Published on Mommy Tracked (http://www.mommytracked.com)

Jane Buckingham

Talk about a renaissance mom. In addition to being the nicest, most down-to-earth wildly successful person around, Jane Buckingham [1] is the host of the Style Network's show Modern Girl's Guide to Life. She is the author of the Modern Girl's Guide to Life and the Modern Girl's Guide to Motherhood. She's a columnist for the New York Times Syndicate and is a contributing editor for Cosmopolitan.


Jane also works full time as the president of the Intelligence Group, a marketing consulting firm she founded that uses traditional and nontraditional techniques to determine tomorrow's trends.


Jane Buckingham lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two kids.


Do you work exclusively in an office, exclusively from home or some combination? What are the pros and cons of your schedule?

I work primarily in the office. Although I could work from home I find that I need to be accessible to employees, have access to materials, and get more done when I am there. I do work late at night at home.


What are the best and worst parts of your job?


I love figuring out corporate problems and solving them. I love getting to talk to teenagers and hearing about changes in the world. I love finding a new trend. I love managing people and watching them grow in their careers. I hate being told where to be, having too much work to do. I don't like not being able to finish something and I don't like the feeling of wanting to be with my children and not being able to. I hate dealing with managerial tasks like collecting on invoices or insurance etc.


Would you work if you could afford to stay home? If so, why?


Yes. I really enjoy my work and have built a company I am proud of. I get a lot of my self-definition from what I do and I learn a great deal about people and myself from my job. While I do wish I could work fewer hours, I think I'm a happier person because I work.


Of your female friends with children, how many work outside the home?


Only around 35%.


Did your mom work? If so, what did she do?


Yes. She was a writer and then a lawyer.


Do you travel for work? Do you consider it the great escape or do you avoid it?


I travel for work about twice a month. I almost never travel if I don't have to. I don't enjoy it — and turn around to come home as quickly as possible.


Do you have a formal or informal support group of working moms that you rely upon for advice/support?


No, I wouldn't have the time.


How do you feel about date night?


We don't have a formal date night. But we try to go to a local hotel at least once every six weeks for a mini-escape. We put the kids to sleep at home with an overnight sitter and then we go have dinner and sleep in. It's heaven.


What is your best time for maintaining balance or at least some level of sanity?


As a working mom, don't book lunches. They are a time drain — it is much better to use the time to get work done.


What do you do when you feel totally overwhelmed?


I organize my closets.


What's the best advice you have received about managing the chaos of working outside the home while raising a family?


Don't forget your husband.


Do you have any thoughts on the Mommy Wars?


It’s a darn shame. We’re all having a really hard time. We certainly don’t need to be fighting with each other.


What do you think makes a good mother?


Confidence, consistency and unconditional love.


What are the best and worst things about being a working mom?


The best thing is that when working drives you crazy you can always focus on being a mom and when being a mom drives you crazy you can focus on work. The worst thing is there just aren't enough hours in the day to do both jobs well.


Have you made professional sacrifices to be a better parent or parental sacrifices to be a better professional?


I've definitely missed a few important kid moments — like a double play at T-ball practice or a first cartwheel at gymnastics — to make an important deal happen, but on the other side I know I've passed up potentially big TV opportunities and big deals to be there for a few extra practices and gym classes so in general I feel like I have the best of both worlds.


Do you feel like you can talk about your family life at the office?


Frankly, I don't think my bosses need to hear about my family life. They hired me to do a job, not to talk about my family. If we go out to dinner or lunch, that's dinner, but when I'm at work, I should be working, not bothering them about my (supposedly) cute kids, or my issues about balancing work and career.

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