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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My balance: Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook

Jenny Komenda writes the design blog Little Green Notebook and runs a fabulous interior decorating business (she actually gave our house a makeover last year!). She's one of the most charismatic people I've ever met, with an easy laugh and contagious smile. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and their three young daughters. Here's how she attempts to juggle it all...

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1. What's your overall work schedule?
Things are busy in my life as a blogger, decorator and mother of three young daughters. I like to joke with my husband that I have three full-time jobs, which means I officially have zero hours left in the day to do extracurricular things--like sleep. :)

Here's a typical day when I don't have scheduled childcare:

I try to wake up early before my girls (ages 5, 4, and 1) start their day. I do most of my emailing early in the morning and late at night. I call my approach 'busting it out.' I've found if I respond to emails as I get them, then I feel like I've been strapped to the computer all day. So I dedicate a couple hours a day to sit down, focus only on my inbox and just pump out those emails from clients and readers.

Once the girls start waking up, my focus shifts to them: getting them dressed, eating breakfast, packing lunches and backpacks, then school drop offs. If I have an errand I can run with Evelyn (my 18-month-old), I'll do that with her in the stroller. This is usually when I like to do my grocery shopping. One of the many perks of living in NYC is almost every store, including the grocery stores, delivers! It is so much easier to juggle kids here than I worried it might be.

After I pick up Claire (age four) from preschool at noon, we head home for lunch and some quiet time. Evie will nap and Claire will chill out a little with a book or a movie. I might sneak in some of the more urgent emails here, but I usually use this time to do some projects for my house or a client's home. Projects range from painting a piece of furniture, to upholstery, to sewing, and anything in between. I'm in 'bust it out' mode again during this time. It's so much easier to get messy things like this done when Evie's asleep. She's at that (adorable, but) difficult age, where she wants to be all up in my business all the time. If I've learned anything in my role as a mother, it's that nap time is more precious than gold.

My almost six-year-old is done with kindergarten at 3pm. Sometimes we meet up with friends at the park for an hour or two after school. We try to be out and about in the afternoons as much as possible. There are so many fun places to explore in the city!

When we get home at 4:30/5, it's time to start dinner. The older girls help me or they sit at the table and practice their letters while I cook. Lately, we've been doing a Daddy Newsletter, where we write a note to Dad, explaining what we did that day (these are often heart-breakingly cute messages -- like "Dear Dad, Worms are squirmy. Love, Claire."). After dinner, the kids are allowed to watch a show or play in their room while I get some work done (maybe a quick couple of emails, or more of the project I was working on earlier in the afternoon). A lot of times my girls want to help with those projects. I used to say no when they asked to help paint or whatever, but I've learned that involving them with my work wherever possible really helps to combat any Mommy Guilt that starts to creep in my life.

After the bath/book/bed routine, I try to spend 15 or 20 minutes cleaning up the house. I walk around with a big basket and gather up the misplaced things all at once and then put them back where they belong. I load the dishwasher and then do my 'chore of the day.' Is it weird that I have a calendar for my housekeeping? I don't have a lot of time to dedicate to cleaning, so I've found that if each day I do one big thing, like scrub the bathtub or wash all the towels and linens, then the house doesn't have the chance to completely fall apart. It's probably the decorator in me, but if my house is a bomb, it's almost impossible for me to be in a good mood, so I make it a priority. I also love to exercise and try to squeeze in a run or a Tracy DVD if time and energy allow.

My husband's work hours are pretty intense most weeks, so when he gets home, I try to stop what I'm doing and chill with him for a bit. Even if it's just five minutes of sitting on the couch and talking about our days, it makes a big difference to have that focused time together. We also Google Chat a lot during the day, which works better most of the time than phone conversations (easier to multi-task).

Part two of my work day begins about 9pm. I'll pound through more emails, work on some photoshop mock-ups and put together a post for the next morning, always scheduled to go live at 5:30am EST. It's a rare treat for me to be in bed before midnight, but I always try to go to sleep before 2pm (which feels like the official "this is ridiculous" hour).

