Welcome to THE BALANCE PROJECT: a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews featuring inspiring and accomplished women talking about balance. I’ve always been curious—and maybe a little obsessed—about how women I admire manage the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze. So I asked them. As I suspected, no one really does “it all.” Everyone’s making sacrifices somewhere. And that should make us feel a little better. Every Friday I’ll feature a new interview. Here’s what Angela Santomero had to say…
No. 12: Angela Santomero, Kids’ Media Creator
Age: Forever 40
Where I live: Westchester, NY
Job: Creator, Executive Producer, and Head Writer for children’s media (Blue’s Clues, Super Why, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, The Parent Show)
Ages/genders of kids: 2 girls ages 10 and 13
Is the job you have now the same one you had before kids? If not, how and why did you change directions?
Before kids I would get the question, “How could you write for kids without any?” Truth is, I was always surrounded by kids, way before I had my own. After kids, my work just became that much more important as I realized I wanted to write shows that were “good enough” for my own awesome girls.
Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
I wish I wasn’t always chasing the idea of having it all. I wish I could just let it go (my new theme song, by the way!). It’s about being happy, right? I feel good when I remember that I’m happy every day—not every minute of every day—but every day!
What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
Schedule. I’m always late. Always.
What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
My super power would be “multi-tasking.” Although being 100% present with the kids is my goal.
What was the best advice you ever heard on balance…
From a mentor/co-worker? “Just say no.”
From your mother? “Wear lipstick.” (Seriously, but hey, I guess if all else fails, at least you have your lipstick!)
From your kids? “We are having a VAcation. Not a PHONE-cation. Not an EMAIL-cation. A Vacation.” —my then 8-year-old.
If you had one extra hour in each day and you couldn’t work or be with your family, how would you spend that hour?
Lying in the sun. With a cocktail.
What would you have told yourself 20 years ago?
Getting married to this guy is the best decision you ever made.
20 years from now?
What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
I wish I had “neat” magic that would magically tidy up my house all day every day.
Whose job do you wish you had?
Oprah—changing people’s lives, Jon Stewart—making us all smarter through humor, and Idina Menzel—bringing beauty to the world with her voice.
Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
I’m glad I’m still not working at TGI Fridays collecting my “flair.” One summer was enough!
The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss; The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy; The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory.
What are you reading right now?
The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer.
Activity? Singing at the top of my lungs. And I’m not good…
Food? Warm chocolate chip cookies.
Website? Amazon Prime. I’m ADDICTED.
How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
8. But I really need 10!
What do you read every morning?
My emails. My brain needs to be awake first!
Complete the following sentences:
I think I: need this winter to be over. I live for the sun!
I wish I: had more time in my day.
My kids: inspire me.
Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
I have “theme songs” depending on the day: Defying Gravity; What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger; Roar; You Gotta Be; Let It Go.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I hope you figure it out and let me know how to balance it all! 🙂 I love your questions, Susie, you’re an inspiration!
Angela Santomero is a Founding Partner and Chief Creative Officer of Out of the Blue Enterprises LLC, overseeing the creative development and research of all of the company’s projects. She is the lead Creator, Executive Producer and Head Writer for Blue’s Clues, Super Why, and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Angela is a Peabody Award Winner for Outstanding Childrenʹs Programming and a Gold and Silver Parents Choice Awards recipient. She received her B.A from The Catholic University of America and a Master’s degree in Child Developmental Psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Angela grew up in New Jersey and currently lives in New York with her husband Greg, her two adorable daughters, and their energetic dog Oreo. Angela’s family is her priority, and she derives inspiration, laughter, and sometimes even notes on her scripts from her girls. Some of their favorite activities include: roasting vegetables, singing, reading, and asking questions about the way the world works.
Find more about Angela here:
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THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 3: Emily Liebert, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 4: Lyss Stern, Mom-trepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 5: Lauren Slayton, Nutritionist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 6: Elizabeth Moyer, Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 7: Annabel Monaghan, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 8: Holly Gordon, Director
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THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 11: Jenny Hutt, Media Personality
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