Name: Laicie Heeley
Occupation: Founder/CEO of Inkstick Media
Lives: New Market, MD
Children: Austin, 13; Arlo, 4; and Ames, 1
What do you love about the work you do?
I spent a big part of my career working for think tanks, with a creative outlet on the side. My husband and I have a photography business, and for a long time we kept up a lifestyle blog. At the same time, I was always looking for ways to inject some of that creativity into my day-to-day work.
Inkstick is the result of that pursuit. I founded the media outlet in an effort to humanize and diversify the field of foreign policy — a new approach for a new generation of folks like me who aren’t satisfied with the status quo. Today, the outlet includes an online foreign policy magazine, a podcast called “Things That Go Boom” and a weekly newsletter in partnership with “The World.”
What do you love about being a mom?
I love my job, but I never really felt whole until I had kids. That sounds so cheesy to say, but it’s true. Being a mom isn’t easy, but it’s the greatest gift.
What do you find challenging about raising kids?
Ha ha, so much. Right now one of my biggest challenges is that I work from home. I feel so lucky to be able to do it, especially since the littlest is still nursing, but working upstairs while the kids play downstairs can be tough. You have to fight the urge to come running every time someone has a breakdown or bumps an elbow and trust that their caregiver has it under control.
When you’re out of the house, you’re just much more removed. I’m working on creating better boundaries between the office and the playroom (and trying hard not to have too many of these moments when I’m on the phone).
What makes juggling motherhood and your career a little bit easier?
My husband. Full stop. He’s a true partner in crime who never fails to take on his share of the load, and then some. I don’t know how I’d do any of it without him.
How do you take care of your mental and physical health?
Running has always been my outlet. I fell out of it a bit during pregnancy, but getting back in the swing has been so good for my head. This year I ran my third marathon, and I’m working on training for my first 50k.
What’s something your family loves to do together?
A year or so ago we decided to start a Saturday morning breakfast tradition. It’s the best. Every Saturday we set the table, make something fancy and sit down together in the dining room. (Instead of at the breakfast table, where we find ourselves most often.) It’s my favorite part of the week.
What do you love about raising kids in the D.C. area?
I feel so fortunate to be raising my kids just down the road from the nation’s capital — with so much history and so many great resources at our fingertips. I grew up in a small town in Oregon. It’s a beautiful place, and I miss it all the time, but I didn’t have the same opportunities they have here.
What are 5 things you can’t live without?
Hmm, like 5 material things? Well, I just discovered Drunk Elephant and eyebrow tinting, and my whole beauty brain has basically exploded. Biggest game-changer Drunk Elephant products for me have been C-Firma and C-Tango — so good.
Beyond that I think I could live on coffee and dried mango. And my running shoes, definitely my running shoes.
What would you do if you had 1 hour without any responsibilities?
Read a totally frivolous and beautiful book that has nothing to do with my work … that would be a dream.