Monday, October 13, 2008

Working Mom Interview with Susan

I'm so happy to start some of the "mom" interviews that I told you about a few weeks back. Our first is an interview with Susan, a mom who works outside of the home. She blogs over at Working Moms Against Guilt - a blog about exactly that (and more)! By the way, these interviews will be great "follow ups" to my piece over at 5 Minutes for Mom (Friday's post), if you haven't gotten to see that yet!

Here's a bit more...Susan Wenner Jackson works full-time as an associate creative director at dunnhumbyUSA, a relevance marketing firm. She spends an inordinate amount of time blogging and participating in online communities. Her husband Jay works outside the home and their 2-year-old daughter goes to a wonderful sitter. Prior to Susan's life in advertising (including five years as a copywriter/director at Bridge Worldwide), she was a magazine editor and newspaper reporter. She got a master's degree at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and a bachelor's degree in journalism at Miami University. Keep up with her not-quite-blogworthy minutia on Twitter.

What helped you decide to continue to work outside of the home when you had/started a family?
As the primary breadwinner in our house, I felt I owed it to my daughter to keep working and support our family. Quitting would have put us under heavy financial strain, and I didn't want that for us.

How do you schedule your days so that you are able to get work done as well as be a mom?

During the week, I split the "mom" duties between me and our sitter, who is really like a second mom for our daughter. I wake up with her, feed her breakfast, and with my husband, get her ready to go to the sitter's house. Dad takes her to the sitter before heading to his office, and I go to my office. I work full-time, so my typical work day is 8:30 to 5. Then I pick her up, bring her home, fix dinner and do the whole evening/bedtime routine. Fortunately, my current job doesn't require late hours or weekend work, so I have that time free to be a mom. On weekends, I spend nearly every waking moment with our girl to soak up as much as I can!

How did you know that this was the best option for your family?
I don't know for sure, but it feels pretty right because we're financially secure, we enjoy our quality family time, and our daughter is thriving.

Do you ever feel that there is too much on your plate or have you found a good "routine" or way of doing life?
There are definitely times when I feel overwhelmed -- usually when I've taken on more responsibilities (volunteering, freelance work, social events) than I can handle comfortably. If I keep those "extra's" to a manageable load, I feel like we're doing OK.

What do you do with your children while you work?
Our daughter goes to a sitter's house five days a week, 8-9 hours a day. She spends her days playing with the sitter's two kids (when they're not in school) and another little boy. They have a ball, and she's always safe and well cared for, which makes me feel so much better about the whole situation.

How do you strive to balance work and family life?
If I sense there's something off balance, I try to correct it. But I never feel like I have a "perfect" balance--I don't know if any mom does.

What encouragement can you give to moms who would like to get back into work outside of the home or moms that are trying to decide what choice is best for them?
Do what you feel is right for you and your family. That's my mantra to all moms. No one else can or should tell you how to live your life.

1 comment:

  1. Great picture of balance! I tend to go overboard with work - always feeling like I need to put in 110% and extra time, so I struggle with this concept, but I'm glad she can make it work.