Shafonne Myers, Founder Pretty Pear Bride
What is your typical day like from start to finish/describe your work schedule? I start work at 9:30 a.m., which gives me time to get the kids ready and off to school. For me, I’m even able to sit down and get some breakfast, and if I'm feeling really motivated I do some housework too. I then make sure to take a break at some point, sometimes it would be later than a lunch depending on my schedule, but I make sure to do that for my work sanity. I end between 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. and yes, I have my phone or iPad out until about 7 p.m. answering any incoming emails or situations because of the different time zones, but for the most part by 7p.m. I'm done, no answering emails or the such until the next business day.
What do you like best about working from home? The freedom to make my own schedule if I want to volunteer in my kids class in between meetings or on a slow day then I can.
Is it hard dealing with distractions when you work from home? Of course, if that load of laundry is calling my name then sometimes I'll take a break and put it in or if my son is home, because he only goes to preschool three days a week, and wants to play I try and carve out a couple of hours built into my schedule to do that with him.
How do you juggle marriage/work/motherhood? LOL, juggle it is. I find that for me I HAVE to stick to a schedule. I start at a certain time, stop at a certain time and when I'm done, I'm done unless it's an emergency.
What do you love about being a mom? When my kids look at me and say "I love you so much MOM", that's the moment that it's all worth it. I love it. I love that my kids see that I don't have to go to work at a 9-5 and work behind a desk and that there are an infinite amount of options available to them. My kids are so sweet they know when my office door is shut that I'm on the phone or working and don't want to be disturbed and when it's open they can come in. I have a nice little space for them to sit and play in the office too, it's nice.
What advice would you give other women trying to juggle it all? A schedule is a MUST and you have to stick to it. My clients know that I don't answer calls or emails after a certain time. It's hard to actually do but once you do, it's amazing how much it helps and makes your work/life balance so much more manageable.
How do you manage childcare? I have my son in preschool for 3 days a week, so that gives me 3 full days for me to work and get things done. I used to do 5 days a week, but it was so expensive that I had to cut back. And my oldest is in school full time.
Any tips for managing time/priorities? I do a "To Do List", I know it's so trivial but they really work for me. The act of crossing something off the list is the best feeling ever. I also do the list the day before so that I'm not doing the list once I come into the office, it's already there for me when I come in to get a jump on it.
How do you make time for your husband and your marriage? This has been constant battle for my husband and me, it's so easy to let that go to the wayside especially when kids are involved because their needs are usually pretty immediate and your husband's aren't. But with me and my husband, we have really benefited from the schedule because we know that after dinner and the kids are in bed it's our time and we look forward to it.
How do you manage household chores/cooking? Once again I can't stress it enough, schedules, schedules, schedules. I have started doing a calendar on the fridge with meals for a two-week interval. So I know what I'm cooking, so any prepping can be done ahead of time, like on a break during the day, and I'm not frantically look around the kitchen for something to fix, it's right there on the calendar. I've done the same with chores too. I used to do them all on the weekend and it seemed to take up so much of my weekend time so now I break it up; kitchen and living room on Wednesday, kids room Thursday and our room and baths on Fridays. It's doesn't seem so daunting when it's broken up.
Do you think women can “have it all”? I often ask myself this; honestly I go back and forth every other day with this because I always say that if my personal life is in order than my business isn't and visa versa. But I think if you are able to keep both in check and make sure that each facet of your life is balanced then "Yes, it's definitely possible!"
What has been your biggest challenge juggling marriage/motherhood and a career? Making it all work. When going from a medical career, there wasn't anything for me to bring home when I left the hospital I left and I thought nothing of it until the next day. But with working from home, work is always there, looking at you, calling your name so being able to master that balance is a skill that many struggle with but when you master it, it's PRICELESS!
How do you manage any “me” time (if at all)? My husband is AMAZING and does a great job at sensing when I need some "me" time. He just looks at me and says I'll see you later, why don't you go to Target. And I just smile because I didn't have to say anything, he just knows. I also use my lunchtime or break time to unwind and relax because it's usually during my youngest's naptime so I steal a few minutes to myself.