If you’ve wondered “How does she do it?” when you see another mom running an amazing business, A Day in the Life of a Mama CEO, is for you.
This week, Suzi Istvan shares how she kept home and work running smoothly in the middle of a move.
Suzi, is the founder, creative director, and brand strategist at Splendidly Curious. She helps micro businesses stand out with brands and designs that show who they really are so they connect with the clients that love them.
Suzi is mom to three boys. They just moved into their dream home in upstate New York.
My youngest son (2 years old) crawls into my bed. He has a cold so he’s been having trouble sleeping. My husband is already leaving for work, so the little guy and I have some time to snuggle before we head down to the kitchen around 6:30 am. I do a quick check of my schedule for the day, glance at my email to make sure I haven’t missed anything urgent and make my first of many coffees for the day. Coffee is a very important relationship in my life!
The other two boys (ages 3 and 7) wake up, and the next hour and a half is a scramble of breakfast eating, getting dressed, looking for missing socks and library books, before finally loading the little guys up in the jogging stroller so we can walk my oldest to school.
Once we drop my 7-year-old off at school (a short walk from home), I put my earbuds in and take the younger two on a long walk while I catch up on my favorite podcasts. (Today its This American Life followed by Creative Start). Some mornings we swing by our favorite Main Street bakery, but I’m trying to be a little healthier this week so we head straight to the playground. We play for about 45 minutes then trek home.
10:00 am—11:30 am
I let the little guys watch a Thomas the Tank Engine movie while I clean up the kitchen and toss in the laundry, getting ready to transition from mom mode to work mode.
My babysitter arrives to take over kid duty. At noon I drive my 3-year-old to school—he has autism and attends a special preschool a little further away, so no walking there. I head home and straight into my office so I can get some work done.
By now I’ve checked in with the Splendidly Curious agency team on Slack—we love it to stay in touch throughout the day—and I’m diving into a client project. I see a few other last-minute client requests come through Basecamp, so my senior designer and I jump on the phone to see how we should divide up those tasks. My assistant (who is also my sister!) and I text to make sure the whole team is clear on our new priorities. I’m supposed to attend a local networking event tonight, but I cancel to make sure I have time to get everything on the to-do list done.
I run out to pick up my 3-year-old from preschool. We sing “What’s the weather?” and “Put your finger in the air” all the way home. I set him up to play with the babysitter and his brothers and head back into my office for another hour of work. This time I’m jumping on the phone with a client to talk about her upcoming website design. I can hear my son’s speech therapist arrive at the house to do an in-home session, and I also hear my oldest son arrive home. I like that I can keep tabs on the comings and goings while still having dedicated work time. My husband comes home around 4:30.
We just moved into a new house last week, so while I normally like to be done working by dinner, I’m playing catch up tonight. I opt to work through dinner time, but I make sure I’m done by bath time so I can administer the bubbles. Then I help tuck the kids into bed.
My husband and I have a late dinner together. We’re plotting out a plan for unpacking the new house. He also does part-time work as a developer for the agency so he helps me quickly re-arrange a client’s landing page for a webinar she’s promoting tomorrow, and we create a tutorial for another client’s video gallery.
I’m headed to bed—much later than usual! I’m making a list of my to-dos for tomorrow and remembering that I’ve been meaning to start that night time gratitude journal that sounds like such a lovely idea. Maybe tomorrow . . .
When things fall apart
Moving really shook things up. We’re still working on unpacking and adjusting to our new home. It’s caused some disruption to our schedule too (note all those “later than usual” mentions), but I kept things running.
One take-away tip from Suzi
You can’t always do it all. Do what’s most important to your business or to you. It’s okay to skip some of the rest. The networking event might have created some connections, but it was more important to get on top of projects today. While I worked through dinner, I made sure I was there for bath time. It’s a give and take.
Thank you, Suzi, for sharing a glimpse into your Mama CEO life!
Suzi provides brand strategy, design partnerships, and gorgeous websites for small businesses. She is currently partnering with Val Geisler (more from Val in a few weeks) to help you build the signature branded customer experience you have dreamed of creating. Learn more about this course at http://yoursignatureexperience.com/.
The idea of keeping things running for my business and family while moving kinda exhausts me. I love how Suzi shows us a “non-typical” day though, because we all have those days whether it’s because of a move or a vacation or a sick kid.
What have you skipped that you planned to do for your business or your family so that you could get your work done? How did it work out? I’d love to hear in the comments!