Erin Parker is the owner of The Speckled Palate, a food blog with a variety of healthy and indulgent recipes all with a touch Southern flair! Erin’s talent for photography and her love for cooking is what led her to start a blog in 2011. Years later when she became a mother, Erin’s blog allowed her to stay home with her daughter while still photographing recipes and writing posts for her blog.
In my interview with Erin she shares her experience with being a WAHM and how she manages to do it ALL!
Tell us about your business!
By trade, I’m a photojournalist and worked a photo freelancer for magazines and newspapers for years. Five years ago, my husband and I moved to Texas for his work. I no longer had any clients… so I started pouring my time and energy into my food blog as I got my feet on the ground. The food blog, which is called The Speckled Palate, been growing ever since, and when I work these days, it’s developing recipes and photographing the final recipes for that.
Did you always plan to be a WAHM? If not, what made you decide to work from home?
I did… though I don’t think I realized what it was actually going to look like. Before I had my daughter, I thought I could do it all – work full-time, be a mom full-time… and somehow sleep. 😉 I quickly learned that my expectations needed adjusting.
How long have you been a WAHM?
About 6-ish months after my daughter, so about 1.5 years.
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
One girl. She’s 2!
What is your workstation setup like? (ie. In the kitchen, room to room, in an office/study, etc.)
When I’m doing computer-based work, I work in my office, which is just off the kitchen and dining room. When I’m recipe developing, I’m bouncing around the kitchen. And when I’m photographing my final recipes, I either take over the table in my office and/or set up on our bar in the dining room.
What days/hours do you typically work?
I am fortunate enough to have a nanny, who comes to watch my daughter for two days a week. On those days, I work from 9 – 4 and try to pump out as much work as possible. Occasionally, our dinner falls into the recipe testing category, so I’ll work on that at night.
How does being a WAHM affect your husband/partner?
My husband, who works long hours outside of the house, comes home to dinner most nights and he gets to taste test whatever dishes I’ve made for the day. Since I’m here with our girl, I share videos and photos throughout the day so he can experience what we’re experiencing, and I know he appreciates that.
What are some of your frustrations with being a WAHM?
Most days, I feel like I don’t have enough time. Who does, though? 😉 Currently, I’m trying to work on my efficiency so that I can get more done in less time and recipe test more in the evenings to make my workdays more productive.
What is the single most gratifying part of being a WAHM?
Even on the days when I’m working, I’m at our house, so I can be present for whatever is going on and take a break to check in and play for a few minutes before getting back to the grind. My daughter loves to run into my office to help me “work” and will give me kisses and hugs, too, before she jets off. It’s a sweet set up, and I am so lucky. Since I only work two days a week, she and I have so much fun together when I’m not working.
Describe a typical day in the life for you as a WAHM.
- 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. Wakeup!
- 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast and morning crafts/drawing/play and/or neighborhood walk with the dog
- 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Grocery run! (Not every workday, but this was what my last one included)
- 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Computer-based projects. (Writing blog posts, scheduling social media, plotting out my editorial calendar, e-mail, applying for sponsored post opportunities, etc.)
- 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Make/photograph dish(es) of the day
- 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Computer work. (Downloading new images, editing, creating long pins, beginning those blog posts and honing in on sharing.)
- 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. PLAY time! We’ve been spending a ton of time outdoors, even though it’s getting warm. Some days, we’ll run around the front yard. Other days, we’ll paint.
- 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Make dinner! (I try to involve my daughter in the cooking process, and she’s a great little helper!)
- 7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Dinner time!
- 8 p.m. Bedtime for our girl
- 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Occasional additional computer work (When my husband works at night, I’ll hop on the computer and complete various duties that are of the more mindless variety, so I do a bunch of social media scheduling at night while we watch TV.)
During the three days a week when I don’t work, my daughter and I venture out into the city, meet friends, play with our play group, and participate in various activities. This summer, I’m really looking forward to her swim lessons!
How do you think being a WAHM has helped you and your family?
I had a really hard time adjusting to motherhood, mostly because my expectations of what I was going to be able to do and handle were completely unrealistic. Being able to work from home and to have a project that I’m passionate about gives me something of my own outside of being a mom, which I was sorely missing those first few months of motherhood. In addition to working from home giving me something of my own, it also brings in a little income, too, which is always a help!
My biggest WAHM fail moment was…
Thinking I could work full-time and be a mama full-time. The meltdown that ensued wasn’t pretty. 😉
As a WAHM I can’t live without…
My go to dinner on my busiest day is…
A slow cooker roast or pulled pork! Or tacos. Because you can never go wrong with tacos.
My WAHM uniform consists of…
Yoga pants and a comfy T-shirt.
If I could have one free day to myself I would…
Sleep in and read a book all day!