Meet the fabulous Paige Hobey. She is a contributing writer for Parenting and Chicago Parent and the author of the popular new parenting guidebook, The Working Gal’s Guide to Babyville, which should be on the nightstands of all new working moms.
She lives in Chicago with her husband Charlie and their two children, Bailey (4) and Avery (2).
Of course, the Working Gal's Guide to Babyville can be found in the Balance Books section of the Mommy Track'd Reading Room. This book is a fantastic gift for all new moms that plan to return to work. We wish it was around when our first kids were born.
How would you describe your job?
I usually say I’m a writer because that’s the simplest description. In reality, my days are a crazy combination of professional and personal stuff. I wrote a book, The Working Gal’s Guide to Babyville, which was published this summer, and I’m still helping with promotion. I write for magazines like Parenting. I also work with a designer and programmer on Internet development and marketing projects for small businesses.
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
I love the autonomy and flexibility. I can take my son to preschool, go to the park with my daughter, and then come home and work for several hours. I’m not confined to a rigid work schedule. On the downside, it’s nearly impossible to maintain boundaries between work and personal time. If my kids are happily eating a snack for a few minutes, it’s very tempting to run up to my office and check email. I usually have about ten things from my to-do list in the back of my mind, which makes it harder to be fully present with my kids.
Would you work if you could afford to stay home?
Yes, I would. I’m happiest when I combine family life with projects that challenge a different part of my brain. Fortunately, I really like most of the work I’ve been doing in recent years. That helps. When I’m in my office, the hours fly by and I usually feel more energized to play with my kids. Plus, I like being a strong role model for them. My son is only four, but he was so excited to see my book in our local bookstore.
Do you think your career path would have been different if you hadn't had kids?
If I had never had kids, I’d still be working full-time in a more corporate position and environment. Before my son was born, I was working a ton of hours directing the content development team at an Internet company, and I’d probably still have that lifestyle. During maternity leave, I realized I couldn’t go back to that job. My son gave me a reason to make a major career change and head out on my own, which was both terrifying and liberating. In any case, it’s turned out well so far. I never would have written a book without the flexibility I have now. Granted, I have no idea what my career path will look like in five years, but that’s okay. What’s life without taking a few risks, right?
How does your life differ from when you worked in corporate America?