I have a secret to share with you. I have been obsessed with astrology ever since I was a young girl (I’ve since learned that, as a Scorpio, obsessing is quite normal). So I am thrilled that I got the chance to interview the fabulous Ophira Edut. She and her identical twin sister, Tali, make up the duo known as the The AstroTwins. They have been professional astrologers for over 15 years and have done readings for celebs like Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, and Sting. They are also the astrologers for Elle.com among many other sites and their predictions reach millions each month. The AstroTwins latest venture, Momstrology, is an astrology site that helps you “discover your parenting style by the stars!” Check it out, we can use all the extra insight we can get!
I am so proud to present my interview with Ophira. I know you all will love her as much as I do!
p.s. I have had one-on-one readings with Ophira and she is truly amazing — intuitive, insightful, and wise. Use this link to get $50 off.
How many kids do you have, and how old?
I have a 12-year-old stepdaughter, Clementine, and a 20-month-old daughter, Cybele.
Describe a typical weekday for you:
I run my business with my twin sister and we write a ton of content every month–daily, weekly, monthly and specialty horoscopes. So a computer or iPad is never far. I also design and build our website, so there are also little tweaks to make here and there. Then I usually have a one-on-one chart reading every day, often by phone or Skype, since my clients can be as far away as Africa, Europe, or the Middle East–all awesome women trying to work out great lives that are balanced between love, family, personal happiness and their own ambitions.
I spend the early mornings, evenings, and weekends with Cybele, as well as two weekday afternoons. When she was little, I brought her along to meet my editors at elle.com, Lifetime and Victoria’s Secret. Now, they’ve all seen her grow up a bit, so she’s usually requested when I see them. I joke that she’s been to more business meetings than half the people my age — but she loves it, charms everyone, and gets plenty of attention.
On heavy writing days, I also take little pleasure breaks to go for a walk, window shop, hit the bookstore, or get something fun to eat. I’m lucky to live in New York City’s East Village, so there’s always something cool and interesting to check out. One of my favorite treats is to take a karaoke lunch break at a little Japanese place near me. My stepdaughter Clementine loves to join me. I sing Amy Winehouse; she sings Taylor Swift!
How has having a child changed the way you approach your career?
I consider every choice differently: will this give me time with my family? Will this take all my best energy, or will it allow me to balance between creative satisfaction and precious time with Cybele and Clementine? I’ve also been approached for some reality TV ideas, which has really made me think hard: Would they admire me for this choice? Would pursuing a show wreak havoc on our family, or could it be fun with the right boundaries?
Have you set up any routines in order to make your life easier as a working mom?
That’s been tough — as a Sagittarius, I hate routine and I’m always looking for adventure! Freedom is something I really treasure, so I try to create structures that support that, rather than make me feel boxed in. I confess, I kind of “outsource” structure to my two great babysitters. But the best thing I have is that my office is the apartment across the hall from mine. So the girls can play, paint, draw, etc. while I write. I’ve also taught Clementine web design, and she has her own little astrology website that she made from scratch, astrologyinyou.com.
Do you have any “must-do” items on your daily to do list (such as exercise, connect with spouse, etc.)?
Talking to my twin sister. She lives in Seattle and I’m in New York City, and we talk a few times a day. Other than that, I try to mix it up. Writing is a solitary business, even though it can be satisfying. I guess my one “must do” is to have a couple great conversations with inspiring friends every day. That puts fuel in my tank!
How about “absolute No” items, things you have decided not to do (for example, I say an automatic “no” to parties that are scheduled on weeknights, because they exhaust me for the next day)?
Not really. If I want to do something badly enough, I’ll find a way to do it! But I try to be conscious of when things get too extreme — for example, too many invitations to evening events that would keep me from having a nice family dinner and putting Cybele to bed. It’s more a matter of being selective, so my criteria have changed. I don’t make as much time to casually meet people who want to, say, “pick my brain.” Invitations have to pack a punch: they have to be great for my career, be deeply satisfying on a personal level, and all the better if the whole family can come along. I don’t really go out late-night dancing or to things that start at 10 or 11pm. But I’m starting to feel like I could stand to try it again!
How and when do you find “me” time? What are your favorite things to do during this time?
All during the day. Twenty minutes here, an hour there. Going for a little walk or a bike ride. Waking up at 5:00 if I have to so I can read one of my magazines, savor a coffee and just enjoy some alone time. Fortunately, my husband and I are both entrepreneurs and we work from the same home office (the apartment across the hall from ours). So we switch off watching Cybele when the other needs a break. Having a 12-year-old big sister around is great, too–all hands on deck help!
How do you define success as a working mom?
Getting half of what I got done pre-motherhood accomplished! Not beating myself up when I don’t. When love wins over guilt. The hardest thing to do is acknowledge myself as “enough.” When that happens, I call it success!
Do you have any tips for our readers on balancing work and motherhood?
Don’t try to balance — integrate. Our society polarizes “adult” and “kid” activities way too much, in my opinion. Obviously, there are some appropriate limits and separation. My husband is Dutch and my dad is Israeli, so these are cultures where adults and kids hang out together a lot more. I dance with the kids, make dinner, sing karaoke, do creative projects, let them hang out in my office, even watch some shared TV shows. I talk about my work with Clementine in a way that she understands, and encourage her dreams and little business ventures that she does.
What advice would you give to new moms?
Fire the judge in your head. The kid across the street might know the entire alphabet at 18 months while your little one can barely say more than ‘mama’ or ‘dada.’ Every human is unique — which is why we started Momstrology in the first place. The idea is for moms to be compassionate toward themselves and their kids, and to enjoy all the quirks of being human, rather than following some b.s. playbook written by a so-called ‘expert.’ Guess what? YOU are the best expert on your child. Everyone else can be a tribunal of specialists and advisors, but if you’ve handed them your power, take it back. Also, take life and parenting one day at a time. You might have forgotten to book that doctor’s appointment, or have no idea how to pick a school, etc. etc. Slooooow down. Breathe. Ask questions. Take it all in, listen to your heart, and trust that you’ll be led in the right direction. Embrace being perfectly imperfect!
Thank you Ophira!!!!!