Sarah Hall is wife, mom and editor of WRAL Go Ask Mom. I’m sure her name sounds familiar, she is the go-to for local newsworthy events for families around the Triangle. If you are a Raleigh area Mompreneur, you probably know she features a Mompreneur every Monday on goaskmom.com. For many of us we have been on the other end of her pocket sized camera, which not only makes Sarah the popular mom in the Triangle, it quite possibly makes her the most intimidating. Seriously though, Sarah regularly features local moms that own businesses and for many, this is their first taped interview and while it is so exciting, it can be nerve racking, too. She says she doesn’t understand why people are nervous around her, and truly I’m not sure why either. Sara‘s very encouraging, nice and funny. It’s a rite of passage, I think, for local Mompreneurs, if you get a call or email from Sarah, it’s a celebrated local announcement that you are officially a business owner. I wanted to interview her as a thank you for being so supportive of the Mompreneur community, whether it was her job or not. She assured me that she loves what she does.
How do you balance work and family?
I work from home so work can easily take over my life. But I try very hard to stick to specific working hours. I work primarily when my kids are in school or asleep. And I also make sure I’m not working every evening because it’s nice and important to spend some time with my wonderful husband too. There are exceptions. And often my kids will tag along with me on trips to playgrounds and other destinations around the Triangle for posts. My newly minted four-year-old often asks me when we’re going out and about if I “have to do a video.” But I work pretty hard to keep work hours for work and family hours for family.
Ever have any mom guilt?
Of course! All the time! But I’m getting better at it. A couple of years ago, I did a horrible job setting aside time for myself. I was gaining weight, hadn’t been to see a doctor for a regular check up since my younger daughter was born and was exhausted. But I started running … I’ll run my second half marathon in October. I now get together with a group of women several mornings a week to run. We talk about life – little things and big things – while we go. And now I feel absolutely no guilt when I go out on a Saturday morning for a 90-minute run and leave the kids and husband at home. I’m better for the time I spend on myself and that makes for a happier family. I’m not perfect. Terri, who cuts my hair, can tell you that it’s been at least six months since I got my hair cut. But I’m doing better at it.
Have any passions or talents that readers don’t know about?
I absolutely love to travel and have spent quite a bit of time traveling and living in Europe, though not much since I had kids. My older daughter is named for my amazing grandmother who traveled around the world, visiting nearly ever continent before she died about 20 years ago. She was spunky and brave and I aspire to be just like her. I also once planned to play flute professionally. I joke that if I ever need a second career, I can fall back on my music major.
Who do you enjoy following on FB and Twitter?
For Go Ask Mom, I follow many of the local family destinations and sites that offer services for family. I really like the N.C. Museum of Art’s Facebook page. It’s nice to see some beautiful artwork and they offer so many great programs for families. And @wcpss on Twitter is fun.
If you had your own business, what would it be?
Travel agency … though I’m not sure I’d make any money. I’ve always thought of myself as a sort of travel agent for local parents … except instead of exotic locations I’m telling you about the great programs at the art museum or park.
Do you have a favorite interview?
I’ve interviewed some famous people in my 23 years as a journalist (I started at the tender age of 16), but I’ve found that they don’t really tell you much of anything really interesting. I’d say my favorite interview would be with my grandpa, who died earlier this year at age 96. He was a farmer in Indiana and lived an incredible life and had so many great stories to share. I videotaped some interviews with him a couple of months before he died and I wished I’d done more.
Who would you like to interview?
I’ve always had a fascination with First Ladies of both parties.
What is something you’ve noticed about the most successful Mompreneurs?
What do they have in common?
They set aside time for work hours and they have a supportive husband, friends or family (or all of the above), who help them make it all work.
What were you afraid I was going to ask?
My beauty regimen. I have none (see the bit about not getting my hair cut in forever).