CNN anchor and SiriusXM radio show host Laura Coates bared it all in a recent interview with ESSENCE, divulging what life is like to be a working professional, a mother, and a wife, and how she juggles it all.
“I feel like I have a level of control over how I structure my day, but that’s not coincidental,” she said in the interview. “I have had to fight very hard to be unapologetic about the time that I need to restore and be attentive, not only to my children and my husband and my family and friends, but also to myself.”
The 43-year-old attorney from Minnesota who currently lives in Washington, D.C. is the mother of two children – a boy and a girl who are both attending elementary school. For her, being a mother while working full-time is not the easiest task, but she focuses a lot of her time on being“hands-on.” Part of this includes taking them to school, picking them up and stopping what she’s doing to tend to their needs.
“They’re getting ready for school, they’re popping in, they’re sitting down. I’m braiding my daughter’s hair, oftentimes, in the middle of interviews doing the whole mute button like, ‘Girl, sit. Shh,’ And she’s so tender-headed, and at the same time I’m saying, ‘Yes, senator. That’s a very important question you just asked.”
And while she makes being Superwoman look easy, she says a large part of why she can do it all is because of her family and support system.
“My husband, full stop, is an equal partner who really believes in me, to the point where you could say to him, ‘Honey, I think I found a way to live on the moon.’ There’d be an Amazon package later that day with astronaut food, because he’d be like, ‘You know what? She must’ve figured it out. So we really are a team, in that respect.”
She continued: “There is a lot of give and take, and he certainly does his more than fair share, and then it switches. When he needs, I give. When I need, he gives.”
She also has her parents frequently visit her in D.C. to help. Her two sisters have been there to assist with parenting as well. “Mommy guilt” is another issue she formerly had to deal with but now she says she is learning to give herself grace.
“I thought for some time, ‘I’ve got to duplicate, replicate that, otherwise, I’m dropping the ball. And my mom was like, ‘Laura, we didn’t have quite the schedule you had, number one. And number two, we did not have the services that you had, and had we been able to access them, we would likely have loved to use them.’ And so, it made me feel better.”
“I’ve been incorporating my kids in things, but like anyone else, on any given day, the laundry may have been washed and dried, it might not be folded, it might not be in the drawer, but the clothes are clean and they fit. And sometimes, on some days, that’s the best I can do. But on every day, I use technology to make sure, if I’m not present at dinner, we’re FaceTiming the meal together. If I’m not able to tuck them in, I’m reading the bedtime story on my phone to my kids. I’m setting aside time to use the technology. If I’m traveling, I just try to make that happen.”