Heather, thank you for being a part of the Moms Know Moms series. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Gosh, I feel silly chatting about myself. Our day to day is just like any other family out there. I’m a married, mother of two active girls that keep our family in a constant state of motion. An average day in our world is filled with all the hustle and bustle of school, the standard family jazz, schedule juggling, work and very little downtime. I’m sure the drill sound all too familiar.
One of our biggest struggles is dinner. When the girls ask me “Mom, what’s for dinner?” I cringe. I need to become more organized in this department and have things planned out. Not to mention that my youngest is one picky eater.
(Feel free to share any of your favorite recipes please!)
I can be found stitching up a storm on The Sewing Loft. Basically, I started blogging 2 years ago as a way to say engaged with the creative community. I had just moved 700 miles from NJ to NC and felt so disconnected. I’m sure to many of you the distance does not seem that far but for this NJ born and raised girl, it seemed like halfway around the world. From my home base in NJ, I could be in NYC in a heartbeat and my local creative community was always buzzing. I needed to start over and was unsure where to begin. Insert blogging.
For many, sewing/crafting is a big part of who you are as a person. Why is “creative expression” important to you and how has it affected the quality of your life?
Sewing and crafting is just in my DNA. You see, I come from a long line of creative gals and my mother always promoted creativity. Halloween was big in my house growing up and I always made my own costume. Mom helped along the way but the main requirement was that it had to be handmade.
Since my girls see me in action daily, it has been easy to keep the tradition alive. Each girl has her own creative area.
My older daughter loves all things paper and my younger daughter is itching to sew. I swear, she wants to put the pedal to the floor and just go!
Working inside or outside of the home (or running a blog or website on a part to full time basis) can be especially tough because of the difficult choices we have to make with how to divide our time between work and family. Have you ever felt guilty about the choices you’ve made, and what advice would you give to someone struggling with those same types of feelings?
Work/ life balance is something everyone struggles with. When my family started to grow we made a choice, I would work outside of the home while they were little and then be more present when they were older.
Well, they are older now and I do work from home, but I feel like I am juggling more than ever before. That said, I may be physically present but my mind is always racing. This is that delicate tight wire that moms have to manage. We are the Queens of Multitasking. One of the things that I worry about is will my girls get tired of me asking them to try things on, take pictures or even worse that they will be tired of me saying that I am busy. That brings me back to the work/life balance. My advice—keep standard hours and find time to power down everyday. That means no electronics. This is something that I am trying to do right now.
You’ve transitioned from hobbyist to business woman, what made you take the leap?
The transition from Corporate America Employee to Independent Designer/Small Business owner was an unexpected one. You see, I had been juggling a job that I loved with a hobby I loved for many years and something had to give. Luckily for me, my husband could see that. One day I came home from work and Dear Hubby told me there was something for me on the computer. After cooking dinner, getting the kids to bed and settling in to zone out in front of the TV, he gently asked if I had looked at the computer. I felt so defeated that I did not get the chance…. He turned off the TV and told me to go check it out. To my surprise, it was my resignation. He gave me the kick in the pants that I needed.
For most moms, multitasking is synonymous with motherhood. What’s been your biggest personal challenge with juggling so many things? Have you found a way to stay balanced? If so, what are some of your strategies?
Well, I mentioned before that I struggle at meal time. This is one chore that I find incredibly stressful. So, I have been asking my girls for help. Insert Pinterest! Yes, the power of Pinterest has helped out tremendously. My older daughter pins things that she would like to try and sometimes even makes dinner. (Massive score in my world!) We have a deal, if she makes it, I clean it. We keep it simple.
In terms of family, career and motherhood, how do you define success?
Success is something that I struggle to define, but one moment that I am extremely proud of is when my youngest daughter received a new set of spelling words at school. The teacher asked if anyone knew what they were. One of the words was entrepreneur, and she was the only child in class to raise her hand. She explained to the class that her mom was an entrepreneur. Now, I’m sure in second grade she did not have all the details down, but to me, it meant the world! It meant that she recognized and understood in some small way what I was doing.
I hope that by stepping away from the main stream to follow my dreams, I somehow give my girls the strength and the courage to not be afraid to walk the road less traveled. I know, corny…. but it’s true, we all beat to a different drum.
Things aren’t always perfect but that day was a win in my book.
Heather, thank you for sharing with us today.
Join us tomorrow for Day 2 of Moms Know Moms. We’ll have the lovely Stacey from Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy Crafts
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A Question for You:
I like Heather’s comment to “keep it simple”. What shortcuts or suggestions do you have for keeping a busy life simple? (Feel free to share links to your favorite recipes, too.)