It’s pretty crazy over here these days. It’s that extraordinarily busy time of the year where I’m working on invitations for fall brides and day-of paper for summer brides. Pretty much every ounce of free time is spent working, and most evenings I’m scarfing down dinner then assembling + packing up orders while I enjoy a Netflix binge. It’s been a new challenge balancing it with two kids, and there are days where my tank hits empty.
I had one of those days this week, but then this email hit my inbox….
The beauty of doing a job that you love is that in only takes a little positive energy to fill your tank back up. It’s kind of like how your kids drive you crazy all day, but they say one sweet thing to you and it manages to erase the last 8 hours of chaos. The other wonderful part of my job (that I say over and over again) is that I get to work with such wonderful people. I am fortunate that I attract brides that are kind, easy-going, have a great sense of style, and find so much joy out of the design of their paper goods.
So though I do look forward to the days when things return to normal-busy mode, I wanted to take this moment to practice gratitude for an amazing job and the couples that allow me to tell their unique wedding paper stories.
Today I’m talking about some lessons I’ve learned for success as a work-at-home mom. When I had my first child, balancing motherhood and my business was chaotic. I had first-time-mom overwhelm and inconsistent childcare. So when Layla came I vowed to have a set plan.
So here are my tips for my fellow creative entrepreneurs who are also raising littles!
1. Be clear with clients about your work hours
My new client packet says 10-4 Monday through Thursday. Of course I often work beyond that (love my Netflix + assembly nights!), but it manages everyone’s expectations right from the start. As a work-at-home mom, I really try not to do any real work on Fridays beyond email so I can focus fully on my kids that day. (Boomerang for Gmail has been so helpful with this. It allows you to schedule when to send emails so clients don’t know you’re on email at 9pm on a Sunday night!)
2. Put your phone in another room
A stationer friend gave me this tip and it’s been amazing. When the phone is nearby it’s so easy to do a quick Instagram sesh or check the inbox. But removing the temptation is the easiest way to stay present.
3. Get really good at working in spurts
Plan, plan plan! Unless I go to a coffee shop, there is still at least one kid usually in my house. Even with a babysitter here, I may need to stop working to nurse or do some other home or mom task. Consecutive hours of uninterrupted work are rare, so that’s why I start every day with a plan. In Evernote I plan my week every Sunday evening, noting 3 things I need to get done each day. (Read more about my 3-things daily planning here). Things shift as the week goes on, so I usually reassess each night before bed. This has been invaluable in feeling accomplished + organized at the end of the day! You’d be amazed at how productive you can be with just 30 minutes when you don’t waste time figuring out what needs to be done next.
4. Get help
No matter how good you are at multi-tasking, it’s really valuable to know when you’ll have a block of time to work uninterrupted. (And we all know multi-tasking doesn’t always yield the best results for quality work!) If your kids sleep well, nighttime is great, but some days you’re just so gassed from watching them that you just want to sleep or unwind with some TV + wine. I am fortunate to have Finley in school and a nanny that comes a few mornings a week to watch the baby. This way I am able to schedule meetings or anything that requires 100% of my focus. If that’s not an option for you, have an afternoon where a friend watches her kids and yours, and another afternoon where you do the same.
5. Give yourself a break
Each day is different, which is part of the fun of being an entrepreneur, but it also has its challenges. Some days I give my 3-year-old a half-hour extra of TV so I can get a time-sensitive task done, and often I’m checking email while I’m nursing. I used to beat myself up for not being present all the time, but now I know that’s an impossible standard. I get to be with my kids a ton which I love, and they get to see first-hand their mom working hard. Though mom guilt never goes away, don’t let it cripple your creativity!
I am so excited to reveal the Roseville Designs website relaunch! I’ve been working hard on the website redesign for the last 6+ months with the amazing team at Love Inspired, but the truth is this project has been on my to-do list for much longer. When I returned from The Wedding Stationery Collective I knew it was time to make this big investment + put this at the top of the to-do list!
There are so many benefits that come with a new website, but my main goal for the redesign was to have a special focus on my couples. I created a “Real Weddings” section so this was more than a site with images of pretty wedding stationery. Don’t get me wrong, these are here and are VERY important, but I wanted people who visit to see how I create those paper stories for the people + personalities that hire me. For me, my greatest inspirations are the love stories of my couples.
Be sure to take a look around at all the great resources + details! And keep coming back to visit the blog, as you’ll be seeing more frequent posts there chock full of real wedding inspiration!
Be sure to follow us on Instagram for a VERY special wedding giveaway starting tomorrow!
Oh my, what a year it’s been! I’ve had the honor of another wedding season filled with some amazing couples. The weddings have been everywhere: from Connecticut to Bermuda, New Orleans to Cape Cod. The styles ranged from whimsical to classic, black tie to backyard chic. One thing remained true, though: my brides and grooms themselves were kind, easygoing, and passionate about the style of their wedding (and the stationery was an important detail to celebrate that style!). Here is just a sample of some of the 2016 Roseville couples, though each bride + groom has been a wonderful gift to me. Thank you to all of you who trusted me with such important details for your big day. It’s an honor to create something that you’ll look back on for years to come.
But the best gift of all this year has been our baby girl, Layla June. Born on 12/10/16 (a day after her due date), she has been an absolute joy. She was so considerate in coming full term so I could get all my 2016 weddings done (the last order shipped out 3 days before her arrival!). And now she is being rewarded with my full heart + full focus as we say goodbye to 2016. Though I am taking some time to enjoy time with my girls, I cannot wait to see what the 2017 season brings!
Wishing you all a new year full of hope + excitement!
A while back I read this article in The New York Times called The Incalculable Value of Finding a Job You Love, and it really resonated me. I saved it on my phone and go back + read it when I’m having a tough day, or feeling like I cannot balance it all: motherhood, marriage, and a job that requires your head + heart constantly.
This blurb is the one I read over + over again….
I am always on time, in fact, I am usually early. The only time I find myself rushing to get somewhere is when I’ve been designing. It’s the only part of my life where I feel like the clock moves faster. It’s quite a change from looking at my computer clock at my old day job, wondering how the heck it wasn’t even 3:00 yet. So today I’ll celebrate the gratitude in my heart for a job that I can get lost in, one where I fall down a rabbit hole of creativity and have to force myself to come out when it’s time to tend to other parts of life. I hope my fellow creative business owners do the same for themselves today!