Many television audiences in the area know Megan Heidlberg as one of the hosts of WSPA’s “Your Carolina” and “Scene on 7,” but she’s also a devoted mom to three children — sons William, 9, Griffin, 4, and 1-month-old daughter Sophie.
Upstate Parent recently chatted with Megan about juggling her career with family life, especially with a newborn.
The addition of a new baby girl on Dec. 13, 2017, has added a little sweetness to the Heidlberg household, she said. The whole family, including her husband Jeff, is in love with baby Sophie.
“The boys have been so sweet!” she said. “When she cries, Griffin will bring her his favorite stuffed animal or toy or just randomly come over and give her a kiss, and William will rub her back.”
One of her favorite moments occurred while taking new family pictures.
“She was fussy and William reached over and put his pinky in her mouth to soothe her, all while still smiling and posing for pictures,” she said.
Adjusting to life with a third child has been smooth, so far.
“She makes it easy,” said Heidlberg.
Experience has also made life with a new baby a little easier, she added.
“We have a routine now, and I know more what to expect,” she said. “The boys have been a big help. I’ve even been able to shower every day, which is something I couldn't have said early on with the first two!”
She has also learned to embrace the moments.
“The sleepless nights don't bother me as much,” she said. “With my first child, I thought I was never going to sleep again, but now I know that it all goes by so quickly. I enjoy those sweet moments together.”
It has been a learning experience for her sons, too.
“She has helped them to become more patient and independent,” she said. “Before Sophie was born, it was easy for me to respond right away to their requests. Now, they might have to wait a bit for me to finish feeding her or they might have to do it themselves.”
While the boys have been a lot of help, Heidlberg says she has also had friends who have stepped in to share the load.
“The boys friends’ parents will call to see if they want to come play for a little while, or offer to pick them up from sports practice,” she said. “I don’t know how we would have gotten through without them!”
Though routines have changed some with Sophie’s arrival, more changes will occur when Heidlberg returns to “Your Carolina” on March 15.
“I am a little nervous about finding the right balance,” she said. “It is easy to feel guilty because you think you are spending too much time on work, or to feel guilty at work because you are spending too much time at home. Finding the right balance and knowing when to say no is important.”
When she returns, her day will begin at 5 a.m., to give her time to do show preparation before the boys wake up.
One key to finding balance for Heidlberg is recognizing that she can’t always do everything perfectly.
“It could be that I am spending a lot of time with the kids on homework, but we eat fast food for dinner,” she said. “Or maybe I cook a great meal and we have a little less time for homework.”
She says she has had to relax a little when it comes to cleaning the house.
“I am a little OCD,” she said. “I probably sweep 10 times a day. My sister-in-law framed a poem for me that talks about how you should cuddle the baby now, because the housework will wait.”
For Heidlberg, another thing to fit into her schedule is a little me-time.
“I cant wait to get back to some physical activity,” she said. “When I get on a regular schedule, I want to go to Crossfit. Lots of moms bring their babies. I will put it on the calendar to make sure I make time for it.”
For now, Heidlberg is playing basketball again. Her first game was Jan. 8.
“My team began playing in December,” she said. “It is so fun! I might have played at 38 weeks pregnant if I could have gotten the jersey around my belly!”
While a new baby can keep new parents busy, Heidlberg makes sure to carve out one-on-one time for those most important to her.
“For Griffin, bedtime is a really important time,” she said. “It is a really special time when he has our full attention.”
She has a mother-son date night with William as often as she can, but she admits it’s not as often as she’d like.
“I would like to say it is once a week, but realistically, we probably go out around once a month,” she said. “He picks dinner and we do something fun together. Last month, we went to see School of Rock.”
Of course, she is looking forward to the next date night with her husband, too.
“It is super-important,” she said. “We are lucky because my mom and dad live just down the street, and Jeff has several young people who work with him who are willing to babysit. We also play softball together on Wednesday nights, so that gives us a little more time together.”
Heidlberg is enjoying the time with her family, and her advice to other moms is to cherish the time.
“Embrace it,” she said. “Everyone says it goes by so quickly, and it really does. Try not to spend the time you have thinking of all that you have to do.”