I think what we learn as mothers is to work efficiently in a focused period of time. I think I’m more efficient than people without kids because I know that I only have until a certain time to get everything done. So I put on my blinders and run!
What are some of the tricks and rules you have for managing your time?
One rule I have is to keep my computer downstairs, in my husband’s studio, away from our living area. It used to be in the living room, but it wasn’t productive. When my son used to come up to me, I was just staring at the computer screen. I didn’t think I was setting a good example. Putting the computer away was inconvenient at first, but then I had more opportunities to spend time with my family – like hanging out with my son at the breakfast table instead of checking the weather on the computer.
I do a lot of work on my commute, on the subway. This is when I get my reading done.
I always have a little pad with me to write down things that I need to do, whether it’s for work or for my family.
What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to juggling work and family?
I think my husband gets the short end of the stick. My work and my kids are solid. What I need to work on now is making sure that my husband feels just as important as my job and kids. Kids, job, husband – that’s the order now. But I need to switch the husband and job parts. That’s what I’m working on now –I’m not a great wife yet.
What does your husband do?
He works as a freelance photographer and has a somewhat flexible schedule.
Can you describe a typical day for you and your family?
We carpool with a neighbor and every other day my husband drops off my son and his friend to school; one of us picks him up at 6pm. If I pick him up then I take him for a snack to sit down and hang out together. We have an hour from 6-7pm, before our babysitter (who stays with the baby during the day) goes home and I really like that we get this time to talk about our days.
When we get home my husband or I get dinner ready and then we spend some time with the baby, giving her a bath, and putting her to bed.
We used to sit down for dinner as a family, but now it’s a bit tricky because the baby goes to sleep around 8pm and we have to do bath time before that. Many nights I find that I don’t eat until 9:30pm, which I know isn’t great. My husband and I don’t really cook anything fancy for ourselves—we prefer to spend whatever time we have at the end of the day hanging out with each other. I’m still trying to figure out how to get us all to eat together again – that’s a time management issue I have.