* Clip of G and one of my acts "I Am Love" performing last weekend
For sometime now I’ve taken a break from reading others blogs. The shifts at work and home really needed a lot of my attention. Today after a crazy busy week I pulled up my google reader and jumped back in. I was TOTALLY inspired by Joanna Goddard’s recent series of guest posts from stay at home, working at home, creative mothers. I can honestly say I’ve never met any other mothers doing what I’m doing so it was a pleasure of a read. I know plenty of stay at home moms and even more working mothers but this rare combination, even more specifically this rare bread all living in big cities felt like it was written just for me! I read the series in one wonderful sitting. You bet your butt I’m going to be reaching out to these local momma’s for a coffee date and a heartfelt “I understand session”.
I thought it would be fun to do a post with the interview Johanna did with all these woman myself!
1. What’s your work schedule?
I use to force myself up super early to get a little work done then I realized that was quickly burning myself out. I’ve been on a “better life kick” for sometime now and included in that has been attempting 8 hours of sleep a night so now I let myself sleep as much as I can in the mornings. Mark has to be out the door by 8 and G is up by 6-7 so he’ll get up with her, sometimes feed her and he always takes her for a dog walk. Morning dogs walks are her favorite part of the day.
I roll out of bed between 7:30 and 8 first grabbing my phone from bed to see if there’s anything pressing for work I need to attend to. I set up G’s breakfast and say farewell to Mark before her Bikes off to Dumbo for the day.
Usually after G eats I get us all dressed and ready to go. This part of the day can be anything from a walk down to Fairway Market for groceries and a bite to eat on the water. G loves tossing little stones into the ocean water. The morning are the best on the water, before the city heat sets in for the day.
We’re home by 9:30/10 and I put G down for her first nap. When I know G is actually asleep usually a half hour or so later I head out and take care of our chickens. Since we live in Brooklyn we have to take extra care to keep the coop clean everyday. I fill their feed, clean/fill the huge water container, and hose down the soil area in their coop. Once a week I clean out their bedding in the “house” part of the coop.
Next I’m off to either jobs around the house or it down to work for anything pressing I can fit in for nap time like calls I can’t take at night. Because my office is at home I’ve had to put strict rules on myself to not work when G’s awake which can get hard when my staff needs me or something is on a tight deadline.
Anywhere from noon to one Mark comes home for lunch and G wakes from her nap. Mark will feed her while I get another 45 mins in at my desk. If G sleeps late which she will do on occasion Mark will help out with the dishes or something around the house. It’s amazing how much those small little tasks being done seems to help the day run smoother.
The afternoon is usually filled with errands and trips to one of the many parks around here for G. I have to admit the past month or so I’ve been lazy with getting G out to see other kids. My summer goal is to set her up with more play dates and adventures. I would love before fall to get her into a music class when it makes more financial sense. She’s so social and really needs that time with other children. Some days I’ll make dinner at 4ish but most we make it back to the house at that point after a quick snack G goes down for her afternoon nap. This nap is only 45-a hour but at this point I’m starting to get into a work frame of mind and take my post in my office.
Three days a week Mark leaves the office at 5 so I can get to work early. My staff stays till 7 so we have a couple hours together. On Mondays at 6pm we have a big staff pow wow where we go over all our current bands and what we’re all currently working on. These meetings really set the work week up for us all. I then work from 5-10 or 7-11 at nights. Mark feeds G her dinner, bathes her, and puts her to bed. Mark will often toss a plate of food onto my desk and I’ll eat dinner as I work.
I’ve recently started the routine for heading out for a run around 11pm. It’s great having that 45 min slot for just me to sweat and release some built up stress. There’s also nothing better before be then a post workout shower! Then I pass out and do the whole thing over the next day.
My job is also odd in the fact I have random things I often need to attend like photo shoots or events. I’m still getting use to bringing G with me to these things and hoping as she gets older it will get easier. We’ll have to see though!
Edit: From the point of me starting to write this post and actually finishing it my schedule will be changing once again….My business partner is leaving the company so I’m cutting down my work load to only 3 clients a month. Things won’t change over till September officially.
2. How do you handle childcare?
We had a nanny since G was 5 weeks up till she was 14 months. She was here almost full time. In turn it was costing us an arm and a leg and eventually when my work slowed down it caught up to us financially. So, I took the dive into staying home and trying to run my company from my home office. We’re still getting our financial life back on track after a few slow months for me but I’m hoping to eventually have maybe one or two days a week with help. Honestly though I don’t think I’ll ever go back to full time child care, I’ve gotten to know G so much deeper with this change in schedule and never want to go back to my old ways of working so much. My relationship with G is just too important at this point.
3. Where do you work during the day?
When we first had G we were in a very small one and a half bedroom. When G was 3 months old we decided to have me work from home. I set up my office in our living room and it was horrible. I felt like I was always at work. So, Mark and I moved one neighborhood over into a three bedroom. It’s actually a sweet set up, the front room is my office space and the back of the apartment is our living area. Work is close enough to balance both my worlds. I’m really tempted to move the house around again by September to help with my new schedule….. just have to see if I can convince mark!
4. What do you like best about your current set-up?
I love that G gets to be in the middle of my work. We often host bands and the house will be taken over with so many different characters. G has a huge community of people around her at all times. Also with me being home all the time I really feel she’s growing up with a huge sense of “home” which is very very important to me.
5. What do you find so-so/tricky/hilariously bad about your current set-up? What would you change if you had a magic wand?
Oh boy, here’s where it gets complicated, I do wish I had more time to work uninterrupted yet I wouldn’t sacrifice any of my time with G ever. So if I had a magic wand I would make 10 more hours in the day and an endless amount of energy!
It’s tricky to not get overwhelmed when G’s having a cranky mood, I’m behind at work, the house has gotten out of control…..which always seems to happen together because east things come in threes. I know this period of pressure is temporary. One day G will head to school giving me more free time, my company will at one point become less demanding, it’s just a matter of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel while serial appreciating every moment of her growing up. That’s the biggest challenge of all honestly! Learning to slow down when I’m forced to forge ahead with a million things to do.
6. How do you and your husband fit your marriage into the balance?
Haha, funny. We still haven’t figured this one out. Once financials get more balanced I’m hoping to have our upstairs neighbor watch G so Mark and I can have date night a couple times a month. That’s the goal. At this point it’s more about figuring out how not to kill each other within the blur.
6. Do you have any time for yourself?
Nope. I am going to be taking a “me” day soon. Everyone has agreed I’m in major need of this. A day where I don’t have my phone, am off from work, Mark has G, the neighbors take care of the chickens and I get to leave the house and do what ever it is I want to do, BY MYSELF. Honestly I should have been doing this a long time ago but never thought of it. I’m SO excited!
7. Do you ever wonder how other women manage the juggle? Have you talked to other women about it?
Yes. Yet I don’t know any woman like me, I know plenty of moms and plenty of business owners but I currently don’t know anyone who does both. I know it’s not right but I kind of get peeved when stay at home moms complain. If my only responsibilities were G and the house hold my life would be a damn vacation. Grass is always greener I guess.
8. What advice would you give to other moms about how to balance work and life?
Sleep. Your body needs it, no excuses find at least 8 hours, anywhere.
Any of you guys in a simular situation? I would love to hear about it!