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I Don’t Know How She Does It – Dena Rochelle

2012 May 23

A big part of the inspiration behind this blog (as you already know if you read my “About Me“…ahem) is the working mom.

I am one. I am inspired by many. And now I want to spotlight them here. To give you a glimpse into the madness that is their daily lives. To show you how equally frustrating and fabulous this work/life balance thing can be. And of course, to let you know where they shop…

Please meet Dena Rochelle Smolek, a fellow working-mom-obsessed-with-fashion who has become one of my favorite online friends. She runs her own successful fashion and lifestyle site, Très Chic Now, and has her finger on the tip of the social media campaigns behind many of your favorite brands via Très Chic Media. She is also mama to two: soon-to-be 4 yr old Liam and 7-month-old Lola…so we know she doesn’t get much sleep.

Here’s “how she does it”:

What time does your day start and how?

Today it started around 5:30am, when my 6-mos-old decided she was ready to start her day. Normally we get rollin’ around 7ish. On the good days, hubs does breakfast for the babes and makes me a green smoothie, while I slowly roll out of bed, iPhone in hand, already tweeting for clients. On the not-so-good days, hubs heads out early for work and I have to get things in gear solo. I’m not a morning person.

What time does your day end and how?

I prefer to call it a night before midnight, but that’s not always the case. After we have dinner as a fam and put the kids to bed, I like to kick back and watch some TV (love Girls on HBO, Gossip Girl, Modern Family, Game of Thrones, Mad Men). Again, with iPhone in hand because running a social media agency means work is happening 24/7. And I wouldn’t have a social media firm if I wasn’t obsessed!

Do you work from home or in an office? What is the set up like?

I’ve never been a 9to5 office type so I’ve had a freelance life for nearly a decade. Having my own editorial site and agency sealed the deal so I could be home with my kids. We recently moved from LA to Silicon Valley and I’m enjoying life in a house with a yard. My “office” is in one of the main living areas. I carved out my little space with a CB2 rug, Ikea desk, Knoll chair and my iMac.

Do you see/speak to your kids throughout your work day? If yes, how/when?

Absolutely! My most important job is being a mom and it is sometimes hard to juggle clients and my mommy life. If the kids are happy and occupied I’ll sit down at my desk to get some work done. But I rely heavily on my iPhone for work, which means I can do so from almost anywhere. My son goes to preschool three days a week, which gives me more time to focus on work. And I just recently hired a very part-time nanny. I’m mostly here working when she’s here but try to get out for some me time and take a class at The Dailey Method. My son knows that he can come over to my desk anytime to chat but the nanny does a good job of giving me some good hours of totally focused work time. And yes, I do work nights and weekends. But the work is almost always fun so I don’t mind. I even worked while on a recent vaca to Maui…

What is the best thing about being a working mom? Hardest thing?

Best part is the flexibility of my job. I’m so thankful that I’m in this situation and able to be with my kids so much. I would be so sad if I missed out on this time… it goes by so fast. Hardest thing to do is unplug. I really need to work on that…

Be honest, what is one thing you envy about stay at home moms?

Being a work-at-home mom is no joke. I sometimes wish I didn’t have any work to do and could just play all day (because that’s the way I fantasize it would be). And then maybe I’d have more time to brush up on my cooking skills, make my own baby food… or workout more… or tackle the pile of things on my desk that don’t fall into the work inbox.

Answer the question “I don’t know how you do it?” in ten words or less

This goes for work and kids: It takes a village.

And here is just a glimpse at what Dena is coveting right now – for mommy and she and he…

From top left:

Loeffler Randall Sasha Platform Sandal

Kelly Wearstler Numa Labyrinth Dress

Sweven Ryan pants (for kids)

Vanessa Bruno Lune Hobo

Heidi Merrick Tommy Shirt Yellow

Appaman (for kids)

Isabel Marant Flass and Claudine Bracelets

Blabla Kids Dolls

6 Responses leave one →
  1. May 23, 2012

    Dena is the real deal! I’ve seen her in action. I wholeheartedly agree, it takes a village to raise these little ones. Thank you village, smart phones and the tireless drive of ladies like Dena!

  2. May 23, 2012

    Great insight here. I used to be a working mom and am now a stay-at-home mom so I get both sides of the spectrum. Thanks for sharing. I hadn’t heard of Tres Chic Now/Media until now, what a great company. So relevant.

  3. May 23, 2012

    What a great series! It’s so interesting to hear how other moms do it, especially a work at home mother. Dena’s site is amazing and those baby leggings are too cute!

  4. June 6, 2012

    Dena does such an amazing job balancing work and motherhood. I tried to take as many cues from her when I had my daughter 10 months ago. The iPhone really does help! xo

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