Working Moms: Entrepreneur & Mother of Three

Working Moms: Entrepreneur & Mother of Three

Meet Madeline, a working mom! Her story is part of a blog series of stories of working moms. I’m excited to share 13 stories from real working mothers. I also really would like to hear YOUR story and I’d love to hear it. Keep the conversation going in the comments & on social media using #wellcraftedworkingmoms. A huge thank you to the women who volunteered to share their stories, Mary Boyden of Mamma Bear Magazine for her photography and Madeline Roosevelt for hair and makeup!

 

I met Madeline at one of the many blogger meet-ups that she and I have both attended. She is fantastic at connecting with people and networking. When I first put out the notice for volunteers for this project Madeline was one of the first people to message me. She volunteered her amazing hair and makeup services to help make the working moms feel great in their photos. It was such a huge, kind offer. Of course, there was no way I was going to have her do all that work and NOT ask her to be interviewed as well. She has a great story and I’m excited to share it.

Meet Madeline, a working mom

 

Madeline Roosevelt is the mother to three kids—two boys and one girl—aged 11, 8 and 6 years old. Madeline worked as a freelance hair and makeup specialist before, during and after pregnancy. She had her first child when she was thirty years old. Madeline was partnered with the children’s father for seven years and is now a single parent.  Her children live with her every other week.

She has worked in her field of hair and makeup for the past fifteen years. She currently works on commercial photo shoots, weddings, and special occasions. She has worked for Nike, Adidas and Reebok among other companies. In addition to her freelance work she does cuts and colors at a local salon as well as runs the salon’s social media accounts.

 

Meet Madeline, a working mom - A Well Crafted Party

 

I had a hard time really nailing down a title for Madeline because she does SO MUCH. Beyond her hair and makeup and social media work Madeline runs a blog and social media accounts promoting her business, as well as serving as an Oregon ambassador for Single Moms Planet. Entrepreneur seemed to fit the bill. While her hours differ from week to week and it may not always be full-time hours photo shoots can be incredibly long days and can cause some weeks to be well-over full time and other weeks can be more like part-time hours.

One google search of her hair and makeup work will quickly show you how talented she is!

 

 

A typical work day in the life of an entrepreneur and mother of three

 

A typical work day for Madeline begins at 6:30 AM when she gets her kids ready for the day and drops them off at school. She then goes home to get ready for her day. She will work different schedules throughout the week depending on what jobs she has at the time. She picks up her children after school, and then often has to attend a meeting or work in the evenings.

 

When my kids are adults and look back at their childhood, I want them to know…

“Sometimes they get frustrated that I’m not there, ” Madeline explains of how her children sometimes react to her working.

“They say, ‘Oh, you have to work again,” she explained, “and I say that I have to work to pay for food and a place to stay.”

Even though it can be hard sometimes Madeline said that she feels that it is important that she and her kids have a good relationship and that when they look back they know that she was there for them.

“[Having a good relationship], that’s the most important thing,” Madeline said. She continued to say that she changed her schedule because she doesn’t feel that working all the time was good for her relationship with her kids and now having a flexible schedule helps.

 

Maternity Leave, Childcare & Mom Guilt… oh MY!

 

I absolutely had to ask a few questions about some of the topics that often come up for the working mom such as maternity leave, childcare, and the challenges & joys of working. I love the answers so much that I felt it was best to just put it in their own words. Read on to learn about the ups, downs, ins and outs of Erin’s working mom experience!

 

Continue Reading…

Working Moms: Changing the World

Working Moms: Changing the World

That is a bold statement— Changing the World. But, I believe it. I don’t believe it is just working moms that are doing the changing either. I feel like a lot of mothers right now are changing the world for (hopefully) the better. Today is EarthDay—which, I know, is all about recycling and being a better citizen of the planet— and it got me thinking about other ways in which we are bettering our planet.

