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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My balance: Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen

Deb Perelman writes the mouthwatering blog Smitten Kitchen, featuring delicious recipes and heartfelt, funny thoughts on food and life. Happily for us, she’s also finishing up a cookbook! She lives in the East Village with her husband and toddler son. Here, she tells us how she attempts to juggle everything...

*****

1. What's your work schedule?
My husband and I switch off nights/mornings with Jacob, but lately he's had to leave for work before Jacob is done chatting animatedly with the stuffed aardvark in his crib, so I'm on morning duty. Not that I terribly mind. I get him dressed, make and help him eat his oatmeal, read some books with him, then get myself ready to start my day (I work from home but insist that I'm showered, dressed and able to be seen by the world, or at least a barista, by 9 a.m.). Once the babysitter arrives, it's off to the races -- literally, because I have soooo much more to squeeze in than I can ever finish in the day.

2. How do you handle childcare?
I work three full days and two half days a week. We have the best babysitter in the entire world. When I take him to the park or library, almost every time a complete stranger will come up to me to gush over how they've seen them out together and how great she is with my kid. It never gets old.

3. Where do you work during the day?
In the kitchen or holed up in my bedroom, the room I've been talking about buying a desk for for almost 20 months. Instead, I sit on the bed with a nest of papers, camera, camera cord, phone, external hard drive, etc. all around me. It's both ridiculous as a work environment and also pretty cozy.

If I just need to work on my laptop for a few hours, I'll occasionally go to a coffee shop but it's not my favorite environment -- I find chattering around me distracting and feel so pressed for time that it's stressful if I can't find a seat.

4. What do you like best about your current set-up?
That I get to see my kid all day. That he gets a hug from mama anytime he wants, and vice-versa. That I make all of his meals, which is definitely a hard thing to routinely stop my day to prepare but as someone who more or less cooks for a living, is nice to be able to provide for my kid. Even though space is tight, even though I know I get much less work done than I would if he were at daycare, I know this would be living the dream for most parents, to be able to have a career and not miss out on anything at home.

5. What do you find so-so/tricky/hilariously bad about your current set-up? What would you love to change if you had a magic wand?
Here is the question I ask myself every single day of the week: Why didn't we get a 3-bedroom (instead of the 2-bedroom that we have) so one bedroom could have been my office? My own space to do my job, with a desk and a door? What was I thinking? Was I too prone to self-sacrifice? ("I can work anywhere!") Did I not take my work seriously enough? ("Oh, I'll just squeeze it in with a few hours of babysitting a week!" Ha.) Was I five months pregnant when we were apartment hunting and fell too quickly for the affordable place with the giant living room perfect for baby play? Probably a little of all of it, I think. Believe me, I've had a lot of time to consider how exactly this went down as I've tried to attend phone meetings burrowed in my bedroom while trying to block out the meltdown down the hall. Oof!

6. What's your favorite part of your work?
Waking up and cooking whatever I feel like that day.

7. What's your favorite part of your home life?
Watching my husband and kid try to have a conversation. "Jacob, how was your day?" "Mewww! Bladeek bah de la baka dah dah... BAO."

8. How do you and your husband fit your marriage to the balance?
We are ridiculously, ridiculously spoiled in that we have both sets of grandparents live an hour or less away and are always eager to help out. My in-laws come over one weekday night a week and send us out. Once a week! And usually right on Wednesday, when a beer and burger nicely gets you over the mid-week hump. And, when our friends can give us a few days warning we are more than happy to get a babysitter for Saturday night so they can tease us when we nod off at 10:30p.m.

9. Do you have time for yourself?
I don't. I'm working on it. Every few months, however, I will hit my work wall and take a mental health day that usually involves Laura Mercier products, an overpriced pedicure, a long walk in the city by myself and probably a chocolate sable from Balthazar.

