Mother and Freelance Graphic designer, what can go wrong?

I am a working mom, and as such I wish I could give you a detailed list of how to succeed on being one. I can only offer you my experiences. Being a working mother has never been an easy task. I remember my mother, back in Chile, working all day and walking home for about 2 miles after a 45 minutes bus ride. Tired, hands full of bags filled with food and work.

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Now I am a mother as well. I have two little girls and a husband that fill my dreams. I worked as a graphic designer in AD agencies for about 12 years. Now I do freelance graphic design. I run my graphic design business from home. I wear all the hats one wears while running a business: accountant, PR, office manager, HR, office guru, cup of tea, dream maker, risk taker, etc… sigh.

Mother and freelance graphic designer, what can go wrong?

well, it turns out that plenty! My house is a mess, my kids are barely surviving and my husband takes what he can, poor guy. How do you keep a balance between work and home and family?

I can’t begin to tell you how messy my house is! I walk around it and squint my eyes so I don’t see all the piles of dishes, clothes unfolded, beds unmade, bathrooms mess, and all-around crazy living spaces. I have hired, ladies who would come and clean my house. IT IS ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT TO ME to pay someone to do my housekeeping job. If you know of someone in Las Vegas, I would love the referral ;).
I do what I can to clean my house a bit, but it is difficult to keep it clean when I am supposed to be serious about working. I pretend I am paying for an office space somewhere out there and come home at the end of the day, like every working person does. Cleaning my house has become second in my priorities. Sigh… my poor family.

I feel as if my kids are barely surviving. I made working hours for myself in order to establish structure in my day. I get up in the morning at about 6:15am. Shower, get dressed and wake up the girlies at 7am. We then fight about brushing their teeth (because apparently its always a surprise they have to do so) and getting dressed. We look around the house for clean socks. We have a box full of “lost socks” where we can look into when a pair is needed. I go downstairs and prepare their breakfast and lunch for school. Do their hair and off we go to school. I then come home, make my own breakfast and begin my work day. I usually stop working by the time they get home from school. I have been blessed with an awesome husband that has the ability to pick them up after work. It’s so nice. The ladies get home but there is no food on the table. I literally forget to make my own lunch sometimes, less alone make food for someone else. Then we fight about homework while my husband makes dinner, and then we get the girls ready for gymnastics and soccer. I do have to say one thing though, I have happy kids and that MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE. My husband is a huge help too. I feel forgiven most of the time but it all goes away the next day, when we are looking for socks again.

My poor husband takes what he can. He picks up the girls from school and comes home, to a place where only the dog runs to see him. We say a quick hello with a quick kiss and off we go to homework and food time. My husband and I have learned to appreciate the time we get together. We lead such busy lives. Since we both work and have many church and family duties, our lives together are made of moments.  I would think this is true for any working couple. We were counseled to go out on dates at least once a month. We love those few hours we have together. We eat. We laugh. We talk about the girls. We have worked on getting friends. It might sound a bit silly but for us its huge! Its so nice to be able to talk to other adults, about their problems and joys.  We love our friends.

I have to say that I love being a mom, a wife and an entrepreneur. I wouldn’t change my life for anything. I feel stressed out because my house is a mess, my kids are barely surviving and my husband takes what he can while supporting me. Being a working mom is not a walk in the park. I have been working at my time management skills and learning about the business of graphic design.  However, I always keep one thing in mind, MY FAMILY IS FIRST.

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How do you manage being a mom and a business owner? I really want to know! Please leave a comment below.

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Surviving the first day of Kindergarten

1st day of kinder

I have two little girls, Fia is 7 and Isa is 5 years old. This week was Isa’s first day of Kindergarten. I was worried about her happiness and how well she was going to adapt to a new school, a new teacher and new friends.

The week prior to the beginning of school, we had the chance to meet the teachers and see the classrooms. Isa freaked out! she begun crying and not wanting to be anywhere near her teacher. It broke my heart to see my daughter so stressed out about school. Not fun! Not fun at all!!!

I spoke to several friends who either have experience as a teacher or children psychology. One of them gave me the best idea ever! She told me to “pave” the going to school by “acting out” the day. brilliant! For those of you who do not know what “paving” is, “paving” is a way to prepare a person by talking about what is going to happen when… we go to the store, go on vacation, meeting a new person, explaining a job, etc…

So, off we went to pave the way for Isa. On Sunday, we decided to have Family Home evening, which is like a family night but with a spiritual focus, and taught about the importance of learning both spiritual and secular things, and moved on from there.

This is how we survived the first day of Kindergarten:

  1. We talked about how God wants us to learn about him at church and “seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118)
  2. Asked the girls to put on their uniforms
  3. We had a “pretend” breakfast and made their “pretend” school lunches
  4. We “pretended” to be in my car and went for a “pretend” ride to school. I had them kiss me goodbye. My husband was waiting for them at the gate of the “pretend school”.
  5. Then pretended to have a full day at school with classes included.
  6. At the end of the “pretend” day at school, my husband “drove” his “pretend” car to pick them up from school and I welcomed them home with open arms.
  7. My husband gave them a Father’s Blessing for the upcoming year.
  8. Finally, we drove to the actual school and dropped the girls and husband off at the gate, drove around the block and picked them up.
  9. Had watermelon at home as refreshment.

I am very happy to inform you that this little “paving for school” worked like a dream! Fia and Isa were so happy to go to school. Isa was still nervous but not nearly as stressed out as before. To this day, day 4 of school, Isa is very happy and wanting to go back to school with her teacher and her new friends. I feel very blessed!