When most people hear the words ‘basketball wife,’ they think cat fights, gold diggers and reality television. Audrey Griffin represents none of these. The wife of Adrian Griffin (former NBA player and current assistant coach to the Chicago Bulls), Audrey is proof that women can really “do it all.”
Besides being a dedicated wife and mommy, she is a motivational speaker, parenting lifestyle consultant and author (The Day I Took Off My Cape). She has also written for various outlets including Essence, The Huffington Post, and Sister 2 Sister. Audrey’s passion for helping Vixens in all aspects of life is more than commendable.
Vixen caught up with the Wonder Woman herself, and she had this to say about balancing it all.–Nicole Brown and Niki McGloster
VIBE VIXEN: What sparked you to start Remove Your Cape?
AUDREY GRIFFIN: It all started when I became a mom over 15 years ago ,and I noticed I was overwhelmed with trying to balance it all. When talking to other moms about balancing all the responsibilities of being a mom, I found out I wasn’t the only one with this problem of schedule overload and just being overwhelmed trying to be superwoman. That birthed my blog and then my book, The Day I Took Off My Cape. I no longer wanted to talk about the problems but wanted to talk about solutions for moms and women everywhere. You have to know when to take your cape off.
That’s the key?
You can’t get anything done if you don’t ever put it on, but you have to know when to take it off. You have to learn to begin to say “no,” so you don’t overload your schedule and before you get to that breaking point.
What was your breaking point?
When my husband–he was with another team, so he wasn’t home. I was going to school and I was managing the household. I was also doing my work and substitute teaching. I was trying to do all of this, so I went from having my husband then not having him there. No family was really there to help and that was when I realized [my schedule] was too much. I actually went to the doctor because I started having like panic attacks. For me to start having panic attack was something that I couldn’t control, that was kind of my wake-up moment.
Do you feel like celebrity wives or wives of professional athletes have it a little more rough than a regular middle-class housewife?
VV: Do you feel like celebrity wives or wives of professional athletes have it a little tougher than a regular middle-class housewife?
AG: I wouldn’t say they have it worse; you have different responsibilities because you’re in the home a little more. A lot of these women are business women that are running entire businesses. In my book I talk about management and how you have to build a team around you. Everyone, no matter if you’re a celebrity wife or an average woman, needs to have a team in place. Someone who can help you with your kids if an emergency were to come up. Someone who needs to be in place when you do need those breaks. Someone to be in place so that your marriage or your relationship with your spouse can thrive, and you can go out and spend time with them.
Now that you found a way to balance it all, what have been the greatest rewards?
The greatest award for me will always be seeing my kids thrive. My kids were not thriving when I did not have a grip on things. When you have a happy mom, everyone in the household is pretty happy. Now that I’ve learned to prioritize, there’s a peace in my home that’s priceless. Everything thrives around you, it’s amazing.
What celebrity parents would you like to counsel or share management skills with?
I would love to share management skills with Will and Jada [Smith] because I agree with some of their approach on things. I like the way they allow their kids to explore who they are, and I think there are are some things that they could teach me. It would be interesting because their perception of parenting is so different from the majority, but there’s a reason why they’re having success with it. I want to be able to understand why they are so free.
Lastly, what would you say about teen moms, their parenting skills and balancing?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Parenting is an art form. It’s not something that happens overnight. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those that can help you. With this day and age of internet and technology, if you don’t know the answer to something, you can always find out.