Sidewalk Talk with Claire Steichen from Clear Strategy Coaching

Name: Claire Steichen

Occupation: Executive Coach at Clear Strategy Coaching

Children: Armelle (10), Nicolas (8)

What’s your favorite kid-friendly brunch spot in your neighborhood?

Maison Kayser on the Upper West Side.

Favorite playgrounds in your area?

PS199 (Matthew P. Sapolin), Classic Playground 74th in Riverside Park. Sometimes we travel to water parks like the East River State Park.

What are your children’s favorite activities? 

YMCA Kid’s Company Production, West Side Soccer League, Movie Making with Take 2 Film Academy, Science with Sarah, Modern Pinball (Gramercy) and the MOMA kids’ discovery room.

Two foods your little one(s) are obsessed with?

Avocado, Nocciolata, berries, hamburgers, pasta. It’s Sugar.

What three things do you always pack for your child when you go on vacation?

My daughter brings her own medical kit. I pack swimsuits and their favorite stuffies.

What are you most strict about when it comes to parenting?

Bed time, eating a little of everything, giving adults and friends a proper greeting and goodbye.

What’s your favorite way to unwind?

Talk to a girlfriend, have a glass of wine while cooking or watch Death in Paradise on BBC, 30 Rock reruns, or Crazy ex-Girlfriend.

Best mom hack...

eMeals shopping list! Or letting the kids sleep in their day clothes so we can catch the first bus to Disney.

Favorite quick kid-friendly dinner recipe?

Pasta with peas.

Favorite quote...

“I don’t speak whine.”

What does a day in the life of you and your children look like?

5:30am: I make coffee and keep the house as quiet as possible so I can breathe, stretch, meditate and wake up. Write my to do list.  6:30: the kids wake up and we snuggle. Breakfast, usually cereal for them, avocado eggs for us, pancakes or oatmeal now and again. They get dressed, brush teeth and we go to school.  I work until 5:30 and then the kids may have acting, French class, Jr. Engineering or skateboarding after school. After that, I pick them up and if they didn’t do homework at the after school program, they do it at home.  Dinner is always together and home cooked. If dad isn’t with us, he eats when he gets in. Big shouts when he comes home!  After dinner, they play games or videos, then get into their pajamas and then its bedtime. Weekends there is more playground, more family movies, more outings in the city, more play dates and soccer.

Favorite rainy day activity…

This is a struggle. Rainy days are tough in a small apartment.

Funniest thing your children have said to you…

From my eight year old, walking past the wine shop: “Mommy’s favorite wine is Sauvignon Blanc!”

What is your favorite part about being a parent?

Seeing them do and know things they didn’t learn from me. Watching them develop autonomy.

One thing you miss about your pre-parenting life…

Saturday morning freedom.

What do you do when your children go to bed?

Watch a mindless video and go to bed!

Favorite bedtime book…

For them:  Journey to the Moon pop-up book and Zen Ties. For me: escapist mysteries, and more challenging classics when I am on vacation and when I can restore my mental energy.

How did you come up with your children’s names?

Both reflect our Irish/French heritage.

One thing you'd tell your pre-parent self…

I work with a lot of new moms.  I tell them they are doing great, this is totally normal, and it gets easier.

How do you keep your cool as a parent?

Let my husband handle it.

Best tantrum tactic…

Ignore, ignore, ignore, then shut it down.

Favorite parenting reads…

Raising Cain and French Kids Eat Everything.

Looking for some fun classes? Check out the best childrens' classes to do with your little ones here.