SUCCESS STORY: Moss and her co-founder quickly turned blogging success into book sales with The Rookie Mom’s Handbook
WORK SCHEDULE: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, plus some erratic laptop time during evening television watching hours
KIDS: Julian, 8, and Scarlett, 5
SANITY VICE: Dark chocolate chips, eaten straight out of the bag
How she became her own boss…
Before catapulting RookieMoms.com into a veritable force in the powerful world of mommy blogs, Whitney Moss turned a full-time marketing gig at the educational toy company LeapFrog into a 30-hour per week role after having her first baby. “I chose Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. so that I was available to my colleagues every day of the week, but had afternoons with my baby,” Moss said.
On the side, Moss and her business partner, Heather Flett, were writing and growing their blog–a popular destination for moms looking to for activities to do with their kids. As new moms, Moss and Flett craved fun things they could do with their babies, so they began making a list of achievable activities. “I made a list of things I like doing — some as simple as ordering fresh lemonade at a cafe. And then I would plan my day around my mission. I’d pack up the baby and stroll to the cafe,” Moss said. And RookieMoms was born.
As the blog gathered steam, Moss passed up a promotion at LeapFrog and left the company to freelance and work on the duo’s first book (The Rookie Mom’s Handbook), and “be more in control of my hours without feeling like I was disappointing anyone. Although I had a great job, I was more excited about being a mom, and wasn’t willing to let my job compromise my access to my son.”
Seven years later, RookieMoms.com is one of two successful blogs that Moss and Flett run, and they recently published their second book, Stuff Every Mom Should Know.
So how does she manage her time and family now that she runs her own business? Maybrooks.com asked Moss for some tips:
MB: How do you organize your day to fit in work and and your family?
WM: My kids are school-aged now, so I work within the hours they are at school. Ever since they were born, however, I pay for a little bit more childcare than I need, so that I don’t feel stressed out when I do need to use it. For example, when I was working outside of the house, and had one young baby, I gave myself an hour to get home, even though my commute was 12 minutes. That way I could stop for an errand on the way home if I needed to. Now, I pay for aftercare that goes until 6 p.m., but I pick them up at 3:30 or 4 p.m. every day. I pick them up early because I want to have that time with them and that’s the length of work day that feels right for me, but if something comes up, I don’t have to scramble to find childcare. I get stressed out by scrambles, so I’m better off protecting myself against them.
MB: Your husband works full-time as well. How do you work together when it comes to your children? Any advice for other moms on this front?
WM: I think he would agree that my having a flexible schedule benefits him tremendously. Most of the daytime home responsibilities are on me. Sick kids and doctor’s appointments are things I can work around. If I have a conflict that’s important to me, I let him know. He’s pretty much always going to cover what I ask for because I prioritize my asks. Mostly he says he wants advance notice. TIP: We share a Google Calendar with family appointments. They show up on both of our phones. Not only does it help keep us organized, but frankly I feel more appreciated because I know he’s aware of random school closures and volunteer duties that I’m covering on behalf of our household.
MB: What advice do you have for working moms (or moms considering going back to work) when it comes to managing your job and family?
WM: I think it’s important to remember that there’s always room for change. Every time you take on something new, you have to allow yourself a learning curve. Just like you don’t know how to do everything on your first day of a new job, you don’t know everything about making your home life a success either. Establishing routines takes patience, trial and error. Give yourself permission to feel frustrated and overwhelmed. And give yourself permission to celebrate successes, even if they’re trivial.