Melissa Seltzer, 35, is the senior director of arts and culture for the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore’s arts-education programming for adults and children.
Originally from New York/New Jersey and a graduate of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., she moved to the Baltimore area in 2009 after starting a master’s degree program in Jewish communal service at Baltimore Hebrew Institute. These days, she lives in Westminster, Md., with her husband Evan, who grew up in Owings Mills, Md.; and sons Dylan (age 3) and Brody (5 months). The family attends the nearby Eldersburg Jewish Congregation.
What do you love most about being a parent?
Being a parent pushes me to be present and grateful. The excitement over the sight of a new truck during our commute suddenly became a cause for celebration. Even when I’m not with my boys, I seem to notice things I took for granted before and smile a whole lot more.
How do you balance your career with motherhood?
There is no such thing as balance. You are more like a plate spinner who is just trying to keep everything in motion and who gives the most attention to the thing that needs it most.
What’s your biggest parenting misstep?
In our desire to keep with tradition, we took our annual anniversary trip to Deep Creek Lake … when our baby was 8 weeks old! He already wasn’t a good sleeper, and we hoped he would sleep in a travel bassinet. Needless to say, we spent the night wide awake, taking turns making sure we didn’t wake the guests next door and get kicked out!
What’s the one thing you hope your children learn from you?
Compassion. Everyone is going through a struggle you can’t see. Just be kind and helpful to everyone.
What’s the best part about raising your family in central Maryland?
The playgrounds in Carroll County are incredible. Each one is unique with diverse equipment to climb, swing and slide, and they are free to the community.
Family meal: Make your own pizza. Tip: Ask your favorite local pizza place for a ball of dough.
Dessert: Ice-cream. We love Hoffman’s!
Way to spend a weekend with your family: We love to be able to say “please touch” instead of “don’t touch.” For that reason, we keep busy, whether it’s a farm, Orioles game or mini-golf. We like to introduce the kids to new experiences where they can learn and explore.
Vacation spot: Solomons Island (in Calvert County).