Featured: Happy Mother’s Day to Me on Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Featured: Happy Mother’s Day to Me on Ten Thousand Hour Mama

How was your Mother’s Day? I hope you either spent some time being pampered or pampering someone you call mom. I had a lovely day, even if nearly the whole family has come down sick. It was nice both getting some alone time and getting some time with my boys.

I got to spend the day with my lovely mother-in-law who will never truly know how much I appreciate her. She is a wonderful mother-in-law and fabulous grandma, but the fact that she was (and still is) a fantastic momma to her own kids led to me having a husband who is kind and giving, a wonderful partner and parent.

I missed a few mommas and had to phone in my happy wishes for the day. I have had the good fortune of having a friend in my own mother and wonderful examples of mothers in my grandmothers. I think it took having children, or perhaps finally get to a certain age, to truly understand all that the mothers in my life have done. I hope that the way I live my life, the choices I make and the work I do is a good reflection of the work that they put into me.

My Mother’s Day Gift to Myself

This year I participated in a little “Mother’s Day Gift to Myself” series that I really enjoyed, not only writing, but reading throughout the weeks coming up to mother’s day. It really got me thinking on the subject and I felt a little bit more like I appreciated myself and this chapter of my life.

Check out my story about a recent moment with my son when he asked me, “Mom, do you get a prize when your reach 100?”

Happy Mother’s Day to Me: My 100 year old birthday prize

Working Moms: Graphic Designer & Mother to One

Working Moms: Graphic Designer & Mother to One

Meet Joan, a working mother and a 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!

 

Joan and I are nearing our ten year friendaversary. We met through my husband as she was a coworker of his at Borders. Joan and I have been through thick and thin over the years and I can truly say that I think of her as a sister. She is my first son’s Oddmom and has been a wonderful constant in his, and my life. She is also featured all over this blog so she may be a familiar face for many of you.

I knew long ago that Joan was a fantastic graphic designer. (Check out the work she did on my first and second baby showers. Amazing, right?) I’d honestly equate her ability to turn nothing into something beautiful as magic if I hadn’t seen her doing it time and time again. On top of a talented worker, Joan is an amazing parent. I often learn tricks and tips from just watching her with her son or mine. I’m very excited that she agreed to do this interview with me.

Meet Joan, a working mother

Joan and her husband have been together for about fifteen years and have been married for ten of those years. Their son Desmond is two years old. Joan worked as a graphic designer in the printshop of a healthcare company before, during and after her pregnancy.

I worked throughout my pregnancy, until 2 days past my due date (well into the largeness that makes people’s eyes go big with concern.) It was a big priority for me to spend as much time as possible with the kiddo once he arrived, and working right until delivery day was part of the scheme,” she said. 

 

Family Photo by Portland Family Photographer Aubrie LeGault  of Capturing Grace Photography

Family Photo by Portland Family Photographer Aubrie LeGault of Capturing Grace Photography

 

Joan shared about why she likes her job, “My job is a nice mix of creative work and craft. I really love working in print. I love the noise and busyness, the smells of ink and paper. I like bending technology to my will, and using the tools I have to make things more beautiful, useful, and intuitive. I love the moment when a piece of the design falls into place; you exhale, and everything is quiet and peaceful inside. In my more vain moments, I really like seeing something I designed, crisp and perfectly trimmed; or as an enormous print.”

She also has found that it is pretty difficult to beat the benefits of working in a union shop at a healthcare company.

She explained, “There is a LOT of comfort in knowing that if something goes horribly wrong with our health, that we won’t be broken financially.”

In thinking about working during her child’s early years she shared that though this is a hard time, it is ultimately what is best for their family.

“I have a lot of fears about leaving the field and not just losing ground professionally, but also losing the confidence it takes to do creative work for a living,” she said.

 

Family Photo by Portland Family Photographer Aubrie LeGault  of Capturing Grace Photography

Family Photo by Portland Family Photographer Aubrie LeGault of Capturing Grace Photography

A typical work day in the life of a graphic designer and mother of one

 

 

Things are winding down to a more sensible pace now that we have a toddler instead of an infant. He still needs pretty constant attention, but he’ll play independently more often. Also, no more pumping/bottle cleaning shenanigans. Or waking up at all hours of the night,” said Joan of their daily work-week schedule. 

She wakes up around 6:45 in the morning. Her husband will make the coffee and pack bags while she gets Dez dressed for the day and ready to head out the door. They leave the house by 7:30 AM and she does her one hour commute that includes daycare drop-off. She typically arrives to work at 8:30 AM.

During her lunch break she typically runs errands, naps, or takes a walk and chooses to eat at her computer. She leaves work around 5:15 PM, picks up her son and is often home around 6:15 PM.

 

Brandon usually makes the family dinner while Joan spends time with the kiddo. They eat as a family and Joan cleans up while Brandon spends time with Dez. They finish the evening off with some family time before starting the bedtime routine of bath and books. 

