Having it all

Rebecca Kelley

Wed October 30, 2013 2:28pm

“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” When I saw this quotation by W. R. Wallace, Otay ranch resident Nicole Graichen came to mind.
Like most of us, Nicole is a transplant. She and her family moved into our Otay Ranch community almost four years ago. When I asked Nicole why Otay Ranch, her response was simple, “For its schools.”
Nicole, like most mothers, wants it all. She wants to be able to be an incredible mother to her children. She wants to be an amazing spouse to her husband. And last but not least, she wants to be highly successful in the workplace.
But, for Nicole, it was finding that balance. That balance that we, as mothers, all strive for. She told me that she found that balance at the EastLake Educational Foundation. The EastLake Educational Foundation is a non-profit foundation established in 1995 with the mission of raising funds to support the highest quality educational opportunities in the public schools within the community of EastLake.
“My job at the EEF gives me purpose. I greatly enjoy knowing the families whose lives are directly enhanced from my organization,” said Nicole.
As a fellow mother, I wanted to know how she has achieved that balance. I wanted to know how one manages to get to a 9 a.m. meeting without spit-up on your dress.
“It’s challenging. My son Bowen needs to be dropped off at daycare (across town) before I take my daughter Macy to Arroyo Vista. We typically start our mornings at the Graichen house around 6 a.m. But, thanks to technology, I’m always accessible. I answer emails in the parking lot at my daughter’s school and make phone calls (hands free) as I’m driving into the office. If you see me head out of the house in my pajamas, please be a bit forgiving!” stated Nicole.
Prior to living in Otay Ranch, Nicole and her husband Rick lived in the state of Washington. In addition to our renowned schools, another reason Nicole moved to our community was because it was a planned community.
“A family feel is already established with planned communities. We see our neighbors at the community pool. Or we run into our friend at the local grocery store. You can’t go anywhere without bumping into someone you know,” she said. 
Nicole became overwhelmed with joy when I asked her what she wants for her children. “I want my kids to be happy, confident and educated. I want them to be proud of me … as their mom.”
Rebecca Kelley is South County regional director marketing, media and community relations, South Bay YMCA.