Wednesday, February 6, 2013


The Balance of Marriage/Home, Parenting, Teaching and Career

A Conversation

By Janice C. Eteme, B.A., M.M

My life, as a wife and mother, has taken the first position on my list of daily priorities. The challenges that come along with parenting effectively, are particularly difficult in a fast paced, technological, information obsessed society.

Teaching here at Morgan has also been a challenge, but I have grown personally and professionally each year that I have had the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful team of professionals, while tutoring such bright and gifted students. My personal preparation as an artist has become a juggling act between parenting and teaching, and quite frankly, sometimes it is neglected because of failed implementation or just plain fatigue.

In preparing this conversational presentation, I felt I wanted to talk first about
The reality of my life now, my life as a professional before I became a wife and mother, and the knowledge that organization is the key to successfully managing any hectic schedule.

A One Day Example:

On Mondays I am up by 7am, preparing breakfast for my two girls, helping them
To remember all of their personal hygiene before dressing, packing lunches and getting them out the door to go to school. I then get on the treadmill, or do floor exercises for 30 to 45 minutes , vocalize for 15 minutes, before getting ready to head out the door to teach my first student at Morgan. I generally leave around 2 or 2:15pm, get my girls from school, take them to piano and violin lessons respectively, before heading home around 5:30 pm. I then monitor homework assignments, prepare dinner, prep the girls for bed and prep for my Lyric Diction class, and my applied voice students, before retiring to bed. I will spare you my daily schedule as each day has a different set of day and afterschool activities. This schedule is probably similar to the schedules of those of you who are also parents.

As a young unmarried professional, my time was completely my own. All of my personal time off the road, was spent listening to, studying, and learning scores of music. I practiced incessantly, usually two to three hours a day. Spending my free time shopping , and going out with friends. Sometimes I was lonely when travelling on the road, but because I was singing, and still do sing mostly concert repertoire, my stays on the road were then, and are now, only about 5 to 7 days. I enjoyed my freedom as a young professional and I always did my very best, and still do.

Organization is now the only way to maintain all the different spokes in my everyday “ wheel of life”. Carving out time to take care of my family, myself, and to practice each day while teaching and preparing for my classes and upcoming performances is what I live for now, this is my life. This is he life that I have loved and chosen. It is a wonderful life, a challenging life and because of all those challenges and successes, it is a good life.

Organization takes on several parts:

1. The organization of your schedule, knowing and accounting for every hour of your day is most helpful, especially when you have a family. This will ensure that daily time is not wasted.

2. The organization of your mind is essential. What do I mean by the organization of your mind? Often people become bogged down mentally because they are not actively focused on what is most important, presently, and what their ultimate life goals are. Ask yourself the following questions: Where do I want to be living in 5 years or 10 years? What do I want to be doing professionally? Do I want to get married and have a family? Would I be happier if I remained single and childless? How much money will I need to live comfortably in my life? What kind of house do I want to live in? Will I be active in my community or church? Do I want to travel abroad? Do I want to live abroad? How much money will I need to retire? These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself and answer, so that you can sweep out any clutter in your thought process or get rid of anything that would cause your thinking to be fuzzy or cloudy as you move forward.

3. The organization of your finances is also essential. Spending your time wisely and well in school, making the best use of monies being spent on your education, counting the cost of every decision you make, thinking of not only the short term consequences but long term consequences of all of your choices concerning your money. Being mindful of how much you are spending on what, and why. Remembering to get in the habit of saving money and staying out of debt as much as possible. If you are already in debt, be as responsible as you can in paying off those debts. This is very important.

4. The Organization of your Life Purpose is also important. I already mentioned some of the questions you might ask yourself. After asking yourself those questions, and writing down the responses, construct a Life Purpose Report.


I was born: 12/28/1965
I went to school: Dupont Park SDA Church school
I was taught to be honest, committed, hard working, kind, forgiving etc.
I went to College and Graduate School: Oakwood and Indiana University
I have sung for twenty years all over the world, recorded, given recitals, sung operas etc.

My Purpose in Life, as a mature adult is to:

Evolve spiritually by listening to, and following God
Properly rear my children
Be fearless as an artist/educator
Be unselfish and heal with my voice and words
Be responsible for my gift of good health
Become more scholarly, so that I can be a part
Of a fundamental transformation of the educational system
in Baltimore.
Leave the people I have known and loved more encouraged
to carry on and take the road less traveled.

What is your Purpose Report going to say?

What are some other areas of essential organization that you can think of?



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