Mom Interviews

Penelope Trunk

Freelance Writer & Blogger, Author of Brazen Careerist

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But I quickly realized that I was a working writer. I was a freelance writer. So I decided to try to figure out all the ins and outs of that business, and turn it into something to support my family so I didn’t have to go back to Wall Street.

Can you briefly describe your usual day – what do you do when you get up, who gets the kids ready, how do you split your day between work and family, when do you go write, eat, go to bed?

My kids wake up at 5:30 am. We have tried everything to make this not happen. Nothing has worked. So my husband gets up with them.

They wake me at 7am. We have breakfast and I take my five year-old to school. My husband stays home with the baby some mornings and some mornings there’s a babysitter.

I work at a coffee shop from 8am to 1:30pm. On days when I’m a wreck about my workload, I stay until 2pm.

I am with the kids until 8pm and then I work from 8pm until midnight. I try to go to the gym during that evening period. I try to check my email during the getting-the-kids-to-bed period. It’s almost never successful.

Best thing about your job: Meeting interesting people.

Most challenging or stressful thing about your job: Making sure I leave mental space for the kids.

Do you have an office where you work or do you work from home?

The coffee shop I work at, Company of Thieves, is like an office to me. The women who own it, Cris and Rhonada are like co-workers to me. They know when I have deadlines, they know my work habits, they can tell when I had a fight with my husband on the way to work.

They have done amazing things. For example, I noticed that Cris was eating salads for lunch, but salads aren’t on the menu. So now she makes me a salad when she makes herself a salad. I am not totally sure what they charge me for it (I pay a monthly tab) but I’m sure it’s worth it. Without that salad I’d be eating scones for lunch.

When I do radio interviews I need a land line. Cris and Rhonda let me use their land line so that I don’t have to go back to my house to do interviews. One time Rhonda interrupted an interview with the Wall St. Journal’s radio show because someone needed to charge their coffee and they needed the phone line. So now I pay the bill for anyone who wants to use a credit card while I’m on the phone.

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