Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Style Me Pretty Living Managing Editor Erin Lepperd. Though today’s feature is a little different than the previous ones we’ve done since Erin isn’t the founder, she has great insight into the world of work-at-home-moms who do creative work for a living. Read on to see how she balances working from home, raising TWINS and keeping her sanity. (Also her family photos are GORGEOUS.)
First things first, tell us a little bit about your family and where you live.
We are a little family of four residing in a itty bitty beach cottage outside of Boston, MA by way of California. We might be the only people on the face of the planet that moved away from the perfect weather and into the freezing snow. We love the seasons and the charm of New England though and yes, even the snow!
I am the Managing Editor of Style Me Pretty Living and my husband works for The Union of Concerned Scientists, a non-profit in Cambridge. The youngest members of the Lepperd clan are made up of our two going on twenty year old twins Hudson and Quinn. They keep life interesting and busy around these parts!
Which came first, the babies or the business?
I always knew I wanted to do something in the creative field. With a degree in interior design, I thought that would mean designing but as fate would have it, I landed a dream job at Style Me Pretty and never looked back. It’s a career that allows me to be my crazy, creative self and work from the comfort of my own home (and in athleisure if I so please!)
It’s also a career that my babies fit right into. I get to be here for the little things like silly afternoon dance parties, all the hugs and kisses and the big things too.
Are you a morning person or a night person?
I wish I could be both because my to-do lists would be so much smaller but I am bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning and ready to crash at 9pm.
Coffee or tea? (Or are you a unicorn who does not need caffeine?!)
I prefer copious amounts of coffee and I’ll take some afternoon tea too.
What does your morning routine look like? What time do you get up? What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
My morning routine starts at the break of dawn. I’m usually up at 5am, curled up on the sofa with a steaming cup of coffee and the morning news while I tackle writing or some of the more creative aspects of my job. I love this time of day because it’s quiet, me time. A little serenity before those crazy toddlers hit the ground running. They usually wake up around 7 and the rest of the morning is spent feeding and clothing and keeping them entertained until I officially start my work day at 9.
Balance—we can’t do this interview and not talk about it! Mostly because I’m desperate to know all of your secrets. How do you make it work?
I wish I had the secret to balancing it all. Maybe I will when I’m 80 but right now it’s all about being ok with letting less important things drop once in awhile. Some weeks I have home cooked meals on the table every night and all the laundry is folded/put away and other times, the house is in total chaos but I am checking things off my to-do list at work and the family is going on fun adventures filled with salty hair, sunshine and the happiest hearts.
Childcare is a big factor—what’s been working for you? Nanny, daycare or the stay-at-home/work-at-home life? Or do your kids go to school now?
Childcare is ever changing for us. But I think we’ve found a great combo of nanny and daycare once a week so the babes can get out of the house and play with all their friends. I also work from home and love being able to pop downstairs and give them a big smooch or eat lunch and hear about their day. It usually involves wild stories of unicorns and dump trucks and entertaining bits like that.
How do you make room for personal time for yourself? When you do get down time, what do you do to relax, refresh and/or get inspired?
Personal you time is so, so important and I am just realizing this two years in. After running myself ragged trying to balance everyone else, I realized I was being such a stressed out grump. Taking time that doesn’t involve looking after anyone else is key. I love reading, getting dressed up and going for brunch or cocktails with my girlfriends, pedicures any chance I get and fresh air and sunshine. A combination of all of those is a killer week for me. And vacations! Adventures grand and small inspire me to no end.
Since my job revolves around computers and social media and being totally plugged-in, I think it’s also really important for me to shut that off at the end of the day and on weekends. When I am away from my phone or my computer, I feel most inspired.
What one bit of advice would you give to a fellow mompreneur trying to make it all work?
Be kind to yourself. Know that you aren’t going to be able to do everything and be ok with that. The house might be a little messy or your kids might eat mac n’ cheese three days in a row (guilty!) but everyone will survive. Choose those people and things that are most important to you, do what makes you truly happy and trust that the rest will fall into place.
Thank you for sharing with us, Erin!
Photos by Ruth Eileen