Balancing the Grind with Franki Hobson, Editor & Freelance Journalist

Franki Hobson is a women’s lifestyle and parenting journalist, who has been writing and editing across print and digital for over 20 years.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I’m a women’s lifestyle and parenting journalist with 20+ years’ experience across print and digital.

I was the editor of the Cosmopolitan Brand Extensions – Cosmo Bride, Pregnancy, Health and Hair & Beauty for 10+ years, relaunched Practical Parenting and have worked as a commercial editor for across Pacific Publications portfolio, for NINE and Fairfax (now Nine).

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Currently I’m wearing multiple hats – writing freelance, home schooling and toddler wrangling. ‘Pivot’ is key. I can do a loose plan for the day but basically I have to adapt. When my 11 year-old has zoom classes, I will occupy the toddler with an activity (and TV) to get interviews done and stories written.

Mainly I work at night though, when the kids are asleep and I can steal large chunks of time without constant interruptions.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

I’m a freelance journalist so choose my work hours and location.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance is extremely important to me. Juggling kids and work is enormously challenging. I’ve written enough wellbeing stories to know that getting fresh air and amongst nature daily is essential for the mind and happiness.

And exercise – even if it’s a 10 minute Youtube yoga stretching class or a power walk with the pram around the block – makes a world of difference.

With the current Stage 3 restrictions, we’re lucky to be able to exercise as a family still, so on weekends we go for a brisk walk around one of the lakes – just to feel like we’ve done something nice together and for a change of scenery.

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5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I’ve moved from Sydney to country Victoria! I lost my NINE contract role when COVID struck and relocated.

It’s been difficult establishing routines during stage 3 and 4 lockdowns – we can’t explore the neighbouring towns or go far. This is why we’ve made lunchtime exercise, flexible Youtube classes and lake walks a ‘habit’.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Yes – I volunteer and edit the Wheel of Wellbeing (WoW) newsletter. It’s filled with inspiring podcasts, video, websites and celebrations to help us all get through these challenging times.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Zoom! I hadn’t heard of it 6 months ago – now I use it for work, school, childcare, interviews!

I love the Fetch Box too – catch-up TV and having access to Youtube (exercise videos) on-demand, Kid’s programs and for a little mummy-mindless-entertainment, Netflix, it’s been a work/life saviour.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

A working mum who doesn’t have a live-in nanny/housekeeper etc. Work-life balance is difficult – especially when you are primary breadwinner, parent, housemaid, etc.

So many working women are surviving on minimal sleep OR they have enough money to outsource services. That’s great if you are flush with money, but just not real life for many working women.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.