Before giving birth to PINK Magazine, Cynthia Good launched Atlanta Woman, named 2004's "best magazine of the year" by the Magazine Association of the Southeast. Cynthia has written six books, and anchored and reported thousands of TV newscasts for stations across the country, with more than 20 years in the field of journalism. She is also the mother of two boys rapidly approaching their teenage years.
We at Mommy Tracked are big fans of PINK Magazine, a fairly new publication dedicated to professional women like us.
Do you work exclusively in an office, exclusively from home or some combination? What are the pros and cons of your schedule?
Since I'm the owner of my business, I do have control over my schedule. I can pick the kids up from school occasionally and always go to important school events. I can even slip away for a dance class or field trip here and there. Sometimes I get the most work done at the coffee shop around the corner from the office. I read stories over the weekend and write on airplanes. But I am at the office a lot to work with my team and deal with deadlines, design issues, etc. I am careful to make time just for my family by saying no to evening events and speaking engagements when I have to.
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
The very best part of my job by far is telling the stories of amazing women and getting letters from women who say that they read something in PINK that inspired them to follow a dream or to take action to become more successful, financially independent or happier. The hardest part of the job is making sure that every comma is in the right place and that every single thing in the magazine is accurate.
Of your female friends with children, what percentage work outside the home?
Most of my friends work outside the home. I seem to have more in common with them. But a lot of them do work from home and on their own terms, either freelancing or on a project basis.
If you have a spouse or partner, does he or she work?
My husband works. Actually, we bought a building and share the space. It's a fabulous old brick building in the shape of a triangle, in the warehouse district of mid-town Atlanta. My husband helps out tons but this is not by chance. I am a firm believer in asking for what you want. If you don't ask for your husband to cook breakfast for the kids (and ooh and ahh over the meal when he's done) you can't complain that he's not helping.
How does the question of who earns more in your house effect the domestic workload division, if at all?
It doesn't. We each give 100% and demand 100% in return.
How do you divide up the domestic workload?
He probably does more than his share. He does what he likes, the cooking. And I do what I like, taking the boys to school every morning so I can kiss them goodbye. We're renovating our house and I'm handling all the financials. We share bill writing and investing, etc. He takes out the garbage on Monday morning.
Did your mom work while you were growing up?
My mom was an interior decorator but really was an artist. I always felt that she couldn't focus on her passion to paint because she had no help taking care of me and my two brothers. I always felt guilty about that as a kid. I decided I wanted to pursue my passion — to do media work that made a difference (first in TV, then I wrote 6 books, now with magazines). My children are happier because I'm happy and following my passion.
You must have to travel a great deal for your job. Do you try to avoid it or consider it the great escape?
Actually, I always avoid long trips. When I have something in New York, I'll stay over just one night and plan something special for the kids like ESPN Zone or some treat. Uusually my husband and I will schedule business trips together and also make it a little romantic getaway.
Do you have a formal or informal support group of working moms that you rely on for advice or support? If so, what do you chat about most often?
My girlfriends are a huge support network for me. These days especially the ones who have already experienced raising teenagers. One of my friends and I have very short conversations about twice a month. We'll talk — very fast for a couple of minutes about some of the heaviest most important things and help each other immediately resolve issues in our lives.
In your workplace, do you feel comfortable talking about your kids and family life or do you try to keep those spheres of existence separate? If so, why?
Yes and I hope that everyone at PINK feels comfortable to be fully themselves at work. This is a huge issue for working women today and I think it's a big reason why so many women leave corporate jobs. Here you can wear PINK!
What is the one thing you vowed you would never do when you had kids that you find yourself doing?
I'm a terrible nag. I am really trying to work on that.
Forgive us for asking, but do you ever find time for sex?
A couple of times a week. Sometimes I'm too tired. Also my body clock is timed for the afternoon and that just doesn't happen during the week. Also I just went through menopause at 46 and I still trying to get adjusted to that.
What is your best tip for maintaining balance or at least some semblance of sanity?
Set priorities. Once you know clearly what's most important (SELF, FAMILY, WORK) everything else falls in line. It isn't always easy but it is always clear.
What do you do when you feel totally overwhelmed?
When I am really overwhelmed, nothing helps like a Bikham yoga class. They heat the room to 106 degrees. The stress melts away.
Do you feel that you have made professional sacrifices to be a better parent? Or do you feel you have made parental sacrifices to be a better professional?
I think the opposite. I'm better at my job because my life is in perspective. I do have to force and remind myself to be very present when I'm with my family even when I'm exhausted. I do wish I could spend a bit more time with the kids. But I know my husband and anyone with full time work feels that way. Though we women are harder on ourselves and angst more over our choices.
Describe your worst working mom moment.
One of the worst was when my son hit the ball at his baseball game and when he tried to catch my eye — he saw me on the BlackBerry. Now I leave it in the car.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Having a happy family.
If you liked this Working Mom interview with PINK publisher Cynthia Good, don't miss our chat with Dwell publisher Michela O'Connor Abrams !