2. How do you handle childcare?
I used to not have any consistent child care, but after we moved to Manhattan last year, and my husband started his new job with crazy hours, we decided it was definitely time to get helpers. Every week is different, but usually one or two days a week my part-time admin assistant/nanny will come over to our house to take care of my girls. This is when I run almost all of my errands and when I have my client meetings and drop offs. My husband is usually the one to relieve the nanny because I put in very long hours on those days.

3. Where do you work during the day?
We live in a loft space and were able to dedicate part of the apartment to my home office area. My long double desk is right up against a huge wall of windows; my assistant shares with me sometimes and my husband shares it most nights. There's a big open storage area filled to the brim with fabrics and wallpapers and carpet samples. Another wall is floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. It's great to have all the old shelter mags and design books I collect right there in my work space for instant inspiration when I need it. We also have a day bed in the space for guests (but mostly for quick cat naps during all-nighters!).

4. What do you like about your current set-up? What do you dislike?
Other than not sleeping enough (what I would give to have 30 hours in the day!), I actually really love my schedule. Still though, some days and weeks are very trying. I've broken down to my husband on more than one occasion, feeling overwhelmed by it all. Sometimes I hate having my office twenty feet from my bed. Sometimes I wish I had more time for girlfriends. Sometimes I feel uncontrollably guilty if Evie cries when I leave for work. But at the end of the day, I know the trade-offs are worth it to me. I've always wanted to be a mom to a big family. But I also know that I am a happier mom overall when I am working. And I'm also discovering that I'm a better decorator and blogger when I give myself some distance from work and spend parts of the day with my family.

I had a sort of breakthrough a year or two ago when my blog had transitioned into a paid job. I had just given birth to my third daughter and I was feeling stretched a little thin. Back then my life was a big slew of work and family obligations. There were no boundaries--no compartmentalizing of roles. I felt out of control, and it was a really hard time. My husband (the level-headed teammate) made the suggestion of a stricter daily work schedule, and it has totally saved me. I think it is absolutely 100% necessary as a working mother, especially one who works from home, to separate work time from family time. It sounds obvious, but it is much easier said than done!

Now that I feel like I have more balance in my life, I'm learning how to be more present. I am one of those people that is always looking forward to the next step, always saying "Won't life be great when..." That is so damaging! My dad once told me that the secret to happiness in life is to be conscious of what is uniquely great about your current situation and put your focus there. So right now, I am choosing to not focus on how little sleep I get, or how hard Evie's stranger danger/needy phase can be, or how much great TV I'm missing out on! The flip side is I have three fulfilling jobs that keep me happily busy and we're making it work for us.
Thank you, Jenny!

87 comments:

Ana Degenaar said...

What a stunning post. I am loving all the insight to these wonderful women lives.

Joanne @ Rich Radiant Real said...

I LOVE this post! Thanks for sharing, Jenny. I'm going to steal your fabulous idea of the 'chore of the day' (what a great way to avoid overwhelm), and I am definitely implementing your husband's idea of a stricter daily work schedule. (Note to self: stop getting sucked into the Facebook vortex!)

Kate said...

Hi Jo, I have been a reader of your blog for a while now and I love it! What a wonderful post. As someone who is yet to start a family (but hopes to one day) it is reassuring and inspiring to know that it is possible to carry on with blogging/career/excercise as well as being a fantastic mom! It can be a worry that I would have to stop some of the things I love the most : )

Closet Cravings said...

I'm exhausted just reading about her daily schedule. I like that her and her husband google chat during the day. I do that too. =)

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Jessie said...

you make it sound so easy! I love that. thanks for sharing

fortheloveofbookshops said...

"I used to say no when they asked to help paint or whatever, but I've learned that involving them with my work wherever possible really helps to combat any Mommy Guilt that starts to creep in my life."
So refreshing and sincere! Thanks for posting.

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

An old couple who were cooing over my kids on the street one day told me that having young children is the hardest, but absolute best time of one's life. Even though they are old now and it wasn't always easy, they'll never look back on that time as anything less than perfect. I think it's so true.

