As I first glimpsed at working mom Susan Wenner Jackson’s responses for this week’s “Her Juggle,” I have to admit I was a little jealous. Her work situation sounds amazing, and I love her line of work designed to helping bloggers and writers. Additionally, Susan is Editor-in-Chief of the popular site Working Moms Against Guilt, which compiles some wonderful commentary and tips for all busy moms. Take a read and I’m sure you’ll discover a new virtual friend in Susan.
Tell us what you do for a living.
I help independent publishers (i.e., bloggers) distribute and monetize their content through Pinterest and other platforms at a tech startup called Ahalogy.
How many kids do you have? Ages?
I have an 8-year-old daughter and an almost 5-year-old son.
Explain your average morning.
Always hitting the snooze button and running late, inevitably cursing myself for not being one of those super-organized moms who packs lunches and gets outfits laid out the night before. If I’m having a good morning, I’ll actually have time for a shower and a cup of coffee. I make sure my kids are dressed and have something to eat before we pile in the minivan and head off for a 35-minute commute to school. Then I go to the office (another 10 minutes in the car), pour myself more coffee and breathe.
Give us a glimpse into your daily “juggle.” Do you work in an office or at home? Do you connect with your kids throughout the day?
I feel very fortunate to work for a startup that totally supports my need for flexibility. That makes my juggle a whole lot easier than many working moms in more rigid corporate situations. I do work full-time, and mostly in the office, but I also have the option to work from wherever I am (including late at night when the kids are sleeping). My kids go to a wonderful Montessori school that’s near my office, so I occasionally visit them at school or bring them to my office for brief stints (it’s a family-friendly environment – e.g., we have Nerf guns and candy). I love my current work-life integration (MOST of the time) and it seems to work for my family.
How does your family keep track of schedules and activities?
I’m pretty much the only one who handles all that, and I use Google Calendar and ToDoist to keep track.
Describe your dream schedule?
Ten hours to sleep, six hours to work, one hour for self-care, three hours of quality family time, two hours to read and write, two hours for “life stuff.”
How do you use your time at night once the kids are asleep?
Watch TV and work. I know, soooo lame.
What is the best thing about being a working mom? Hardest thing?
Best: I can support myself and my family while pursuing my professional passions. Hardest: I always feel behind on everything and drop a lot of balls.
How do you relieve stress or carve out “me” time?
I confess, I don’t do nearly enough of either. I find spending time in nature relieves my stress. A good pedicure or facial also works wonders. Once in a blue moon, I go out with friends and have some good laughs.
Share a treasured tip you’ve received from another mom.
Your kids can sense if you’re not happy, and it makes them feel bad. So don’t feel like you’re being selfish doing what makes you happy. A happy mom makes for a better mom.
And, if there is anything else you’d like to share … feel free.
My “philosophy”: Life is hard. Being a mom is hard. Don’t be so tough on yourself, and ask for help when you need it. Help others when you can, too. Love is the most important thing you can give your kids. It takes a village. Be kind. Laugh at yourself and life as much as possible.
Last great book you’ve read:
Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
Your Working Mama Theme Song Would Be …
“My Prerogative” by Bobby Brown.
My greatest guilty pleasure:
Binge-watching TV shows on Netflix.
Are you a working mom who would like share your “juggle?”
Message me on Facebook or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d love to share your story!