Mom Interviews

Penelope Trunk

Freelance Writer & Blogger, Author of Brazen Careerist

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What is your childcare arrangement and how happy are you with it?

Sometimes I think I’m lucky that my husband takes care of my kids during the day. But really, things are very complicated. For example, I took the baby with me on a few business trips. I brought our babysitter but then needed another one for the child I left at home. Sometimes I feel like I should open a babysitting service just so I have access to a babysitter when I need one.

How do you split up responsibilities at home with your husband?

We are fifty-fifty with household stuff. Well, as equal as you can be in an area where it is impossible to keep score. I earn most of the money and I confess to holding this over my husband’s head in obnoxious, 1950s-style arguments that I will probably go to hell for.

What compromises have you had to make personally and professionally since becoming a mom? Has having children affecting your career path?

I have turned down a lot of interesting work so that I can be with my kids. I don’t usually say that, though. I usually say something like, my current work is so grand and vast and great that I can’t do anything else. This is true, in a way, but it’s also true the my current work does not encroach too much on my time with my kids. I am not convinced that it’s good to say this all over the place, though.

Did you find that your colleagues/clients treated you differently after you had kids?

The first editor I ever had was at a business magazine. When I told him I was pregnant, he said, “You should probably start thinking about what you’re going to do next. Like, maybe you should write for Working Mother.”

A short while ago, you packed up and moved your family from New York City to Madison, Wisconsin. Can you talk about what motivated you to do this? How is the move turning out so far?

I did a lot of research about what makes people happy. I decided that I would not be happy in New York City. I narrowed things down to Mineapolis, Portland, Austin and Madison. Madison had the lowest cost of living, so we went there.

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