BUSINESS BRANDING, MOMMY TIPS, GRAPHIC DESIGN, ART & VARIOUS OTHER THINGS.
FAITH, BUSINESS AND BEING A MOM
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I am Heather Bunker: Designer, branding genius, mom of 4 and DIY lover. This blog is a mix of business and fun - full of helpful tutorials, marketing insights and design inspiration!
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I often get asked how I do it. How do you run a business, design, take care of your home, husband and your children? of course in that list my husband and children always come first. sorry clients. I hope that doesn't put you off but they are my life before work and I must preserve my family in order to enjoy my profession. family is important but really the most important thing on my list is my relationship with god. I could not do any of those things if i didn't have a relationship with my creator and focus on him first.
So that is how I do it. God first. When I made the decision to really focus on my business and be able to make my own schedule so I could choose what days or activities I do with my children I went to God first. Without him I could not do what I do. I actually would not have made the decision to stay home with them if it were not for his direction. I am so thankful to have listened to him when he pressed it on my heart to grow my business and reach for my dreams. Being able to see my kids throughout the day is amazing. I love having lunch with them in-between meetings and working.
Being a mom in this day and age is tough. Really being a mom in any time in history is tough. I think it's tougher now because the social norms are shifting. More and more women are going to work and boy are we feeling the pressure and pulls of being a good mom and a good business woman. So you ask how I do it? This is a few ways:
When I first started contemplating whether or not to pursue my passion for design and branding one night while reading the bible I opened to John 15:5 (NIV) and read this:
I truly believe that God has blessed me because of my desire to pursue him.
There is no I in TEAM.
I could not do what I do without my husband. He really is my rock. His support and encouragement are priceless. Those times he says, "Gosh babe you work so hard for our family, thank you for all you do." really make my day. Sometimes though I don't think he really understands the depth of work that I actually accomplish in one day. From working, client calls, working, marketing, more client calls, laundry, taking the kids to play dates, arranging sitters so I can work, vacuuming, picking up his socks and putting away laundry. There is no end to the list really. lol.. But without his help with the kids on weekends and help to get the kids off to bed so I can work until 2 (until Owen my 11 months old wakes up to nurse) I couldn't do it by myself.
I should also say thank you to my amazing friends and family. From my awesome church and MOPS group. Especially my mom. She takes the kids for me some days and helps as much as she can. She is so amazing and really has encouraged my passion for design from a young age. I owe a lot to her.
I work pretty much anytime I don't have the kids
On the days I am home with the kids I set a pretty tight schedule so I can be sure to get them down for a good nap. Nap time is my best friend and my time to get things done. Other than that my priority is tiring them out so they go down easily, without a fuss, and for good 2-3 hours. I turn off Facebook or other nonessential business software and really focus during this time.
Finding childcare is on of the hardest things I have to do. I am still working on this actually. I do pay a helper to help my mom while she watches the kids so be sure she can get time with them and not be overwhelmed. I will also be sending Emmalyn to a pre-school for a few days a week. My schedule fluctuates so much that it's hard to nail down a weekly schedule right now. I just take the help when I can get it and work when the kids are asleep or occupied.
Little things that help?
Don't walk out of a room without taking something that doesn't belong there. Put it away on your way to do something else.
Just keep your kitchen clean. I think this area is the most important to me...the rest of the house is ok if I let it go during a busy week. Sometimes the kitchen counter and my made bed are the only places in the house that are clean. And you know what? That is ok. My kids are happy.
Try and take care of laundry as it gets done but If you cant just ask your husband when he gets home from work.
Take time to really play with your kids. If you can dedicate a 20-minute time frame to really play they will usually entertain themselves for a good hour letting me check emails etc.
Find Good Help
Find someone you trust who can take them at the last minute or who doesn't mind watching them so you can get a few things done in the morning.
Be An Early Riser
On the nights I actually go to bed early (those nights my kids need me) I try and get up early to work and read The Word some before my kids get up. On other nights I work till 3 or 4 and wake up around 7 when my oldest wakes.
Old Fashioned Calendar
Get an old fashioned family calendar, like an actual old school calendar, you hang on your fridge. I find that this is the best way for me to keep client phone calls and deadlines along with my personal dates etc.
Date Your Husband
Date nights with your husband. You would be surprised at how much work you can get done if you have a nice date with your husband. It relieves me of a lot of stress and allows me to take a minute to relax with my best friend. I think that helps me work better.
Get a crockpot and use it
Have a stocked pantry. I usually just have a really stocked pantry so I can throw together a gourmet meal quickly if I forget to plan a meal in the morning. I hate weekly meal planning because it never works out. One of us either wants something else or the dinner I have planned just doesn't sound good. Having things on hand to craft an awesome meal is nice.
Make time for you.
Even if that just means taking a shower by yourself...seriously. Don't feel bad if you put the kids in their high chairs while you take a quick shower you will work better during the day. Spend time with God. Find time no matter what, even if that's while you are eating your lunch. Oh and make sure you eat something. I try and eat a little something when my kids do but that sometimes gets forgotten. I guess that can kind of be a good thing. I have lost 10 pounds in the last few months. Baby weight stinks but babies are so worth it. lol Another thing is try and take a walk in the morning. Take the dog and the kids if you have to. But it will reset you for the most tedious tasks of the day.
As a brand strategist, a mother, wife and I hate to say it housekeeper (ugh!) I strive to be the best at what God has given me. I am so incredibly blessed and without him, I couldn't do any of this. Owning a business is hard. Owning a business with kids is even harder. Praise God thought that I get to do what I love. Design, branding, talk with amazing artisans and raise a beautiful family all at once.