Reprint from Redbook’s Magazine article on Amy Knapp, one of 10 recipients of the “Design Your Life” Awards:
I used to think I had it all – my own company, a good marriage and two kids. I didn’t realize “it all” was not a static state. But then my daughter, Natalie, contracted meningitis when she was just 2 months old. And when my husband, Dave, and I learned she would have long-term medical complications, having it all just didn’t seem to matter. So I sold my advertising business to stay home to manage Natalie’s medical needs and also to care for my son, Kyle, who was 2 at the time. After resetting my personal compass, I realized how tough the stay-at-home thing really was and began searching for an organizer that would help me structure my time. Not finding anything, I created a system in a spiral notebook—not pretty, but very functional. My friends were amazed at how useful my to-do lists, menu-planning charts, and weekly and monthly calendar grids were, and just like that, Amy Knapp’s Family Organizer was born. Now, it’s a best seller at stores like Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Waldenbooks nationwide. The best part is that I can do it all from my home office. I can work with the kids’ schedules (Natalie’s 12 now, and Kyle’s 14), keep up with the laundry, and be there for the inevitable (but occasional) “Mom, I forgot my gym shoes! Can you bring them?” type of phone call. I travel about once a month for work, and I’ve learned to use the downtime for me. Friday night in New York City means room service, a glass of wine, and a good chick flick. I never would have thought I’d find balance out of my daughter’s diagnosis, or that struggling through my own challenge would help thousands of families manage their own busy lifestyles.