Working Moms: Optician & Mother to Two

Working Moms: Optician & Mother to Two

I’m excited to introduce you to Roxana a working mother of two! This post is a part of a blog series of stories of working in motherhood. 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!

 

You don’t forget meeting Roxana. She is such a force of nature (in all the right ways). She is outspoken and passionate about what she believes in. She is kind, caring and funny.  I met Roxana about three years ago at a blogging event. We’ve since caught up at different parties, girls nights and Facebook.

I was fortunate enough to get to join Roxana for brunch for this interview which felt like the best way ever to get in a catch-up-on-life session AND learn about how she feels about being a working mom. Our conversation also veered into being a mom to girls and the challenges that that can present. I’ll be bringing back some of that part of the interview for a future post!

I’m very pleased to get the opportunity to introduce to you…Roxana!

Meet Roxana, a working mom

Roxana and her partner have been together for nine years. She has two kids, Kamilah and Xamara. She had her oldest Kamilah in 2009. Before and during her pregnancy she worked as a cocktail waitress on night shifts. She left her job as a waitress when, at seven months pregnant, the job became too physically demanding. After having her first child the couple decided it was more financially workable for Roxana to stay home with her than going back to work and paying for childcare.

“So, we did that, it was a couple of years of being pretty tight on money,” said Roxana of that time, “The economy tanked and [my partner] works in the car business and it was really, really rough on the car business, especially like domestic cars. It was pretty rough.”

She continued, “It definitely humbled me at the time. I remember having to stand in line at a church, waiting for a food box.”

Roxana said that while she had been really poor in her life before it was never on her shoulders to feed others but rather her mother’s shoulders. Roxana looked back and remember the different sources of where food came from when she was a child— her mother provided for the family in different ways including brining home leftovers after volunteering at the farmer’s market or from her grandfather brining by foods while they lived in Mexico.

 

Meet Roxana, a Working Mom - A Well Crafted Party

Meet Roxana, a Working Mom, and her family - A Well Crafted Party

Roxana is currently living with her two daughters, partner and younger sister. Her mother-in-law also lives on the property.

After Xamara, her youngest, was around two years old she and her partner were looking to purchase a house and decided that they needed the extra income of her working. Roxana has worked in the optical industry for a large portion of her life and it felt natural for her to look for a job in that field because it is a pretty stable field and because she has a lot of experience it would pay her well.

“We decided that I needed to make a certain amount and I needed to have certain days off just because logistically my mother-in-law couldn’t watch them on Fridays,” she said of her new work needs.

“I had a few interviews and the one that seemed pretty solid asked what I wanted to get paid and what my schedule was like,” Roxana said of the interview process. She was shocked to find that the interviewer was open to what Roxana thought might be a ridiculous amount of pay or schedule demands.

“It was kind of like if they meet this ridiculous list of demands then I’m going to work. If they don’t then I’m not gonna. But, they did… so, I started working,” she said.

She is now at a different office but is still currently working as an optician.

“[My employer is] really flexible with my schedule. I am really lucky. I work Monday through Thursday. If I need to go pick up my daughter or my kids are sick they are really understanding about stuff like that, which is really great,” she said of her new job that is less of a commute than her previous job had been.

“It’s hard to find places like that,” she continued, “I feel like usually when you find it, it is with small businesses which is where I’m at now.”

 

A typical work day in the life of an Optician that is a mother to two

 

After getting out of bed for the day Roxana typically makes the girls breakfast while her partner irons Kamilah’s uniform. The girls are able to get themselves dressed for the day so Roxana is able to clean up after breakfast. She then goes up and does the girls hair.

“I have to do their hair every morning. Curly hair girls have to have it in braids,” she said.

Working in Motherhood can be a struggle... see how Roxana works with her time constraints in the Working Moms series on A Well Crafted Party - photos by www.mommabearmag.com

 

Roxana’s partner takes Kamilah to work. Xamara will either go to her grandma’s house or stay home with her father if it is his day off.  

After work Roxana likes to make a meal for the family. 

“I do a meal planner that I loosely abide by, like I usually I do have all the ingredients. I loosely abide by it. Like, if I don’t feel like having chili that night then I’ll do a recipe from a different night,” she explained. 

“Sometimes even when I have the ingredients and a plan I don’t feel like cooking, so we have peanut butter and jelly for dinner or cereal for dinner—which, actually, the kids love,” she said. 

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…

Happy Birthday to A Well Crafted Party

Happy Birthday to A Well Crafted Party

Today my TimeHop app reminded me that it is a very special day for this blog… it’s our birthday!

Six years ago today I finished my blog designed, purchased www.awellcraftedparty.com and set up everything to publish my very first blog post on April 27, 2010.

A Blog Six Years Later

Six years! Holy cow. In the last six years I’ve published 853 blog posts with 2,471 comments and approximately 400,000 page views. I started the blog before kids were even really in our minds. I started it to be solely a party blog featuring my parties and DIY party items. It has evolved to be such a wonderful avenue for me to connect with people. It now is a lifestyle blog—still with plenty of party emphasis to fulfill that personal need— about everything from DIY tutorials to motherhood.

I feel so grateful for this blog and what it has brought into my life. I’ve made some of my best friends through this blog. My sons have been announced and celebrated here. I’ve experienced some seriously amazing experiences— such as this dinner at Urban Farmer— restaurants, locations and brands. I was able to stay home with my first son for the first two years of his life because of A Well Crafted Party. I owe my current job to the work that I did on this blog. I’m pretty sappy about it all really.