10. What advice would you give to other moms about how to balance work and life?
The less time you spend trying to figure out why things aren't in balance, the clearer your head will be. Life will not neatly balance. My mother always says to me, "What if you had had twins? Triplets?" as in, "Wouldn't it just be impossible to manage?" and I'm like "Mom, you would just do whatever needed to be done. One foot in front of the other. You would have zero expectations that anything would easily fall into place." And yet I totally forget that whatever is consuming us today -- needing diapers, running out of milk, signing up for swim classes and why the tot refused the raisins in his oatmeal this morning -- will not matter one iota a little bit down the road so it's okay to treat it as a little less than life-altering.

11. Do you have a role model when it comes to being a working mom, or other working moms who inspire you?
I don't know a lot of WAHMs -- I blame the solitary way that we work -- but would love to meet more. I bet we could talk for DAYS.

12. Do you ever wonder how other women manage the juggle? Have you talked to other women about it?
It is my hunch that nobody really feels like they're juggling effectively or efficiently. That it's less of an achievement and more of a process where it is hoped that whatever got stiffed last week -- sleep or eating takeout for dinner again or hitting the gym -- gets a more of fair shake this week.

13. Do you think people are open about it?
I feel like the conversation is often set up as SAHM versus "Career Women" and it's a limiting way to look at things. It occludes the bigger issues of why it's a "versus" thing at all, all the shades of gray in between that flow from how hard it is to find flexible work arrangements and affordable childcare, and how these issues nudge women in one direction or the other.

14. Do you think the juggle is harder for women than for men? If so, why?
Yes, but mostly because women are often the ones presumed, or perhaps expected, to be doing the juggling. Really, nobody ever asks a man how he juggles work and having a family.
Thanks, Deb!

134 comments:

Karena said...

Jo A great interview with an amazing young woman!! She is a delight!

xoxo

Karena
Art by Karena

Sunny Rising Leather said...

As a woman who has made dozens of your recipes with utterly thrilling results, I thank you for doing what you are doing.

As a work at home businesswoman, I appreciate the candor and laughed out loud at several of your written pictures of the day - even without a child it is so unique:

thank you for this!!!

Xo
Allison

marissa at the boot said...

this was such a good interview. i suddenly feel so inspired to jump start my freelance work!

Ella said...

Great post, and I appreciated how down-to-earth it was. "That it's less of an achievement and more of a process where it is hoped that whatever got stiffed last week -- sleep or eating takeout for dinner again or hitting the gym -- gets a more of fair shake this week." Yes! I also loved how she managed to be 'at home', making meals and being available, while also having lots of help with childcare. Seems like it would give your child a lot of security in the crucial years while also allowing you to fit in your job.

Anonymous said...

Juggling sounds exhausting, but it is clear that you appreciate the benefits of being around your child, too. A third bedroom/study would be amazing. I love "mental health" days!

Jamie @ charmingly ordinary said...

Deb is my favorite food blogger. Everything turns out just so! And Deb, our "me time" preferences are exactly the same. Oh how I love Laura Mercier! XO!

Wendy said...

Deb is an amazing food blogger! Long time fan, here. :)

Ashlae said...

Speechless. That woman is amazing.

Leslie said...

I am loving this series so far! As a new mom trying to find what balance really means and looks like, the timing of these posts couldn't be better.

The piece about finding time for relationships and personal time is so interesting. It often seems like the first thing to get sacrificed when raising kids and trying to work. Recently I read an amazing quote about how one of the best gifts you can give your kids is having them see you and your partner/spouse in a happy relationship, and that means taking time for the two of you. Easier said than done! But it's something I've been thinking a lot about. I love that Deb and her husband go out once a week--how lucky they are!

elisa said...

Thanks for such a great interview. I love hearing how other WAHMs do it. My favorite quote: "Really, nobody ever asks a man how he juggles work and having a family." So true.

Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

I'm a mommy of 2, soon to be 3! Juggling is something I need to know how on my daily basis already. Now, imagine with 3!

Great inspirational post!

Have a great day.

xo

Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Closet Cravings said...

I really love a Q&A like this one. They tend to be fun, inspiring, informative and very relatable, which I always find enjoyable. I like the idea of connecting with a stranger.

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nickandnoragettingmarried said...

Oh my gosh, it's two of my favorite bloggers in one place. Love it!

