I am a wife and a work-from-home mom of 2 kids (5 ½ & 2 ½ ) doing corporate marketing and graphic design. Within the last 4 years, I’ve also published 5 children’s books and continue to serve several graphic design clients (including Claris!).
I was introduced to Claris in 2012 when my pastor and his wife shared about the organization with our church. I submitted a volunteer application right away and also applied for a couple of open jobs. For different reasons, the jobs were not the right fit but the connection to serve was established. I helped to build out curriculum, designed different materials, and currently participate on the Claris Marketing Committee.
I support Claris financially because I deeply believe in the services they provide for the women, men, and families in our city. Claris takes that a step further by connecting their choices and relationships to their spiritual and emotional well-being, seeing them as whole, complex human beings. Furthermore, I also faced difficult circumstances when I made my own pregnancy choices before I felt ready to become a mother. An organization and resource like Claris would have been helpful to have access to, plus a kind ear to talk through the challenging and personal hardships. I support Claris because every woman in Los Angeles facing trying times around pregnancy, infant loss, adoption, post-abortion recovery, and parenting in seemingly impossible circumstances deserves that kind of love, support, and community.
From a young age, I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and lead some sort of business. I taught myself graphic design after finishing college and started designing party supplies and wedding invitations. Eventually I took over the creative direction for the company I worked at. My husband also received a new job opportunity that allowed us to live on his income alone if things didn’t work out with my business. I am undeniably blessed to continue working “on the side” without the burden of financial dependence on that work.
The balance of daily raising kids and working have some easier days than others! I do my best to create rhythms rather than hard schedules. Things have turned upside down with the Covid-19 quarantine, and my husband and I really had to rally and create time and space for him to do his job well from home while taking care of our little ones. Even before quarantine, I didn’t have things totally figured out but thankfully, both of our families live nearby and have been generous in their sacrifice to help care for our kids so that I can “coffee shop hop” and get solid work time in. We’re also a part of an incredibly rich community through our church and schools, so I have an embarrassment of riches in the way of support. However, some days are still lovely and trying and harder than others. I do have real work deadlines and contracts to service, which might mean my kids are getting a bit more iPad or TV time than I’d prefer, but we’re all working together to get allthethings done. I’m grateful that my kids have the opportunity to witness my work in action and see the value in contributing to our family’s work at large.
To the girl out there struggling to believe that having both kids and a career are possible, I’d say that you don’t have to have every aspect of the system figured out before you start. Pray for wisdom to make the best decisions you can with the variables you know. You’ll never know what the ‘right’ thing to do is, but you can discern through wisdom & counsel from friends who care about your well-being what is the “best’ thing to do for you and your family in different seasons.
Each season brings new challenges but also new opportunities. My capacity has changed over time, often in ways I didn’t anticipate. My key to “success” at this point is flexibility. It’s the times that I hold my expectations or schedule with too firm a grip that I am the most unhappy and dissatisfied. But these are the times that creativity really comes into play. We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for. There are ways that I’m still learning how to care for my whole self in this process (getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, etc.) There are only so many hours in the day, but I’m making small changes as I go, tweaking and pivoting, trusting that what needs to get done will get done. My priorities lie in raising kids who will become kind and lovely adults, loving my husband well, creating a home that we desire to truly live in, and applying the skills and gifts I’ve been given over time to work unto the Lord in my business.
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