Friday, March 22, 2013

The Having It All Project: Sharon Gavini Reilly

I first met Sharon on Twitter where, well, I was drawn to her sarcastic sense of humor. But then I met her in real life and found out she's incredibly genuine too, and now I sometimes have to figure out which one she's being within the span of a 140 character message. Unless she's making me cry about Disney World, since she's done that too. Here's how Sharon is having it all.

Briefly describe your life and what you think makes it unique.Unique, huh? I’m not really sure there’s anything unique about my life. I’m just a regular gal. I have three kids (6, 4, 2), and a loving husband. We live in a small house just outside of Boston. I run a blog and a small video production/social media business part time out of my dining room. My husband is an architect and works out of a studio in the backyard. My kids are all so close in age that for the past six years there has always been someone napping so we stay pretty close to home. We all spend A LOT of time together. I joke that it’s a good thing I not only love my husband, but actually like him too.

What are some of your favorite tips and strategies for coping with the chaos?
Coping with chaos. Now you’re talking my language. Coping with chaos will look different for everyone.

My chaos consists of three children and a husband all home at the same time. We are big believers in the reset button in our house. It’s sort of like the Staples Easy Button. If things are getting crazy or have gotten waaaaay out of hand, we can just press the reset button. We leave the crazy behind, forget the hurtful words or deeds and press the reset button. 3, 2, 1 Reset. Everybody breathes and moves on. That’s not to say we don’t deal with what went on. We just don’t do it right then. We have dance class to get to after all.

Also my phone and calendar help a lot. Everything on my computer is on my phone. I set up alarms for everything.


Please share a moment where it all broke down, and how you got through it.
Well there hasn’t been one moment that stands out, unless I’m blocking it out. Which is quite possible. For me when it all breaks down it has to do with me, breaking down. If mama’s not having a good day, no one is having a good day. It’s discipline that gets out of control. I’m a yeller and I’m working on it. It usually happens when the days seem to just go on and on without a break. The days when someone doesn’t eat the chicken nugget that I made from scratch because I don’t want them eating that other nastiness, and they start yelling about it, then the baby starts crying. Then someone gets up from the table without being excused to get a glittery messy craft project. Adding to it I haven’t showered let alone gone to the bathroom by myself ALL DAY. I have no more wine. Then husband comes in looking for dinner and says “what’s wrong with you?” all frowny face like. OMG what’s wrong with me??

That’s when it breaks down. I just have to walk away and give myself some space. Do some deep breathing or yelling into a pillow. Whatever works. Then I let my husband take over and put the kids to bed.

Do you have any balance role models? Anything you try to avoid because it wouldn't work for you?
Lately I’ve been reading a lot of books and blogs about simplicity and getting back to basics. This spring is going to be a real Spring Cleaning for us. I have the intention of getting rid of about half the stuff in our house. Nobody needs this much stuff. This also spills over to scheduling. We don’t do too many organized activities, yet. I try to keep the schlepping to a minimum.

My social networks both online and off provide a great source of support and guidance on just getting through the day, but also on having it all and having some balance in that effort.

Think back to your 18th birthday. How is your life different from how you expected it to be then?
My boyfriend and I had just recently broken up so I’m pretty sure I never thought I’d make it to be 40-something. My life was filled with tears and door slamming. Wait a minute...

I think my 18 year old self thought life would look almost just like it is right now. She never in a million years would have guessed how it would feel and how much more difficult it would be than how it looks to 18 year old eyes. Also, I bet she thought we would be famous by now.

My life is pretty awesome. This having it all thing is pretty easy if I adjust my perspective. Nobody can have a picture perfect house, a dream job, well-behaved children, a loving relationship, and time for themselves all day, everyday. I pick the things that are important to me that day, that week, or that month. It shifts and moves all the time. These days it’s just having happy healthy children and husband. If I have that, I have it all.

Relate to what Sharon is saying? Leave her some love in the comments. Read other posts from The Having It All Project here. Want to participate? Send me an email at!

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