Season 1, Episode 3
(R: So I am walking to this shine event, don't know why I chose to walk...uh...been kinda a boring walk. But I guess it's just a good time to meditate, marinate. And just thinking about the boss part. The boss part, by tomorrow, it's Thursday, I'm supposed to have it written, the script written and I don't. Obviously don't. Ooh, that is weird. Quickly falling behind production schedule. Thank god I have myself some padding. But I am feeling good about the whole thing. Every time I think about it...wahoo I am almost there. )
Welcome to the third episode of #mumboss. I'm your host Rachel Maskell and in today's show we're covering what it means to be boss...or the boss. If you're just joining in...quick catch up...in episode 1 I talked about this crazy project and explored what #mumboss is all about. In episode two I broke it down mum style and got personal about motherhood. By now I'm getting more comfortable with my editing app, which I will happily give a shout out to...thank you Hokusai and starting to figure out my flow. Thank goodness! But the other thing I have realized is that after spending a full day with her and finally having her down to sleep I'm spending my nights also listening to her and editing her voice. That's a lot of Kaliana time.
(R: I have to tell you that I am skipping the event. I went there, I showed up, I just...I just couldn't do it. So I walked to the beach and to me that's a part of being boss. What that means...being willing to change up the rules when you need to. Doing what feels good. It feels really good when I told myself I didn't have to be there and go down to the beach and be myself. Gasp. Jeeze, I don't know I haven't had that anymore so...)
I don't know if I would call myself boss of my company any more, and that makes me happy, but it took us a bit to get there. Now, I focus on being the founder, connecting with incredible people and exciting projects and helping our clients through the initial parts of the web and branding process. You may have heard me mention the company before, but in case you haven't, it's Lettuce Design and we're an all female digital design studio.
The company started about five years ago under the name Revive Communication. Since then it's changed to Revive NYC when my husband and I merged companies and then finally to Lettuce Design when my husband and I decided to create more space from our companies.
Since the inception of Lettuce Design I had been working with my lead designer, now partner, Lydia Reynolds. We originally connected through Craig's List when looking for designers in our new Williamsburg space when we were Revive NYC. That was a pretty crazy time in our lives but I'm so thankful that it brought Lydia and I together.
Like any nimble company we have refined over time... trying out strategies, and people, but always coming back to what we're really good at, solving problems. Clients present their problems to me, I feed it back to Lydia with some context, she designs it and Tiffany, our front end developer, builds it.
Obviously this is massively over simplifying the process but hopefully you get the point. We find a problem and we design a solution to solve that problem. It's fun and creative and I love helping my clients and see them come through the journey on the other end so proud of their website and their business.
I love this side of my life and I think I'm pretty good at what I do...but it's hard to commit time to it when I don't have a consistent support or help with Kaliana.
Since her birth I haven't really taken any time off and I have learned how to juggle meetings while walking, playing in the park, while she is eating, napping, and currently the iPad. I often feel guilty that she is with me and concerned that my clients won't take me seriously. Gratefully this hasn't been the case and everyone has been incredibly supportive. But still if you heard the last episode you would have heard me lamenting about this.
(K: again? again? balloon...)
Because I balance raising Kaliana, traveling, and being there for my husband, and of course myself, growing a business and working with clients takes up about 20 hours of my week. It's not a ton of time and I would love to spend more time thinking up new strategies and connecting with people but it's a manageable amount in my schedule right now.
If I take this week as an example...
Monday I had a standing meeting with the team at 9 but I also had to move out of our Venice apartment.
(R: So, it's the end of our stay here in our little bit of Venice and now I am packing up. Oh always a little overwhelming when you live in a space and have to move it all out. It's amazing how quickly you spread out. Oh, as well as Kali's artwork everywhere. We got magic erasers so we can clean off the house hopefully and it will work.)
Then travel down to Palm Springs in time for lunch. We had to go back to the place twice because of things left behind. So frustrating and we were late for lunch...silly mommy!
(K: horsie nose...horsie nose...Chance..Marco...touch his nose, touch his mouth...touch his eyes...)