Jenny's story made me teary-eyed b/c it resembles my situation so much! I can relate to every. single. part of it. From "busting in out" in concentrated time, to Google Chatting with the hubs, I could see so much of my situation in Jenny's story. Like Jenny, I try to include my older child (Edith, 2 1/2) in my work to eliminate guilt (I bought her a little V-Tech laptop so she can sit next to me and pretend to "work," too - I think this is vital for our generation of women to teach our daughters that we actually CAN have it all, as long as we find the balance... start them off early!). Also, reading this makes me feel slightly less guilty for letting my kids zone-out with a movie with I try to squeeze in some work (Wall-E is a big hit in my house right now... my kids introduce themselves as "robots" lately). And the sleep! Yes, if only there were 30 hours. I'll be honest, my kids go to a sitter 2 days a week, and if I'm home working, I'll slip in a quick mid-day nap if absolutely needed :-)

Jenny, it sounds like you are doing an AMAZING job! Keep up the great work (same to you, Joanna and the rest of the moms out there). I finding a mother is only truly thanked for her hard work and sacrifices by watching her children grow to become caring, thoughtful and productive individuals.

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

Oh, PS - Jenny, I have a "chore-a-day" chart, too. It really helps (Saturdays have rotating, less frequent chores, like washing to couch cushions or dog bed, and Sunday is always left blank, because even the broom needs a day of rest :-)

Daina said...

Thank you so much for this series of posts on work/life "balance." I have found it comforting and inspiring to hear how other mothers try to find that elusive mix -- and I've picked up a few good ideas along the way. The women you are profiling -- and you too! -- are just amazing.

Anonymous said...

can i ask what your husband does? i would love a post from some single moms or from familys where the mother is the main bread winner. i am truly in awe of women that dont have the luxury of an allowance and that still can make it work.

i dont have children yet and would like to know (even though this is such a taboo subject) do any of you struggling mothers ever regret your decision to have children. from what you all say it seems like the joy they bring outweighs all the negatives?

Clara said...

:)

Nerissa said...

Wow, this week's posts have been incredible. Smitten and Jenny are my two other favorite bloggers!

I am in awe of Jenny's schedule. She really seems like she has it together, but I love how honest she is about mommy guilt. Thank you for sharing your "chore of the day" tip and your dad's happiness tip.

Jenny, I could be wrong, but, is it seems that the busier you are, the more organized and productive you?

Do you give all 3 of your girls baths together? It must be tough doing the bath/bedtime routine on your own. Once again, I am in awe...

Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

This series makes me feel that I'm not alone... but also, makes me feel that we all need to learn to slow down a bit. We aren't heroes and we should want a professional life, a family, but also understand that we all need to take it easy at times.

This series seems to makes us think of that too.

xo


Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Diana Mieczan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diana Mieczan said...

Jenny, I remember reading your Christmas Eve birth story a few years ago. It was so fantastic, heartfelt and special. Really ejoyed this post as well and your dad is so right. I will remember his advice for myself as it totally makes sense. Your kiddos are so adorable! Btw: I also have one-big-chore-a-day schedule. It really makes the whole cleaning much more enjoyable and easy. Wish you and Joanna a fantastic day!

GabrielÄ— said...

Woah, you've inspired me to create myself a strict shedule, even though I'm not a mother :))

http://gabrielefelt.blogspot.com

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

I love your basket method of picking up misplaced things around the house - I may have to adopt that! This coming from someone who is also up before husband and daughter, working in a home studio. It's quite the juggle, but so worth it!

Patricia said...

awwww! great

http://www.pinkpeonieswithlove.blogspot.com

KristiMcMurry said...

Great interview! I admire her schedule.

Claudia said...

Hi, I'm from Portugal, Europe and I love reading your blog. And these posts were fantastic. But the american reality is very much different from the european one or the portuguese one. I'm a loving mother of two sons and I would love to have the opportunity to work less hours (I work 8h per day). Here it's very difficult to work part-time and half time is a concept that doesn't exist in Portugal. I know, it's stupid! And kindergartens are expensive and don't allow half time either... So, you have to work the 8h to pay all your expenses. Therefore, it's very difficult to balance your work life and your family life... very difficult indeed!! I have to move to a country that allows to have a more familiar life... kisses. Claudia

Confraria dos Nobres said...

Muito legal!
Gostei muito do blog dela!

namoo said...

Great interview. It is very inspiring!