Also, fantastic look at the work/family/life combination. I especially like Deb's point that "nobody really feels like they're juggling effectively or efficiently." Even those seemingly perfect moms/coworkers/friends are stressed sometimes. The more we talk about it the better!

Julia's Bookbag said...

I LOVE Smitten Kitchen! I've tried several of her recipes and they are FABULOUS! Thanks for featuring her :)~Melissa

Modern Girl Style said...

I'm loving the "My Balance" series! As a mommie-to-be in the final trimester, I find all of these interview so inspiring and refreshing. Thanks for making it a point to ask SAHM with careers how it's done!

Ashley said...

I love smitten kitchen - every single thing I've made from Deb has been incredibly delicious (and I've made a lot of her recipes!). Thank you for the interview!

Meg said...

i love that you admit that the things that seem so horrible while they're happening won't often register in the grand scheme of things later... this is a great reminder for everyone! thanks for the tips Deb, i'm excited to become a mom one day soon & i'm hoarding all the wisdom i can from all you amazing women! and ps, i think this is the first time i've seen your picture, you are one gorgeous, talented lady!

Sandra - If it comes in pink said...

Sooo cute pics! :D

Nisrine said...

Deb is such an inspiration. Her blog is one of my absolute favorites.

all things rosey said...

Thank you so much for featuring Deb on your blog! I just love her and her cooking! She's my go to girl - you always know the recipe will be wonderful.

I love the bit about her office being a bed. I find that my desk is my storage and my bed is my office!

Keep on Deb - you're an inspiration to all of us!

TashB said...

I've followed more than 20 of Deb's recipes so far - she is ah.maa.zing! So great to see a photo of her for the first time; she and her little boy are gorgeous!
THANK YOU for all the amazing recipes, Deb. Our ultimate favourite is your Very Lemony Yoghurt Blueberry Cake. Mmm!

Sunshine said...

great interview!

JennySue said...

love love that last comment about how no one generally asks men how they juggle work and family- it's just women that get asked that bc we do it all and we are the backbones of the family!!! great post, so inspiring.

diana banana said...

LOVE the advice on #10. Last week we found out we're expecting identical twins, and I'm really trying to take a deep breath and remember we'll all learn how to do things by putting one foot in front of the other. I love Smitten Kitchen also, such a great blog!

Alice said...

OMG! WHY ARE YOUR POSTS SO GOOD THIS WEEK!!!
Alice
Just a Silhouette

Rebecca said...

Deb, thank you! I've always been curious how you "do it all". I'm a WAHM myself (my mom-in-law watches my little boy) and I loved hearing your perspective. What I call "Deb's Mom's Apple Cake" is our family favorite!! :)

Lauren said...

First, I love Smitten Kitchen! I made Deb's marshmallow recipe and gave the treats as small Christmas gifts to my soon-to-be-in-laws.
Secondly, I am so happy to read about these amazing women! Great feature this week, Jo.
Plus these kids are adorable!

Abbey said...

Love deb and this series!!

Patricia said...

very cute, and wonderful feature!!


http://www.pinkpeonieswithlove.blogspot.com

mjb said...

This series is great. I work full time (some days from home, some days not) and have part time childcare. I keep worrying about the next stage of development - like it's easy enough with an infant, but it'll get harder with a toddler. I keep forgetting that we'll take it one day at a time, just like we do now. If we have to increase our childcare, we will and it will be okay. If I have to set different boundaries with my work, we will and it will be okay too. And this is just a season, and each one will be different, so it's best not to get too stuck in one way anyway.

Ana Degenaar said...

Amazing post just as I expected! I am loving all the tips and ways to handle motherhood and work but it is also nice to know we are all in the same ship. Yay to moms who encourage!

Elissa said...

Your little boy is so cute! Great article too!

http://www.littlemisscards.blogspot.com
http://www.littlemisscards.etsy.com

Gina said...

Wow, great questions! I love her recipes and photos...she inspires me to keep creating something new:)

DENISE. said...

Look at how cute that little nugget is!

You know, I'm not even a mom (yet) and I'm obsessed with this series! Just love love loving it. Thank you!

sherri lynn said...

This was a great interview! I love smitten kitchen and hearing more about Deb's life was really fun!

