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  • Balance and the Working Mom


    I have a free subscription to a wonderful magazine called Working Mother,which, as you might guess, is aimed at working mothers. The current issue has actress Amy Brenneman on the cover, and there’s an interview with her featured inside. The interview ends with Brenneman talking about her need to act and work, saying:

    I can’t pretend that I don’t exist. I need to try to find some sort of balance for all of these needs. Knowing, of course, that it’s not going to be a perfect balance.

    The end of her quote really struck me, probably because I tend to strive for perfection and then feel badly when I don’t achieve it. Balance, though, was always the key for me when I was worked at an office, and I’m finding that it’s still the key for me now that I’m working at home.

    Because I’m realizing that even working at home, there simply isn’t time to do everything. I’ve been home for several weeks now, and I’ve barely scratched the surface on my list of things I’ve been wanting to get done for months.

    I’m learning to prioritize my days, and especially to set realistic expectations of what can get done, and when. As I mentioned before, I’ve concluded that the stress of chasing every deal simply isn’t worth the savings, so I’m not shopping much more than I used to. And I’m learning to how to set aside time to blog, so that I can do my “job” here better for you. Because it’s all about balance 🙂

    On Being A Working Mom


    I know some readers who love CFO precisely because I’ve been a working mom talking about the constant juggling and balancing that moms who work full-time outside of the home really have to master. It’s hard. There were times when it was truly overwhelming, and for me, I reached the point where something had to give.

    If I’d truly loved my job, this blog would have been the thing to go. But since I wasn’t enjoying work very much, and I do still love blogging, I decided to keep the blog and ditch the full-time job. This blog, in many ways, will be my job since it’s now my primary source of income.

    I read sometimes about pressure among stay-at-home moms to be a working mom, but among working moms, there’s often pressure to be a stay-at-home mom. Some (many? most?) of us feel guilty about working and not spending more time with our kids, some of us feel that the stay-at-home moms we know think we’re odd for working, and some of us put the pressure on ourselves because we’d rather be home with the kids. In fact, all of the moms at my job told me they were jealous.

    But there are those of us who love working. In fact, I have some friends who could afford to quit but don’t want to. It’s not that their family isn’t a priority, and they’d quit in a heartbeat if it was better for their family – say, if their child became ill. But if they can work, they’d rather do so.

    In the meantime, I am mentally preparing myself for an identity crisis as I meet new people and can no longer say that I’m an attorney. That’s just going to be weird.

    A new wrinkle to the public vs. private school dilemma: Should I stay home?


    Not surprisingly, the issue of whether to work outside the home has been an ongoing one for me since my oldest was born. Before that – say, five years ago – I would have told you that I would always work outside the home. I’d gone to an excellent law school, worked hard, and gotten my first choice job upon graduation. I enjoyed my work and I was good at it.

    And then, my husband and I decided to have a baby. I suffered my first miscarriage five years ago last month. That, followed by a second miscarriage four months later, changed everything for me. I became so focused on having a baby that work became secondary. And to be honest, it’s never regained its previous status as a major priority in my life.

    My long-term goals are no longer career oriented. So as my firstborn approaches kindergarten age, I find myself pondering my own options.

    I finally ran the numbers and concluded that yes, we can afford for me to quit my job if our son attends public school. I’m not saying that I would definitely want to quit my job if I had the option, but at least it is now an option. However, if we decide that private school is right for him, then I’ll have to keep working in order to pay his tuition.

    I could, of course, work at home. And I have no doubt that I would, regardless of whether the boys go to public or private school. But I have doubts about whether I could guarantee enough income working from home to cover two private school tuitions (since our younger son would be joining our older one in just two years).

    Needless to say, my research into our local public schools has become a greater priority than my research into the private schools. While I’ll still compile a short list of schools in the next year, my focus is now going to be on whether there’s a good reason not to send the boys to the local elementary school.

    The public school is holding an open house for prospective families next month. Stay tuned!

    Working mom’s dilemma: Traveling for work


    I’ve been fortunate so far in being able to avoid traveling for work since my oldest was born. But that will likely change next week, when I will probably have to go out of town for a night. My husband and I generally handle bath time, book time and bed time together. So I have no worries about leaving him to be responsible for the kids while I’m gone. Heck, he’s better at all of those things than I am.

    And although I’ll miss my family while I’m gone, I’ll be gone for such a short time that I can’t help but think how refreshing it will be to get a full, uninterrupted night of sleep.

    What I find myself dwelling on is the disruption to our daily routine, especially my daily routine. So my question to all of you seasoned travelers (and wives and husbands of seasoned travelers) is this: How do you handle the disruption?

    More on becoming a Chief Mom Officer: an interview with James Rivera of Babyspot.com


    When I interviewed Jessica Smith about her job as a Chief Mom Officer, she mentioned that a company called Babyspot.com is currently looking for a Chief Mom Officer of their own. Babyspot’s founder, James Rivera, left a comment on that post that to this interview:

    Please tell us a little bit about Babyspot.com.

