CHRISTINE CARREver wonder how you can balance it all as a mom? This is one interview in a series talking to moms who have found a way to make it work. Meet Christine Carr, a teacher, an author and mom to Nolan, Jane and Finley (10, 7 and 5 years old).

Watching kids pound the pavement during recess for the last 16 years as a teacher, and being a mom to three, gave Christine Carr all the ammunition she needed to compile stories about the day-to-day craziness of life with kids in her book Mother Daze: Tales from the imperfect playground. She believes that women miraculously do it all but never feel like they have done enough, and advocates for moms to instead seek out the joys of life.

1. What do you love about being a mom?

I love watching my children grow into unique individuals. Their lives are just getting started so it is very cool to watch each one tackle daily challenges in their own way.

2. What do you enjoy most about working?

I adore the opportunity to work with young children and teach the necessary social skills for everyday life. The games and activities that I lead them through as a physical education instructor are simply tools to teach good values and help with character development. Writing my book was a great way to celebrate the common challenges we face as parents and provide comfort to those in the midst of them.

3. What’s your biggest challenge in juggling both?

Sleep deprivation. It’s exhausting to juggle it all. The illusion that parenthood is going to be perfectly joyful is just that – an illusion. Every day won’t always be filled with merriment, but if we allow ourselves to look for the brighter side of an issue, the darker times may not feel as gloomy.

4. How do you deal with it?

I laugh as often as possible. Laughter is the best medicine. Aside from that, I try really hard to carve out time in my schedule to exercise and get together with my friends. Connecting with friends provides a huge chunk of happiness for me.

5. How do you re-charge?

I exercise very early in the morning and miraculously, that gives me the energy to get through the day. I also rely on two important beverages – coffee and Diet Coke.

6. What advice would you give other women considering being a working mom?

Go for it. Independence is a beautiful thing. The schedule issues are difficult, but try to find something that you love to do and the rest will follow. Believe me, you can do it.

7. Who inspires you?

My mom has always been a huge inspiration. Her ability to love me unconditionally is a gift that I never take for granted. My friends, my kids, and my students also inspire me. I love witnessing people’s resilience as they overcome tough life obstacles.

8. What one thing can you not live without?

My family. Without them I’d be really sad.

9. If you had an hour of time to yourself, how would you spend it?

I would go for a morning run with a friend and then grab coffee for some post-run chit-chat.