Michelle Kendrick Hartney said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story! I'm a new mom myself and your words really hit me when you mentioned how tough things got when you weren't compartmentalizing your roles...I need to do this more!

julie @ hazel and hunter said...

these posts are all so great! being a new mom, it's really helpful and inspiring to read about all these different experiences, thanks!

Lisa said...

Claudia at least Portugal has free healthcare, in america it gets even harder working for yourself/part time as you have to then pay for your families insurance....which is another headache that needs to be added to all the other bills coming in each month.

I am also from europe but live in the states and constantly struggle with this issue and also the pathetic amount of maternity leave when working full time. Portugal even offers paternity leave which here is unheard of.

Though I love living in america, I really miss europe (england) and how civilised it is when it comes to these matters.

Kristin H said...

SO impressed! Three kids in itself is a great achievement!

Paulina said...

Honestly, this schedule sounds completly exhausting! It seems like it is working for you and your family. But, sleep is soooo important and I feel like women tend to put everything else ahead of their own needs.

Ella said...

Lovely post. Really appreciate her honesty, especially about feeling frayed around the edges sometimes -- that's how it must be with three kids, job, and house to maintain! I'm worried that this is going to be me one day, trying to live a 500% life on 50% sleep. Would love to know how she does it, sleep deprivation makes me feel hysterical/b*tchy...

Emily said...

As I look at a massive pile of laundry that needs to be done, I am thinking that you have 'hit the nail on the head' with the chore calendar!
Thank you so much for such a wonderful post!

Eva B. said...

Loved this post... What a great approach, being really structured... I love it. The laquered red dresser is insanely beautiful! Sounds like a lovely life... :) Great series of blog posts, BTW, really fab idea.

E

Jennifer said...

How great to read about another woman who feels like she is a better mother when she has to work. I tried the stay-at-home mom thing for a few months last year and quickly learned that it was NOT for me. I need some time to just be a woman and do something I'm good at in order to be the kind of mom I want to be to my son. And often, other moms look at me like I'm nuts or just selfish.

"My dad once told me that the secret to happiness in life is to be conscious of what is uniquely great about your current situation and put your focus there."

I loved that - I kind of recently discovered that for myself too. And it's so very true. There will always be something about life I wish could be different, and I have let that rob me of enjoying the present. It's great when we can just enjoy what we do have rather than sitting in the discontentment of what we don't.

Great post!

red ticking said...

jenny is truly wonderful and now i have even more respect for her knowing how she juggles it all... family is amazing... and so is she. xx

Maggie said...

I am exhausted just reading this.

lawmom said...

To Anonymous:

I'm the sole breadwinner in my family, and my husband is a graduate student (ergo, no income -- but also not a stay-at-home dad.) I think that these blog posts about balance are really interesting and enjoyable to read, but they're also not reflective of my reality. I don't have a blog, I'm not self-employed, etc. I feel like my perspective isn't often reflected in the media (probably because women who are lawyers/doctors/etc. frequently don't have time to blog/be a freelance writer/etc.) One resource I do like is a blog called The Underwear Drawer. The author is a doctor with two kids,and she writes about all sorts of balance issues in addition to generally writing about her family and medical practice.

In terms of regret, I think that having a baby is the most wonderful thing in my life. There are things about my life that are hard. My career is challenging; my work hours are long; I don't have time to exercise; I wish I had more time to play the piano and get a haircut and do things for myself. But there is nothing that I regret about having a daughter. She brings me way more joy than I ever could have imagined.

Also, I love the chore-a-day method -- I aspire to reach that level of routinization of chores someday!

Jenny at LGN said...

Joanna, Thank you so much for including me in this great series! I am LOVING reading what the other women have to say about motherhood. It's so nice to feel like I am in good company while trying to find a some balance in life.

xoxox
jenny

Allison said...

this is so inspiring! i don't work from home, and i don't have children, but her organization and clear love for her family definetly resonated with me - thanks for sharing! :)

Swedish In Atlanta said...

Thanks for sharing! Reminds me of my own life minus the actually paid work you do:)
Petra

Meggie said...

"My dad once told me that the secret to happiness in life is to be conscious of what is uniquely great about your current situation and put your focus there."

Great words to live by and such a good reminder.