Dea said...

Jo, thanks for creating these features. They've been so insightful and eye-opening, and I also really enjoy learning about new blogs!

michelle said...

Huge fan of her blog, so fun to get an insight into her life. Loving this series Joanna!

Clio is ainm dom. said...

I love Deb and I am SO happy to see her pop up here! Yay!

Kasey said...

I am loving this series! It's so cool to hear real working moms talking about balance. While I'm not a mother, I find it inspiring to hear how this successful women are making things work!

dolittledesign said...

Grandparents living nearby is a blessing!

BowerBird said...

Love her refreshing take on finding balance by not insisting on it. You go girl!

laura_d_f said...

I love this series! It's so true what Deb said about no one ever asking men how they juggle children and their busy lives. Maybe the secret of finding balance is having men participate more in child care.

http://happenstanceandhappiness.blogspot.com

Caitlin said...

LOVE Smitten Kitchen and am so happy to see Deb here. Not a mom yet, but I am loving these posts and am finding the discussions about balance so interesting. I couldn't believe the cost of daycare in Astoria when I started looking around a few weeks ago (not pregnant, just doing some research) and have been pretty thrown by how one actually does this in NYC. We had always assumed we would have my in-laws help but my husband lost both of his parents within the last few years, now we're at a bit of a loss for how we'll pull it off. But I love your lines about one foot in front of the other. I have to remind myself that we'll figure it out, that it will happen, that it will fall into place. So thank you!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting series. Something I'm curious about, and that people understandably don't like to share much about, is how much childcare costs and if a blogging salary covers it. And, how many hours are the husbands working and how do they feel about the juggle? Just because nobody asks them doesn't mean they don't care or struggle.

MOG said...

Part of me is sorry that after 40 years in the workplace, I'm still seeing the same issues for young working women. We tried to plow the field for the next generation, but it's clear that there is still much to be done. That said, it's worth it. We never said you could have it all, just that you weren't limited to anyone else's choices. And since I've been working from home for over four years, (as the VP of Comm. for a trade association) I know there's been some improvement. Thanks for a great series.

alston said...

such a great interview. so refreshing to hear such an honest perspective from another WAHM. thanks for sharing!

Michelle Stiles said...

what a great interview! Deb is a wonderfully creative woman in the kitchen and it seems like that comes from the attitude that she has for the rest of her life!

Mrs. C said...

What a fabulous interview!!! She is so amazing and I love her humor and recipes!

www.MrsCapretta.com
Recipes Fashion Marriage

Monica said...

Loved reading this! What a great series this is turning out to be :)

Marjorie Rose said...

This is a lovely, insightful, candid interview with Deb. It adds another layer to my enjoyment when I read Smitten Kitchen.

Lynn said...

My wee ones flew the nest long ago, but that isn't stopping me from loving this series!
And I adore Deb!

Emily said...

I totally agree with the juggling thing. My husband and I both have Masters degress and no kids (yet!). I know I will be the one trying to juggle one day when our nuggets come along and part of me resents the time I spent in school, only to spend the rest of my life feeling pulled between my career and my babies. However, another part of me feels sad for my husband, who will work the rest of his life and will miss moments with our family.

Olivia : I am still learning said...

What a great interview! This is my life to a T! Minus the occasional babysitter, which I desperately need! I just want that extra income so I try to juggle even more at nap times and late at night. I think I really just need to take the dive and hire someone one or two days a week. It would really help me out.

Thanks so much for sharing and your son is ADORABLE! I love the photos :)

Olivia
I am still learning
http://jojfamily.blogspot.com/

AM said...

Great interview! I LOVE Smitten Kitten's recipes, so it was nice to find out more about Deb :)

Thanks!
Ann Marie
http://www.stellafinds.com

marcy wacker said...

yes. yes. love her blog and her insight on motherhood is practical and empowering. love it!

andrea said...

I am loving these posts. As a SAHM who works as well I look forward to reading more!

Dana said...

i looove smitten kitchen and this was a fun read!

Maia McDonald said...

