Melina found this amazing series on one of our favorite blogs, A Cup of Jo, featuring seven moms and how they balance work/life/parenting. She suggested I answer the same questions, so here I go ...

What's your work schedule?
Chaotic. Truly, my schedule is never the same, especially now, in the summer, when my husband and girls are home every day. During the school year, the girls go to preschool/pre-k Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. That’s my time to work in daylight – I schedule meetings, work from home, spend time with some of my clients in the offices, etc. The rest is done after the girls go to bed at night, around 8 p.m., early morning (if I don’t press snooze) and on weekends.

Being silly on a weekday at home - glorious!

2. How do you handle childcare?
Like I mentioned before, the girls go to school two days a week at a church preschool just a few blocks away. (Sadly, we’ve only walked maybe 10 times in two years!) When I need extra help, I have several lovely babysitters – my cousin who’s in college and even my sister, now that she’s also working from home. Once she has her baby, I’m sure I’ll be returning the favor. We joke we’re like sister wives!

Sister wives with Mom and Yiayia

3. Where do you work during the day?
I either work from my home office/guest bedroom/craft area for the girls (see, chaotic, right?) or from one of my clients’ offices.  I have office space at two different locations around town, so I spend some time each week there. My final work spot is the Latte Land on State Line; there’s always a lot of energy there and little nooks to work in peace. Technology has made it possible to work anywhere – yesterday, I responded to emails and did a conference call  - all while getting my hair done!

I even worked from Florida earlier this summer!

4. What do you like best about your current set-up?
I feel like I get to do it all. I know that sounds silly and trite, and it’s not entirely true (something usually gets pushed to the backburner), but I do get to be a stay-at-home mom, while bringing in a great income for my family. It’s the best! On the days the girls are home with me, we do so much fun stuff – gymnastics or dance practice, regular runs to Starbucks, the gym, story time, play dates with friends, movies in the middle of the day all snuggled up in my bed. I can’t believe I’d miss all of that if I were working full-time in an office. Another thing I love – because I’m with them so much, I don’t feel guilty meeting friends for dinner and drinks or sending them to my parents’ house for the weekend from time to time. When I worked away from home when Evie was a baby, I couldn’t bear to be a part from her in the evenings or weekends, which meant I wasn’t a very good friend or wife – no date nights; I only wanted to be with my girl. Now I feel like my life has so much more balance – and my husband is much happier, too!

With my happy hubby in Nashville - a weekend away from home!

5. How did you decide to go freelance/start your own business?
I pretty much lost it when we found out we were pregnant with our second child just six months after having our first. I was already stressed and overcome with guilt from working all day and putting Evie in day care. Another child to part with every day? No way could I handle that. Fortunately, the company I worked for at the time understood (and saw clearly I was about to lose every last marble if something didn’t change) and gave in to my request to work from home. In the beginning, while I was pregnant with Nora, I worked in the office once or twice a week while a nanny took care of Evie and then spent the rest of the week sneaking in work during naptime and late at night. Once Nora was born, I made the final leap, quitting my full-time position and starting a contract with my employer for a set amount of hours and pay each month. This was such a safe way to go! I had a solid safety net! As time went by and my employer began hiring to round out the department, their dependence on me decreased – and so did my monthly checks. That’s when I actively started pursuing new clients. Today, I have anywhere from four to six regular clients, and I love the variety that brings. Every day is something new, and although chaos can be overwhelming, it’s how I choose to live my life – playing dress up with my girls one moment and finishing up a big project the next.


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