Work/Life/Mom Balance (See Jane Juggle)

Anna Jane’s day job (Theory dress,  SM shoes  – photo by Iron + Honey)
Anna Jane’s always job / photo: Marena Beck

Work / Life Balance.  What a loaded phrase.  Does it exist?  I used to say, ‘just love what you do and there’s no need for a balance.’  That’s what motivated me to leave consulting–I didn’t love it.  I loved the perks (i.e. the airline miles, hotel points, free trips), but the work was mind-numbing to me.  Being on the road for a job you’re not passionate about it draining.

I love Trunk Club.  It’s been really cool to help build a company from the very early days.  Even now, four and a half years in, it’s just as thrilling.  But as much as I love it, having a child has really turned my world upside down.  My schedule just isn’t as flexible but I make it a priority to be with Harry every night before he goes to bed.  That means: work guilt, mommy guilt, Jerome guilt (yes, pet guilt exists), friend guilt, spousal guilt.  
Oh right, and I also have this blog.  But honestly, it’s cathartic for me.  I simply wouldn’t do this if I didn’t enjoy it.  But.. don’t know if I could ever blog full-time; I just don’t know if I’m interesting enough or able to produce so that much content organically (but I’ll never say never).
I often get asked how I juggle so many things.  I’ll be honest–I have no idea.  Sometimes I have to stop and ask myself, ‘what’s this all for?’  (I’m philosophical like that)  But then I remind myself that I’m enjoying the journey.  I’ve become a hell of a lot more efficient at work–I have to be.  I know I have a hard stop most days so I can be make it home to see the baby.   Nothing is perfect–that’s for certain; I am the first to admit that I could change plenty of things.  There are definite sacrifices and lessons learned–on the daily.   I’m not afraid to say no.  I know how to delegate.  I know when to prioritize.  I cherish my moments with my family.  I take a lot of pictures and have our nanny send even more during the day.  I stay in bed fifteen extra minutes, laying with Harry and Eric, even if it means I won’t be able to dry my hair for work.  I haven’t taken a real vacation in a very long time.  I can’t find the time to work out.  I still make it a priority to trek four hours back to Ohio to see my mom, sister and her family, especially since my dad passed away.  I take advantage of the fact that two out of my three siblings live in the city near me, because family is everything.  I don’t hang out with friends nearly enough.   Laying on separate couches with Eric while eating pizza after the baby goes to bed on a Saturday does not constitute a date night.  Working full-time is hard, but rewarding, exciting and I love problem solving.  Motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I love that little guy so it scares me.  
Lastly, this blog is not an afterthought; it’s a big part of who I am right now.  I blog because it’s fun to share snippets of my life and more importantly because it’s related to my career–I believe that fashion can make you feel good.
That’s about all I know; I’m winging the rest.

57 comments

  1. Hi! Long time reader, maybe first time commenter? Thanks for sharing and being so candid. I think you're doing just great – everyone's winging it, is one thing I've come to learn the older I get. I adore your blog and am happy it bring you joy, too!

  2. This is awesome. Your blog is great and I am so happy that you are continuing to do it. I have been reading See Jane for years now and you continue to provide inspiration (more so now with everything you juggle and not just your fashion sense). Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you so much for this awesome and inspiring post. I am a mother of four (in fact my youngest is literally weeks younger than Henry–I remember reading your birthing story a couple of weeks before my due date and then my baby was born 2 weeks early due to ICP). Prior to my last baby I worked full time and have had a full time job since I was 15 (now 33). When my youngest was born, I went to part time and I hated it. It meant more time with my kids, but my career suffered and so did my quality time with my kids (even though I got to spend more actual time with them, it was all the delegating of homework and chores and caravaning to various activities, etc.). I also suffered because there was no "me time" transition when working part-time–no lunch hour, no commuting time, nothing like that. So I found a better job with a longer commute. I love my new job. It was the best career move I ever made, I'm appreciated, I good at my job and it challenges me everyday. But, of course, this comes with the fact that I have far less actual time (although much more quality time) with my kids and husband. It is a struggle that, even after trying to figure out for 15 years of being a mother, I don't know that I ever will have it figured out. But being a style blogger (small time) who looks to bigger style bloggers like yourself, it is easy to get wrapped up in the "wow she has it all! Travel! Time with her kids! Great job! Cute clothes! How does she do that???" So in short (actually way longer than I anticipated), thanks for being real. Enjoy your little guy (the baby and the furbaby). They both grow too quickly.

  4. I appreciate your blog and the way you keep it real. I originally found you because of your great style but stuck around because you are so candid and down to earth. And because I'm a fellow Ohio-born Chicagoan (here 12 years now, so I'll just call myself a Chicagoan). =p Thanks for sharing your life with us! And if you blog less as a way to find more "balance" we will completely understand! XOXO

  5. Loved this post. Thank you for giving us an honest post. I love your sense of style and keep following BECAUSE blogging is not your full-time job and to me that is much more interesting. Every blog I used to like became dull once the owner became full-time.
    I also relate with you on the juggling bit. I have a 3-year old and a full-time demanding career. It's about quality time for us 🙂

  6. Anna, I found your blog when I was newly pregnant (or TTC, I can't remember) -someone had lauded it for your cute maternity outfits – and I instantly connected with your style, your intelligent writing and your sincerity. WRT balancing being a working mom, it is the eternal struggle. I am extremely fortunate that my husband and I run our business from home and as such I have a lot of flexibility, but our on-site days are long, and the interesting work is mostly out of town, which poses some conflict of interest for me.
    Anyway, I think one of the reasons I like your blog so much is that it isn't your f/t job. – it makes you all the more interesting! Though, as someone else mentioned, everyone would understand if you posted less frequently. Best wishes to you 🙂

  7. Life's a balancing act. It's seems like we put so much pressure on ourself to be the best at everything that we never stop and realize all of the great things that are going on around you. I saw always put your best foot forward and have fun with it.

  8. Thanks for being so honest! Because you have a full time job outside of the blog it seems so easy to relate to you. You're just a regular person sharing something you love. That's tough to come by these days so I appreciate it!

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