That evening I had a minister's circle call, I don't know if I mentioned that I am also studying to be a minister from my mentor at AngelsTeach, Elvia Roe, but that was a call towards my training. Since I was on west coast time it started early which was great so I could still be social and present for dinner.
(R: sitting in this beautiful backyard in Palm Springs. Just had a little bit of a meditation; sipping on some coffee in the warm sunshine. Sigh, taking a moment. Today, this morning we got...James is working and I am working. I have a 9 to 10, 10:30 to 11:30, 11:30-12:30, and then we might meet up with somebody. But it's definitely a work day. The challenges of that today is being in somebodies space. And trying not to get in their space too much, always a little challenging with a toddler. Yeah, makes me so appreciate the ability to be in one place sometimes and have the stability of being in that place with a nanny or support or community around. But until then I will be juggling this morning with the iPad. Don't think I will do pool time with her because I will be distracted and I don't want anything to happen. There might be some running around. Definitely that break in between is a good time for a snack. Ooops, here comes the wiggler...let's see.)
I spent another 30 minutes on the phone with Lydia over a client project and then set off to meet friends down the road for a swim and nibbles. This was an unexpected meet up with a friend James knew from school and university. He is an entrepreneur too and is just about to launch Bikyni a very cool online bikini store to the likes of Warby Parker. It was the first time I met him and his wife and two very cute kids. This little excursion really picked up my day, I love hearing what other creative entrepreneurs with families are doing, the choices they are making and how they balance it in their world.
After that back to the place we're staying at to regroup and prepare for dinner.
Somewhere in between these activities I wrote a few emails, paid a few bills and
I think I only lost my cool three times...
Thankfully I had no calls this day since I was traveling back from Palm Springs to Venice to hang out for most of the day while James ran around in appointments. Admittedly it was a bit hectic at times. What's most stressful about these types of days is having to carry around all of her stuff for the just in case moment.
(R: um, it's Wednesday late morning. Just drove from Palm Springs back to LA. James has a podcast this morning with someone. Actually he has a full day of work so Kaliana and I are going to try and entertain ourselves between the part and the beach. I am thankful that I don't have any appointments booked today. I am feeling some what frustrated not having...yeah, just feeling like I have to be shuffled around today and that is frustrating. Anyway...sure it will be fine. It's a beautiful sunny day and I'll just use this time as productively as I can.)
But I do love finding random things for us to do while we're roaming around.
(R: so we just walked across or came across in our little adventures today of finding something to do...came across this farmers market that has all this stuff for kids. Like big balls, hula hoops, and a little train and music...what do you think Kals?
K: hmm...ride and climbing.
R: do you like your big ball or do you want to go dance to the music?
K: ring ring...what is that?)
After a train ride and playtime we were picked up again and dropped off for lunch and more adventures.
(R: are second adventure, finding of the day, is a cool little kids park area with water. Second time we have been dropped off somewhere around Santa Monica. Walking around to get some Play Dough and stumbled across this area.
K: press the button
R: but then the water is going to come out there. Ready? Behind ya. Wow.)
I loved this place, you push a button on the ground and a fountain would pop up and rain down on anyone in its path. It was fun and cool and a nice distraction for her which allowed me to do a few emails on my phone while she was running around.
In all it was a great day but exhausting and this exhaustion can drain me in a way that makes it difficult to want to be nice.
(R: After spending um I don't know since 10:30 this morning 10? Now it's 3:30, no naps, no breaks, just straight, five hours...starting to lose my patience and I just really, really want her to go away...sigh...just take a freaking nap. Makes me kinda angry and I still have 3 more hours.)
(R: were driving from Venice/LA, where were we...Santa Monica...up to Sacramento. It is almost midnight and don't think we'll get there until at least one. Annoyingly I have a very full day tomorrow. 8 - 9, 9 - 10, and then a break from 10-11:30 then 11:30-12:30, and 1:30 to 2:30. At some point I am going to have to empty out the car and I really want to go for an adjustment. So anyway. Yawn...ready for bed. Kali is ready for bed. She has been sleeping and now that we have stopped for gas...ok here we go.)
The day was a bit hectic but good that I was able to do the calls and have some support from my mom and sis who stayed over to see us. I did end up getting an adjustment too which was so needed.
