Name: Nicole "Coco" Jozic
Strength: Balancing life's responsibilities with having fun
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If there's one thing most moms struggle with, it's balancing all our responsibilities. There's work, kids' activities, laundry, dishes. The list goes on.
Nicole "Coco" Jozic works part-time as the director of the PlayCare childcare program at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Bluffton and does secretarial work at night. She is active in the Christian women's group Princess Warriors. She keeps up with her children's swimming lessons and gymnastics.
Jozic, who's also a single mom, somehow finds the time to do all this and have fun with her kids -- Maddie, 6, and Jack, 3.
Question. So, what's your secret? How do you do it all?
Answer. Our day is so routine and structured, and my kids just know what to expect. And we have a ton of support from my parents and friends and family. ... I do try and make each day about my kids. I wake up in the morning and think, "What can we do fun today?" When you called, I was sitting downstairs and Jack was serving me birthday cake. I mean, it was fake, but we were sitting in the kitchen playing. I just think that's why I'm a mom -- to have fun with my children. I go down the slide with them. I build castles with them at the beach. I just really enjoy being with them. When things are tough ... the kids are acting up, we like to have a dance party. It just calms us all down. We just turn on the music really, really loud, and we just have a dance party. And everything goes away.
Q. What's the hardest part about being a single mother?
A. I'm the only one saying no. I'm the only one saying, "Clean up your room." But it's a blessing. It's my biggest blessing. I mean, no one wants to be a single mom, but I wouldn't have it any other way. ... I'm thankful for every minute I have with my kids.
Q. Do you have any advice for other moms struggling to keep up with everything?
A. I have all the kids' clothes in my closet and in my room. ... So in the morning, when we're all trying to get dressed to get out the door, I don't have three separate rooms to run down and get three separate outfits. I lay out the clothes the night before, of course, but everything is right there, right in my room. And I think that is such a time thing. They get dressed in my room. They don't get dressed in their own rooms. It sounds silly, but it's really easy.
... I really, really try and just focus on my kids all day long. When I pick up Maddie in the school line, I'm definitely not on the phone. And that time is totally dedicated to her. I try to do everything that I can do at night once they're asleep, which makes my nights sometimes really long, but we get through it. Life is so busy, but I like to think that I smile every step of the way. I just try to enjoy life.
Q. What is something you are not so great at?
A. I have too high expectations of myself. I just want everything to be perfect ... and it's not always perfect, not so much with my kids, more of myself. I want to get everything done today, and if I don't, I'm going to stay up really, really late, trying to get it all done, instead of saying, "OK, there's always tomorrow." My to-do list is too long.