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 do “it all.” So I asked them. Every Friday I’ll feature a new interview. Here’s what Emily Liebert had to say…
No. 3: Emily Liebert, Author
Where I live: Westport, CT
Ages/genders of kids: Jax (4) and Hugo (3)—two boys!
Is the job you have now the same one you had before kids? If not, how and why did you change directions?
I’ve always been in the media industry—first in TV, then as a magazine editor, and ultimately I became an author. My first book published when Jax, my older son, was six months old.
Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
I don’t think anyone “has it all,” at least not all at once. And if they say they do, well, I’m pretty sure they’re either living in a dream world or trying to make someone else feel badly! I think you can have some of everything. For example, I have a career and two young kids. I can’t spend all my time with my kids or deadlines wouldn’t be met. I also can’t spend all of my time on my career—or I choose not to—because it’s important for me to spend as much time as I can being a mom.
What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
The part where I actually blow dry my hair and put a little makeup on each day. The women who have that together are my idols!
What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
Learning to give my kids my undivided attention when I’m with them and get off my email.
What was the best advice you ever heard on balance…
From a mentor/co-worker? “If you try to do it all, you’ll crash and burn.”
From your mother? “You have to let people help you.”
From your kids? “Get off your phone!”
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 someone else’s books!
What would you have told yourself…
20 years ago? Don’t be so impatient. It will all come.
20 years from now? I wish I knew!
What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
Sleep. Then I could use that time productively and still be well-rested.
Whose job do you wish you had?
Mine, honestly. Maybe Sheryl Sandberg’s for about a week.
Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
Sheryl Sandberg’s all the time.
What are you reading right now?
All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue, which I’ve been reading for about three months because I can never find time to read!
Activity? Expensive highlights.
Food? Bagel with cream cheese every morning. Can’t give it up!
How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
At least eight. I know! But if I don’t sleep I’m a maniac.
What do you read every morning?
Email and MSN news.
Complete the following sentences:
I think I: can. I think I can.
I wish I: could learn how to relax.
My kids: are the most delicious little boys in the entire world!!!
Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
If someone slams a door in your face, kick it in!
Emily Liebert is a bestselling author and editor. Her debut novel, You Knew Me When, published on September 3, 2013 and her second novel, When We Fall, will be released in September 2014, both with Penguin Random House. Liebert’s first book, Facebook Fairytales, is available across the globe. She’s been featured on/in: NBC’s Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Anderson Cooper, FOX News, InStyle Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Woman’s Day, The New York Post, The New York Daily News and The Chicago Tribune, among other national media outlets. Liebert is currently hard at work on her fourth and fifth books.
Please share your own tips on balance below and check back every Friday for another interview from THE BALANCE PROJECT. Better yet, subscribe in the box to the right and I’ll let you know when a new one posts…