Great interview! I've been a fan of Smitten Kitchen for a couple years now and it's great to see this other side of her. Her son Jacob is sooo cute too.

Aya said...

This series is inspiring and makes me feel like I can have it all!--and by that I mean, make lots of choices and sacrifices, feel overwhelmed sometimes, do a lot of creative problem-solving, lack personal time sometimes...but ultimately figure it out so I can one day be a loving wife, mother and person.

Kate Lewis said...

it's simply comforting to know that i'm not alone. thanks for sharing your work/life/marriage/motherhood balance!

Anonymous said...

I love this definition of balance (or the denial that it exists in any pure or perfect form). Fits my experience to a T.

Smith And Ratliff said...

Deb is amazing—and seriously has the cutest child I've ever seen!

Diana Mieczan said...

Oh my goodness, Deb is fantastic and I've tried tons of her recipes. The classic brownie one is Balazs' all time favourite treat. Great interview, Joanna and Deb, I really loved the part when you said that the less time we spend trying to figure out why things aren't in balance, the clearer our head will be. This is brilliant and so true. This post make my day! So good:)

PS: I cant wait for your cookbook!

Trilby said...

I love Smitten Kitchen so much! Thanks for hosting Deb on your site! Her little munchkin is so adorable and it so interesting to hear about how life is beyond the postings on the site, sounds like both of you stay extremely busy!

Lewis said...

I love Deb's blog, and it was fun to read a little more about her. Thanks for sharing this!

Molliee said...

she's great!

http://facebook.com/mstwirlyskirts

inspirationCOOPERATIVE said...

Absolutely loving this week's mom series. The two women that have been featured so far are awesome and inspiring, and it's only Tuesday! Can't wait for the rest of the week...Like a great novel. Thanks, Jo!
xo, Theresa

Janssen said...

I love Deb so much. Thanks for hosting her.

Stephanie said...

Loving the posts this week! I'd love for someone to help me figure out how to get my 18 month old to stop banging on the office door while my husband and I are working and the sitter is trying to wrangle him back into the other part of our 900 sq ft condo! Yikes! Anyway.. thanks Jo for this great week... I've loved it so far!

Anonymous said...

I am finding this series fascinating. As another commented mentioned, I am interested in how WAHMs in their respective freelance industries afford childcare. So far, it seems the profiled women have baby-sitters/nannys come for what seems like 20+ hours per week. In my city that would be very expensive, and I'm guessing it is in NYC, SF, etc. where Joanna, Jordan and Deb live. I'm curious how the cost of that factors into how much you can/want to work.

Also, I'd like to see more mention of when the nitty-gritty details of cleaning, cooking, laundry, bathing the kids, etc. gets done. No one has mentioned it, so I'm guessing much of this happens on the weekend, or that partners/spouses are helping a lot. Or maybe people are getting outside help with these tasks? That is a major eater of my time, so I'm curious how these moms handle it.

If anyone has some perspective on the issues I've raised I'd love to hear from you. Thank you for a great series.

kate said...

My love for Deb and Smitten Kitchen has just reached a ridiculous level of girl crush. Her site has been my go-to site for over a year now (I know, I was super late to THAT party) but she is truly amazing and I've never had a recipe fail me. I bow down to her awesomeness and really to every single mother out there no matter what they are doing because motherhood is a full time job just by itself.

SEC said...

@Anonymous 3:30 pm Excellent question re: the nitty gritty details.

Love love love this interview. Deb is so down-to-earth, and it's great to see her in front of the camera for once!

Notes from Holly St. said...

As a work-at-home mom, I loved reading this post. I relate to so much of what she said. And since I don't personally know any other mothers who work from home, it's so great to hear from someone who understands what it's all about. thank you!

In Corners of My Mind said...

I am loving this series! Thank you Joanna for thinking of it. It inspired my post yesterday,and I am sure has inspired working moms all over to start a dialogue, and maybe even to cut themselves a little slack.

Alyssa said...

LOVE this interview. Very realistic expectations and down to earth. Thanks for sharing!

Al said...

Thanks for sharing this and for taking the time to post. I just finished eating some of Smitten Kitchen's goldfish crackers (love the recipe). It is refreshing to hear people's stories. Thanks.

jenny said...