As a new mom, I'm loving this series! It's inspiring to hear in depth the sacrifices these women make in order to love their families and have a career.

Thanks, Joanna!

Anonymous said...

I love this piece of advice:
"the secret to happiness in life is to be conscious of what is uniquely great about your current situation and put your focus there."

Also the Daddy newsletter is so sweet.

Boy, it is hard to juggle! You sound like you are doing a great job. And it only lasts until all the children are in full day school.

amber wallace said...

I love this series. I love Jenny! As a new blogger I am finding it hard to focus my time on the right thing at the right time. This will really help me schedule out my day better and be devoted to what I am doing while I am doing it. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Great Post! I adore the rug in the picute featured. Where is that from?

Emily A. Clark said...

I feel like I'm in that "no boundaries"/"overwhelmed" phase you were in a couple of years ago. I really appreciate you taking the time write out your thoughts on this.

The Remarkable Redhead said...

I'm really glad to have the opportunity to read this series on balance. As a young woman facing my career and future, I often wonder if it will be possible for me to have all the things I want, such as a career, husband, and family. These women are inspirational and give me hope that all will be well.

Thank you!

http://splashofsass.blogspot.com

Avery said...

This is great! I love her blog so much, so wonderful! Thank you for sharing this...

Amanda said...

It's so interesting to read all of your stories here. For me, being Swedish, a lot of the struggles you have are non-existens here. We get paid parentleave and most people stay at home with their children for abut 1,5 year. A lot of the time this time is split between the mother ande father. I stayed at home for the first 6 months, then my husband for 7 months and then I was at home again for 7 months. After that we enrolled our son in a daycare which we pay a maximum price of roughly $ 175, no matter how many hours a week your child is there. This maximum price is the same for all daycares- no matter wich you choose.

With that said, I can't even begin to understand how you mama's int the US manage to juggle both work and children. I'm very impressed by you all!

One thing that strikes me is that it seems that a lot of the husbands do very long hours and don't get to see their kids a lot (I was a bit saddened by the daddy-newsletter). But I guess it's just a different world from the one I'm used to.

As you can see this series brings up a lot of thoughts, can't wait to see what's coming up!

Carissa @ the Fabulous Design File said...

I LOVED this post! I think you nailed it with the scheduled work time vs. family time. So important. I always feel so frazzled when I try to do it all at once, and that's always when the kids do stuff like flood the kitchen or color on the new custom built-ins. ugh. Love the Daddy newsletter idea... it will be such a special keepsake! I'm going to start that with my boys!

Sam M. said...

I was hoping Jenny would be one of the contributors to the series--she was the first one I thought of when I saw you were doing this. I've always wondered how she finds time for all those great diy projects, and a lovely, neat house, and 3 kids in the city! Her schedule sounds a little scary, but I am an even bigger admirer than before. I love these posts, but would also like to see some from moms who are bloggers and have office jobs.

Anonymous said...

Lawmom- I am with you. I am the breadwinner in our house and my husband is taking next year off to be with our baby. I am not self-employed; I am a schoolteacher and my husband is a classroom aide/musician. These posts, although great/interesting do not match my reality. It would be nice to hear from some moms who aren't self employed to see how they handle getting to an office by 8am....

Anonymous said...

Another great post! But ... I share another commenter's thoughts on including the husband's job. I think it is important to include in the discussion, in the interest of full disclosure and honesty about what balance really means for women in general in a larger sense.

If your husband has a good job, and you don't *need* to work or can be choosy about what you do, achieving balance is a little different than it is for a mom who has little choice about her hours or occupation. If you know you can always quit, scale back, or do things differently, it's a different level of stress, even on the days when things are very hectic and busy.

I think that there are women even in more glamorous careers that find themselves in this position -- I'd love to hear how they find balance, or at least find joy and fulfillment in the out-of-balance.

Stacey @ Here\'s to Life said...

What an amazing series! I love reading about the lives of such incredible ladies!

Brave New Life said...

