so I can be with my family in the afternoon. I’m not sleeping much anyways these days so I don’t mind getting up at 1:15 a.m.! If it means I have more time with my little man and husband, I’m happy to do it!”

Q: “When you returned to work after having Zachary, did anything surprise you?”

A: “It was easier than I thought it would be. I think I was more ready to go back than I realized. My 3 month maternity leave was great, but it was hard. I enjoyed being able to use my talents at work and enjoy coming home to Zach and Jason even more now.”

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Jennifer’s son, Zachary

Q: “What has been the most challenging part of being a working mom?”

A: “Having something to do every second of the day. Between working, working out, playing with my baby, feeding, cleaning, getting stuff together for the next day, there’s not much extra time.”

Q: “What have you learned about yourself as a you juggle a career and family?”

A: “I’ve learned to be more flexible. I’m a pretty regimented person who loves schedules. That’s kinda hard having a baby and working a somewhat unpredictable career! I’ve learned to adapt to whatever is thrown at me.”

Q: “What advice would you give to women preparing to go back to work after maternity leave?”

A: “Don’t stress out like I did the weekend before going back. It’s scary and you don’t really know what to expect, but talk to your friends about what worked for them and you’ll be fine!”

Q: “Who or what do you credit for making it possible to balance this job and raising a family?”

A: “Family and friends! My husband, Jason, is amazing! When Zach gets up in the middle of the night, Jason is right there to try to comfort him. My parents and in-laws are so helpful and come up and spend time with us or babysit all the time. Friends like you, Kelly, have made this motherhood journey so much easier! Being able to ask anything has helped me more than you all will ever know!”

(anything you for, Jen!)

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Jennifer, her husband Jason, and their precious pumpkin!

Q: “How has motherhood changed you as a journalist?”

A: “I’ve always been an empathetic person but I am even more now. I understand the challenges of parenthood and know the love we have for our kids. I hope I’m able to convey that in my reporting and anchoring. Conversely, I appreciate my family even more now. My career unfortunately takes me to some sad places and it makes me thankful for my family’s blessings everyday.”

Q: “Do you ever feel ‘mom guilt’ and if so, how do you work through it?”

A: “I feel like I should do everything for Zach all the time. I’m getting better about not feeling bad asking for help.”

Q: “Just for sh*ts and giggles…what would people would be surprised to know about you?”

A: “I had an eyebrow ring in college at Ohio University! It helped me become more confident and not afraid to talk to people (which is important for my career!).”

Q: “Is there anything I’m not asking that you think is relevant to share about being a working mom?”

A: “Really enjoy every moment with your little ones. I look back at the days I got frustrated because Zach only wanted to nurse and sleep on my lap, and now I love these times. In fact, he just fell asleep on my lap now! I know crazy times are ahead so I’m enjoying the quiet, sweet love my baby gives.”
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