Child-Care-Blues

You did it!!! You had your baby. Let’s assume you’ve changed more diapers than you can count, and you’re not quite sure what that stain on your shirt is. Yep, you’re totally in it. It is the wonderful world of parenting. And, whether you just had that sweet baby, or you’ve been in the game for years, chances are that as a business owner, you’ll face the following issue: child care! This is the follow-up to my intro of the Creative Procreative series.

Once the initial “OH MY GOSH, WE HAD A FREAKING BABY!!!” starts to wear off (okay, who am I kidding? I still feel like this!), you know it’s time to think about setting boundaries and finding balance for your business.

Personally, I was so unprepared for the toll that parenting would take on my business. I assumed I could work during naps. LOLOLOL to pre-kid Ravyn! You were so funny!! Really though, at the beginning, a 90 minute nap consisted of 30 minutes getting the baby to actually sleep, 20 minutes of using my breastpump, 15 minutes of email, and like 20 minutes of real work time. Surprise … baby girl didn’t get the memo that mama really needed to work. At 4 months, we hired a nanny. It was absolutely glorious. While paying so much for childcare was a bit of a blow at first, it was an expense we looked at as a cost of doing business. After Al turned a year old, we knew we were ready to explore different care options. While we loved our nanny, I was starting to wonder about interaction with other babes, and if another environment might be best. Plus, at this time, I was only getting about 15 hours to devote to work each week, and I was on the verge of a breakdown.

At 13 months, we transitioned Alba to a daycare … it’s a little school in our neighborhood, and it’s turned out to be such an amazing choice, investment, and opportunity. Again, the additional monthly cost made me want to cry, but it meant double the work time!!

It took about 2-3 months for me to find my groove, and now I just look back at pre-kid Ravyn, and pat her on the head. You sure were cute. Work during naps. HA!

I popped into my favorite group for creative entrepreneurs to ask other creative mamas and papas to weigh in on this topic. Here’s what they had to say:

Phyllis said: “Be open minded about your options! You will literally have no idea what the best option is for you until that baby is here and you’ve lived it. What works for me might not work for you but there are definitely more ways to integrate childcare into the equation than you think. And be open to the fact that it’s going to be an adjustment for you and for your child…so be kind to yourself about that.” 

Katie said: “I love the flexibility of having a creative job and having 2 days a week of spending extra time playing with them and 3 full days of work. I’ve had to give up the idea that I could completely compartmentalize specific workdays and momdays, so everything sorta blends together….which some days is nice and some days is just overwhelming and exhausting (and makes client meeting scheduling incredibly difficult). I don’t think anyone has it exactly right, but I think with a little tweaking and constant reminders that I’m doing the best I can this is a pretty good fit for me.”

Renae said: I wake up early every day (well, try to every day) to get in 2-3 hours of work before the girls get up and my store is open. I take the girls with me to the shop but try to leave tasks I can do with them there and customer service as the only thing to handle while they are with me. I usually get in another 1-2 hours of work at night after they are in bed and my hubby falls asleep too. It makes for long days but part of the reason I decided to open my own business was so I don’t have to have childcare so as of now I’m ok with working late and early.”

Abigail said: I’ll be honest, my first two months back to working was really rough. I had overcommitted to assignments and quickly realized how much LESS actual work time i had. The days of working till 2 am and cranking out more at 6 am were over. I could only work so much because I had to be there for my baby. I didn’t miss any deadlines, but I sure stressed a lot. It’s much better to say no and have less stress. Anyway, after the first few months, I got more efficient, took on a manageable load and when naps started evening out, we really got rolling. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also, learn your limits and know how much you can take on. We don’t have a typical childcare situation, but I hope that is at least helpful!”

Ashlyn said: “Something I was worried about before putting him in is all of the scary things that could happen while he was in day care. I signed him up for daycare … and I am 100% glad that I did. He is one and a half now and he is sooo smart. He has gotten to experience so much.”

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Oh, and logistically, here are a few things I considered when making our decision for child care:

  • When choosing a nanny, we considered if I’d be able to actually distance myself from the action. We did have a dedicated space in our home where I worked, but it was also in the main living area. I changed gears, swallowed my pride, and setup shop in our basement. It meant I had my own space, away from the baby. I think that separation allowed both of us to thrive. And now, I actually really love my studio space!
  • Did you know that child care (if your provider qualifies) is a tax write-off? When considering full time care for our little one, I was fa-reaking out over the cost. Because of the ability to setup an FSA account through my husband’s work, we were able to set aside the first $5,000 per year for school, and not be taxed on that money. Ask your CPA for more information!!
  • Besides finding a provider that fit our needs, money was seriously the biggest piece. I had to break it all down … hours per month, cost per month, hours per week, determine if the hours/cost would allow me to add one more project per month, factor in additional time/additional profit, etc. It was a grid of problem solving, but it was doable. I realized I really needed to pay more to make more.

What about you?! What works for your family? Do you laugh at your pre-kid self too? I’d love to hear how you’ve found balance, or how you’re working to achieve it now.

