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Managing motherhood and poker passion

Here's an understatement: Online poker is convenient.

Everyone who plays on PokerStars knows that the options are endless for players: tournaments and cash games available at all times of the day or night, games for every bankroll level (including free play and freerolls), and tips/advice accessible when a player is ready to learn. The benefits of playing online are also obvious: no dress code, no travel, playing on a tablet or phone (or the computer, of course), and the ability to multi-task.

No one knows those online poker benefits better than PokerStars players who are also mothers.

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Kerry Bordinat with Kaylie in 2009

It's often said that motherhood is the toughest job in the world. So those who are able to juggle everything that comes with parenthood while also pursuing a career or serious hobby are practically superheroes.

PokerStars Women asked our Facebook friends about the topic. What makes online poker and motherhood go together so well?

Roxieforu05: The best part is you can pick your own hours when you want to work/play. You can take a day or more off without having to ask for it. I can sit outside in the fresh air with my laptop and enjoy the outdoors while playing.

HelloAA: The best thing is being able to play during random hours, when the kids aren't home or are sleeping.

CdnPkrMom: I was pretty excited once the mobile app came out. I would play while breastfeeding and when babe napped.

SHE'A'BOMBER: I have been playing PokerStars for just over a year now, and with having five kids, it is quite hard to juggle and play, so I play after they go to bed. If it's a tourney during the day, I might put a movie on, but I must say, it's just a little harder to concentrate. (LOL) But overall, it's great because I play most of the women's tourneys, and there are very lovely ladies who love to have a chat from all over the world, which I enjoy.

Natalie3107: I mainly play low stakes as a hobby. I now have a five-month-old. She sits on my lap while I play during the day; I've even breastfed her while playing! (LOL) It's so much easier now being able to use tablets to play. You can take it around the house with you (and the baby).

Nicky: The best thing is the PCA. This year we came sans bratlings, but next year, we will bring them. So much for them to do.

Getrosmurfin: The best thing is trying to win money for holiday.

Jbiff17: The best thing is winning money and being able to use it to do something special for/with the kids.

Of course, there are difficulties as well. Did we mention that motherhood is tough? And since children don't quite embrace the notion of waiting for Mommy to finish a tournament before they get a snack, it makes playing poker a bit tough at times. Many mothers do enjoy winding down from a busy day with a game of poker, but they also enjoy sleep. Finding time for poker becomes a quandary.

Roxiefuru05: The worst part is when I'm running deep in a tourney and I know there's dinner to make, laundry to fold, etc. BUT I can tote my laptop around to get it all done, so it's all good.

Nicky: Bed time is the hardest. I like to sing songs and read a story, and we do them in shifts (we have four kids).

Vilito2527: My daughter is two years old, and I'm still working. I have time to play poker when I have to sleep, so I don't sleep at all.

Magdiati: If you are a superhero mom, you can try to put the kids to bed early, or you are patient and wait until it's all quiet around you. But if you get to the final table, you will definitely be up until 3am or 4am and have maximum two or three hours to sleep.

Getrosmurfin: The hardest thing is when you get far in a tournament and have to get up early. And when I have to concentrate, she always needs me to come immediately.

Espritsanne: It's tough only playing when my kid is asleep or watching a movie.

Jbiff17: The hardest thing is finishing a tournament at 3am and then still having to get up at 7am to get the kids ready, prepare lunches, drive them to school, then attend a special morning tea at the school (actual experience!).

Then there are the mothers with grown children who now also play poker. We hear there are some fierce competitions around the kitchen table, and the online poker chat can become quite hysterical when mother and daughter/son are seated at the same virtual table. On a serious note, it can be quite the bonding experience for a family who plays poker together, and the familial competition is generally healthy and fun.

Jan Combes and son.jpg

Jan Combes and son Charlie

Sharon: The best thing about poker and motherhood is being able to play in the WSOP with my daughter, who had never played in a large tournament. And the hardest thing is watching your daughter cash when you're already out and watching from the rail. (LOL) Actually, it was awesome, and I was so proud.

Angrybird227: My kids are coming to an age where they can have their own accounts, so we are enjoying our love of the game with them. The best thing is having a family activity as the girls get older.

Charlene: I have been playing PokerStars for eight years now. I started playing "play" money, and after a year, it was my kids who said, "You need to play for real money." As an 11-time Canadian Shuffleboard champion, I have always been a competitive person, and now I love playing poker.

Thanks to everyone who commented on our Facebook page about this topic, and we always welcome your thoughts. Feel free to send us a message on Facebook at any time about what PokerStars Women can do to make your poker-playing experience easier to mix with motherhood.

Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.

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