Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Woman's Work: Anna Kate Keller of Home Away From Home

Anna Kate is the mama behind Home Away From Home. If you haven't checked it out yet, you really should!  She is a great writer and her little guy Emmett is beyond cute.

1. What is your job, age, children’s ages, married/single, etc? Introduce yourself!
Hi y’all! My name is Anna Kate. I’m 29, married to Ray and mama to Emmett- 13 months. I work as an account manager for an online bookstore. It’s a small, family-run business owned by friends of my husband.

2. What is your work schedule? 

I work 8:30-5, Monday through Friday. So, a lot.

3. What works really well about your current schedule/situation?
I get to spend at least an hour with Emmett each morning and an hour and a half with him in the evenings before he goes to bed. I rarely have to work late, and my job is flexible- if I need to take a day off when Emmett is sick, I am able to do that.

4. What do you find challenging/awful/crazy about your current schedule/situation? 
Everything else! It’s a lot to juggle, and most days I feel pretty exhausted by the end of the day. I enjoy my job (most days!), but I would love to have more time with Emmett. I worry that as far as waking hours, I’m away from him more than I’m with him. It is definitely challenging and chaotic sometimes, and I always feel like I’m being pulled in a million directions. But that’s motherhood, right?

5. How do you handle childcare?
We’ve been really lucky so far. For the first 6 months, we had three girls who love Emmett offer to watch him one day a week each, for almost nothing. That was a dream because Emmett was with a different person each day, so he was never bored. I was able to work from home one day a week for a few months, and my mother-in-law keeps him for us one day each week. In February, all of the girls’ schedules changed, so we had to start fresh. We got really lucky though- my little sister, who lives in Georgia, was taking online classes, so she was free and came to live with us to help out with Emmett. That has been so nice! We only pay her a little, and we’re so happy to leave him with family. She won’t be able to stay much longer, so we are looking for a new perfect solution!

6. When do you get family time?
Mornings, evenings, and weekends. Mornings are tough because we’re all getting ready for our day, and evenings tend to be rushed with our dinner/bath/bedtime routines, so we do our best to spend a lot of quality time together on the weekends. I try really hard not to make too many plans on the weekends so that we can just relax and be together.
Since Ray and I both work full time, things like laundry and mopping and vacuuming get pushed aside until the weekends, so we try to do as much of that as we can while Emmett naps. That way we aren’t stuck doing housework for the few short hours we have to spend together as a family.  

7. How do you fit couple time into the mix?
Emmett goes to bed each night by 7, so Ray and I have a couple of hours to spend together before we go to bed. We have dinner, watch tv, and just relax after a long and busy day. My sister has lived with us for about 6 months now, so we don’t have a lot of alone time, but we do okay. :)
Do you have time for yourself? If so, what is your favorite way to spend it?
I don’t get a lot of time to myself. I crave time with my family, and miss it all week, so my nights and weekends are devoted to them. I have a hard time taking time for myself on the weekends because I know that time with Emmett is precious. One thing that I am able to do is stop by Starbucks a couple of times a week on my way to work. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it works for me. It’s nice to go somewhere on my own, spend a few minutes catching up on Instagram while I wait in line, and order a drink that I don’t have to share. It feels like a treat and really refreshes me!

8. How do you and your husband share household/family responsibilities? Do you have set “chores” or do you each just do whatever needs to get done?
My husband is amazing. He does all of the cooking so that I can spend the evenings after work with Emmett. We come home from work and play with Emmett for a few minutes before he starts cooking. I get to give Emmett his dinner, bathe him, and put him to bed each night without worrying about dinner or the dishes. SO NICE! I always say Ray is a better housewife than I’ll ever be- he cooks and cleans and does most of the grocery shopping so that I can enjoy our baby boy each night.
I help out with everything of course, but he really does the heavy lifting when it comes to chores and housekeeping. I’m a lucky girl!

9. If you could change one thing about your current situation, what would it be?
I would love to be able to work part time. It’s not possible for me to stop working altogether, but I have a really hard time being away from Emmett so much. Maybe one day!

10. What advice would you give other working moms struggling with the balance?
I’m not sure there is real balance when it comes to working and being a mom. Each day is different. Some days I’m able to give all of myself to my work while I’m there and all of myself to Emmett while I’m home, but most days it’s a struggle. I think each mama just needs to find what works for her and for her family, and do her best. It’s not easy!


  1. Thanks for the feature Corinna! This is such an awesome series! I can't wait to read the rest of the posts!

  2. No problem! They're ALL great! I love it!

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