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—and maybe a little obsessed—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 feel a little better. Every Friday I’ll feature a new interview. Here’s what Jenny Hutt had to say…
No. 11: Jenny Hutt, Media Personality
Where I live: Long Island, NY
Job: You mean JobS!: Mom, Wife, TV/Radio Personality/Host, Lawyer, Author. Human.
Ages/genders of kids: 15-year-old boy, almost 14-year-old girl
Is the job you have now the same one you had before kids? If not, how and why did you change directions?
I have a different professional life now than before I had kids. Arguably, I had very little professional life before I had kids! I found my passion late in life… ick. Did I just say I found my passion?!
Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
I am not sure what the “all” is. I think I just try to appreciate what I have, make sure to have what I (and my family) need with maybe a touch more…
What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
There is no balance!!! There is no balance because different aspects of our lives need varying amounts of attention almost moment to moment. Sometimes work needs more time and sometimes my kids need more (usually the case!). Occasionally my husband needs some extra attention. The fun sort of “Me Time” stuff is usually last on my list, but I view my work life as my great indulgence. I am wired that way to feel like mothering/wife-ing are what I am meant to do so any work—even tough work—outside the house I see as my luxury. Somewhat sexist for sure, but I am working on being more okay with needing fulfillment outside the home.
What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
Hmmm.. well, I am not sure it is balance BUT I am getting much better at asking for help from my husband or my sister when I need it.
What was the best advice you ever heard on balance…
From your mother? My mom said always have a shoemaker put bottoms on my shoes so they never look scuffed when I cross my legs. This is FANTASTIC advice. She also showed by example how to be a fiercely loving mom to limitless kids. AND she shared her flaws which is an incredible gift to me years later, because I am an incredibly flawed mother and I get how normal and ok that is!
From your kids? My kids teach me about unconditional love on a daily basis. I live for my babies in the most primal way. They are each extraordinary in their own ways. And their flaws are what make them perfect… to me. I’ve also learned that my kids really appreciate honest parenting and a sense of humor. We approach almost everything with a sense of humor. Actually come to think of it, my kids are a little too good at using sarcasm.
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?
Let’s add: and nothing has calories… I would eat a pizza or a big plate of pasta or pancakes. I am PMS so my mind is cloudy! Or I would do karaoke somewhere. I love to sing.
What do you wish you’d known when you were 20?
I wish I’d known that I would get married and have kids. I didn’t let myself have enough fun because I was so worried so much of the time!
What do you hope to know by time you’re 60?
My anxiety prevents me from looking so far ahead.
What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
I would love to outsource the scheduling of the kids’ various appointments. I can take them everywhere, but the actual booking of the myriad of time-consuming/juggling appointments… arghhhh.
Whose job do you wish you had?
I don’t think I would be good at anyone else’s job! But I love how Meredith Viera’s career turned out so far. And Wendy Williams… I adore her! I would’ve liked to be a doctor had math and science not been required.
Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
OHHHHH. I loved Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple and We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green wrecked me. What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty was good. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt was good but not a great payoff. I loved Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline.
What are you reading right now?
NOTHING. I need a great book.