“Kid’s down by 9:30 and by then we’re usually pooped,” she said. 

 

Hopes for the future from a working mother featured on A Well Crafted Party and photographed by www.mommabearmag.com

When my child is an adult and looks back at his childhood, I want them to know…

 

 

I think our generation has had a tough time of learning how to be married with undefined gender roles. Each couple finds their own way. It’s hard to find a balance that doesn’t leave anyone feeling resentful or less than. But when a balance comes, I think it can make for a very profound partnership. As we work on this partnership, our balance right now includes us both working. Dad cooks. Mom cleans. Dad does laundry and mom folds. We take turns with the yard and garbage. We both parent. I hope that as an adult, Dez knows the need for compromise and communication in his relationships—however the norm falls for the next generation. I also hope it lets us both have a close and nurturing relationship with him as he grows up.”

 

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: Photographer, Writer & Mother of Two

Working Moms: Photographer, Writer & Mother of Two

I’d like you to meet Margaret, one awesome, hard-working momma and talented lady. This post is a 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. Margaret supplied many of the photos in this article including the stunning photographs by Lacey Monroe. Additional images are by Macey Snelson of Moments by Macey

 

I met Margaret a few years ago at a bloggers meet-up. We grew a relationship as she volunteered on a few projects with Portland Bloggers— first as a photographer in our Strike a Pose meet-up and then as a photography teacher at our Photography Workshop. I too volunteered to help in a creative meet-up group that she ran. We’ve enjoyed a few playdates with the kiddos and have stay in touch over the years. Margaret is one of those people in your life that you know that someday you’re going to look back and say, “I’m so glad I met her. She has changed the world and I got to be a small part of it.”

 

Meet Margaret, a Working Mom - A Well Crafted Party

 

She isn’t just inspiring or giving or talented. She is also a great friend, a kind person and a empathetic human being. (Hey, even Beyoncé thinks she is awesome.) No, but seriously. I’m so proud to say that I know Margaret and learn from her and her example. She is doing amazing things in this city and beyond.

Margaret was unable to attend the photoshoot with the other working moms and, even though sick and cuddled up on her couch, she let me sit with her for nearly an hour talking about working and motherhood. It was a wonderful interview that I am over the moon excited to share with you now.

 

Meet Margaret, a working mom

Margaret is a mother two, Riley (age 7) and Beck (age 6). The two are 14 months apart. Margaret was in school before becoming a mother and really didn’t work until the kids were around two or three years old. She fell into the photography business and it eventually became a full-time job. Currently she is working as a freelance writer and photographer full-time.

 

Meet Margaret, a Working Mom - A Well Crafted Party

 

Margaret and the father of her kids divorced around two years ago. The two co-parent their children.

“Nothing’s really changed that much in regards to our parenting. Aside from that we live in different houses.”

 

Margaret has shared about her journey with divorce and co-parenting in her online writing. (“Why everyone says we’re doing divorce right” and “Learning to Trust Another Woman with My Kids Is Harder than I Ever Imagined” are two examples.) She and her ex-husband are currently partnered.

 

“Everyone always talks about kids having to live through their parents divorce in such a negative way,” she explained, “they say, ‘Oh! Now they’ll never be okay because they have a one-parent home,’ but it can actually be really good for the kids. AND for kids to grow up seeing that families and relationship don’t just work one way.”

 

A typical work day in the life of a freelance writer, photographer and mother of two

 

(At the time of this interview she lived approximately 30 to 40 minutes away from her previous home and the kids, but she is moving closer at this time so this schedule will shift some.)

On a typical week when Margaret has her two children with her they get up at 7 am to leave the house for a long commute to their school at 7:30 AM. She usually ends up dropping by their dad’s house to pick up forgotten items or to pick up their father so that they may all ride to school together.

She then usually goes home and dives into writing assignments for an hour, editing for an hour, and then another hour typically goes towards reading and answering emails.

“I kind of just switch between those three things,” Margaret said of her work day.

The kids get out of school by 2:40 PM and she likes to get most of her work done by then.

“I”m not really big into making food. I like to cook…I’m just so tired by the end of the day,” Margaret said of the dinner preparations. Her partner will often make dinner for the family.

 Meet Margaret, a Working Mom - A Well Crafted Party

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

“I really want them to do ALL THE THINGS,” said Margaret about her hopes for her children.

Margaret shares that her daughter has had her life planned out since she was four including everything from how she planned on paying for college and medical school (modeling) to how she planned on having twins and hiring a nanny so she could do her job as a doctor.

“To my children, they don’t see it as if you have to make a choice [between working and parenthood],” Margaret explained. “It’s so different from how I grew up.”

“At the end of the day, I hope that they understand that while having and raising children is really important, that taking care of themselves is also really important.”

She hopes that her kids learn to take time for themselves that that they know that, “It’s not selfish. If anything, it is a selfless thing. If you only want the best for your children you should be at your best when you are with your kids.”

 

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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