Known for her nature-inspired interior designs, Lauren Liess juggles a lot: She’s the mastermind behind Great Falls-based interior design and textile company, Lauren Liess & Co., which she owns with her husband, David. She’s also the mother of five children (three boys and two girls) between the ages of 2 and 12. And, she currently has many projects in the works.
All of that mixed together isn’t easy to handle, but throw in a global pandemic and a statewide stay-at-home order and it gets even trickier. But Liess and her family are handling it with positivity and productivity. Below, she shares insight into her new day-to-day routine.
How has your daily routine changed during the stay-at-home order?
We have five kids home now and, of course, stay-at-home orders, so my daily routine of going into the office in the morning and coming home sometimes between 5 and 7 p.m. is pretty much over. I’m getting about a half to three-fourths as much work done and find myself and my husband trying to catch up on work late into the night.
We have chickens for egg-laying (and cuddles!), so that’s been fun. Our older kids’ schools have been amazing and the three boys (ages 7 to 12) do their schoolwork independently in the morning while our two daughters (ages 2 and 4) hang with either me or my husband, reading books or doing an activity until we have “recess” around 11 a.m. and send all the kids outside together.
We eat a family lunch now around noon and we’ve taught our boys how to put the girls down for their naps by reading to them, etc. My husband and I both work in the afternoons while the boys read or play outside. We’ve been doing early dinners and we generally go outside before or after dinner all together when the weather’s good.
What are the little things you look forward to right now?
I look forward to most mealtimes. We love cooking but often ended up eating out because I had to work late, but now that we’re at home I’m forced to stop working to get meals ready and I love it. My husband is often my sous chef, so we get some nice time together. I also love hanging out with the kids and our new chickens and gardening. We grow herbs, flowers and vegetables. I love seeing the kids spend time in nature and getting good and tired and dirty.
How are you keeping the kids entertained?
We do a lot of reading, rough-housing, time outside, crafts, and—I hate to admit it—movies when we need a “babysitter.”
What are you doing specifically on weekends to make them fun and a break from the new “workweek?”
A lot of the same. Just more time spent outside, if possible. And no checking emails!
How has your business life changed?
For sure the schedule, but before all of this happened we were in the process of opening up a brick-and-mortar store, so we ended up launching our online shop—Lauren Liess & Co.—earlier than planned because we had all of this inventory. We are now spending hours and hours a day packing boxes of goodies for the new business. My interior design business has changed in that installations have been on hold and we do virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings.
How are you maintaining a work-life balance as you work and parent from home—all at the same time?
We’re not really maintaining a balance now that we have this new online shop. There are a lot of late nights working right now and with a toddler who loves to wake up in the middle of the night we’re very low on sleep. We are just kind of in survival mode in terms of “balance.”
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