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Family Matters: Making Time for Family

Featuring WFTV newscaster Martha Sugalski!

“Are you nuts? When are you going to have time to write a column?”

That was the reaction from one of my close friends when I told her that I was asked to write a column for Orlando Family Magazine, and that I was seriously thinking about it. After all, how cool would it be? I was certain I could whip up 850 words on a moment’s notice, and I would find the time in between folding laundry, making my fifth run to Publix for the week, making sure I had soccer uniforms and snacks ready for the game, and making sure I had enough gas in the car to drive all over town.

Sure. It would be a piece of cake.

Confession time: The idea of a recurring column sounded very Carrie Bradshaw and Sex and the City to me. Who wouldn’t love writing about shenanigans? For me, it would be like a dream come true, and adding “columnist” to my resume would be über cool. I could already see my image in some chic outfit splashed on the side of a Lynx bus.

However, this is Orlando Family, so naturally, my column would be without the sexy high heels and martinis and Mr. Big. (Hopefully any young mother reading this will know who Mr. Big is.)

Instead, my column would be about real life and would focus on my parenting adventures as a mom in Orlando. Because, in addition to anchoring the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts on WFTV-Channel 9, as well as the 10 p.m. broadcast on TV 27 (and waiting for my cell to ring at any hour on breaking news), I am a mother of six.

Yes, you read that right: six.

Half the time when I say that, I get, “Are they all yours?” Um, yup. I was there when they came out of my body—some deliveries being more memorable than the others when you don’t have an epidural. I have a 23-year-old, first-year law student at Florida State University; a 19-year-old college freshman; a 10th grader in high school; and 3-year-old triplets. Yes, as in three toddlers.

Want to know people’s reactions to learning I was pregnant with the latter three? I’m saving that for another column, but just imagine standing in line at a Subway and having a stranger ask—in front of everyone— “How did three get up in there?” (It’s a true story, but as this is a family magazine, you’ll have to take my word that my response silenced the place.)

Anyway, yes: I have three toddlers who want your attention all the time and are learning what it means to be independent, climb things, say no, and ask to go to Dunkin Donuts. They also get up early in the morning, have non-stop energy, avoid naps, and want to stay up late. All you moms can relate—and dads, too!

Obviously, motherhood is my full-time job in addition to being a full-time journalist. Throw in a husband, fitness, trying to get together with the girls every now and then, all on about five hours of sleep every night, and you could say that I’m a bit busy—and now I’m adding a monthly column?

But when I asked my editor what I should write about, he said, “Anything you want that has to do with parenting in Orlando.” I thought about it and figured, why not! I have lived in Orlando—a city I love—for more than 10 years. I think I have the parenting thing down (although some days are better than others), and I would love to share my adventures with you and learn a thing or two from you in the process.

So, I figured I would use my first column to introduce myself and give you a glimpse into my world. Life in front of the camera is crazy, but what goes on behind it is even crazier— stay tuned for more.

An Emmy-winning member of WFTV’s Eyewitness News Team, Martha Sugalski has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and she’s spent her entire career in Florida. She’s also a married mother of six children, including a set of triplets. You can catch her on weekdays at 5, 6, and 11 p.m. on WFTV, and at 10 p.m. on TV 27.

This article originally appeared in Orlando Family Magazine’s April 2017 issue.

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