Related: I cannot wait for Kindergarten. Public school is like my reward for paying for years of child care. Can I get an AMEN!?

Dribbble Favorites

Oh, Dribbble, how I love theeee. Lately, there’s been some major goodness happening over there.

Here are a few shots that have caught my eye in recent weeks:

1 / How cute are the details here? So thoughtful!

2 / I love me some super-classic type & layouts.

3 / Yep, I’m a total sucker for maps, and vintage treatments.

4 / Because Minna So is my spirit animal. I love her simple, lovley work.

5 / I think I just will! The line work, and details are amazing.

6 / I just felt so happy looking at this. A reminder that simplicity can be super effective.

Are you on Dribbble? Be sure to hop over and connect! Find me here.

 

It all started with this: “Flowers in your hair, and the beauty of a full moon” … From that statement, so much of Brooke’s energy and personality inspired this project.

Earlier this year, I helped Brooke Michaelson launch her refined brand. I love how gracefully Brooke invites her ideal clients to experience her work. Her brand message is strong … Brooke Michaelson Photography is about slowing down, soaking in the moments, and feeling inspired by the beauty all around. Not only is Brooke an amazing wedding photographer, she also loves documenting families as they grow.

The moon and nature were a big part of this design. It’s all a cycle, all connected. Brooke finds so much inspiration in the world around her, but also has such a beautiful way of capturing the unique pieces of each of her clients. The love is abundant.

01-Logo02-Brand-Statement

Brooke’s stationery suite was printed by my friends at Czar Press. We decided on stunning letterpress & gold foil. It was printed on lovely white cotton. So thick, so elegant.

03-Stationery-by-Three-Fifteen-Design

Brooke’s custom website was built on the Showit platform. I absolutely loved the full screen elements, but we also mixed the layouts of each page — some full screen, some super light and airy. Another awesome part of the site experience is that when you first land on the site, you can choose to visit her wedding work, or lifestyle work. Both sides of the site are similar, but really do have their own unique touches. Visit the full site here.

04 Brooke Site05-Fonts06-Photo-by-Brooke-Michaelson08-WEbsite11-Stationery-printed-by-Czar-Press07-Moon-Phases10-Photo-by-Brooke-Michaelson12-Contact-Brooke09-Stationery

You can find more of Brooke’s work over on her site. Be sure to connect with her on Facebook page.

Hey-July

Hey, July!!!

Seriously, how is it July?!?

I hope that you and yours had an amazing weekend. Here in Portland, things are toasty. It’s the hottest summer on record, so our weekend was spent in the water or hunkering down in the AC. We enjoyed our holiday, and only had a few choice words for people lighting illegal fireworks after Alba was in bed. Oh man, does this mean we’re officially curmudgeonly adults?!

When peeking forward to my July calendar, I knew that this update was coming. It was time to get this blog going again! I have so much new work to share, thoughts about running a business, and general day to day loveliness. I thought I’d share a bit of my July goals, as well as things that are inspiring me lately!

  • I start four new projects this month!! Here’s to coffee, to-do lists, and lots of creative inspiration. Each of these projects is so very different from the next, so I’m just super excited!
  • Hey DESIGNERS! Have you checked out Creative Market yet? I am drolling over the new July bundle, and I’ll be purchasing in 3 … 2 … 1! Seriously though, I love their bundles, but also their individual items. The fonts & vectors are what dreams are made of!
  • I’ve been quilting lately. If you’ve seen my personal Instagram, you’ll catch glimpses of the little quilt that I’m hand quilting for Alba. Let me tell you how fun it is to quilt a blanket when it’s 90 degrees outside!
  • Speaking of crafting … I cannot wait to make this blanket.
  • Did you see my latest launch for Katie Nesbitt Photography? I JUST LOVE HERRRR!!!
  • This morning, I finally took Alba to school on my bike. I took a few weeks off after getting sick. It felt so good to be moving again! July is allll about getting back into my fitness routine. What are your favorite at-home workouts?
  • Have you been listening to the Being Boss podcast? Emily & Kathleen stop in each week to deliver inspiration, and insight into being a badass business owner!! Love it!
  • DIY rope baskets? Yes, please!
  • Okay … goal this week is three blog posts. LET’S DO THIS!!!

Happy July to you! Please share your goals, so I can cheer you on!!

RR-Stationery-8

Happy Thursday! Man oh man … How is it seriously July? Around the studio, things have been really lovely. Maybe it’s the summer sun, but work has been vibrant, clients have been amazing, and I’m feeling a nice groove. At home, things have been insane. Who knew that 18 month olds are totally amazing, crazy, silly, irrational little beings? I think all of these things are making time fly by!

Here are a few peeks into some recent projects. I’ll be blogging the full projects for them, but for now, enjoy!
Screen-Shot-2015-07-02-at-12.01.53-PMBM-Stationery-10Screen-Shot-2015-07-02-at-12.01.19-PMMCSC-Stationery-3MSScreen-Shot-2015-07-02-at-12.02.28-PMSL-Stationery-8WTFWith-Love-and-Embers-Stationery-by-315-Design-11