In honor of the big birthday, I thought I’d share some of my favorite (and your favorite) blog posts over the years:

Most Pinned Post – Amaretto Sour

My recipe for a classic Amaretto Sour is the top pinned post of my blog and is currently the top visited post. All I can say is my readers have great tastes because the Amaretto Sour is both delicious and EASY to make!

 

Most Popular Download – Free Printable Blog Planner

Hands down the most popular download I have on my site (and I have a lot) is the free printable Blog Planner. I love writing about blogging and working with other bloggers so much that I run (with a lot of help from the leadership team) a local blogging resource and community called Portland Bloggers. This printable was an idea that happened because of this passion around four years ago and I keep refining it and adding to it year over year.

 

 

very first blog banner for A Well Crafted Party

My very first blog banner…

Blog Design

My blog has changed designs quite a few times over the years… I’m already itching to change things up again! After my last redesign I really went through my past designs and my new goals for the blog. It is one of my favorite posts and often one that people stumble upon when looking for blog design ideas.

 

Hey Girl Party

 

Favorite Parties

I really, really can’t pick a FAVORITE party because there are so many that I like. I’ve done a lot of styled shoots over the years— and I feel so fortunate to be able to do that— but, real parties are where my heart is because I want people to get to enjoy an experience.

  • The Hey Girl Party will always be a favorite because it was such a fun theme and because it was for a dear friend.
  • My son’s second birthday party was a town-themed party where we created an entire town out of cardboard. Friends pitched in and helped to make it AMAZING.
  • I’ve had the opportunity to work with great brands that I’d never in a million  years think I’d have the opportunity to do. This tapas party with Whole Foods was such fun to help create!

Series on Working in Motherhood

 

I get to share people’s stories and write about things that matter to me.

I am pretty sappy right now about my blog and what this little space means to me. Part of that is that I have a space where I get to share about things that matter to me and that I think might matter to my readers. One great example of that is getting to write about working mothers. It means so much to me and I know it means a lot to the women out there that come across these stories while struggling with their own journey in working in motherhood.

thank you

Thank you for being a part of this party! Like great wines, this is only getting better with age!

I so appreciate you taking the time to read and share this blog. You’re awesome.

Image credits: Header, Featured and Working Moms Images by www.mommabearmag.com | Balloons Image by www.momentsbymacey.com | All other images by me unless otherwise noted

Working Moms: Artist & Mother of Two

Working Moms: Artist & Mother of Two

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. 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 Erika about three years ago at a couple Pacific Northwest Blogger events. She has such personality and is incredibly fun to be around. You also really want to get on her Christmas card list as she sends the best cards! Erika creates Art Every Day and shares it on her Instagram account with the hashtag project #makeart2016.

I really wanted to share Erika’s story because she is one of the many working moms out there that also are their own full-time childcare. Some working moms work their schedules out so that they are home throughout the day and work before their kids wake or after their partner is home for the day. It takes all kinds and I wanted to try to share as many examples as I could get!

Meet Erika, a working mom

Erika is married and has two kids, Nora (age 3) and Everett (age 1). She worked throughout her pregnancies and was fairly busy during her last pregnancy. Erika is a full-time artist.

 

Working Moms series: Erika about being a full time artist — A Well Crafted Party

Six years ago Erika left her corporate job in finance to go after her love of painting.

“It was grueling and extremely stressful. I was working sometimes 60 hour work weeks. I kept thinking to myself, if I was able to invest this much time working at a job that I didn’t love, then I should be able to make the time to go for a passion project” said Erika of her decision to leave the traditional workforce.

Erika started things out slowly having coffee with a friend who also wanted to leave the traditional nine to five life. They kept meeting up and talking about goals, eventually, one winter Erika made a goal to make and sell ten paintings by the end of summer. She was hooked and started applying for art shows.

She explains, “This is my dream job and it’s a lot of hard work but it’s extremely worth it and very rewarding.. similar to having kids!  An artist has many hats, it isn’t just about making the art, its also a lot of marketing and selling the work.  You have to love it, in order to be an artist and do whatever it takes. Being brave or at least being braver everyday is key.”

 

A typical work day in the life of an artist that is a mother to two

Erika wakes up everyday at five in the morning—even weekends! She wakes up and checks emails and work on her Make Art Everyday project. If she is busy she will give herself thirty minutes to an hour to complete. She then catches up on emails and checking her planner for projects that she is currently working on. After that she begins working on commission or client work.

Erika’s children typically wake up around 7:30 in the morning. She spends her time with her children and then sometimes gets in an hour of work around nap time. She spends the day with her kiddos and her husband after work but around 8 in the evening she will head back to her home studio which she shares with her husband and work a few more hours. She typically goes to bed around 10 to 10:30 so that she can be rested and up again at five!

 

"I hope to share that drive and work ethic with my kids. That handwork is very valuable and anything is possible if you put your heart into your work." Erika  a full time artist and mom featured on A Well Crafted Party

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

 

“My mother was a working mother. She worked extremely hard and was able to raise 3 children. Have a hot dinner on the table every night and kept a clean house. She taught me a crazy work ethic. She showed me hard work really does pay off and that you need to jump into the water with both feet. She taught me how to go for it.  Even though she doesn’t really understand my art career, since it’s very non traditional,” said Erika.

She continued, ” I hope to share that drive and work ethic with my kids. That handwork is very valuable and anything is possible if you put your heart into your work.”

 

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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