I just found your blog and I absolutely love it! It's like how I wish my blog to be, or to become. These interviews are really interesting too. I would like to have had more details though, with like a time schedule, just because I am so curious. I am new mother and I have been bit overwhelmed from time to time and I must say that even though enjoyed reading about Jenny, I found it a bit disheartened that she doesn't sleep very much. My boy is 6 months and I can't squeeze in everything that I want to do in a day. I have been saying to my husband that the only way is to sleep less and unfortunately Jenny confirms this. I was hoping for some magic :)
To the first anonymous who asked about if one can regret having a child. It is of course different from person to person but the way I think about is that I can't regret having my child because there is no way he could disappear that wouldn't break my heart. But if I had the experience I have now and could choose again and he never existed (yes, I know, impossible) I am not sure I would choose to have a baby. And the second I've written it, I regret and I miss him (he's sleeping). It is very complicated. But I don't feel that my life before him was uncomplete.

jenny redford said...

I love the chore a day idea. I'm totally stealing it!

Kate Lewis said...

thank you so much for sharing your day! it's really inspiring to see how you're making it all work. :)

Alli Aars said...

I love this... I'm a new mommy who's been struggling to find my balance. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing.

Pretty Little World said...

It's interesting to get all of these different perspectives, though one thing that's been really disappointing is that all of these women have at least part-time nannies. Childcare is an incredible expense - even the most reasonable around here runs about $500/month, for two children, for just two days/week.

I know that in one week it's impossible to have women from all walks of life write about raising children, but these women all seem to have the same work situation, the same financial situation, the same childcare situation, etc.

It would be nice to hear from at least one work-at-home-mom who doesn't have some of these luxuries.

In Corners of My Mind said...

Another great post. Thank you. Is it not sad though that sometimes the only way we can fit it all in is to deprive ourselves sleep. Here's to all the great moms, work at home, self employed, employed, and stay at home. We all have our challenges, we all manage to make it work, and we all need to remember to stick together and support each other in our successes. Imagine the what the world would be like without moms...a shudder to think.

Nikkie said...

Thank you so much for this very honest and majorly interesting insight into your daily routine. This post really transmitted what you are feeling and how hard it must have been to juggle all those chores. I am also way impressed by the little sleep you seem to get.Seriously, how do you do it? I fon't have kids yet, so maybe I'm underestimating the strength a mother may develop if necessary, but by now I'm incapable of anything if I get less then five hours of sleep. What's your trick? Gallons of coffee?!

Mabel and Zora said...

Great read. We can relate to this story. 30 hours in a day would be great!!!

Christina J said...

What an honest and awe-inspiring post. You are an inspiration- your balance of big family and your own business sounds challenging yet, I can tell through your words, it is all worth it! Thank you for sharing! I also love following your blog. :)

Anonymous said...

brave new life thank you for your honesty. i have never been the sort of person that adored children and at 34 still do not feel broody. i do however love the idea of family and scared that if i dont make the jump i may regret it. i will be the work at home mom and also have to balance making the majority of the money...most of the blogs i read tend to be slightly smug about motherhood, you get an insight into these womens lives and they all seem to manage things beautifully. yes they may be stressed but it is a different kind of stress.

that said i do love reading these blogs as its a bit of escapism into how the other half live...and who doesnt like to look at vases filled with peonies and danish modern toys strewn on the floor.

gemma said...

a few commenters said that they wanted to hear from moms who were the breadwinners and who didn't have an allowance -- BUT i know these bloggers (joanna and jenny and jordan etc) and i know that they do NOT have an allowance from their husband's but instead THEY ARE the breadwinners! they work incredibly hard, even thoght blogging looks easy, they do the blogging + handle all the advertising sales and management + work at other blogging gigs for magazines etc. so they are doing so much work and there is no WAY that they could have an office job because their job IS an office job, its just a home office job. but its just as hard as a job in an outside office. if there's any allowannce(what a sexist term,r eally!), they would be giving their husbands allowances, seriously!) they are not housewives sitting around with nannies and pocket money from their rich husbands, please!

Anonymous said...

I've always enjoyed Jenny's blog and think she is so talented and great at what she does.

I do really encourage you (Jenny) to really keep your physical/spiritual health and your relationship with your husband as your top 2 priorities. Don't let those be the 2 things that "have to give." If you don't have enough time in the day, something else needs to give, but your health and husband are too precious.

