Hey you! Yes, you!! The mama or papa over there who is balancing home life with work life, and trying to make it all look graceful. You’re doing amazing, and how did you manage to shower today? Over here, life is busy. It’s a bit insane if I’m being honest. Thankfully, the insanity is balanced by such joy.
Looking at 2014, I can say that it was a year of survival. It was my first year as a mother, and I really had to focus on evolving into a working mama. Funny enough, I think it was my most creative year yet. (I mean, hellloooo, I made a person.) Seriously though, I grew as a designer. I learned a ton about balance, and how to only work with people who inspire me.
After the baby fog cleared, I started connecting with other parents who are creatives. Many of my clients are parents, and I found myself being able to connect with them on a deeper level. What could be more magical than finding another level to connect with my clients on? It’s such a gift.
I want to start a conversation here about being a creative mom or dad. Are you a blogger? Photographer? Graphic Designer? Chef? I think I had this idea that truly creative people didn’t have time for babies. Au contraire!! I’m finding that some of the raddest people I know have little ones, and they are being badass parents and badass creatives! From this, The Creative Procreator was born. Coming up, I’ll be sharing insight from some of my favorite creative parents. People who have started their own businesses, had some kiddos, and have lived to tell their tale. We’ll talk about home/life balance, how to handle inspiration when you can’t jump right into your ideas, being a working parent, how things have changed since the little ones arrived, and the joy of being self-employed with the flexibility to raise a family.
I’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to be a part of the series, be sure to let me know. And by the way, I do not have it all figured out, but that’s part of the adventure. Here we go!!
A couple years ago, I had the amazing opportunity to work with Jen Jar for the first time … Imagine my excitement when I learned we’d get to work together again this year!!! Last month, Jen launched her very own photography business, Jen Jar Photography! We built this brand identity from the ground up. We focused on her main objective: photographing real moments! To me, this meant that the brand experience needed to feel natural, happy, and free of clutter. Her stunning work would be the center of the web experience. Her clients would fall in love with the paper goods she send them through their time together. Of course, we needed to add some joy and sparkle, hence the beautiful gold touches in her stationery suite.
I absolutely loved this project. The logo, and elements felt so fresh, and really made my heart sing. Her site pushed me, creatively, and I loved that!! We also created a simple WordPress blog, on ProPhoto, which compliments her site. In the end, the best part was working with Jen. Her joy for life, and enthusiasm of making others feel wonderful was so amazing to witness. Here’s my chance to return that love: Jen, you are amazing! I cannot wait to see your business grow and grow, and to see the love stories you capture!
To see her site, click here. You can visit her blog, here. And, be sure to connect on Facebook.
*All wedding photos by Jen Jar Photography*
Happy Friday, lovelies! I hope you had a wonderful week. Portland is gearing up for what I’m hoping is our last super-hot weekend. Then, I will welcome autumn with open arms. Really, I just want to take a photo of Alba sitting next to a pumpkin!
I wanted to pop in to share a project I wrapped earlier this year. When John Paul emailed me, I was happy for several reasons. 1) He’s a rad photographer from NYC. 2) I knew our visions aligned, and this would be an awesome project. 3) Because he was a HE. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with ladies. Big high fives, girls … you are my bread and butter! xo! But, I hadn’t really had a chance to work with a man before (aside from teams with a guy and a gal). The same week JP emailed, I also heard from Jeff Lundstrom. Those two were a breath of fresh air, and a challenge I was more than happy to accept.
JP’s work is so classically NYC. It’s full of color, life, and emotion. Here’s a look into his project, and the custom Showit site I designed.
Be sure to click through to see his live site, and hop over to his Facebook page to connect.
All wedding photography belongs to John Paul Teutonico Photography
As promised in a recent post, I wanted to start starting more about my personal life over here. You see, I am pretty proud of my ability to leave home at home, and work at work. In fact, my husband will randomly exclaim that he has absolutely no idea what I’m currently working on … It’s not that I’m not excited about my job, it’s just that home life is my focus when I’m not working.
But with all of that said, I’d be lying if I said I never think about work when I’m doing “home” stuff. If you’re self-employed (or really, if you have a job), you know that it’s on your mind even when you aren’t working. And, when I’m working, I’m constantly thinking about my baby girl. For me, it’s been all about finding a balance, and I thought I’d share a bit of how I live and work intentionally:
- We hired a nanny: Before having Al, I figured I’d be able to work during naps. BAHAHAHAHA!! I was so very wrong. You see, babies hate sleeping. Even a good sleeper isn’t always consistent. And, even if she was napping, I still had mom things to be doing: folding cloth diapers, washing her bottles, cooking, showering, housework. I knew I needed help. Now, we have a nanny come to the house 3 days a week. As soon as she arrives, I head into the studio, and I now have solid chunks of work time that aren’t interrupted by baby. As a little bonus, I can usually sneak some work in each morning during her first nap.
- Squash the guilt: I can get overwhelmed really easily. I think I’m strong, but me being overwhelmed means I have 8,000 things on my mind, personal stuff, and business stuff. It gets heavy. If my inbox is overwhelming me, I take a chunk of time to go through it. After my surgery, we were pretty stressed about medical bills. Instead of avoiding them (which I wish I could do), we figured out a plan that worked for our family, and we’re working through it. A tough email to write, or call to make? Just do it! I think the overwhelming part of anything is the realization … once you start to process your way through the problem, it becomes easier.
- Deleting social media from my phone: This was a big one. If my computer was being slow, I’d pull up Facebook. If I was giving Al a bottle or nursing, I’d be looking through Feedly. It took me a while, but one day I looked at myself, and realized I was out of control with the phone. I left Instagram (since it’s a phone only app), but it’s very rare that I scroll through the feed anymore. I just have way better (and more important) things to do with my time.
- Cut back on expenses: With a new baby, there are new expenses. We were planning on breastfeeding her (free), but my boobs had other plans. I do still breastfeed, but we have to supplement. Her organic formula is expensive, and because of that (and other items), our ideal budget before baby isn’t exactly perfect. We’ve learned to save … to cut a lot of random spending. This helps me feel in control of our money, which makes me feel like I’m doing an okay job!
- Plan fun trips or purchases: Even though we’re cutting back, and I’m working less, we are still making money. Because of this, it’s so important that we give ourselves little treats every now and then. Before baby, we’d do an impromptu trip to the coast for the weekend. Money wasn’t an issue. Now, we just plan in advance and save for a trip like that. Again, it’s empowering, and makes me feel like my hard work is paying off.
- Working smarter: This is a big one. I have strict calendars now. I have strict to-do lists now. I can’t answer my phone when friends & family call at 2:00 in the afternoon. Work is work time, and home is home time. Keeping this strict division has really made me happy.
- Be picky: This year, I turned down anyone who didn’t inspire me. That makes me sound like a jerk, but it’s true. If a business owner approached me, and I wasn’t inspired by their craft, I kindly turned them down. Each and every person on my 2014 has inspired me tremendously! I think I’m creating better work.
It’s very much still a work in progress. Some days I go to bed feeling happy and accomplished. Other days I go to bed feeling like I didn’t even scratch the surface for the day. There are always emails in my inbox, and my to-do list always has a few items I couldn’t quite finish.
I am totally one of those assholes who says, “I have no idea what I did with all of my free time before kids!”. It’s true though! I feel like I could smack my past self for all of the tasks I left undone. This morning, I had to stop my breast pump, because Alba had an extension cord in her mouth. I cannot make this stuff up. (And equal parts, #bestmomever).
So, what do you do? How do you find balance in your life? What have you changed since starting your business in order to maintain a division between work and home? Any tips for momming and creating?