We (my sister and I) began our business last year when my brother-in-law was going overseas for the Air Force. We are both stay-at-home moms with boys. She is currently pregnant right now! SUPER YAY.
This was something I always wanted to do, and she was always supportive of me doing it. I was laid off a few month after I had my first son. I was able to keep one of my contacts, and she helped keep our family afloat. After having my second miscarriage (ladies out there, you are not alone), I finally had another son, but I knew that the cost for daycare outweighed the possibility of even looking for a job.
I kept freelancing, and people started inquiring more and more about having me design their wedding invitations. When the time came for my sister to say goodbye to her husband, we knew this was the time to launch the business. It was a way to keep her mind off the “what ifs” during the day and a way to flex my creativity and bring money into OUR families … hopefully. 🙂
My oldest is going on 5 in October and my youngest is going on 3 in September. I have had 2 miscarriages, and even though they were so early in the pregnancy my heart will always feel for them and the possibility.
My oldest had a small speech delay, and my youngest was allergic to everything! It’s been a battle and interesting first few years for the both of them. I am also a brain tumor survivor. I have had occasional seizures since my freshman year in college and will be taking medication for the rest of my life to help control them. My husband has been such a great support system for me and the business. When my sister and I decided to do this, it was with his support and money that we were able to dive in. I love him so much for helping through all my life struggles. Whether it’s work related, mommy related, life-related or even wife-related (oh yes, we have those) he sits, listens, and is there to help pick up all my broken pieces.
ORGANIZATION. I’m still dealing with this. It’s so hard to keep organized and wear all these hats. Life never gives you a break to just breathe and get your shit together. No matter how much you try to plan, stuff always comes up. The second is business. I’m not a business major. I majored in Visual Communication. The ropes of being a business owner differs so much from being a Creative Director or even an artist.
Motherhood is a beast when it comes to business. My little ones are in my “office” bedroom with me when I’m rushing to do quick tweaks. I’m feeding them breakfast/lunch when answering emails. When I’m on the phone with my clients, that is usually what I call “Take 10” time. I’ll give them their Kindles (yes, I allow my children to play with technology), I’ll put on the TV, take out their books and tell them quiet time has started. This gives me a half hour if I’m lucky before they start fighting. If I’m really lucky, the little one would have knocked out while watching TV. Most of my work doesn’t get done until after dinner (dinner is family time) or when the boys are asleep.
(Oh, and Crayola window markers are the best! This occupies them too for a half hour or more, and they come off with water. It’s a godsend even for us grown ups who like to be creative and quickly erase 🙂 )
Find multiple ways to use your creative mind. If you stick to just one, you’ll burn yourself out and begin hating what you do. It’s ok to try other mediums and other talents at your own pace. And also, GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF.
BREATHE. Everything that is happening with your children rolls like seasons. You might be having the worst time right now, but just like the seasons, it will pass. Nothing is forever. I’m from Chicago. Our winter season always feels like forever. But just like your baby’s teething, bear down (Chicago Bears…sorry, I just had too), breathe, go pour yourself a glass of whatever you like, and say “this too shall pass.” God only gives you what he knows you can handle. You are stronger then you know. You got this!
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