Trina, Sofia and Giana Meditating Under a Bonsai tree. (Photo courtesy Trina M. Fresco)

Mami real talk: The never-ending balancing act

There are 24 fast-moving hours in a day, eight of which we should devote to a heightened anabolic state called sleep.  After sleep, I am left with only 16 hours a day to be; a mother of three under 8-years-old, wife, sister, daughter, niece, granddaughter, godmother, friend, community servant, writer, businesswoman and myself.  The chess game further complicates itself with the 7 days a week extracurricular lessons for each of my children and the fact that my husband is a serial entrepreneur.  The moment Sofia was born I became very deliberate in balancing my life.

Prioritization of your life’s roles is the first step in achieving balance.  I listed my life roles in order of priority, and it’s something I remember when committing to anything.  My kids are my first focus in everything.  In addition to private school, they attend Kumon, gymnastics, ballet, taekwondo, piano, religious studies and swimming in the summer.  I enjoy being the transporter to everything because we the best conversations in the car.  My husband and I have a late dinner alone together about 3 times a week and usually catch one movie.  In an effort to stay happy and connected, we have a monthly date night where we alternate turns planning something amazing. We vacation without the kids at least once a year.   In my other family roles I ensure our time, although limited, is full of respect, honor and humor.  In my role as a friend, I have been blessed with five rock-solid women I am honored to call friends.  I make it a point to have dinner with one of them every six weeks.

I wish we lived in a world without hunger, disease or violence and one full of equality.  It is not the world we live in, and if I tried serving in all these areas I would be totally ineffective. To that end, I support programs focused on women and girls with the belief that healthy, financially-stable and educated women lead our entire society forward.  I serve on no more than four boards and speak in the community on occasion.  I write whenever I can.  One of my last pieces was written on my iPhone in a doctor’s waiting room.

When my father passed at the age of 46, I knew I would never let work or my career keep me from my family because time is never guaranteed.  I never miss a birthday or other important event because of work.  Any job will always be there, yet all the other life moments that become cherished memories only have one take.  My role as a businesswoman is the least distracting on my list.

I am fortunate to have so many valuable roles in my life, and when there is an imbalance, me-time is the first to go.  I love reading, exercising, dancing, cooking and visiting museums. I know we have to make sacrifices for the life we cultivate.  The infrequency of these things makes them even more enjoyable when I get to them like last week. I took in the ‘Of Gods and Glamour’ exhibit with my sister and baked French macarons with my friend, Kat.

The key:  Take an afternoon to consider your roles in life.  Prioritize and eliminate the excess to focus all of your minutes to the life you want to live.

Trina M Fresco headshot

Trina M. Fresco, Vice President of Operations for the IT firm since 2007 and NBCLatino Contributor, was named one of “50 Powerful Minority Women in Business” by MEA Magazine. Fresco is the Chair of the Chicago Foundation for Women Investment Subcommittee and serves on a number of additional boards & committees. Fresco resides Chicago with her husband, George and their three children Sofia, Giana and Lorenzo. You can contact her at or on Twitter @trinafresco.

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