For many moms keeping up with all the info available on pregnancy, babies, kids, camps, schools, great weekend activities, classes and anything else you can think of is exhausting. Sometimes we just want to play with our kids and enjoy the fleeting moments that we have but the social demands of today often make us feel like we should be researching for the next great moment. Thankfully there are moms like Gretchen from EssentialMom.com that are out there helping to cut through the clutter! EssentialMom.com is truly one stop shopping for parenting questions and what is going on in Westchester. If you don’t live in the Westchester, New York area it is still worth checking out for all the great info but fair warning it will leave you wanting an EssentialMom.com for your town.
- How long ago did you start EssentialMom.com and what was your inspiration?
I started Essentialmom about 8 years ago ? I had two children under the age of four and I thought all of the running around, questions, and resources should all be in one place. I found myself spending so much time trying to research things to do, places to go and parenting advice, that it was taking away from my actual parenting! I also found that my friends had all of the same questions and figured that I might as well find a way to share the info I was finding with others all in one place that was easy and accessible 24-7.
- Can you describe your journey to launching EssentialMom.com? Were there an big milestones, success or failures you learned from?
There have been plenty of both, successes have been building up the business and having it become a great source for parents in the community. Failures were usually in the tech department where I had to count on other people but my greatest find recently has been to switch over to wordpress and get control over my own site, it is truly an amazing tool!
- Does the information on your site cover all ages?
The site covers all ages, new babies through school aged kids. We have resources for parents, classes, a huge events calendar, school news, summer camps, local shops, etc etc . Anything and everything you need to parent in Westchester.
- Do you have any favorite topics you like to cover or is there information that you always seem to find people searching for?
I love that I can help local non-profits in their efforts. They provide amazing services to our community from nature centers to events happening throughout the county. I like to support them, as they support us parents! People are always seeking things to do with their kids and the non-profits are often the solution. Our calendar is always chock full of things going on around town.
- Do you have any advice to a mom that wants to start her own business?
Patience and more patience. Owning a small business is a 24 hour a day job and although it often means you can work from home and make your own hours, it also means that you work from home and never get to leave your job. Be careful to not let it take over your life. Whatever is on your to do list, will likely still be on the list tomorrow if you don’t get to it so take it all in stride and remember that you are working from home to give you a better quality of life not worse!
- What does your daily schedule look like?
I check my email first thing in the morning while the kids are still groggy then I put it away until they get on the bus and head out for the day. I work hard from that time until they come home after school and then try to put it away until they go to bed at night.
- How do you divide your time and priorities between your family (can you tell us a little about your family), your home and your business?
I have a 12 year old and a 9 year old. In the beginning, I was terrible about separating work and family. I worked long, long hours and often late into the night. Over the years, I have realized that what doesn’t get done can usually wait until the next day. If I am more careful about separating my time and concentrating on one thing at a time it usually works much better than trying to be everything to everyone all of the time.
Thanks Gretchen for the great info on EssentialMom.com and giving us a sneak peek into your world. I know I personally have your quote about my to-do list still being there tomorrow taped to my computer!
Happy Reading! xoxo, Julie