Hi, I’m Renee. My life is crazy! I’m married with three kids: one is 10, and my twins are 6. We have a rambunctious poodle named Petunia. I’m living moment to moment and trying to get stuff done: mountains of laundry, driving carpool, and running errands. It’s endless. I’m a trained therapist with a Masters degree in Social Work, but I’m currently focused on writing. I’m the author of If You Give a Mommy a Glass of Wine, and I’m currently working on my next book. Stay tuned!

Name: Renee Charytan
Living in: Englewood, NJ
Age: 40
Kids: Three (10, 6, 6 years old)
Social Media: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook

When did you realize you were ready to start a family and be all grown up?
I got married young, at age 23, and we planned to start a family soon after. However, it didn’t work out that way for us. My oldest was born when I was 30; by that time, I couldn’t have been more ready! At the same time, I was so completely unprepared!

How would you describe yourself as a parent?
Umm, inconsistent! I’m extremely committed to wanting to be a great parent and getting it all right. But it’s very difficult. Like all parents, I find that my own needs, desires and temperament often get in the way of being the parent that I wish I could be.

What’s your ‘escape’ from being a mom, what keeps you sane?
Writing is my greatest escape and my best therapy. For me writing is cathartic, and it helps me process my own feelings and connect with other moms. I love going to the dog park; I have a group of friends with dogs, and we try to meet there in the morning after we drop the kids off at school. Also, I love reading, watching TV, and of course drinking lots of coffee and wine.

What’s the one thing you said you’d never do as a mom, but ended up doing?
Wow! That would be a long list! Let’s see: get angry, run out of patience, be too strict, be too permissive…the list goes on and on.

Which human values do you consider most important to teach our kids?
Help others whenever possible. I find that the best way to teach is by example, so when I make a meal for a sick friend, I take the kids with me when I drop it off. That way they can internalize the value. Also, I like to use cooking for friends as an example of how other people appreciate my food, even though my kids often complain about it.

What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned so far in life?
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to live in the moment and appreciate all of your blessings, even when they’re in the form of devilish children! Life can change drastically in a split second, and your struggle of today could be your blessing of tomorrow.

What amazes you most about being a mom?
I’m most amazed by the intense emotions that my children evoke in me and how paradoxical those feelings are. The love, the rage, the guilt, the anxiety, and the joy are all so intense.
And the children grow so quickly! At every developmental stage things seems to get easier and harder at the same time. I find myself wanting them to grow up quickly yet stay young forever. For me motherhood is a list of contradictions!

If you could meet anyone in person (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

I wish I could spend time with my mom. She died when I was nine. She was the calmest person that I’ve ever met, and I wish I could ask her for advice.

If you could give your great grand children some advice, what would it be?
I would tell my great grandchildren to understand that everyone struggles, but we will all come out on the other side. Always remember to laugh because sometimes life gets so crazy that it begins to look funny.

What song do you see as your life’s theme song?
The Punky Brewster theme song:
“Every time I turn around
Every time I turn around.
What’s gonna be?
Guess we’ll just wait and see.”

Thank you Renee

Renee and I met on Instagram, where she makes hilarious memes, check her out!