Before she decided to stay home with her two young children, Erin Lane of Raleigh worked in PR and marketing. She keeps those skills sharp by doing a variety of work from home, including writing for parenting websites such as BabyCenter.com and Bellafind.com. At her own site, A Parenting Production, she talks about her adventures with her kids, ages 2 and 4, and also goals she’s set for herself, both as a parent and personally. (Don’t miss the “Life List” tab on her site – she hasn’t learned to whistle yet, but she HAS crossed riding a mechanical bull off the list!) We asked Erin about her blog, her busy life and whether her marketing background has given her an edge in selling the kids on eating their veggies.
Q. Tell us a little about yourself, and about your family.
A. I consider myself a marketing mama. Before I decided to stay at home with my children, I worked for a local PR firm and then as the marketing director for a juvenile product distribution company. I love creating concepts and campaigns, as well as putting a pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!). I’m grateful that I can be home with my children now and still keep my creative side by writing for sites like BabyCenter.com, Bellafind.com and my own site.
I have a hard time turning “off” and it took me awhile to find my rhythm being at home, but also fulfilling my need to still be involved in the marketing industry. I’m still figuring it out.
As for my family, I’m sure everyone says this but they really are the best. My kids are at really fun (and frustrating) ages, 2 and 4, so every day is an adventure. My husband, who I’ve been with for 15 years (married for almost nine), is awesome and so much fun. We always have a really good time together.
I’m also incredibly fortunate that my mother and sister live in Raleigh too (and my MIL and SIL in Durham!). I love that my children get to grow up knowing some of their extended family.
Q. When did you start "A Parenting Production," and why?
A. I started my blog in 2008 when I was just out of my first trimester with my son. It had taken a little over two years to conceive him and I wanted to have an outlet to share my adventures with friends and family.
Q. In addition to the blog, reviews and info about your work, the site includes your "Life List." Tell us about that, and why you decided to include it.
A. I attended a conference in 2010 and heard someone speak on their life list. I was inspired to write my own as a way to keep track of my goals and dreams. I revisit it every so often and add something new or delete something if my interests have changed.
Q. What's the next item you hope to cross off?
A. I guess that would be to speak at a social media conference. Several of the others require my children to be a little older or the bank account to be a little larger (hello Fiji!), but we’ll get there. I absolutely hope to be a web correspondent and/or be in a local theater production in the next five to 10 years.
Q. Has your background in marketing yielded any advantages in parenting? Can you sell your kids on veggies better than the rest of us can?
A. I wish! If it’s not a carb or a dairy item, my daughter isn’t all that interested, no matter how I spin it. I will say that if I have a few minutes to tailor my pitch (we can go to the park after we go to the grocery store AND you can help me pick out the cereal) then I am usually much more successful in avoiding whining or a tantrum.
Q. What's your favorite thing to do with the whole family in the Triangle?
A. What a tough question! Right now, I’d say a trip to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. There’s something for everyone there, including a playground so you really can’t go wrong.
Q. What's your favorite thing around here to do when you get a few hours to yourself?
A. Grab a chai latte at Starbucks, get a pedicure and then go stroll through Crabtree or Target. It’s a bonus if I have a friend join me.
Q. What's the best parenting trick you've picked up?
A. Sometimes you just have to walk away. It’s OK to have to sit in the bathroom or on the front step for a minute to collect yourself. Parenting is frustrating. There’s no way around it, but if we can take a few deep breaths, it makes all situations a bit more bearable.
Q. What's the best advice someone has given you about being a mom?
A. My mom has always stressed consistency and I really do think that is key. I do my best to be consistent with my children with their routine (when possible) and with discipline.
My least favorite part is the whining and crying. I simply don’t have the tolerance for it and it grates on my every nerve. But the best part is the hugs, kisses and “mommy, I love you” and it makes up for every scream, yell or whine that has happened in the last 24 hours. There really is nothing better than having a little body snuggled against you as you wind down your day. It’s so amazing to be able to watch these two little human beings grow and learn.
Know a mom in the Triangle with a story to tell? Or are you that mom? We're always looking for moms to feature in "Meet." Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.