The moms in this series have been sharing what they want their kids to look back and think of when they look back on life with a working mother. I don’t know that many of the answers are any different that what our mothers, those that worked, might have hoped for us growing up.

We work to change the world for our children. Stories on Working Moms at A Well Crafted Party. Photography by www.mommabearmag.com

 

We are half-way through my series on working mothers. If you’ve missed any of it then you should absolutely check it out. A big thank you to the volunteers that let me ask them a ton of questions and get photos of them. Also a huge thank you to the women that helped make this possible Mary Boyden of Mama Bear Mag took all the photos from the photoshoot and Madeline Roosevelt offered hair and make-up services to those who wanted it. These women are seriously kick-ass with what they are doing in their own worlds at this moment in time:

 

Why do mothers work?

There are about a thousand different reasons why working mothers work. For some people—which I didn’t really encounter as I was getting volunteers for this series but I KNOW exist and have shared their stories with me— they work because they have no other choice. They WISH they could stay home with their child and be the full-time caregiver, but they simply can’t afford it. Some mothers work, even though they wish to stay home with their children during the baby years, because if they didn’t they wouldn’t have a job to come back to once they felt that their caregiving can be shared. And, then, there are some mothers who love work and feel that they are better versions of themselves, and thereby better mothers for their children, when they do work.

Whether it is a dream job or a job that it is out of necessity I feel that todays working mothers are beginning a conversation that will change the future of working mothers for our children. 

 

We work to change the world for our children. Stories on Working Moms at A Well Crafted Party. Photography by www.mommabearmag.com

What legacy are working moms leaving for their children?

There are so many things that I want for my children that me, my mother and certainly my grandmother didn’t have as an option. I’d like for these conversations about working mothers can help normalize the issues that we are all dealing with just a tad more. I want for my kids to have family leave that is PAID for—whether by their companies or the government I don’t know— so they don’t have to go back to work before they are ready. I want the mommy wars to die down a bit so that whether someone chooses to stay home with their children (for financial or child care reasons) or to go to work everyone stops judging these decisions and starts helping out the mommas in their circle. I want mom guilt to stop being about not getting to be in the lives of their children because they are stuck in an office and more about that extra scoop of ice cream that caused way too much energy. You know?

It is going to take a lot more conversations. It is going to take some changes in our government. And it is going to take a whole bunch of women supporting other women to make these things happen.

 

We work to change the world for our children. Stories on Working Moms at A Well Crafted Party. Photography by www.mommabearmag.com

 

Some things other mothers hope for?

I also hope [seeing me work] helps them become more independent and creative. When I grew up, both my parents worked. Having a lot of free time on our own made me and my siblings invent fun for ourselves. We spent hours imagining ourselves as fairies or orphans or alligator wrestlers. We dedicated weeks to turning our play room into a haunted house. We made up songs and ran around outside and skinned our knees and broke windows (though not too often, thankfully). I want my girls to have a similar childhood – one that’s not micromanaged by me.” — Catherine, Writer & Mother of Two

“I really, really hope my son will understand that I work not because I didn’t like being around him- I actually like it quite a bit, certainly way more than I thought I would- but because it’s what’s right for me.  The classic, “It’s not you, it’s me,” bit.  I hope it shows him that you can live the life you want, even if it’s hard, as long as you’re willing to (forgive the pun) work for it.  And I hope he internalizes the lesson that you should not make anyone but yourself the center of your Universe: it’s an unfair amount of pressure to expect someone else to give your life meaning and worth.  That’s not to say that you shouldn’t devote any (or even a lot!) of your time and energy to someone you love, just that you shouldn’t let them take more than is healthy for you to give.” — Jenny, Office Manager & mother of one

“This is an old one, and you hear it a lot.  But I want my children to see that women do not have to walk away from their dreams, goals, and position in the marketplace to become a mother.  Yes, you CAN do and have it all.  But you have to wake up every day with intention.  Clear and focused intention.” — Missy, Radio Host, Regional Sales Director & Mother to Twins

How do you see working mothers of today changing the world? What do you hope for for the mothers of the future?

