Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
I mostly….don’t. Babywearing. A little bit of bourbon. As a homeschooling mum of three I feel like my days pass in a breathtaking haze of activity. I stay up way too late, I don’t take nearly enough time for self care, but in a way my business is my self care – it’s a pressing desire that I can’t control and it gives me such an extreme amount of satisfaction. I could go and take a relaxing bath or clean the kitchen…but I would rather be dyeing someone’s special wrap or drawing up potential screen prints. Given our chosen lifestyle, I’m often amazed that it just seems to work, there is personal sacrifice and SO much stress but its worth it to me. My daughter has started creating her own hand dyed clothing, and so far has sold most of her items! I’m glad that I can show my girls that if you want to do something, you do it.
In the early days babywearing saved my sanity. My eldest was 4 when our second was born, and then she was 10 months when I became pregnant with our third…and it’s during this time that my business seemed to take off to a point that I had to focus on it and set time away from family to do what needed to be done.
The Drive: What challenges have you overcome?
My biggest challenge has always and probably will always be myself. There have been times I haven’t shared what I can do due to fear and anxiety. My business has taught me more about myself than I thought possible, and given me strength, boldness and a deep thumping pulse of passion for life and expressing the way I feel through art that other people’s beautiful children can wear or be carried in! What could possibly be better than that?
For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
Pros – I am able to stay at home to raise my three girls, and have the financial stability to help provide what they need. I can express myself creatively and justify it – so many mothers suppress these creative urges because society tells us we need to have a clean house before we can start on a “selfish” project. I call rubbish. Paint the picture then clean the kitchen. Sew the dress, take a selfie, then take the kids to the park. Learn some ukulele cords then hang the washing out! Or leave the washing in the machine for so long you have to re-wash it.
Cons – it can be truly stressful to try and manage two full lifestyles in one life, it can be stressful to be a homeschool mama without the added stress of having a business! If it isn’t a passion it just wont work, the stress needs to be outweighed by the passion. Just like parenting, it’s hard but it’s just that little bit more totally unbelievably awesome. There will be times that the children miss out on your attention or the business will, but it all works out by the end of the week.
Hopes and dreams: What next
I have high hopes and big dreams, some of which are a secret for now. I will be moving away from clothing produced overseas and sewing more of my own or sourcing Australian made and organic. My main objective this year is to streamline my business, outsource some of the work so I can focus more on homeschooling now that we have made a change from unschooling to a more structured curriculum. I don’t really know what’s next, and that’s the wonderful thing about being a creative.