“I try to give equal parts of myself to all things that are important to me.”

 

As I get back in the swing of things {in case you missed it, 2016 was a tad eventful}, I’m excited to bring back my #workingmomwednesday series.

Last year I interviewed over two dozen working moms. Many owned their own businesses, but all shared a particular passion for their families and careers.

Today I’m chatting with an old college friend, Megan Manguso. One thing that sets Megan apart from any of the interviews I’ve done before is that she travels…a lot. I couldn’t wait to find out her tricks and what was just plain tricky. Read on to become an expert in jet setting with a baby and a briefcase.


Self promo time. Tell me about yourself.

I currently live in central LA {just South of West Hollywood} with my husband Nick, my son Maddox {11mos}, and my FURst baby Oliver {terrier mix}, affectionately known as Ollie Bear. I am the Head of Strategic Partnerships for onefinestay – a start up company which provides upscale, serviced/managed short term rental accommodations in London, Paris, New York, LA, Rome and Miami {think airbnb and a boutique hotel had a baby}. I’ve always been in the travel industry so naturally travel is part of my job, and I love it.

So how often do you travel for work?

Pretty regularly… after my son was born last February, I went back to work starting mid May. Since then, I have been to Europe 3 times for work. But I travel domestically pretty regularly, too. Since June I have been to Miami, Paris, London, Rome, Las Vegas, Vancouver, New York, and the South of France.

How have you been able to balance being a new mom with such a demanding job?

When I had to go to London and Rome, I brought my son. I had my mom come with us and we rented apartments/houses. My husband joined us for the Italy leg and we had some vacation time, too. It has to be said that I couldn’t do this without him. I had to fly straight to Vegas after Italy and so he flew home to LA from DC {6 hours!} after nearly 24 hrs of traveling and the baby had probably had only a few hours of sleep. For Vancouver, we rented a home there, as well. I love the whole idea of “beliesure” {extending business travel for leisure travel}. I really want my son to experience the world and feel comfortable traveling from the moment he can remember. Plus, got to take advantage of free flights before he turns 2!

What is your best travel tip for moms?

Embrace the fact that you are going to have A LOT of stuff and get the gadgets you need. I am and have been a pretty regular traveler. I pack light. A carry on for 7 days is no problem for me. So when I had my son, I had to accept that there was no more carry on only. I did a lot of research {I’m big on mommy research} and found the best gadgets I could to make it easier. Stroller bags, bouncer chairs, travel toys, etc.

It sounds like you have a great support system. Who helps you when you aren’t on the go?

We have an au pair. The au pair program is amazing for us, because it allows for flexibility. It’s also significantly more reasonable in price compared to a full time nanny. In Los Angeles, it ends up costing a little bit more that traditional day care, and since I work from home 30-50% of the time I get to see Maddox during the day which makes being a working mom much more bearable.

How do you stay focused when working from home?

Obviously, you need to have the space for it. We have a detached 1br/1ba studio and it works perfectly. Garage conversions are very popular in LA – so we bought the house with this intention.

What is your best piece of advice for working moms?

Balance, flexibility, and focus. Basically, when I am working, I try to be as efficient and effective as possible. It makes the day go by faster, and if I am going to be away from my son, I need to make it worth it. Also, then I have less pressure to stay connected to work when I am with my family.

At the same time, flexibility and balance keeps me going. I work from home a lot and my son is with his au pair in the house. So I will work for a few hours and then go out to see him for 15 or 20 minutes, or for lunch, and then go back to work refocused. I am a big believer that the 9-5 thing was built for the industrial, manufacturing age. I can’t sit still for 8 hours doing the same thing regardless of being a mom or not, so being able to break up my day and find a job/superior that allows me to do that has been key.

What keeps you sane?

Back to balance. I couldn’t be a full time mom. Not because I don’t think I have the capability, I think that I would be so over the top about it, and my type A personality would drive my family crazy! I am pretty sure I would turn my family into a business {Martha Stewart, Leave it to Beaver style}. So having something else to work on keeps me sane and the right balance between the two is the ultimate goal.

I embrace that I am type A and need to control things, so I plan everything out long before I need to start worrying about it. For example, I put my son on lists for school over year before most because I know the stress it can cause {especially in a place like LA} if you wait until just a few months before. I always have an action plan when it comes to parenting, marriage, and work.

I’m on a quest to having it all. Do you think you have it all?

Ahhh having it all! So, I actually believe you can’t have it all and that it’s OK. I am realist, and it’s simple math: you only have 1 of you to give. So I try to give equal parts of myself to all things that are important to me. I don’t believe my son, my job or my husband need the whole me, I think they need the best me, and the best me is balanced and present.


Want to be interviewed for #workingmomwednesday? Contact me to find out how.

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