Happy Earth Day… now, go change your world!

Working Moms: Writer & Mother of Two

Working Moms: Writer & Mother of Two

Meet Catherine, a working mom of two girls. She along with 13 other women share stories from working in motherhood. This post is a part of a blog series of stories of working moms. I also really would like to hear YOUR story and I’d love to hear it. Keep the conversation going in the comments & on social media using #wellcraftedworkingmoms. A huge thank you to the women who volunteered to share their stories, Mary Boyden of Mamma Bear Magazine for her photography and Madeline Roosevelt for hair and makeup!

 

I feel bad for saying this, but I don’t remember WHEN I met Catherine. I feel as if Catherine is a kindred spirit. I know that we must have met at some blogging event or other, but ever since I met her she has felt like an old friend to me. She is just a kind, giving spirit. She puts her girls first in everything I’ve seen her do, but she also gives of herself to the other people in her life.

I also loved that when I told everyone to wear what they would typically wear for work she totally rocked her yoga pants! I invited nursing babies to the photoshoot so that mommas wouldn’t need to worry about feedings so you’ll see Catherine’s youngest daughter in some of the photos.

Catherine is another example of a mother who is making her job work for her and her family by being a freelance writer. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did!

 Meet Catherine, a working mom - A Well Crafted Party

Meet Catherine, a working mom

Catherine Ryan Gregory is a writer, a story-teller if you will. (You will see it in this interview, she weaves such beautiful words together!) Catherine is married to Eric who teaches special education. She is the mother of two little girls (we’ll call them by their nicknames)— Peeper is 2 1/2 and Kiwi is eight months old.

Catherine finished grad school and led a study/intern abroad program for journalism students in Accra, Ghana. After getting the antimalarials out of her system she got pregnant with her oldest girl. During her pregnancy she worked in communications for a nonprofit called College Possible Portland, a branch of an organization that helps disadvantaged high schoolers get into and succeed in college. After having her first child she decided not to return to her job but instead went back to freelancing as a writer, a job she did for years before grad school.

Being able to write from home allowed Catherine to be flexible and care for her baby and toddler. She was also able to write about things that were relevant to her life, including writing for Fit Pregnancy until it closed.

 I was able to write from home (and the cafe at Whole Foods, ha!), which allowed me to be flexible while still caring for a baby and then a toddler. Also, I was able to write about things relevant to my life: I wrote a ton for Fit Pregnancy until it closed (RIP), and my experience as a new mom helped me identify with readers and give them the info they needed!

 

Meet Catherine, a full-time writer and mother of two- A Well Crafted Party

 

Catherine works full-time as a freelance writer and storyteller.

“As most people who freelance and work for themselves, this means I wear a lot of hats and have a lot of different gigs going on at the same time!” she said.

Catherine’s main source of income is currently a retainer with a Fortune 100 tech company where she writes and edits stories for their philanthropies section and produces photo shoots for the web.

She explains the job with relish, “In a nutshell: I write about nonprofits and young people who benefit from trainings, donations, services and support from the company. It means I get to talk to and tell the stories of teenagers who are starting robotics clubs in rural libraries, nonprofit leaders who are using the cloud to help address the AIDS crisis in Africa, and volunteers who teach computer science to immigrant high schoolers. It’s very cool. I also art direct photo shoots, which means I hang out for a day with a photographer at a nonprofit or in a classroom and capture the awesome things that happen!”

Catherine also does freelance magazine writing where she writes mostly service pieces for women. (Check out her LinkedIn page for a list of previous publications.)

Meet Catherine, a working mom - A Well Crafted Party , photography by www.mommabearmag.com

Why does Catherine work?

“First off, I love to write. I enjoy sleuthing out a story, interviewing experts, being surprised or moved or inspired by what stories people tell me, and crafting a story that will affect readers. I am insanely fortunate to have my job and do what I love – and get paid for it,” she said. 

