For this week’s Working Mom Interview, I’m featuring Brittany from the With Love Mama blog. She mothers two toddlers under 3, works full-time from home, and launched a blog this year! You can find her on Instagram @withlovemama and she is curating some pretty great boards over on Pinterest.
In our conversation, Brittany and I chatted about the reality of working from home, solo parenting when your spouse travels, and how she makes time for self-care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It was a pleasure learning more about her working mom reality, and I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!
You have two toddlers and work full-time, but I see a lot of fun activities your crew is doing. How do you make time do to that?
We make it a point to do fun things with our kids after work hours. We love playing outside, going for walks, or even grabbing ice cream after dinner. These are all quick fun activities we can do when short on time. We save our weekends for bigger activities such as apple orchard visits, trips to the museums, or in the summer going to grandma and grandpas pool!
I’m a firm believer that fun stuff doesn’t have to be expensive or involve lengthy trips (although that has its place!). What are some of your favorite activities to do with your young kids?
I agree completely! We try to save money whenever possible. Trips to local beaches can be super inexpensive and fun! We love to pack a cooler of snacks and toys and head out. Other ideas include playgrounds and splash pads! It is really worth looking into what your specific community offers. One last idea, sometimes keeping it simple is key. We recently had to make a random trip to our downtown area (not somewhere my kids are familiar with) and my son loved it! We talked about how high the buildings are and looked at the cool statues and fountains downtown. This was a totally free trip downtown and just another experience we can say he had!
What is your childcare situation like?
My husband and I both work full-time from home, our kids go to a babysitter who is a stay at home mom every weekday from 7-4pm. The only change we’ve recently had to this is my son started a 2 day a week nursery school program that is on Monday and Wednesday mornings. My husband does the dropping off, I pick him up on lunch break and my husband picks them both up in the afternoon. It can get a little crazy!
With both you and your husband working full-time, how does that help or hurt your work/life balance?
We both have extremely busy jobs. His work is slightly more flexible so he’s able to run the kids around more so than I am. I am expected to work 8:30-5pm with an hour for lunch. His work allows him some flexibility with his hours which is very helpful when you have to young children. We are also able to spend our lunch breaks together or quick breaks together. This has been great! Quiet lunches together (whether we are just at home or eating out) is something we both look forward to! He’s also my go-to “IT” person if I experience any kind of internet issues 😂
Also, I think many folks might have the misconception that all working from home parents should keep kids home with them. What made you decide to do childcare versus keeping them home?
I envy anyone who can work from home and keep their children home with them. This is not realistic for my husband or I with our career as we are both scheduled in meetings often and get frequent phone calls. We would not be able to dedicate the time to our children while also focusing on work. This is what made us search out alternate childcare. I will say, we were able to keep both our kids home for about the first 7-8 months of their lives with a PT babysitter. I was nursing so it made more sense to keep them home. Our kids now look forward to seeing their friends at their babysitters & nursery school.
I saw that your husband was recently traveling for work and you were flying solo! Does he travel often?
He travels a couple times a year, I also recently traveled to FL in July for work. When either my husband or I travel, my parents offer as much support as possible. This includes my mom helping with drop offs/pick ups at the babysitters. She also will stay over later to my house to help get them ready for bedtime routines.
While he’s gone and you’re solo parenting, what does your village/tribe look like?
You’re a self-proclaimed lover of a healthy lifestyle. What does that mean to you? How has that changed with having children?
My healthy lifestyle started last January. I was tired of feeling not like myself after having my second child. I felt overweight and uncomfortable, even self-conscious. I’ve always loved healthier food choices but I also love carbs and sweets (who doesn’t!?). I think the biggest thing for me was getting a hold on the eating part of it, and if I’m working out consistently, eating healthier comes naturally to me. I work out completely from home with the help of free weights, my treadmill, and Pinterest! I think me choosing healthier food options influences my children and I can honestly say my kids are HUGE fruit lovers and my son loves salad. We try to keep a nice balance of healthy eating but still letting them be kids!
We all know self-care is a critical part of being healthy as a mom. Do you feel like that’s a struggle for you?
It can be if I fall out of my routine. I work out every day, for me, this is needed for my mental state. I don’t mind waking up at 4:30 am and running if I know there will be no other choice or time for me that day. Sometimes it’s about prioritizing, and for me, working out is something I need to do, even if it’s just a yoga routine.
What’s the best working mom advice you could offer?
I’d say, going along with the above question, make time for yourself. Whatever it is that makes you feel better, do it! Figure out how to make it work, don’t be afraid of waking up early to get it done!
Stay tuned each Wednesday for more working mom interviews in the series HERE!