    James: Founded in 2008 by James Rivera and Zameer Upadhya, BabySpot.com is a new social networking site for parents and their families which provides a free, safe and secure environment to connect and interact virtually to share baby’s precious moments as their child grows. With a safe and secure platform, parents can comfortably and easily share their profiles privately or publicly, upload pictures and videos, blog and chat live. While experiencing the joy of forming lasting connections and creating new memories, parents and their loved ones are exposed to rich educational content, various nonprofit organizations, fun contests and social and financial opportunities.

    How did you learn about Chief Mom Officers?

    James: The first time I learned that there was an executive position within a company called Chief Mom Officer was through Jessica Smith, the founder of ChiefMomOfficer.org). I was like, “I want a Chief Mom Officer!” I love the title!!

    What is your vision of your new Chief Mom Officer within Babyspot?

    James: We envision our Chief Mom Officer to be fully part of our executive team! We want to empower her to be creative within our BabySpot platform and really connect with the moms and dads on a daily basis. The position is a very important onefor us as she would be one of the faces of BabySpot.com – she would become a BabySpot Mom! We also want to set the standard in our industry as 90% of the companies all need a Chief Mom Officer. It just makes sense!

    What are you looking for in your new Chief Mom Officer?

    James: As we go through the interview process, we thought it would be easier choosing a Chief Mom Officer but as Jessica Smith from ChiefMomOfficer.org has provided us an excellent array of talent, our decision is not easy! I wish we could hire all of them! The candidates are that good!!!

    Note: If you’d like to learn more about the Chief Mom Officer position at Babyspot.com, click here. Thanks for your time, James, and good luck!

    My new favorite job title is "Chief Mom Officer": an interview with Jessica Smith


    You may have noticed the new icon in the “Communities” section at the bottom of the right sidebar, denoting me as a contributor to Blissfully Domestic‘s Financial Bliss section. BD is an online magazine with a ton of posts every day on a wide variety of topics. One that caught my eye last week was an announcement of a weekly column from “Chief Mom Officer” Jessica Smith. I was so intrigued by her title that I asked Jessica if she’d answer a few questions, and she graciously obliged:

    What does a Chief Mom Officer do, and how did the position come to be? Did you create it, and are there more CMOs out there?

    Jessica: As a Chief Mom Officer, I am responsible for marketing, business development, and community management for the social shopping site Wishpot.com‘s Baby channel. The title was the idea of Wishpot Co-founder, Max Ciccotosto, because he wanted to make sure that our mom members would know that a mom was at the helm, so to speak. There are and will be more CMOs out there. BabySpot.com is currently in the midst of hiring one as we speak. And I’ve got some things going on behind the scenes to create more opportunities like this one so stay tuned. A more detailed account of how I was hired, what I do, and what to expect can be found at my site http://chiefmomofficer.org.

    What do you do as CMO on an average day? How many hours do you work each week?

    Jessica: Every day is different. I spend my time talking on the phone with potential strategic partners, managing the guest blog posts on the Wishpot Baby blog, recruiting new Baby Experts, getting valuable feedback from our Baby Experts, and being a champion for the Wishpot Baby users to the leadership team in Seattle. I work 15 flexible, family-friendly hours a week for Wishpot. I am also the Celebrity Business blogger at Sparkplugging.com and I update my personal blog, http://jessicaknows.com regularly.

    What is the average salary range for a CMO?

    Jessica: That’s a question I get a lot these days as more moms become interested in this type of role and companies are seeing the value a role like this can add to their organization. Here’s the deal: the pay should be comparable to what the same role would make in the brick and mortar world. I’m paid hourly based on my experience and the results that are expected from me. In return, I am accountable to Wishpot and like any other position I would hold, virtual or not, I strive to exceed expectations.

    What is your professional background, i.e., what qualifies you to be a CMO?

    Jessica: I have eight years professional experience in business development, marketing, sales, and recruiting. I’ve always leveraged technology and the web throughout my career. I got my first Prodigy account when I was in middle school. It is truly a dream come true to marry my professional experience with what has always been my passion – the web, social media, and social networking.

    What advice would you give someone who wants to become a CMO? How should she get started, especially if her background is not the same as yours?

    Jessica: I’d say the best way to promote yourself as the ideal Chief Mom Officer would be to promote the people and ideas you are most passionate about. Don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm but don’t force yourself to be an evangelist for something you don’t genuinely believe in. People will see through it. You need to do more than talk about your experience or the value you can add. Demonstrate it. Get involved in communities that you are drawn to in the mom niche and engage in conversation. Marketing is all about relationships. Again stay tuned, as I have made it my personal mission to do whatever I can to get more moms in this type of role.

    If your readers have any additional questions that I didn’t answer here they can visit my column at the Digital Bliss channel on Blissfully Domestic and send me their questions. I’ll be answering them weekly.

    Note: You can read Jessica’s weekly column here. Thanks again for your time, Jessica!