Guest Guru: Stephanie Vozza – I Want My Life Back (but I’d settle for an hour to myself)

By Stephanie Vozza, founder of

I Want My Life Back (but I’d settle for an hour to myself)

My brother-in-law, Chris, is a great guy. I’m always amazed at how much he does. He’s a business owner, a champion golfer, paddleball player, coach, good friend and an amazing uncle. He always seems to have time to do the things he loves, and he always makes time for the ones he loves. I once asked him how he does it all. His answer: “I have guys.”

My 10-year-old, Nick, is a lot like my brother-in-law. One day he called me upstairs and said, “Mom, I need your help.” “What is it?” “I need to you to go to the basement to get my hockey stick.” In that instant I realized that I am one of Nick’s guys.

Guys! I don’t have guys. I’m one of those I-can-do-it-myself, I-don’t-need-help kind of women. And I’m starting to think it’s not a good kind of woman to be.

Nick’s request for “help” started me thinking about the things I do for my kids. Some things take just a minute or two, some things seem easier to just do myself, and some things I do out of habit:

I wake my kids up for school. They have alarm clocks, but I still wake them up. I make them breakfast. I pack their lunches. I pack Nick’s snack. I drive them to school. I make their beds. I clean their bathroom. I do their laundry. I fold their clothes. I put their clothes away. I vacuum their rooms. I remind them to give the dogs water. I give the dogs water when they forget. I remind them to bring in the trash cans. I bring in the trash cans when they forget. I make what could be considered “heavy hors d’oeuvres” for my 10 year old when he comes home from school because most days he doesn’t eat the lunch I packed. I set the dinner table. I make dinner. I do the dishes. I make dessert. I fold the blankets my boys use in the family room. I let the dogs in and out several times each night. I wash hockey equipment. I repack hockey equipment. I drive Christopher to drum lessons. I remind him to practice drums. I clear plates and cups from the family room. I clear plates and cups and from their rooms. I refill the toilet paper in their bathroom. I remind them to take showers. I remind them to brush their teeth. I check their homework. I RSVP for birthday parties. I volunteer at their schools. I gather the supplies for their school projects.

I do all of these things in addition to the meal planning, the grocery shopping and the housekeeping. Making doctor and orthodontist appointments, vet appointments and haircut appointments. Oh, and running my own business. Ironically, I often wonder why I never seem to have time for myself.

Every so often, I have a mommy meltdown. In other words: I lose it. I tell the kids that I’m tired of being the butler. That they’re going to be responsible. Or else! But once I have one of my mommy meltdowns, I’ve let out my frustration and within 48 hours I go back to the way things were.

I have a feeling I’m not the only one. I know plenty of other moms who are overwhelmed, and now I can clearly see the road that brought me here.

Yes, I just want my life back … but I’d settle for an hour all to myself. Every day.

I’ve decided to change the focus of this blog for 2010 and chronicle my journey to reclaim my time. I will start to implement time-saving strategies; everything from holding my kids responsible for themselves to setting up automatic payments, deliveries and services.

Oh, yea. And I’m going to get some guys!

For more fun postings from Stephanie, visit her blog on and watch for upcoming guest spots from Stephanie on Buttoned Up!