Courtney is one of those women you meet and are instantly connected to. We briefly met when we were in junior high and both performed as extras in the local high school musical, then did one year in high school drama together before she was admitted to a prestigious performing arts high school in Orange County, and our lives came full circle when she planned my wedding 10 years later. By the time she was 30, Courtney had gotten an education at a first class university, gotten married and had three boys, founded, ran, and sold her own company, and supported high-end wedding and event industry leaders in various positions. What makes Courtney’s story so interesting is her experience as business-owning mother, stay-at-home-mom, and now a working mom in the traditional corporate world. Read on to learn more about Courtney’s background and how she’s crushing that working mom life.
A few months ago, I was feeling particularly overwhelmed and like no one in my circle understood my unique challenges of being a working mom with two toddlers, a side hustle, a blog, and a husband who travels a lot. In desperation, I searched on Facebook for a working moms group and found one that is not only a wonderful source of support and advice, but it also helped me find people who were uniquely in the same boat as me. Which is where Brittany comes in. I stumbled into “meeting” Brittany when she shared a post from her beautiful and useful website, Our Home Made Easy, and found out through talking to her online that she, too, has a day job with a blog on the side. Read on for her take on managing a full-time job, parenthood, and a side hustle.
Give us a little background on your day job.
I work for an extremely busy health system in their operating rooms as a Senior Industrial Engineer. My day is spent focusing on making sure we are keeping patients safe and maintaining our quality standards. I lead meetings and enjoy finding opportunities for improving our processes.
How has your career changed since having kids?
I still work full time since having my two little ones! I am much more deliberate about creating a balance of work & life since having kids.
What drove you to include blogging in your spare time and how do you prioritize your different roles as employee, mother, wife, blogger, etc.?
I am extremely passionate about sharing simple solutions for other busy families! Both my husband & I have undergraduate degrees in Industrial Engineering. It comes natural to us to find easier ways to run our lives. I find blogging to be extremely gratifying and enjoyable. When I’m not at work or being mom, I’m finally a blogger. It’s an extremely busy day, but to me, blogging is the really fun job!
What are the benefits for you and your family of working multiple jobs? What are the biggest drawbacks?
I love earning a side income blogging! It adds another layer to my story. I think all moms deserve a creative outlet where they can find enjoyment. The biggest drawback is the time I spend on my laptop or creating content on the weekends. But I firmly believe that if I wasn’t writing a post, I’d be scrolling through Facebook or a news site.
How do you carve out time for yourself? What does your ideal “me time” consist of?
I work out at least 4 times a week! So that I’m not taking more time away from my family, I wake up at 3:30am most mornings to make my 5am HIIT class. I shower at the gym and head to work. Thankfully my husband understands the importance of of wellness, so he encourages me to go as often as I can manage. [He’s an avid runner.]
If I had time to myself, you would find me reading a book on the couch! It’s been quite awhile since I’ve sat down and read. but it’s one of my favorite things!
What is the best piece of advice a working mom has given you?
Unfortunately, I have not met many working moms who are engineers.
[Editor’s Note: This is sad in 2018. Although it’s not the same as knowing women personally, there are a few women-focused engineering organizations like this and this to help find support and like-minded women in engineering fields.]
What is one thing you wish someone would have told you before having kids (whether professional or personal)?
That your priorities will change and you will be okay with it!
I’m lucky enough to call Kristine a friend, mentor, and colleague. Only a few years my senior, Kristine has achieved so much in her career and is still very much on an upward trajectory. As a working mom, she somehow manages to be present in a high-stress, high-visibility career as well as in her three children’s busy lives. Read on for some seriously useful advice on managing parenting and a career.
Katherine (Kat) and I have been friends since the beginning of high school. This girl is gregarious, generous, kind-hearted, funny, and has an insane work ethic. A few years ago, she and her husband made the decision for him to stay home with their beautiful daughter, Riley, while she continued to work. Not only does this woman have fantastic advice as an ambitious and successful professional, but her husband, Greg, is just the coolest dad with tons of interesting experience to share, so I decided to do a joint interview to get the best of both worlds.
Meet one of my best friends, Julie. I met her the day after I moved to Sacramento for law school. We were on our way to an overnight whitewater rafting “bonding” trip with all the new students, and she looked nice enough, so I asked her if I could sit in the empty seat on the bus next to her. We rafted, shared a tent, and got to know each other. And we basically never left each other’s side through the rest of law school. She’s brilliant, hard-working, and she’s one of those moms who always lends a nonjudgmental ear and provides just the right balance of experience-based advice. So as you can imagine, I was thrilled when she agreed to let me kick off my new series of working mom interviews with her. Read on for some of that excellent experience-based advice.