The Star-News

Motherhood's balancing act

Sat, May 12 2012 12:00 PM Posted By: Allison K. Sampité

Patty Chavez, a former Chula Vista councilwoman, has long been committed to community service.

Chavez served on the council in 2006, when her three children were in elementary school.

She said the balancing act of being a mom and city representative was challenging.

 “You are always working. Aside from meetings, you’re out in the community and at various functions … you’re obligated to go.”

She said sometimes that meant missing Little League and soccer games.

“As a mom, you have that mom guilt of ‘I missed this,’” she said. “Weekends were tough.”

She also said she felt the pressure to be more of a role model.

“As parents we work hard to be good role models and the decisions we make will affect them,” Chavez said.  “During my time in office they were able to see how important it (politics) is at a young age,” she said.

Chavez said she’s lucky to have a supportive husband.

“As women, we try to do it all,” she said. “We do it well but it’s tiring.”

Sweetwater Union High School District board member Bertha Lopez was elected to serve on the school board in 2008.

Prior to that she was a board member for 10 years on at the Chula Vista Elementary School District.
Lopez, 58, decided to get involved in politics because of her son.

“When my son entered the seventh grade I decided to run for a high school board because of concerns I had at the middle school so I could have a voice,” she said.

Lopez has three children, one of which is 17 and attends Bonita Vista High as a junior. Her other two are in their thirties and married.

Lopez said her life is a balancing act.

“It’s a challenge to balance my time between family, work and community activities,” she said. Like Chavez, Lopez also struggled with her oath the community as well as her commitment to her family.

“There were many occasions where I had to decide it’s either my children or my job,” she said. “I’ve always known my family is more important.”

Lopez said she couldn’t have balanced both without such a supportive husband.

“There were many Saturdays that I wish I could be at soccer games and I wasn’t there … that’s the kind of pressure that has always been with me,” she said. “But my husband and I … we manage between us.”

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