BlackBerry? Check. Cavernous carry-all purse with work documents (to work on during downtime)? Check. Favored toys of 2 1/2-year old Miley and 15-month-old Halle Anne? Check! Working mom Amanda Stallings’ daily juggle is like that of many moms: a happy mix of work and play. “I don’t know what working moms would do without a PDA,” she laughs.
Yet, Stallings, executive director of Fort Worth’s Gill Children’s Services, knows the tricks of the mommy trade (and more). The energetic mom – who’s seven months pregnant with her third, another girl! – shares her insights on life as a woman-on-the-go.
WHO SHE IS
As a Fort Worth native, Stallings completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Texas Christian University. The single twentysomething’s friends arranged a blind date, where she met and instantly fell for her now-husband of nine years, Tom. “Three weeks after our date, Tom bought my engagement ring,” adds Stallings.
The newlyweds decided to strike out on their own, relocating across the country to Washington, D.C. “We moved into our home about two weeks before 9/11; we lived very close to the Pentagon and heard the plane hit on that terrible day,” recalls Stallings. Both career-minded Texans kept focused on their work: Stallings as a probation and parole officer and Tom as chief of staff for a congressman.
The couple enjoyed living in the nation’s capital, but opted to move back to Tarrant County to start their family.
Stallings initially struggled to become pregnant; however, the duo ecstatically welcomed Miley, and, not long after, they added to their brood with the birth of Halle Anne.
WHAT SHE DOES
After making the move back to Texas, Stallings’ husband chose to keep his position with Arizona congressman Trent Franks, which means he commutes to D.C. every week, Monday through Friday. “I live as a single mom throughout the week,” says Stallings.
And, as a pregnant mommy – with two bounding little girls – a weekly schedule of work, school and playtime is no easy feat. “I couldn’t do it without the help of our family friend, who’s our nanny,” she details.
The daily grind at the office includes lots of fundraising projects; Stallings’ organization serves as the last financial resort for Fort Worth children who are going without needed services that ensure a child’s health or well-being. The group’s mission hits home for the do-it-all mom, who says, “Until you’re a parent, you don’t know how expensive children really are.”
Early evening, Stallings picks up her girls at the nanny’s home and heads to the family’s abode for dinner (that’s rarely homemade, she jokes), playtime, storytime and bedtime. After the tots hit the hay, Stallings boots up her computer to run through e-mails and other work-related tasks. “I take time for myself before I go to bed,” she adds. “I juggle many different hats, but I still take time for me.”
HOW SHE DOES IT
Stallings follows a well-planned schedule, but she also gives plenty of kudos to her always-traveling hubby. Tom, who’s home about one week per month, is 100 percent hands-on with their daughters, she says. “The girls are used to Daddy’s schedule because it’s all they’ve ever really known.” But, unlike other dads, she says, when he’s home there is no working going on. “He’s totally focused on them, and they adore it,” she adds.
And, when Tom’s plane lands every Friday, Stallings gladly shares her parenting duties – she loves to sneak in a no-kids trip to the grocery store. “Our kids are our life, and, even though we both have busy schedules, we enjoy every second together as a family,” she explains.