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Meet blogger Jessica Gottlieb

Naomi de la Torre is freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom with two delightful boys, ages three and six. Naomi has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, is a self-proclaimed salsa diva, and can make a killer octopus ...

Top Blogger Spotlight

Jessica Gottlieb is one of the most influential bloggers in America. She’s been called Power Mom by Nielsen, one of the Top 50 Mom Bloggers by Babble and one of 14 Power Women to follow on Twitter by Forbes. Her regular features on Momversation spark fascinating conversations throughout the blogging community.

I find your stance on working mothers very interesting. I'm a Baha'i and in my faith we are taught that women and mothers have a special role in this world. Caring for our children is one of our most important duties. So I must say that I wholeheartedly agree that it is extremely important that we take the time to set up our family life so that we can nurture our children and spend time with them, particularly when they are little. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy being a writer, because I can work from home and still be around my family as much as possible. But at the same time, my writing does take me away from spending time with my children. This is why I find your position on working mothers a little puzzling. It would seem that someone who has reached your level of notoriety in the media would have to spend a good deal of time "working." Do you not consider your writing and social media appearances to be work?

When I look at my children sometimes I can't take a full breath. I'm stunned at how big and strong they are, I'm shocked that they're smart, capable and independent. I'm awestruck every time my son slips his hand into mine, and motherhood is a very special role. There is no one we can love like we love our children, and our husbands will only be more tethered to us all. I'd love to learn more about the Baha'i teachings as it relates to motherhood. I revere childhood, every part of it, and as a mother I feel honored, humbled and excited to be allowed to be with my children.

I do consider this to be work, and I limit it to the time when my family wouldn't really need me. I write every morning when my kids are in school, and I mess around with social media during their homework hours when the house has to be quiet, but I also have to be available to help them with their work. It's the perfect time for twitter and facebook because I can't put together more than about eight minutes during those hours.

I did not work when the kids were little. I had an ebay business that I operated solely during my daughter's nap schedule and I got my Master's Degree by going to school one night a week for several years. We first hired a babysitter outside of the family when my daughter Jane was seven, and my husband and I feel like that was a great investment of time and resources.

Working from home is hideous because you never really come home from work. I have rules about work, and they've saved us from being a fragmented family.

I'm interested in your thoughts on the use of multimedia in blogging. I notice that you do a lot of vlogging as well as blogging. Do you feel this helps to increase the intimacy between you and your readers/followers?

I do enjoy vlogging. When I found out about Momversation I knew I had to be part of it. I think it's the best of vlogging and since I don't share many pictures it adds a dimension to the relationship I have with my community.

What social media outlets do you prefer or use the most and why? How much do you interact with your readership?

I love Twitter so much I think I'd like to marry it, but lately I've been cheating on twitter with Quora. Oh, and then I had a little one night stand with Namesake... but I think the Namesake thing might possibly turn into a semi-permanent affair.

I am very interactive. I publish my phone number, there's no one I won't talk to. I try to listen significantly more than I speak because I'm surrounded by really bright people and I really want to learn new things every day.

Can you offer any tips to other mom bloggers on time and life management? How do you stay on top of your work and your family life with such success?

Here are a few things I do for time and life management:

  • I decide how much time I'm willing to work for the day. I set a timer and when the time is up I stop working. End of story.
  • I do not take trips without my family unless they are exceptional. Two trips seemed exceptional, one of them was.
  • I do not work in my bedroom. Ever.
  • I ask my children if they think I have a job. When they say yes I tone it down.
  • Every task I'm asked to complete must have a payoff at the end, and if there's no payoff I don't do it. I'd rather be with my family
  • I work a three hour day. If I worked a six hour day I wouldn't make double the money, therefore three hours is the right amount of time for me, and that includes bookkeeping and office organizing time.

I have an incredibly successful existence because I've defined success in a workable way. I don't have the income that I'd have attained climbing the corporate ladder, but I've never missed an important day at the kid's school and I was with them for every milestone, including the intense boredom. My family sits for dinner together every night of the week, and I take care of my husband. I understand that to some people these aren't the successes they're striving for, and that's totally okay.

I think we need to look at what our success looks like and strive for that. Some days will be incredibly easy, and some days will be trying. Some days I want to take off the mom colored glasses and be unencumbered, but I'm thinking my son will be out of the house in nine short years, and I really don't want to miss any of this.

I've got my whole life to build a career. I've only got now to be a mom.


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Tough Love

We're taking your parenting questions and asking for advice from some of the web's most popular mom bloggers. These thoughtful moms are not afraid to tell you exactly what they think. The result? Tough Love.

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