Moms Know Moms Day 21: Jen Schumann

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family life.

I am a stay at home mom of two kids, a seven year old girl and a three year old boy. Growing up, I wanted to be a fashion designer, but ended up with a degree in English Literature instead. A few years ago, I began sewing again, and now, between school pickups and daily kid activities, I try to make something for myself or my daughter every week. I love learning the business of blogging, and connecting with others like myself.

iCandy handmade Logo

What’s the name of your blog/website? What is the significance of the name? How long have you been blogging?

When my blog partner Autie and I started this blog a little over 2 1/2 years ago, we were brainstorming ideas of what to call it. We were talking about how many posts to do a week, and mapping things out, and I said, ” We don’t have to do a tutorial for every post, sometimes we can just post things we have made, like handmade eye candy, you know?

Autie then said, why don’t we call it iCandy? I thought that was a great idea, with plenty of ideas for creative design, as well.

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?

Creating things fulfills me in a way that nothing else does. Since I started sewing consistently and blogging about the things I make, I have been a much happier person. Even though sometimes it is difficult to find the time for myself for this “therapy,” it is SO worth it! When I take a break, I really notice the effect it has on my mood.

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?

iCandy handmade Belgium style dressI think any mother who has to divide her time between work and family feels guilt at times. I also think that every woman has different parenting styles, goals and aspirations. I always wanted a career. I am, and always have been, ambitious. I have found something I love to do, and I really am trying to make a business out of it. I feel so blessed that I have found a career path that I love, and I also am able to stay at home with my kids. I know that when I take time to accomplish goals that are important to me, I am a better mother. When I am able to take this time to work on the blog, I feel that the rest of the time I can be more focused on my children. This definitely takes time management and focus. There are times when I get too wrapped up in work- and I definitely notice the effect it has on my parenting. This is when I need to take a step back and leave work in the other room.

If you’ve transitioned from hobbyist to business woman, what made you take the leap? What has been your greatest iCandy handmade A line skirt Maxi skirtchallenge? What has been your greatest reward?

Evolving the blog from a hobby to a business is still a work in progress, rather than a leap. Though the payout is still very small, it is very rewarding. The challenge is to keep evolving and stretching myself to expand.

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?

My two biggest challenges:
1. Procrastination. I always wait till the last minute to get things done and therefore cause myself stress.
2. Internet distractions. It is so easy, when I have a million other things to do, to sit down at the computer and browse sewing and fashion blogs! What a time sucker.

I really don’t know that I can say I am balanced. I constantly have to write lists and more lists to stay on top of my life and still I am always feeling behind. But I guess that is normal!

iCandy handmade Changing pad and clutchFinding the time to mother AND craft or sew can be a big challenge. How do you carve out time to create? When your children nap or are at school? Or have you found other ways to “sneak in” some time?

I have a loft area in my house that is half playroom, half sewing studio. My son will play with his toys while I sew. Or night time…but I am so tired then… I wish he still napped! 🙂

What’s the best mom advice you’ve ever received?

Take care of yourself, and you will be a better mom. Also, pray for help every day!

In terms of family, career and motherhood, how do you define success?iCandy handmade zig zag maxi

Happy children, happy husband, fulfilled and happy mom. Simple. 🙂

How has being a mom changed your life perspective?

These little people are everything. Your wants and needs fly out the window when they need you. More than anything, you want your children to be happy and learn to be well balanced human beings- that is your biggest priority when you become a mother.

Line-2Jen, thank you for sharing with us today.

You can find Jen at ICandyHandmade, Pinterest and Facebook.

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Join us tomorrow for Day 21 of Moms Know Moms and our interview with Jessica Abbott from Me Sew Crazy

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A Question for You:

As a mom, how do you define success?

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