I love everything you said, Deb, but I can totally relate to the part about the babysitter. I find that it makes all the difference -- either when I work from office or home -- to feel that way about the person taking care of my kids. If I didn't have that sense of security I don't think I could do it.

Sarah Baucom said...

Thank you for sharing this interview! I always wonder about "bigger" bloggers and how they work it all out. I love Smitten Kitchen, as it is in my top 3 go-to recipe sites! xx

Kana-chan said...

I loooooovvvveeeee her website!!!! So exciting to read this interview! Yay!

the lil bee said...

Such great advice about spending less time trying to figure out why things aren't in balance. One thing I often ask myself, which I think helps keep me in balance, is "Does this benefit my family in the long run?" If it does, I move forward. If it's a waste of time and keeping me away from my girls, then I reassess. Your little one is SO cute, Deb, with those CURLS!

emilyjsimpson said...

"I feel like the conversation is often set up as SAHM versus "Career Women" and it's a limiting way to look at things."
SO true! Thank you! :)

-Emily
WriteTwentyEleven

Kacie @ A Collection of Passions said...

I love Smitten Kitchen! I just made her steak with bloody mary tomato salad last night! Yum! Loved reading about how she balances things!

Kacie
http://www.acollectionofpassions.blogspot.com/

Lisa said...

I am so loving this series of interviews, and I'm not even a mom! Such interesting women and it's very informative and inspiring to see how they work. I also like the point that Deb makes at the end. That nobody ever asks men how they juggle work and family. Maybe someone should.

Sounds like another great set of interviews with some dads! I really liked the interview that you did with your husband last month. I showed it to my friend and we talked about some of his feelings when he started to really feel like a father.

Lindsey said...

I love the positive attitude!! I find it incredibly easy to get stressed over little things, and there are just so many little things! I love reading these interviews while pregnant and anticipating life as a mother. Such great insight to the love, joy, excitement, unpredictability and tedium of it all. Thank you! xo

Babelle said...

Crikey! I get so exhausted reading these...I don't know what I am doing wrong in my life but I have lots of empty space in my day for daydreaming and mooching around. Should I be busier? Am I allowed to admit I quite like working as little as possible?? Am I allowed to say that rather than bust my gut week after week, I'd rather just curb my spending habits and learn to be happy with what I have...I LOVE what I do for a living - but, I also like doing nothing...I like just 'being'. Eeeek!!

Melanie Burk said...

As a WAHM I adored this post. So much of what she said was just perfect. I love when she pointed out that sometimes you feel like its Stay at home moms versus career women... where really, the lines are so much grayer. I loved how honest and real Deb was too- I feel like as women we need to be more open, and have these hard conversations about balance, work, and accepting that you can't do it all- and that's ok! How wonderful that we do get to work, and that we do get to be at home for our kids too... who cares if its all just a little nuts :)

Melissa Blake said...

I loved this interview! Smitten Kitchen is one of my favorite blogs and Deb sounds amazing! :)

Elizabeth Saucier said...

super cute photos!

Jenna said...

LOVE this interview, so inspiring!

Heba said...

wow I really enjoyed this interview :)

http://girlynote.blogspot.com

Corinna said...

I definitely agree that women have a hard time juggling because we are expected to in part, and because we know that doing it ourselves is most efficient. Why doesn't my husband think of scrubbing the bath tub, the grocery list, his mother's birthday, and car insurance at the same time? Some men do, mine don't.

However, because the role of a father is so important in a family, I DO in fact ask dads how they juggle work and family, though typically only if they have a job where they travel a lot. And maybe I'm just nosier than most people, which is why I ask!

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

Love these posts! I appreciate her honesty.

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Such a wise and level-headed vibe to Deb's answers. It seems we all struggle with balancing our lives, married or unmarried, children or no children. It's our perspective that matters most.

Nina said...

I am so thrilled to read this series. I've been looking for work for over a year now and find that hard enough at home with my son. I really admire people who can do this. But I've been trying to figure out a way to do it because time goes too fast and I want to be with my son while I can so I'm reading this with interest.

