Arielle Hixson: On Balancing Motherhood as a Working Mom

Arielle Hixson: On Balancing Motherhood as a Working Mom

Arielle Hixson knows the new mom journey is all about boundaries, balance, and a little bit of grace. The broadcast journalist and New Jersey native shares with us as she details life with her new daughter and some of the tips she’s learned along the way that can help all of us as we navigate ups and downs of motherhood: 

Arielle, tell us a little about you:

I am a broadcast journalist originally from New Jersey who loves the arts including music, movies and dance. My amazing husband and I originally met on the island of Martha’s Vineyard and are now new parents to a sparkly, brilliant, charismatic 11-month-old who steals the heart of anyone she meets. We also have a cute, smart and confident three-year-old dog.  

What was the most unexpected part of your motherhood journey?

The biggest challenge was a combination of multitasking and finding “me” time. As a mom you really have to get an idea of how to have multiple projects going at one time and accept that sometimes certain chores won’t get done in a day. As someone who LOVES to-do lists and completing tasks, that was tough to learn, so I really had to give myself grace. For example, sometimes the laundry won’t get done as quickly as I’d like, but that’s okay because I may have gotten to have a dance party with my kid for an extra 15 minutes.


What struggles have you encountered balancing work and motherhood?

I think the biggest struggle is FOMO, feeling like I’m missing out on parts of the day with my little one. The nature of my career means I’m usually in the field or studio. That’s where prepping in advance is key as it gives me more time with my baby. Carving out time during the day when I can plan ahead for a project is tough, but that’s when I have to get creative. Sometimes I wake up extra early so I have some uninterrupted time to think ahead or stay up late to get one last pitch in. It’s tiring, but well worth it because when I’m with my family I can really give 110% of my attention and be in the moment.

Talk to us about “Mom Guilt.” Have you ever felt it? How do you manage it?

Absolutely! I think it’s hard to be a mom these days because if you’re on social media you are flooded with unsolicited advice from the internet, which can make you compare yourself to others and question your parenting. Now I have to say, some of the advice is good, but some of the information out of context can be a little much. This is especially true for mothers today as we have the world at our fingertips in the form of a phone. I try to stay centered and trust my instinct and that means some of my “me time” involves yoga, meditation and no screen time. Then I can really focus and stay present. Staying in the moment also helps me stay gracious, Mom’s really need to clap for themselves sometimes.


How does Matrescence’s Mission to “mother the mother” resonate with you as a mom? 

This is EVERYTHING! I think many expectant mothers don’t realize that when you become a mother, no matter how much love and support you have around you, you still need to actively take care of yourself. Early on I didn’t realize that a lot of activities I was counting as self-care were more for my household than for myself. It took time, patience and encouragement from my amazing husband to really get in the mindset of blocking out activities just for me, like a workout class, spa day or just brunch with the girls. In the beginning with a little one, caring for yourself can feel low on the totem pole, but once you get into a good groove and routine you are able to “mother the mother” as well as your child. 

In what ways do you feel your path to motherhood was different or unique?

When I knew I was expecting I immediately felt a calling to look inwards, stay in the moment and stay connected to the world around me and I’ve carried that mindset into motherhood every day. I always knew I wanted to be a mom and what was interesting was just how strong and powerful I felt while pregnant with my daughter. It’s a strength inside me I never really knew existed and I was so appreciative of it. I really took the time to just honor how incredible it was to be able to go through this transformation and care for a small being. At times there were nerves, but my Mom would reassure me (and make me laugh) by quoting the show “Inventing Ana” when the lead character says, “You aren’t special. People have babies every day. They squat in fields." As silly as that quote was, it helped me know that motherhood is natural and many women are going through the same thing. That connection to others brings a sense of calm that really helped me out on my journey to motherhood. 

What is the best thing you learned about  parenting and who did you learn it from?

Being able to share some of the things that spark joy for me with my child. For example I absolutely LOVE music and constantly have a variety of genres, from classical, to jazz, to R&B playing in the background. My daughter naturally claps to songs she enjoys and even started to sing “lala” with songs, smiling and dancing when a good song comes on. I now take her to music class which she loves and I have a feeling we’ll be going to a few concerts once she gets older! My Mom and Dad taught me that just watching your child grow, learn and adapt to the world around them is incredible, and it's amazing to now get to witness it in real life.


What do you think is the most challenging aspect of being a mom, and how do you manage it?

Boundaries! It seems like a no-brainer but it is sometimes hard to have boundaries with a new baby when everyone is so excited to meet her. At the end of the day love and support is great but it shouldn’t come at the expense of respecting you and your partner’s rules with your little one. Whether it’s guidelines about food, social media, screen time or visits, do what makes you and your partner feel comfortable. It may be hard at first but those who respect and go with the flow will adjust quickly and those who don’t will have to learn eventually!

What advice would you give to a first time mom about to go through it all? 

If you are a new mom and about to give birth make sure you have a robust plan for your care at home. Get family and friends to help you out in constructive ways, more than just holding the baby. For example, a friend or sibling can handle laundry and clean the kitchen while a grandparent makes meals. Then you can rest, transition and truly bond with your baby during that first week or so while having a clean house and meals set and ready to go. We had that kind of support, and it was everything!

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