Every day this month, I will be featuring an interview with a working mom just like you. It’s called A Day in the Life of a Working Mom.
We’ll learn about what she does for work, her family life, and….her tips/tricks for getting everything done.
Today’s featured Working Mom is Janine!
Tell us about your family (married, significant other, children’s ages, etc.).
I am married for 8 years (together for 15 years) to my husband Vernon. We have three kids, 7, 3, and 16 months. I have two girls and my youngest is my boy. I’m very blessed in life with my husband and kids. We enjoy family time, watching movies and being silly together.
Where do you live?
I live in New York. I am based in Port Jefferson Station, Long Island.
What do you do for a living?
I am the Owner/Chief Innovations Officer for Talent Think Innovations, LLC a talent management and HR consulting firm focused on helping businesses develop strategies that facilitate the attraction, development and retention of the right people for their organization.
I am also the Founder of The Aristocracy of HR blog where I provide weekly commentary, food-for-thought and advice on advances in technology, HR, Talent Management, Business, and the Future of Work.
How do you fit blogging into the mix (if it’s not your “day job”)?
Blogging drives and powers my business. I blog early in the morning, when the kids are sleeping and late at night. It is not only something I love, but an extremely lucrative portion of my business.
What is your typical day like?
A typical day for me includes me getting up at 6:00 a.m. I usually pray and meditate or listen to my affirmations. I check a few emails and then I go wake my oldest daughter up to take a shower. I get the kids up, wash them up, feed them, comb their hair and it is off to the bus stop by 8:30 a.m.
I return home with my two little ones and we have breakfast. I set them up with independent activities and take a deeper dive into emails. I usually work from 9-10 am. I play with the little ones around 11am and give them lunch around 12pm. They go down for a nap around 1 or 1:30 p.m. I go back to working from 1:30 until 3:00 p.m. I wake the kids up at 3:10 p.m. and we head down to the bus stop for 3:30 p.m. to pick up my oldest.
From 3:45 p.m. to about 4:45 p.m. it is homework time. 4:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. I am spending time with the kids, cooking or listening to a podcast (sometimes, I’m on a Twitter Chat too.). 8:00 p.m. I am winding everyone down for the night. 8:30 p.m. everyone is in bed. I continue to work from 9:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. on an early night. If I am pulling a late one, I will work until 2:30 a.m.
What’s the best thing about being a working mom? What’s the hardest thing?
I love being a mom. I am still cultivating interests, pursuing goals and remain relevant in my field. Working while raising my kids not only gives me a competitive edge in preparing my kids for their inevitable entrance into the workforce; but it allows me to be something independent of my role as “mommy”.
The hardest thing about being a working mom is the constant juggling of priorities. You can schedule all you want, there will come a time where something with your kid(s) throws a monkey-wrench in your plans and suddenly you are on a completely different trajectory altogether that day.
Do you experience guilt associated with being a working mom?
Absolutely. I think there is a part of you that always wonders whether you are doing your best and doing enough as a mom. As the demand for my services continues to increase, I find myself traveling a little more and having to leave them in the care of family and friends to do what I need to do. I feel some guilt when I have to leave them, but help them understand that the work I do is important.
On the other hand, I firmly believe that it is beneficial for them to witness me building my business and pursuing my dreams. I certainly hope it sends the message that they are capable of doing the same in the future.
How do you handle day to day responsibilities (meals, laundry, cleaning, chauffeuring kids, Dr. appointments, school meetings, etc.)?
My most productive days are Sunday through Wednesday. I tend to keep my schedule lighter on Thursdays and Fridays. I try to keep Dr.’s appointments for Fridays and Saturdays if I can help it. If not, I make them early morning on a work day so it doesn’t disturb the flow of my day.
Laundry gets done either early morning before I start work but typically at night. Thursday is my cleaning day so long as there is nothing pressing on my calendar.
Food shopping is usually kept to the weekend or a quick run in the evening or early morning.
I cook about 2-3 times a week. I try to cook in bulk to alleviate myself from having to cook daily, plus it allows my husband to consistently have home-cooked food to take to work.
Chauffeuring kids, school meetings, and events are scheduled for and attended as needed. Part of why I work for myself is to have more flexibility to do what I need to for my kids without the usual corporate pressure or guilt.
What are your top 3 – 5 tips for keeping everything together?
Be kind to yourself. Many times, I think I have screwed up an entire day or that I’m not being patient or attentive enough to my kids’ needs. Anytime I feel that way, my kids reassure me that they love me and that I am a pretty neat mommy.
When tensions rise, walk away and take a moment. I juggle a lot in a day, sometimes the kids are arguing; while my little guy is into mischief. I am methodical about sending everyone to their corners so I can breathe and resume care-taking from a calm place.
Schedule everything. I don’t just mean utilizing a calendar. If I didn’t have my kids to bed at a certain time and have specific bundles of time for lead calls, blogging etc. I would be a mess more often than not.
Find ways to preserve your time. I am no stranger to having my groceries delivered or ordered for pickup. It may seem like an expensive endeavor, but when you calculate the value of having your time back- it is completely worth it.
Watching Being Mary Jane, Reruns of Californication on Netflix, Eating Macarons, An occasional glass of wine or stiff drink.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that you think would encourage other working moms?
As long as you are always doing the best you can- that is the best anyone can ask for. Also, remember that your family equals the sum total of how well you take of yourself. If you neglect yourself, you have nothing to give them. Don’t forget to hit the reset button when you need to.
What was helpful that you can apply to your work mom life?
Let me know in the comments below. If you have an extra moment, head over to give that working mom some love!
If YOU would like to be featured, send an email to raki at outsidetheboxmom dot com. If all of the October spots have been filled, I will feature your interview in a continued series.