And herson is adorable!

cookingconsal said...

Thank you for sharing this interview. What a great woman! I visit her site often but really enjoyed the direct back and forth! Definitely a role model for all of us busy women.

EMQ said...

Finally! A woman who acknowledges the reality rather than the ideal of working motherhood. We all want to tellthe world how w're making it work, but so many of us are just figuring it out, one minute at a time. I will definitely be referring to this article in times of stress!

theRachel said...

Who doesn't love Deb?! She is great - I heart SK!

valerie said...

love this. thank you! deb, i've been reading your blog for years and have an almost-two-year-old now. when i read about your pregnancy i was convinced there was no way you would be able to keep up with the blog, but then you totally proved me wrong! an inspiration for sure. thanks for the insight.

The Many Colours of Happiness said...

This was such a wonderful interview. She definitely sounds like someone with a good head of their shoulders. What an inspiration!

Lindsay said...

I've been reading SK for years! I love seeing this more intimate side of Deb's life all in one place, rather than interspersed in the stories that accompany her terrific recipes. Joanna, I think this series is certainly a keeper.
Although I myself am not quite ready for motherhood I appreciate the lessons you're passing on to your readers. I love how pragmatic Deb was in the interview. It is what it is, and each day is a challenge, but at the end of the day, everyone's happy and healthy. I love it. It's such a humanizing view of my favorite bloggers. Thanks for sharing and great job ladies! You've certainly helped me take a deep breath and put my week in perspective!

cde said...

Ohmygoodness, cute curls! Jacob is adorable. This series is so interesting. I'm not a mom (not even close!) but her juggle does seem a bit blissful, if hard.

Emily said...

I soooo needed to read this! How refreshingly true that it will never be neatly balanced like we would love to see happen in our minds. I've been freaking out lately about blogging being such a joy to me, but how I might give it up for a while because of the time commitment. This makes me feel so much better because I realize I can embrace the crazy and just go with it. I think I'm happier when I'm blogging anyways. Happy mommy = good mommy!

The Clean Beauty Blog said...

What a great series! I love how she describes the juggling as a process, and not an achievement. I don't have kids but I think the concept of juggling to find time for work, yourself, your partner, and whatever else is universal and this series can really speak to everyone (plus we get to see cute kids!).

The Clean Beauty Blog said...

Ps one more thought - I think that many people struggle with the idea of finding time for themself because they think it's indulgent or not as important as the other, more immediate demands on their time, but it really is so important to accept that taking time for yourself is ESSSENTIAL and not optional!

Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi said...

Thanks -- I really enjoyed reading this post, a wonderful interview with one switched on woman. The way Deb points out the small things "will not matter one iota a little bit down the road so it's okay to treat it as a little less than life-altering," will resonate with a lot of mums (stay/work-at-home or otherwise). Deb's 'me time' day sounds like perfection!

Chiara said...

I've been read and making things from SmittenKitchen for ages and really love this interview.

Dhila Backstrom said...

I've made some of her recipes and they are delightful. What a great interview! It's quite refreshing.

Lynne said...

I think it is so important to remember that we are all "figuring it out as we go". It seems sometimes like you are all alone, and the only one with the time management problem. It's a real boost to hear from others and realize that you aren't alone, and that everyone struggles in some way to make it all work.

Monica said...

So refreshing! I dream of working from home someday and my husband and I just keep putting off kids just because we don't know how we are going to balance everything! thanks for the encouragement. :)

E from Europe said...

About the distracting chatter in caf├ęs... have you tried music? My mp3-player is saving me a lot when I have to work on train rides. Somehow I manage to block out the music while concentrating but not the chatting people.

Great interview. I love the pictures!

Flannery W. said...

What a beautiful baby! I admire your ability to balance working at home without a desk and making sure your son has a great upbringing. My mom stayed home with us while my dad owned a bar, and I'm very happy I got to be raised like that. No matter the struggle, it's always worth it in the end, especially when your son grows up and has memories of just him and his mama time. Bravo, keep it up! I love your blog!

Wei Ling said...

