Meet Page Fehling. You may know her as a co-anchor on her morning show Good Day Charlotte on FOX 46. You also may know her as the other half of the podcast she hosts with her husband, Date Night With Jake and Page. Part-time hosting and reporting jobs in New York City led to a full-time gig in Raleigh and then brought her here to Charlotte in 2014. Page has three children: Ford, 9, Cal, 8 and June, 5.
C5: What does a typical day look like in your house?
Page Fehling: My first alarm goes off at 1:57 a.m., my backup alarm goes off at 2:20 a.m. and my backup-backup alarm that’s across my room goes off at 2:40 a.m. and that’s the “oh crap” alarm. I pretty much roll out of bed, wash my face, go distribute lovies and give kisses goodbye, and hopefully they sleep through it. I leave and get to the station around 3 or 3:30 a.m., and I get ready there pretty much while I read through headlines and scripts. I leave station anywhere between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. usually. And then I get home, and I cannot get home fast enough, to walk [my dog] Phyllis and get immediately into bed. I sleep for a couple of hours, wake up and get my kids from after-school. I don’t know what I would do without all the childcare professionals who keep me sane and have watched my children through the years. We come home and do homework and baths, dinner of some sorts and someone usually has a practice or something, so Jake and I coordinate who is doing what. And then bedtime.
C5: What methods/apps do you use to manage your career and your family?
PF: We share an Outlook calendar. As if we are each other’s admin assistants, we send everything to that calendar — everything goes in there. Practices, play dates, date nights. It keeps us sane.
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C5: At any point in your career, have you ever felt like you were treated differently from your co-workers because you have children?
PF: Oh, 1,000%. I’m usually one of the only women, and usually my male coworkers have kids also. Most often, their wives have been home with those kids or worked part-time. The man was the breadwinner and worked full time. So I was the oddball working mom.
I remember one time I had posted a picture of June when she was a baby waking up from a nap or something, and I walked in on a conversation with two male co-workers and [one of them] was saying something like, “I just don’t know if she realizes she’s never going to get this time back.” And I said, “Did I just walk into a conversation about me?” He went on to say how I would miss out on so much because I’m at work and I was like, “Uh, where are you right now?” I mean, we all have kids.
These types of articles and conversations have to include men from now on. Working moms are not the only working parents. I feel like the tide is changing and until we all act like that’s the case and include men in the conversation, women still feel like we’re the only working parents.
C5: Did you ever have to negotiate your maternity leave?
PF: I got laid off when I was 6 or 8 weeks into my maternity leave from my first pregnancy with Ford, which is apparently legal. The same station in Raleigh that laid me off hired me back when I was 6 months pregnant with my second, Cal. I’ve had all 3 of my kids while FMLA was in place so legally they had to give me my job back after 12 weeks, but you know not all of it was paid necessarily.
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C5: What advice do you have for other working moms who are juggling parenthood and the workforce?
PF: With my coworkers and peers at work, I try to encourage everyone to remember that we are all in this together, we’re all in the same boat. Whether you’re a parent, whether you have a dog at home, whether you have an elderly parent that you are taking care of, or if you are on your own, have grace for yourself and for everyone else and have an understanding attitude about that. Not to use a cliche — but don’t sweat the small stuff.
C5: What is your favorite Charlotte restaurant to go to with your family?
C5: Who is another working mom in Charlotte that you admire?
PF: There are a million. Tera Black, who is the head of Charlotte Checkers. She is the only female COO in the American Hockey League. She has kids and she is awesome. Also former Mayor of Charlotte Jennifer Roberts.
Is there a Charlotte mom you would like to see us interview? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.