For Tracy Boyette Robinson, motherhood has been an adventure, teaching her much about herself.

Over a year ago, she and husband, Cameron Robinson, were enjoying being parents of two -- Ellie, now 5, and Jack, 3.

Juggling full-time jobs -- she was at Wayne Memorial Hospital, he at Dick's Sporting Goods -- they were no different than many couples starting their family.

But then came the diagnosis that their son had a form of autism.

Mrs. Robinson left her full-time job to spend more time caring for her son.

"He doesn't speak well. He's in preschool at Edgewood Community Developmental School," she said. "They're amazing."

She took a part-time job at Michael's, where she previously had worked years before.

"They're very accommodating," she said. "Jack has a very hard time in the morning, and I'm able to work mostly nights and weekends."

She also has been able to parlay her love of makeup into a home business she started in April that is just starting to take off.

She had never worked in direct sales, so was admittedly surprised to become a top salesperson in her group about a month after she started working with LimeLight.

Her husband was most supportive, clearing out an extra room in their farmhouse in the Grantham community.

Daughter Ellie is also a fan.

"It's all natural stuff so I don't mind her playing with it," she said, as her oldest sits in front of a mirror and samples the products.

The opportunity came at the perfect time, she said.

"To be able to stay home is wonderful if you can commit to it because there are so many things that only happen for the first time," she said.

"To be able to experience that -- Jack, when he smiles at me, his 'social smile' as they call it. It's a lot of work but it's the best job."

Having been on both sides, as a working mom and a stay-at-home mother, she knows the pull to be all things to all people.

The idea of being "superwoman" is probably a misnomer, she said.

Either role involves trial and error, she said.

The hardest part about becoming a parent has been loss of privacy.

"You can't go to the bathroom by yourself," she said.

"You get kind of locked into the kids' shows all day. Loss of some of the adult time, loss of privacy and what-not."

Having a good partner and support system helps.

She is fortunate to have both, in the form of her husband, as well as her family and in-laws.

"You've just got to find your groove, figure out what works for you," she said.

"I like to do things when Ellie can watch Jack and make sure he's OK. Sometimes you have to stop and re-evaluate things. You have to go off on your own. I'll say, 'Cameron, I'm going to Target.' He's very good about that. He's my better half."

"One of my favorite things I read, I can't remember who said it, but nobody remembers the nights where they got plenty of sleep."

Andrea Freile was born in Ecuador, moving to the U.S. with her family at 17.

They came to Wayne County in 1998.

She learned early on to be self-sufficient and goal-oriented, she says.

"I grew up in that generation of checklists, the to-do lists and that time line -- by 40, I need to achieve all these things," she said.

"And then when life started throwing my curves, I realized, well, I've achieved some of the academic goals, and I've achieved some of the jobs I wanted to achieve.

"But some of the other areas of my life are not happening, no matter how I wanted. I planned a happy marriage, it's right here; it's in the program."

That didn't turn out as planned, though, says the single mother of two -- Bella, 13, and Jack, 3.

A communications instructor at Wayne Community College, she juggles career and parenting, as well as an array of interests that center around her love of community.

"I'm involved with Leadership Wayne County, the Paramount Theatre, with StageStruck, with whatever team I've joined that month," she said.

"It's my choice to be active because I want to be part of this village.

"I'm not complaining about being busy. I'm active by choice, but if someone can help me, I'll ask."

A certified yoga instructor, the activity is more than about exercise.

The practice also taught her a lot about stretching her mind and focusing on the journey rather than the destination.

The concepts proved helpful when she put them into practice in her daily life.

From becoming a minimalist to adopting a more intentional approach to life, Ms. Freile says her lifestyle these days is about balance.

One of the highlights of her week is the Tuesday night dinners she hosts at her home.

They started out small, a friend or two dropping over, and have developed into a faithful contingent of a dozen or more who bring guitars, share a meal and a relaxed evening of conversation and fellowship.

"It goes back to meaningful connections where you can get to know each other," she said.

"If you're not connected to people face to face, how are you going to be able to feel hope and happiness?"

As an extrovert, she prefers being around people to being alone, she says.

Being with others will always win out over social media or impersonal means of communication.

"I truly do plan, and I hold my friends accountable because in this world, people always cancel time with friends," she said.

"I hold them accountable to say, we're going to see each other.

"I value that time with my friends. And that recharges me because it's the time I can speak about something deeper or grow a little."

It's a message she practices as much as she preaches, including in her classroom, which ironically includes her own "Superpower Speech," she said with a laugh.

"You know, in your 20s, you're superwoman. You can do it all by yourself," she said.

"It's almost embarrassing to ask for help. But when life throws you curves, you realize either you sink at that moment or you say, 'help me, I'm drowning.'"

These days, she has recognized the importance of a village, and will ask for help from her network, which includes her parents, friends and co-workers -- from picking up one of her children to helping with yard work.

"I used to have a list that said, 'This is my to-do list for work, this is my to-do list for myself or my home,'" she said.

"I found that I could never keep up with it, and at the end of the day, I would feel this lack of accomplishment because I couldn't keep up with it or I would stay up later trying to do it.

"I have had to make a fundamental change that allows me to practice my virtues and my character and what makes me happy, today, because tomorrow may never come."