(R: And pack for New York, Croatia and Italy and then be ready to come back so...um lots to do still but gorgeous warm day. I have been sitting out in the sun soaking up as much of it as I can. Ready for this next cycle...alright about to walk into my chiropractor's so I'll be quiet.
R: I'm driving to tatget with Kali to pick up a few things, easier to do here than when we get to New York, and realized also the other thing I did in between my 4 calls today, I emptied out the car and cleaned it. It was pretty disgusting. Well, I pseudo cleaned it. I picked it up anyway, and I washed Kali's car seat because it had Play Dough and nuts all over the place. Feels really good to clear the slate, ready for next steps.)
Friday was a lot lighter with work. I had cancelled my team meeting in the morning but had a quickie at 9 before I got Kaliana ready to go horseback riding at my grandma's. I don't know what I was thinking but I also planned a bit of an impromptu birthday for Kaliana with the family around 6 but we were flying back to NY that night and I still had to pack. But instead of spending the afternoon packing I went running errands with my sis and Kaliana since some things are just easier to do in the suburbs than Manhattan.
By the time I got to packing it was full on. All I can say is thank goodness for family because I don't know how all of this would have worked. Everyone chipped in to help with dinner and entertain Kali so I could finish packing up.
(R: Alright...um...it's getting close to the wire. It's an hour and a half before I have to go, before we have to go and I still have stuff all over the room. We had that impromptu party for Kaliana which was kinda crazy. It was nice, it was nice to see everyone, but now I am still having to pack. And taking a deep breath. Feeling close but still lots to do. Alright we're doing good...right?
K: I want my phone...
R: no...I want you to hang with dad.)
This chaos is often a stressor for my husband and I. Sometimes it's hard to justify my work. I know he appreciates what we're doing but the interpretation is often that it comes as an expense to the serenity and quality of the home life. I don't blame him since this is the rhetoric that we grow up thinking should be true but it isn't. The reality is that my work keeps me sane. My work gives me purpose for waking up in the morning and helps me to enjoy every moment because I have to be present in the moment. Even though I don't always have a smile on my face my work is my outlet away from Kaliana. If I had to spend every moment on the level of a toddler I think I would scream...no, I know I would and it wouldn't be because I wasn't trying to stay grounded and calm...it will be because that level of demand is an energetic drain for anyone but a puppy.
What my husband and I are learning together is that peace in the home is not going to happen by removing outlets, it's going to occur by allowing more space for each of us to develop ourselves and our businesses and to be present with Kaliana when we are with her. But for this scenario to play out, we have to be settled somewhere, and that is a challenge that we're 'moving' through (pun intended) now.
Traveling is such a part of our lives it's hard for me to imagine being in one place for too long. I feel like I am becoming an expert in packing and how to set up home in any new place.
(J: Kali we are going in the airplane, not in the bed.
K: let's go in the bed.
J: sleep on mama
M: you're not going in the bed, you're going in the airplane.
K: good night Gigi
M: good night Kali. What time is it daddy?
K: mommy and daddy in the helicopter?
M: they're not going in the helicopter they're going in the airplane with Kali.)
If you're wondering just how much travel we've done since Kaliana was born or looking for a few packing tips...stay tuned for next week's show...the travel episode.
Thank you for listening and please remember to subscribe to the show, send me feedback, rate it and all those good things. You can check more out on instagram @mumboss and sign up for email goodies at mumboss.com. BTW that's spelt mumboss.com not momboss.com...an important distinction.
M: .com. K. Let's see...oh my godddd....ok Rachel...holy moly...ok that's not a good name for you.
R: right, no typos. It has to be m.u.m.b.o.s.s.com)
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About this episode
This episode was recorded in Venice Beach, Palm Springs, Santa Monica and Sacramento. Special shout out to my mom for being such a good sport. And tiny little audio snippet at the end comes from the Maccabees which was technically recorded in Coney Island at a Mumford and Sons show.
Our logo was designed by Lydia Reynolds. Check out her work at www.lydiareynolds.com
– An all female digital studio that creates custom design and strategy for people, brands, and events.