You don't want to end up like me... with serious autoimmune/glandular issues and marriage difficulties. I don't mean to sound judgmental at all, I'm just worried about you.

Lin

Hanna said...

I found this very inspiring. Thank you for sharing this!!

Abbey said...

I adore Jenny!

Catherine said...

I adore your blog and love the honesty and openness you offer your readers. How refreshing. If I'm ever in NY, can we have coffee? :)

plastic cards said...

i like all of children
it very cute

SHERRY HART said...

Whoa...I am tired just reading her schedule...I would SO miss the sleep part!

Anonymous said...

I don't really find this inspiring - I find it sad. Not that I don't think that Jenny isn't an amazing woman, mother, etc., but we as society shouldn't think that it's "so great" that a woman sacrifices her health, sleep, and personal time to be the Martha Stewart mom and career woman. It would be inspiring to see a couple where both parents worked less hours and then equally split childcare, house keeping, errand running, etc. Of course, this all involves a much more detailed conversation about gender roles and expectations in our society.

I agree that women can have it all (men as well, but society just assumes that men will have it all since their wife will take care of the home needs), but no one (regardless of gender) can necessarily "have it all" if they're trying to be top dog in all categories. This means that you can have kids and a career, but your house might now always be absolutely spotless. Or you might buy a *gasp* bakery cake for your daughter's birthday instead of laboring over that perfect cake you "saw on that one amazing blog." Or you might delay working the long hours towards that promotion for a couple of years. Balance does require choices and compromise....otherwise, the title of this series should really be My Sacrifice.

-Diane

Katie said...

I absolutely loved this post. Especially the part about living in the present, something I have to remind myself to do often. Thanks for sharing, Jenny.

Allison {Live Love Small} said...

great series and i love Jenny's blog!

Life of Style said...

What a wonderful post and so lovely to see someone else's schedule that is a bit like my own. With children almost the same age, 2,4, and 6, working from home as a designer and trying to maintain a household, there are days I just want to hide under the covers in my bed!
Thank you for letting us get a glimpse into your life.

Jennifer said...

loving this series! I am a new mom (6 months in) trying to learn how to be a work-from-home mom. if Jenny can do it with 3 surely I can manage! though I must require more sleep than she does ...

Anonymous said...

Gemma, I am one of the commenters who mentioned husband's occupation. I didn't mean to imply that any of these women didn't work hard or didn't have to take their jobs seriously. (It is obvious that they do.) But, as someone who ended up staying home because of her husband's demanding hours, I do know that you just can't take a husband's income or responsibilities and occupation out of the equation when you are talking about work-life balance, for better or for worse.

Lisa G. said...

Very inspiring! I learned a lot from her and I really enjoy reading it...

Kelly said...

What an interesting post! And now a new blog to read, too! : )

Heidi said...

Next time I wish my house was cuter, I'll console myself with a nap. Life is all about choices, isn't it girls? BTW, I don't believe in "having it all" because that usually means not getting any sleep and sleep is one of my best friends!
But Jenny, you're a doll, even on little to no sleep! I'd be a wreck!

Truly Felicia said...

Wow, Jenny I'm so impressed by you - you seem to be able to juggle it all. Amazing!

PS. Your girls are the cutest.

Anonymous said...

I also do not find this inspiring. It's sad to me also. I am rare in that juggling isn't living to me. Three full-time jobs doesn't sound attractive or glamourous. I do understand the need for fulfillment beyond small children. What's wrong with working part-time? I left this post feeling relieved her days are not my own!

Emily said...

Amazing! I don't know how some of these mamas do it! I have little ones 18 months apart, and do my own design biz and recently a blog. Just a few hours a day is all I need. I think it's all about balance! Go get 'em!

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Courtney {a thoughtful place} said...

Fantastic post. Thanks for your insight Jenny. Feeling like I have no clear boundaries right now. . need to set up more of a schedule and "office" time from home. So nice to hear perspective from honest and hard working mamams!

Lauren said...

Such a great post. I especially like how you pointed out that it is a constant re-evaluation. It also feels nice to have a buddy in the stranger-danger/needy department; I need to just cherish it since I'm sure it will be over before I know it, and I'll miss my clingy baby boy!

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