She also explains that while money is part of why she works it is not the primary reason. She wants her girls to see her enjoy something that is her own.

“I want them to witness the excitement, passion, even frustration it sparks in me,” she said.

Why would she want them to see her frustration?  

She explains, “Because no relationship is perfect, including the one with your work. Seeing that I can be angry or aggravated by work but push through it and stick with it is a great example of how life works.”

Catherine believes that people are complex and that they are not defined by one role or title.

“So I am not “just” a mother or wife or master of the last-minute, empty-fridge dinner. I am also a professional whom people rely on,” she said. 

Working for Catherine has also been a sanity-saving constant in her life especially after transitioning to a family of four. She has had a difficult time adjusting to having two kids.

Catherine explains the adjustment period”…the first six months were especially hard. When I couldn’t get my baby to sleep, when my nipples were bleeding, when I yelled at my toddler for something minor, when my house was an absolute disaster, I still had to work—and it made me feel so. damn. good. After all, it was something I was good at. When it felt like I was failing at everything else, I still wrote killer copy.”

Something Catherine’s Proud of in Work and Motherhood:

Just a few months after her second child was born a web site that she helped to redesign, edit and write stories for went live.

“Not only did my manager love my stories, she told me that focus groups wanted them to be more prominent on the web site. Then parts of the stories were presented at Davos, the World Economic Forum meeting,” she said.

A typical work day in the life of a full-time writer that is a mother to two

 

“The only thing that’s typical is that it’s not typical!”

As a freelance writer Catherine’s work is fairly flexible. Some days she takes her oldest to gymnastic or her youngest to moms’ group.

“I am that person who checks her phone at library story time or preschool. Being semi-connected to work allows me to join these activities and know I’m not missing something time-sensitive. Most of the time, I don’t have to do any work at these activities,” she said. 

Throughout the day Catherine does a mix of interviewing, writing, editing and corresponding. She is always writing more than one project at a time so the mix depends on where she is at on certain projects.

Since she is working from home, and because she dislikes pumping and the baby doesn’t like the bottle much, she takes her “breaks” to nurse her youngest. She also will take a break to read a book with her oldest or eat lunch with the family.

“I do have to work downstairs in my office so I can focus; otherwise Peeper would be constantly asking to type on my computer (she always starts her documents the same way: QWERTY !)” she explained.

The flexibility that her job affords during the day means that she will work at night and on the weekends as well. 

 

Meet Catherine, a working mom - A Well Crafted Party , photography by www.mommabearmag.com

When my kids are adults and look back at their childhood, I want them to know…

 

“My job is abstract. I mostly sit at a desk and tap black squares on a metal rectangle. I talk to people sometimes, but almost always on the phone or video,” Catherine said as she explained why her girls wouldn’t understand her job for some time.  Unless she doesn’t have childcare for the day then she is working in her office and her girls don’t see her work. 

“But I hope they remember my telling them and others about the stories I hear and write about. I hope they remember the way my eyes light up, how I gesture and get animated, how I put down my fork over dinner and tell people about something that demands my full attention,” she said. 

Catherine also hopes that her working will help her daughters become more independent and creative.

“When I grew up, both my parents worked. Having a lot of free time on our own made me and my siblings invent fun for ourselves. We spent hours imagining ourselves as fairies or orphans or alligator wrestlers. We dedicated weeks to turning our play room into a haunted house. We made up songs and ran around outside and skinned our knees and broke windows (though not too often, thankfully),” Catherine shares. 

“I want my girls to have a similar childhood – one that’s not micromanaged by me.”

Maternity Leave, Childcare & Mom Guilt… oh MY!

 

I absolutely had to ask a few questions about some of the topics that often come up for the working mom such as maternity leave, childcare, and the challenges & joys of working. I love the answers so much that I felt it was best to just put it in their own words. Read on to learn about the ups, downs, ins and outs of Erin’s working mom experience!

 

Continue Reading…

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