Welcome back to My Full Life!
If you’re a new reader, My Full Life is a new series featuring working moms such as myself. My goal for this series is to ultimately gather together a tribe of women that my readers can go to for advice and feel they are not alone.
Today’s interview is with one of my favorite mom bloggers, Jana. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, a mom to two adorable children and manages two successful part-time careers as a Beautycounter Manager and Public Information Officer at her local school district. She welcomed a new baby girl to the mix after I initially interviewed her and she was happy to share some insight about the transition.
Tell me a little about yourself- what you do and what your family looks like.
I am married to my high school sweetheart, and we have an almost two year old son named Jack and a daughter on the way! I have taken on just about every role possible when it comes to working. Currently I am a stay-at-home mom, who also works-at-home as a Manager for Beautycounter, a blogger, and a freelance writer, and I also go into the office two days a week where I work in the Public Information Office for a large school district.
Since our interview, you welcomed your baby girl into the world. How has the transition been?
So far, the transition with two kids has been eye-opening, exhausting, and fun. 🙂 In the same breath, it has also forced me to focus on what really matters. Right now, I prioritize my tasks and make sure that the most important things get accomplished first. So although I have a running list of things to do – that continues to grow! – I make sure that the things that aren’t for my family, for my business, or that bring joy to my life are at the bottom of the list.
How did you get in your current role?
I started my current position in public relations in December 2014, and found out I was pregnant with my son about two weeks later! I went back to work full-time for about two months and decided it wasn’t the right move for me. My employer allowed me to go part-time, and the rest of the week I am at home. While at home, I’ve also been able to build my Beautycounter business and expand my writing gigs. This has allowed me to contribute significantly in a financial way for my family, while also getting to be at home with my son more often than I’m not.
What accomplishment are you most proud of professionally? What about as a parent?
I am proud of myself for wearing many hats. I feel like it allows me to relate to so many different women, and it also gives me my own responsibility outside the home. I’ve also been scared to say ‘yes’ to so many opportunities, and I feel as if now I just go for it and don’t second guess myself! As a parent I am proud to show my kids that you can do it all – have a career both inside and outside the home, and still be a great parent.
Tell me a bit about what your work days look like. What do your routines look like?
Two days a week I get up at 5:00am and I drive an hour to work, where I spend 8 1/2 hours answering emails, writing media releases, working with our Foundation, and responding to community inquiries. On days I am at home, I take advantage of Jack’s naptime or get up early or stay up late to write posts and articles, or to plan social media and reach out to clients and prospects.
What do your weekends look like?
Weekends are the best time for me to just let it all go and relax with my family! Usually any photo shoots I need done for my blog take place on the weekends, and I also try to plan for the week ahead on Sunday evenings.
What has been your biggest struggle as a working mom? How have you overcome it?
My biggest struggle is finding that balance of remembering that when I am home, its because of my son. Sometimes I can get frustrated if I am unable to get my work done because he is fussy or wants to play. I always trying to take a moment to get myself back together and remember why I am home and what is important. My work can always wait, but babies don’t keep. 🙂
If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself as you were preparing to return to work?
To look at it as more of a blessing than an obligation! There are still days when I do not want to get out of bed to go to work, but if I focus on the gift of having such a flexible part-time job, and to be thankful for the financial freedom it provides, it makes working not so bad!
You seem to have seamlessly transitioned your blog to a new perspective since becoming a Mom. What are your thoughts on sharing about your kids? How do you decide how much to share?
Honestly, the transition just felt naturally. I’ve been blogging since 2011 after I got married, so obviously a lot has changed in the past six years. However, I’ve always just shared my life in my posts, so I think the blog evolved naturally with each stage of life.
I personally enjoy sharing about my kids on the blog. They ARE my life, and if I’m going to share about my life in posts, they will probably be included as well. With that being said though, I put a ton of thought into what I share publicly.
On Kids and Blogging
It may seem as if my children are perfect, but that is mostly because I try not to share negatives about my kids. That is my protective nature coming out. I may talk about sleep challenges or what my kids like to eat or read, but I am probably not going to share much about misbehavior or discipline in my home. This just feels so personal to me and I would rather keep that within our family.
I also put a lot of thought into what pictures I share, and I try not to include anything that may feel embarrassing to them someday. Although they can’t tell me now what is okay and what is not, I never make a decision without thinking of them first.
Tell me your thoughts on balance. Do you think it truly exists? How do you make time for your family, career, relationships and yourself?
I think balance does exist, but there will never be a perfect balance. Some days will go smooth and others will be chaos, and that’s okay! Not always ideal, but okay. I really do make an effort to put my phone away when I’m not working, but it can be very difficult when so much of your job is online and through social media. It’s definitely something I continue to work on every day.