A few months ago we spoke with magazine editor and mom of three Meaghan Murphy, for our meet-a-mom series. We were thrilled when we saw the news a few weeks ago of her being promoted to Content Director for Woman’s Day magazine. She’s also author of an upcoming book called The Fully Charged Life: A Radically Simple Guide to Having Endless Energy and Finding the Yay in Every Day. Of course, these are sort of crazy times to be starting a new job while writing a book, and we were inspired by Meaghan’s Instagram stories about homeschooling three kids (whose school has closed due to Covid-19 social distancing), beginning her new position in a makeshift home office, and still finding the “yay” in every day. We chatted with Meaghan about how she’s balancing this new job, reality and motherhood.
Congrats on the new gig! You were on the job only three days before your company (Hearst) started having people work from home. What has that been like?
Yes, it’s been a wild way to start a new job. I’m overseeing both print and digital content for Woman’s Day, and really hope to energize a magazine that’s already the number one magazine on newsstands! I was actually still finishing my role as Executive Editor at Good Housekeeping—I haven’t even moved into my new office.
Wow—have you even been able to meet your new team?
Yes! We’re talking through Slack and do video chatting through Slack Chat. We were working on the cover last night, actually. We’re dong company and team wide Zoom calls, editor to editor Zoom calls—not only have ewe met but we’re in each other’s homes now!
Ha, technology is so great. What has been the biggest difference for you with WFH?
This has been super eye-opening. I commute and spend almost three hours a day in transit usually. In theory, I thought I would have so much more time, but I’ve never been more busy or minute to minute than I am right now. We are starting to find a rhythm but it’s been surreal.
We hear you. Moms across the country are also sharing how intense “homeschooling” is, and you’re doing it with three…how is that working?!
I’m not a teacher—I don’t know this math! And I have a magazine to make and my book is due April 1. We don’t have our babysitter in our home right now, and she was a huge help for me with laundry and dishes. Now I’m doing laundry three times a day! My kids have always had chores and routines but I’m trying to do more of that, like having a laundry helper. I use zipper bedding to help them make their beds which has been a lifesaver.
Have you been able to find the “yay” in every day still?
I think it’s very easy to dwell on the negative right now. Our primal default is to find the negative in a scary situation. We have to actively look for what’s good in this situation, and for me it’s this return to family, including family dinner. We’ve already talked about how in the future we’re going to do family dinner one time a week no matter what. We are sitting together every night, setting the table and asking questions like, if you could bring back one extinct animal what would it be? We’ve never slowed down like that before. It’s all about Team Murphy.
That mosaic activity you shared over last weekend is so cool…
Yes, my mother-in-law saw it. You just tape a paved area, chalk over it and then peel the tape back. It was so much fun but important to note that I’m not doing bigger projects like that that during the week and doing my job— I’m not beating myself up about it. But yes, this is a great one, because it involves teamwork, activity and being outside. This weekend we’re making crayons.
Finally, I know working out is your “me” time. Have you still been able to get that in?
Yes—I’ve become a runner again. I do it without music and notice what’s around me—a rainbow picture in a window or a cherry blossom. I’m lucky enough to have a Peloton which I’m now using pretty regularly. I’m doing live streaming workouts with my Firebeat class. I’m doing the Zumba kids video with my kids on the big TV. We also have a trampoline in the yard. Activity is important for everyone’s wellbeing.