Stephanie Sheaffer launched Metropolitan Mama in January 2007 -- just a few months after her daughter was born. "Metropolitan Mama exists to help moms as they travel along Baby Boulevard, Toddler Trail, Kid Court, and beyond," she writes on the site, where she leads her readers on tours of the best of the web on Tuesdays, and coordinates themes for her readers on the weekends. When she's not at work in the field of communications, she's working on a book, writing on her blog, or running. She lives with her husband and daughter in Arizona.
Tell us a bit about your job and how your career path led you there.
I currently work as a communications specialist for a local school district. Essentially, I am the district’s PR person -- I compose press releases, nominate teachers for awards, write grants, and create content for the district website.
I stumbled into PR almost by accident. I have my Bachelors degree in English (I love writing and ultimately want to publish books) and my Masters degree in Educational Counseling. I worked as a high school guidance counselor for three years.
When my daughter was born, I thought I would go back part-time, but when the time came, I just couldn’t. I went in to resign and my boss said, “Why don’t you bring your baby to work with you?” So I did. That arrangement worked famously until the end of the school year. I was about to resign yet again when the Superintendent approached me about working in PR because he had seen my work in several of the local newspapers.
Being a working mom is all about juggling. What is, for you, the most challenging part of the work-life juggle?
The most challenging part is walking the “tightrope” of time. I want to pursue my career goals with gusto and enthusiasm, but I also want to be active and Number One in my daughter’s life AND I want to be “present” and passionate in my marriage.
Time is my most precious asset and I guard it fiercely. I make the most of every single minute. For example, if we’re about to watch a movie and my husband gets up for a minute to get a water bottle, I immediately pull out my to-do list or respond to a few e-mails. Crazy? Maybe. Productive? Absolutely!
In addition to your job you also write a blog, Metropolitanmama.net. What inspired you to start it?
I started Metropolitan Mama when my daughter was four months old. Originally, I just loved the “relational” aspect (and still do!), but I’ve really been enjoying the “business” side of blogging this past year. I’ve reviewed over $7,000 worth of products, stayed in hotels free, interviewed authors and physicians, and more! It’s a fantastic time to be in the blogosphere!