I Don’t Know How She Does It – Erika Brechtel
Confession: I have never met Erika. I gravitated to her blog months ago from I don’t know where and have been stopping in ever since. Her impeccable style caught my eye at first, then the fact that she was a working mom, entrepreneur, and knows how to embrace life with a good laugh kept me coming back. She runs a successful branding and design business, Small Shop, that will be my first stop when I am ready to hire someone to brand me properly, is clearly a devoted mama to her darling three-year-old daughter, and knows how important it is to sneak off to Vegas for a weekend with your girlfriends every once in a while…here is how she does it:
What time does your day start and how?
My daughter usually storms in at 6:30am for a short cuddle before we go down for breakfast. But I can’t get out of bed until I know my husband has made coffee!
What time does your day end and how?
My husband and I switch off nights getting our daughter down for bed. Afterwards, I have to blog at night, so I am usually at my computer until 11:30pm or so, 3 nights a week at least. I am also on leadership with a volunteer organization which does take some time at night as well. But before I can go to sleep, I have to read a few pages of a good book to clear my mind.
Do you work from home or in an office? What is the set up like?
Yes I work from a home office, which is good and bad. I am definitely a homebody and I love to decorate my space. But there is no separation and I do find that I work all the time. There are many nights that I don’t want to go back downstairs to my office!
Do you see/speak to your kids throughout your work day? If yes, how/when?
Nope — my 3 year-old is off to Montessori at 8am with my husband, and I pick her up at 5:30pm. I was initially very naïve thinking I could work from home with a baby. It was impossible! Having her in an environment where she gets the most expert attention allows me to do what I need to do for my business and clients. And I find that way I don’t end up having any resentment. I treasure the time I do have with her every day.
What is the best thing about being a working mom? Hardest thing?
The best part is that I feel I am the best role model my daughter can have, by balancing work and family. She has become quite independent and creative, and I do believe that me allowing her to grow on her own in an educational and social environment outside of the home has been truly beneficial for her.
The hardest part is that it is often a lot to juggle. Especially when she was a baby, we often felt completely disorganized. It took us about a year to feel like we had some control over our lives again!
Be honest, what is one thing you envy about stay at home moms?
Being able to give 100% to your home life. I often fail in the grocery/laundry/housework department! And also the possibility of having multiple children. It is going to be a challenge for me to take the time from my business to have a second child.
Answer the question “I don’t know how you do it?” in ten words or less
An amazing husband. Self-expectations. Drive. And giving yourself a break.
And here are some of the things Erika is coveting right now…for mommy and she…(which she took the time to put into this cute collage layout even though I told her it wasn’t at all necessary. Gotta love creative types…!)
*Photo above via Melissa Stewardson Photography