{On mixing mamahood + handmade life.}

One of my very wise and dear friends, Liv Lane, is guest blogging today on a topic that I know many of us hold very close to our hearts: how to mix mamahood + handmade life. Now that our little one is here I am working on juggling my new role as a mama :) I can’t wait for you to read the advice Liv is sharing with us today. “See” you in the comments! PS. You must must must read this particular post… xoxo

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liv-lane-gussy-sews

How do you find time during the day to focus on your business? Do you have a nanny? Use daycare? Are the kids in school? Do you carve out certain times of day that are for work, whether your kids are with you or not? How do you explain to them that you need to work on a task and need them to leave you alone? How do you keep them busy?

liv-lane-studio-gussy-sews

This much I know: running a home-based business with little ones underfoot is not for the faint of heart. It’s a constant balancing act. Just when I think I’ve got it down, something changes — my schedule, the kids’ needs, the childcare situation. At first, that unhinged me. After leaving my corporate career in 2007 to start my own biz and be more present for my family, I learned the hard way that I couldn’t do it all. I needed to keep bringing in an income, but I struggled to be focused and productive in my work – and that,
in turn, made me a cranky mommy. Everything suffered.

Today, things are so much better. It helps immensely that my boys are now in school; my fourth grader is gone from 8:30 – 3:30 and my four year old attends preschool four afternoons a week. When our little guy was just a couple of months old, we hired our first part-time nanny; the freedom that gave me to focus on my work was amazing. Now, we have a flex nanny — someone who cares for several families and can frequently juggle her schedule to fit our needs. She is usually here three to four mornings a week until our 
four year old goes to preschool. It’s the perfect schedule for us right now; unless I’m traveling, I’m able to get the kids ready for the day and be there when they get home from school.

It also is important for me to have my own creative workspace. We turned our dining room, which was wasted space most of the time, into my studio (we call it the dudio… dining room turned studio!). It’s unconventional and we certainly can’t host Thanksgiving dinner, but I love having sacred space for my work while knowing the kids are nearby, often playing in adjoining rooms. Most days, I still have work to do even after they get home from school — so I’ll take time to play, chat, make snacks, and help with homework — and then set them up with toys, video games or a movie to keep them busy while I sit back down at the computer for a bit. The key for me is doing whatever is best for our family and not trying to live up to anyone else’s standards. I love our set-up right now — and feel blessed to be able to make it work for all of us.

SHARE WITH US BELOW: What scares you about mixing mamahood with handmade life? What tips have you adapted personally that made the transition easier? Or, what have you since learned that’s made juggling both of these roles a bit easier? Let’s educate + encourage each other in the comments below…

liv-lane-gussy-sewsLiv Lane calls herself a Human Sparkler, using her gifts to illuminate and celebrate yours. She leverages her background as a journalist, publicist and creative entrepreneur to helps artists, authors and advisors embrace their brilliance and master the art of feel-good self-promotion. Her coaching, ecourses and uplifting art can be found at LivLane.com.

 

 

{What it means to be a mom for the first time. // by Erin Loechner}

This is the final post in the series, What it means to be a mom for the first time.” What a joy it is to have Erin from Design For Mankind sharing her heart on mamahood with us on this precious question. I’m so happy to be featuring her today, thank you Erin!

[Click to see Lisa Leonard's, Naomi Davis' and Arianne Segerman's response to this same question.]

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Erin-Loechner-gussy-sews

I feel so very ill-equipped to talk about what motherhood means (after all, I’m only a short seven months into my own journey!), but if there’s one thing I’ve learned so far, it’s this: mothers are really just a bunch of watering cans. We house the very element of survival within us – the elixir that our babies thrive on – but we’re just one small part of nature’s greater landscape. The elements around us – the soil of family and sunshine of friends – are what nourishes are babies when we can’t brave the weather alone.

And our babies – those precious seeds – will see many, many seasons. They’ll sprout branches of milestones and leaves of regression until another season passes and a new cycle begins – a cycle filled with newness and familiarity all at the same time. Still, we’ll stay with our seeds, watering and watching and waiting and praying.

I don’t say this to degrade the amazing role that mothers play in the rearing of our children, but instead, I hope it gives a bit of perspective during those first few months of self-doubt and discomfort and blind faith. We’re all watering cans, doing the best we can to deliver the best of what we have within. And with a little help from the village around us, we can watch our children grow into beautiful vessels themselves.

[photo credit:Woodnote Photography]

 Erin Loechner blogs at Design For Mankind where she shares her personal quest to find creativity, inspiration and meaning in all disciplines. Erin and her college sweetheart/hubby, Ken, are raising their newest addition, baby Bee, in the Midwest.

{What it means to be a mom for the first time. // by Arianne Segerman}

I’m so very honored that my friend Arianne Segerman is guest blogging for me today. She’s sharing her heart on the thought, “What it means to be a mom for the first time”, and her words are so, so beautiful. :) Thank you Ari for letting your fingers fly with the wind…

[Click to see Lisa Leonard's and Naomi Davis' response to this same question.]

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first time mom belly pic

It was 2002 and I distinctly remember sitting on the beach in the Spring, a good 6 months before my first baby was expected. I was attempting to take in the fact that I was not going to have another Spring with only my husband and I. Not even another Christmas. I couldn’t fathom my belly growing so big (like me in that photo above at 38 weeks with baby #1).

How does a woman wrap her mind around such a thing?

The truth is, you can’t. No one can. No one can possibly explain enough, no book can teach enough, no video can prepare you enough. Sure, you’ll have all the tools you need to deliver a baby and be a first time mom, but there’s nothing and no one out there to say, “Hey, this is what it will feel like!”

I didn’t know that my soul would break, but break open. I didn’t know that I would grow up overnight (no matter what my age was). I didn’t know that life was really beginning for real.

being a mom to four

So I offer this to you, dear Maggie, as you enter into this new unfurling of God’s incredible metaphor of (let’s be clear, super fun and super hard) creation and life — don’t forget to embrace the uncertainty. Lean into it, surrender to where this already much loved baby takes your heart. Find who YOU are as a mother. Receive advice, opinions and instruction (plenty of people will have these for you), but filter it all through the lens of Maggie. Make your own mark on motherhood, and let it be real and true and completely surprising to you.

being a mom-1

Being a mom for the first time feels like velvet, and chocolate, and running a marathon with no preparation. It feels like you can taste the Spirit on your lips and hear Him in your heart and like no one and everyone in the world understands you. It feels like a new era, a new club, and like you never lived before the day the baby was born. It feels like love.

Arianne is a mom of 5, with three boys and a baby girl here and one baby girl in heaven. She could talk about motherhood all day long. Ari and her family live in Phoenix, Arizona. She also blogs at Mabel + Riv and can’t wait to meet Baby Whitley. xoxo