Molly Peterson is the Communications Director for DwellStudio, the amazing line of bedding and furniture. She lives with her husband James and 4-year-old son Lucas in Brooklyn, and they have a little girl on the way (any minute!). Here's how Molly tries to juggle it all...
1. What's your work schedule?
I get to work right after drop off at my son's pre-school, around 9am. My end of day varies on evening events and workload, but I leave by 6pm whenever I can. Just like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg! I'm a big fan of getting home in time for dinner/bedtime and hitting the laptop with a glass of wine on the sofa.
2. When you "hit the laptop," do you work or just hang?
Haha—oh, I work! TV and movies (other than family movie night, see below) are long lost in my life. I work at home from 9pm until I crash (usually pretty early ) and then I have a nasty habit of getting up at 5am, which is actually when I get the MOST work done. 5am-6:30am I am the most productive, I think. Then the kiddo gets up and we have our morning time, at which point the computer is OFF.
3. When do you typically hang with your son?
Lucas gets up around 6:30am every day. My husband leaves for work by 7am (he's a family physician), so Lucas and I have the morning just the two of us, which we love. We eat breakfast, brush our teeth and ride our scooters to school. We try to eat dinner as a family as much as we can—I'd say about four out of seven nights. I always put Lucas to bed on the nights when I'm home. The weekends are our big family time, for sure...and we hold them sacred.
4. Omg, you ride a scooter!!! You are the CUTEST.
Ha! I recently had to take a break because it was giving me contractions!
5. How do you handle childcare?
Lucas goes to school from 8:30am until 3pm, then is picked up by a babysitter we share with another family.
6. Do you have any family rituals?
Family movie night! We do this every Friday—we all sit down on the sofa with huge bowl of popcorn. We talk about what movie we're going to watch all week, building up the anticipation. It seems like such a simple and silly weekly tradition but it's an important part of our family routine. We try to go retro in our movie selection, showing Lucas a movie that we loved as children. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a big hit last week.
7. What do you find so-so/tricky/hilariously bad about your current set-up?
Oh, so many things, but my top two are:
a) We have no family nearby, so we're heavily dependent on childcare and our son's comfort level with the people who watch him. That can be awfully tricky—we have missed weddings, concerts, dinners, etc., but I do think you sign up for that in the delivery room!
b) I LOVE living in Brooklyn, but the commute is rough at times. If I have a dinner with an editor or industry event in Manhattan at 8pm, of course I would love to run home and see the kiddo first, but the subway or taxi commute back and forth make that impossible. So my magic wand would transport my lovely Brooklyn neighborhood right in the middle of Manhattan with subways extending every which way.
8. How do you and your husband fit marriage into the balance?
I have to admit it's hard. But we try to go on one trip a year, just us. Getting away invigorates us as a couple every time. We've gone to Mexico, the Caribbean, Paris and San Francisco in the four years since Lucas was born.
9. Who cooks dinner and cleans?
We both cook. I'm a big foodie and love to make more complicated dinners, but James will throw a mean pasta and salad dinner together when I'm sprinting home late. I have to admit that James always does the dishes.
For cleaning, we have a cleaning service. But James seriously runs the home. And believe me, I realize that it's a major reason I can sleep at night and be a normal person during the day.
10. What do you mean by "James runs the home"?
He full-on runs it, schedules everything, etc. It's in his personality—I now realize I chose him as a partner because I need that.
We often say that I am the heart of our family and he is the brain. His work hours are less than mine—he chose to be a family doctor versus a specialist for the lifestyle, knowing his real joy is family and home. So he works from 8am to 4pm, gets home to walk the dog, relieve the sitter, start figuring out dinner...then I show up and we pull it all together as a team. Seriously, I understand how ridiculously good I have it.
11. Do you ever wonder how other women manage the juggle? Have you talked to other women about it?
I'm lucky to have a network of women AT work who are working moms as well. I just counted, and there are ten other working moms at DwellStudio—including our founder. I definitely wonder how working moms with 3+ kids handle the juggle...but in general I find it's like a club membership you have with other moms—we're all doing our best to make it work day to day.
12. What advice would you give to new moms about how to balance work and life?
Don't be too hard on yourself. If eating out four nights in one week is going to keep you and your family happy and sane and you can swing it, don't guilt yourself out about it.
Thank you so much, Molly!
P.S. Last summer's first balance series about moms who work from home, and the rest of the second balance series about moms with office jobs.