I am beginning a new interview series on Being A Wordsmith called 5 Questions With…
It’s a way for me to learn and share insight from people who are embracing happier, healthier, and wiser lifestyles.
Today I am sharing an interview I had with my friend Jen Muhlenkamp. I met Jen 10 years ago through a mutual friend while I was living in Michigan. We have stayed in touch through Facebook since I moved back to Louisiana.
I have always admired Jen’s zest for life, family, and making money. She is a military wife, mother of 4, and an Independent Sr. Director with Thirty-One Gifts. Her husband Sean has 20+ years in the Air Force and Air National Guard and is currently a Master Sergeant.
Here are my 5 Questions With…Jen Muhlenkamp
You have four children who keep you super busy. What are their ages?
Yes, my children are close in age which is both very fun and extremely busy :). My son who is the oldest just turned 10. My daughters are 8, 5 and 3.
What is a typical weekday like for you?
I have three in school full time now and one that goes two days a week for 3 hours. My day is jam packed with working from home, cleaning, meal prep and trying to squeeze in some sort of work out. We have sports and other activities in the evening and that is also when I work outside the home…so our days are very busy start to finish!
You are currently a Sr. Director with Thirty-One Gifts. How do you balance a team of consultants along with an active home life?
When you work from home it is both a blessing and challenge at the same time. You are mom and wife 100% of the time…and you have your work 100% of the time. It is really important to carve out specific work time. My kids know that if they let me work for a certain amount of time, I will be completely available afterwards. Setting boundaries is something I have to do every day since it is so easy to try and do everything all the time. Women put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect at everything all at once…and it is just not possible. My best times to work are at night when my kids are in bed or when I only have one at home. Starting next school year when my youngest goes 3 full days a week, I plan for that time to be my official “office hours”.
You worked outside the home previously. Is there anything you miss about that?
Yes!! I miss getting dressed up and pretty to go into an office and having adult conversation and coffee in the break room. I miss the verbal recognition that I received from my boss. On the flip side, I am the happiest I have ever been doing a job I love more than any other I have done in the past. I love being in charge of my business and having control over my creativity and success. I love being a leader with the company and working with the women on my team!
And finally…do you have a time management system?
I set out each day with a well laid out plan for how I want my day to go…but with 4 kids nothing ever goes quite as planned! I have learned with my big family to be more flexible and easy going. The biggest challenge I find is managing social media time. While it has been an amazing tool to keep in touch both personally and with my team, it can be a significant time suck as well. When I really need to knock out a to-do list, I take a technology break.
Thank you, Jen, for kicking off this interview series and sharing how you juggle all the hats you wear on a daily basis. You truly are a super Work At Home Mom! I appreciate it, my friend.
If you want to learn more about being a consultant with Thirty-One Gifts, contact Jen at:
Independent Sr. Director ~ Thirty-One
Are you familiar with Thirty-One Gifts?
Do you have any questions for Jen?
To the WAHMs and SAHMs, what do you miss about working outside the home?