In today’s The Juggle Series (where fabulous moms share just how they manage to juggle it all), I interview HBO producer Stephanie Laing. Laing knows the power of comedy. With three children, a travel schedule that rivals Hillary Clinton’s, and multiple HBO hits under her watch, most days she relies heavily on laughter to keep her head above the chaos. A woman thriving in the hard-hitting world of comedy and action-drama television, Laing has cemented her place as not only one of HBO’s leading ladies of smart laughs as the co-executive producer of the hit shows Eastbound & Down’ and Veep,’ but one of televisions leading producers with four Emmy nominations and one win.
Though her love for producing is apparent, Laing’s three children remain her most important focus. The family’s home in Brooklyn, New York is a physical realization of Laing’s dual life— her Emmy sits next to her son’s favorite Hot Wheel motorcycle and scripts lie alongside reminders for school bake sales. But no matter where she may find herself in a 16-hour day, Laing knows how to laugh through it all, whether it’s with her kids as they go in for facedown angels in their first New York snow, or with her cast as she recreates a snowy Helsinki on the streets of Baltimore.
Scroll through to read how this single mom manages, beautifully, to bring her passion for life to each minute of her day.
What is your typical day like from start to finish/describe your work schedule? 1 of 8
Yesterday I got up at 6am fed the dogs, fed the lizard and packed snacks for camp. Dropped off at camp at 8:30, following an argument with my ten year old about him not wanting to go to camp. Went to set at 9. Made sure all the cast were there and that we started filming on time.Starting scheduling the shoot for the next two episodes and discussing the edit schedule for the current episode.
Next was a company move to a new filming location and I stayed on set because there was a stunt being filmed. Two cars colliding after a high speed chase.Went to the office once I knew everyone was safe and signed checks and approved hot costs for the day before. Got home around 10pm. Missed bedtime which made me sad... Finally made it into my bed around 11. Somewhere in there I sent/answered approx. 200 emails, made/received 50ish phone calls and too many texts to count.
How do you balance being a single-mom and work? 2 of 8
I get up every morning and "put my pretty on", aka my internal game face and also a light pink lip gloss...Balance in my life comes from the calmness knowing that I wake up everyday and do my best for my kids and for my job and accepting that some days I'll do one job better than the other. My kids have all of me, work only gets part of me.
What do you love about being a mom? 3 of 8
I love watching my children grow into wonderful people who are loving, smart and great citizens. Being a mom is the best, most important and hardest job in this world. I love waking them up to see their beautiful faces every morning, even when they wake up tired and cranky. It's the best. I love the way they make me laugh.
What advice would you give other women trying to juggle it all?ÂÂ 4 of 8
My advice is life happens in moments so it's important to stay in the moment. Accept that there will be tears, missed guitar concerts, conference calls with screaming kids in the background and sometimes projectile vomiting.
How do you manage childcare?ÂÂ 5 of 8
Childcare? One name.. Marcy. Magical wonderful Marcy.
How do you manage household chores/cooking? 6 of 8
Weekends are for baking with my daughter. I'm a bit obsessed and have cake pans in every imaginable mold. I cook two or three things really well and I don't get caught up menu planning, that would be like work to me. We clean on Saturday mornings like I did as a child with my mom.
Admittedly, I have a lot of help and support with all the above as it really does take a village sometimes. My mom, my friends and of course Marcy, the nanny. I could not function without them.
ÂÂ What has been your biggest challenge being a single-mom and juggling work? 7 of 8
My biggest challenge, not surprisingly, is time management. I wish there were 8 days in a week.
Do you think women can âï¿½ï¿½have it allâï¿½ï¿½? 8 of 8
My definition of "having it all" means accepting and embracing your life and all it's complications head on. I wouldn't trade this "all" for anything.
Read more of Carmen’s writing on her blog, Viva Fashion.