Yay! Thanks for featuring one of my favourite food bloggers! :)

Gina Michele said...

I love Smitten Kitchen! I must have made her homemade Oreos a dozen times. Yum...

Great interview!

♥ Gina Michele
CrochetClouds

HOOTENANNY...Jennifer Jacks said...

The mommy, work, home balance is tricky...thanks for the glimpse into another working mom's day-to-day. I just recently left the corporate world to start my own website business and have a third baby thinking it would be easier. I'm not complaining...I love being home in the summer with my othervtwo precious ones...but it is still a juggling act! Jennifer

grown-up shoes said...

SK was the first blog I ever fell in love with about 4 years ago. I still read it to this day. Great post!

Shalini said...

Wonderful to read Deb's routine. I'm a big fan of her blog and recipes, always turn out to be winners in my home.

I'm a work at home mom too and the balance and juggle always stays, each time I master one aspect, something else gets thrown in the loop. Now, I just try to keep my cool through it all.

Elisa said...

First of all, what a darling kid you have!!
Second of all, I totally understand about the juggling part.

Third of all, yes, do make time for yourself, pedicures are a great idea and chocolates too!

Joy said...

She's my favourite food blogger in the world! Baby Jacob is also so so very cute.

jessa said...

I am so excited about this series Jo! I am a mother to a little girl, almost 1!, and I work as a full-time touring musician with my husband. We are both songwriters and performers, he manages our career and books our schedule and handles the road duties. I often express to him that I worry our about being a great wife, mama, working gal and homemaker. We have a unique situation because there are two of us at home to share in the responsibilities, but running your own business is hard. It's even weirder to be away from home so frequently, but we do it as a family and it works. I was almost in tears reading this because it can be so rewarding, but also isolating at times! Thanks for focusing on working moms in a way that doesn't make us feel like we have to do it all, all the time, always right. Somehow it all works out in the end :)

Alicia (Weekly Greens) said...

You are going to make me fritter away my afternoons reading all these terrific interviews, aren't you? I adore Deb and the more I read of her, the love affair just grows. She's such an inspiration. I have recently become a WAHM (after years in a traditional office environment) and I'm slowly figuring it out. Deb's comment about the assumption of women doing the juggling is spot on. I guess it's because we are the glue and we take on everything needed to hold it all together. Thanks, Deb and thanks to you, too, Joanna.

Anonymous said...

That was great about being a working mom for sure but I also REALLY wanted to hear more about the blog!

Anonymous said...

Joanna, thank you so much for this. Your honesty is appreciated!

Anna said...

After reading all of these motherhood posts, I do have to say that I like and agree with this one the most, if only because she does get to be around her kid all day. Granted, I may be old-fashioned (or the fact that I'm...not a mom yet (heh)), and I know that these posts are probably discouraging these kinds of comments, but I feel like a mom is a mom first, and a designer, chef, photographer, or whatever it may be, second. And I do feel like the little moments like breakfast with your kids, or sending your kids to bed are the important things that builds relationships between parents and children. That's something they should be doing, not a babysitter.

But! I have loved reading all of these posts! I find them all very interesting and I'm glad each of them were so specific! Great series, Joanna! And thanks to all the contributors!

rachel Faucett said...

I loved this interview...this is my first of the series sooo..I am sure I will love them all. I loved the comment about her mother...exactly you just do it.
I love her blog and her kid is crazy cute.
I love your theme!

Anonymous said...

what a great, easy-going outlook on life! I love the idea of you working on your bed every day, just so you can be close to your son. Bravo for juggling life as gracefully as you do!

red ticking said...

i so love this post. deb's blog is one of my favorites and i have sent ever friend i know to her site. she is darling and jacob is adorable.... bravo.
looking forward to the cookbook!

loving your series... even though i am single this certainly helps me learn how to juggle as well... never easy. i feel as though red ticking is my baby... xx

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Wife said...

Thanks for this great post by Deb! I follow her blog religiously (yours too!) and was so excited to find this post about the ups and downs of every day life. Such an interesting series! Keep it up!

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Tanu said...

love Smitten Kitchen and love this interview. don't know how i missed this earlier.

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