As many of you know, I’m always eager to talk about the eternal quest for work-life balance, and I especially love interviewing local moms in DC, so I jumped at the chance to interview NBC4′s Angie Goff. I was lucky enough to meet her at an event at Bethesda’s Kidville earlier this winter, along with her adorable 15-month old toddler Adora, and naturally I seized the opportunity to talk to her then about an interview on how she manages work and her family. Shortly after we met, Angie’s schedule headed in the opposite direction from work-life balance, at least from my viewer’s perspective, as she took on 11pm news work in addition to anchoring the weekend news. On top of this, her husband spends his weekdays away working down South. So really – does she think work-life balance is possible? How does she find “me time”, where does she shop and does she feel differently about covering the news now that she is a mom? Read on to find out…..
Q: First thing I’m always curious to know – what is it like being pregnant on camera?
Angie: I kept it quiet for the first four months and I write my own blog, Oh My Goff, and I started noticing search terms like “Angie Goff Pregnant.” I realized then that the viewers could tell, so I shared the news. Work wanted to follow my pregnancy, so it all really unraveled on the air and we did pieces for women because as a first-time mom, I had so many questions. But as you know, the camera already makes you look bigger than you are, so I just really worried that I would never return to my same shape. I even got a little depressed looking at old pictures. Being on camera for work, I was also obsessed with returning to my old size right away once I had the baby but I learned I just couldn’t run right away. That’s when I realized that I just don’t have the same kind of time to do what I did before and truthfully, I still have my trouble spots.
Q: So you’ve mentioned that once you’ve had your baby, you really realize just how little time there is left in the day, so do you think work-life balance is possible?
Angie: Only if you are willing to accept that it means sacrifice and that you’re not #1 anymore. At first I really struggled with it. I had always done what I wanted to do my whole life and could follow through with commitments. Now I really wrestle with saying no and backing out of things. No one tells you that your own personal life will take a hit and it’s a struggle along the way. There are days I come into work and my brain is about to explode, there are a thousand things to do and I’m just thinking it all through in my head. I’ve realized that if I don’t get everything done, it’s going to be okay because sometimes it’s just not possible. For example, recently I just missed my friend’s kid’s first birthday party, I totally forgot. My heart sunk when I realized it.
I am still trying to learn how to say “no” to have more order in my life.
Q: Has anyone given you great advice on this front?
Angie: Well, I certainly have done some shows and been miserable but a colleague once told me that there used to be a weatherman who had a sign over his door that read “No one cares” and it just really puts things in perspective. People are tuning in to watch the news – so there’s no reason to let your bad day reflect on set. On days when I’m going on zero sleep or have had a difficult time, I go back to that sign and it really helps change my mindset. Also, there are plenty of days where it’s nice being at work, it’s like an escape. I will say, though, that when I am at work, I am in the work mindset and when I am home, I focus on being home and really try to not check emails – I just want to focus on my daughter.
Q: Now that you are a mom, is it harder to cover the news?
Angie: Yes. Just recently, there was a tragic story of a very pretty girl who died on the track. I was asked to go interview the girls’ parents. My heart just sank. I’ve covered some horrific stories since 2003 – sex crimes, murder – and I’ve talked to victims before. But as we rolled up to the girl’s house and I saw her father out front – and I just couldn’t get out of the car for at least 5 minutes. I mean, what is the first thing you say to someone who just lost their daughter? In the end, I assured him that we would honor her memory but it’s crushing. It tears you apart.
Before I had my daughter, I was focused on hitting my deadline. Now I ask myself – “why does this matter”. In terms of the tragic story with the young girl, there was an outpouring online among her friends and hopefully they found our coverage comforting, I’d like to think it was part of the healing process for them. That takes away the burn.
And truthfully, sometimes now I will break down and cry whereas that never happened to me before. Sometimes I even cry when I’m watching the news as I’m running on the treadmill at the gym. I think I look at the news in a different way now, a better way.
Q: So you’ve mentioned going for runs a few times, is that how you find your “me time” now – if you can find any “me time”?
Angie: Well, I don’t have any extra help at home, so the moment I am home, I am hands on and taking care of my daughter. I can’t just go out for a run anymore, so I have purchased some DVDs to workout while she is napping. The truth is, though, that I always feel like I am up against the clock. I’ve found my “me time” happens when I get home from work, around 12:30 or 1am. That’s when I have my “me time” – between 1-2am. I’ll grab a snack and read or watch some episodes of “Mad Men.” That is really when I have some down time. My husband is also gone all week, sometimes we don’t see each other for 2-3 weeks, then he’ll fly in on Friday, I’ve got an early shift on Saturday and Sunday, then we’ll have lunch and he’ll go back to the airport. We’ve been doing this for almost 5 years but even so, I still don’t think anything would be possible without the support of a great spouse.
Q: That’s remarkable for you to say, even though he’s working elsewhere through the weeks. What a tough schedule. Okay, so in the fall I interviewed Eun Yang on work-life balance and later people emailed me, harassing me, wanting to know where she shops. So, I feel compelled to ask – do you have any favorite shops around town?
Angie: I shop the sales. I am a dress girl and I recently discovered Last Call with Neiman Marcus. I also worked at JCrew through college and love their mix of business chic and casual pieces. I’m also a huge Lily Pulitzer fan and I find some pieces in consignment shops down south. For local consign shops, I also really like Current Boutique in Clarendon and Ella Rue in Georgetown.
Q: Great, thanks! So, do you have any final parting words of wisdom for other area working moms struggling to find work-life balance?
Angie: I think it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the guilt. But I don’t think we should. We are all doing amazing things and achieving so much and not giving ourselves credit. I think it’s pretty amazing that we can keep our heads together and do all that we need to do each day. So, don’t feel guilty. If you are doing it with real love, that’s all that matters. I also think that finding the “me time” is possible but it’s like a diet, you just have to commit to it or it’s not going to work. I really look forward to my 1-2am time. Also, I think it’s really important to find a reason to get out of the house every day. Even if you are just headed to the play area and kids books in Barnes and Noble. It’s just so healthy to get outside, stop by a petting zoo, go see different things, it’s a natural booster and we just get complacent and tired if we do the same things every day.
WM: Awesome, thanks to Angie Goff for her time, of which we know she has very little if she seems to genuinely enjoy her “Me Time” between 1-2am. I loved her advice and perspective, especially her point that we need to commit to finding “me time” as we would to a diet, otherwise it won’t happen. I think that is so right on. Also, where can I get that “No one cares” sign…and will my children get it?
For more talk of work-life choices as I prefer to put it, instead of balance, and other parenting topics, be sure to keep up by “liking” the Wired Momma Facebook page. Catch Angie on NBC during the 11pm news and anchoring the news on the weekend mornings.