THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 88: Erin Baebler, Author, Writer and Coach

Welcome to THE BALANCE PROJECT: a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews featuring inspiring and accomplished women talking about balance. I’ve always been curious about how women I admire manage the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze. So I asked them. As I suspected, no one really does “it all.” Everyone’s making sacrifices somewhere. And that should make us all feel a little better. I hope the conversation will be steered toward that reality rather than toward the flawed and dangerous assumption that we should try—or even want to try—to perfectly do “it all.”

BY THE WAY…

  • Looking for THE BALANCE PROJECT, the novel that was inspired by these interviews? It’s here.
  • The Balance Project interview series recently celebrated its first birthday!
  • Fortune ran a feature about The Balance Project.
  • Want to be a part of The Balance Project? Complete the interview.

No. 88: Erin Baebler, Author, Writer and Coach

Where I live: Seattle, WA
Job:  Author, writer, coach (and launching a t-shirt business in the very near future)
Kids: A son, Quin, 13, and a daughter, Scarlett, 8

erin08Have you changed jobs or adjusted anything in your career to have more balance?
When my son was a month old, he became very sick and spent 6 weeks at Seattle Children’s Hospital. I quit my job to be with him and then stayed home for a while when he was very young. When it was time to go back to work, I knew I didn’t have it in me to sit in an office all day so I trained to be a coach which I’d been considering for several years but hadn’t had the guts to follow through on. I didn’t make nearly what I had made in my previous job but I did feel like I had the perfect mix of time with my son and time doing something that made me feel fulfilled and useful.

Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
I think we all need to define what our personal version of “it all” is and then we can usually accomplish that. It’s when we try to have what society defines as “it all” that we get frustrated or feel like we aren’t living up to what society expects from us.

What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
Even though I work with people on this very issue and have written a book on the subject, I still feel overwhelmed at times. There are moments when I’m behind on stuff around the house, behind on emails, behind on work stuff and I have to figure out which one gets my attention and which one will have to wait. Usually, I’m able to coach myself through it but I still have my, I’ll call them moments, when I feel frustrated with my competing roles.

What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
I’m getting better at putting things into perspective and realizing that I’m doing my best. I used to say some pretty rude things to myself.

What was the best advice you ever heard on balance?
From a mentor/co-worker? “The dishes can wait. The laundry can wait.”
From your mother? “You are at the busiest stage of your life right now. Do the best you can and know that it goes by quickly.”
From your spouse? “Let it go. Take care of yourself. Let others help.”
From your kids? “Why don’t you go take a break for a while?”

If you had one extra hour in each day and you couldn’t work or be with your family, how would you spend that hour?
Reading outside on our deck on a warm, sunny day.

What do you wish you’d known when you were 20?
(Where do I start?!) I wish I’d known that I should pursue writing if that’s what I really wanted to do. I waited a long time to go after my dream of having a book published.

What do you hope to know by the time you’re 60?
I hope I know that everything happened just the way it was supposed to. (And, I hope I know that I have a place in Maui.)

What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
Cooking! I like to do it but it takes time and creates dishes that need to be washed.

Whose job do you wish you had?
Hmmm. I really love all of the things that I do so it’s hard to choose something else. I think I’d like Tina Fey’s job minus the acting part (writing, developing projects and producing).

Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
Any job where I have to be there every day and someone notices when I’m not.

Favorite books?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, Poser by Claire Dederer, Bossy Pants by Tina Fey, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and Moms Mean Business by Lara Galloway and Erin Baebler.

What are you reading right now?
Recipes for a Beautiful Life: A Memoir in Stories by Rebecca Barry and Publishing, A Writer’s Memoir by Gail Godwin.

How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
8.

What do you read every morning?
My email.

Complete the following sentences:
I think I: am finally getting somewhere.
I wish I: had better appreciated my jobs with benefits.
My kids: are pretty great most of the time.

Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
All will be well.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you!

MomsMeanBusiness coverAbout Erin:
Erin Baebler is the co-author of Moms Mean Business: A Guide to Creating a Successful Company and Happy Life as a Mom Entrepreneur. She is a freelance writer and also coaches women through her company, Magnolia Workshop.

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Find out more about Erin:
www.magnoliaworkshop.com and www.momsmeanbusinessbook.com
Facebook: MagnoliaWorkshop and MomsMeanBusiness
T
witter: @magnoliawkshop and @momsmeanbiz

 

WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT WORK-LIFE BALANCE? CHECK OUT MY NEW NOVEL THE BALANCE PROJECT!

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