my work life balance


kids.noguchi For my birthday last year, I spent a weekend away from the kids in Tokyo to attend a friend’s wedding. On the flight, I read Mom, Inc. from cover to cover.  It is written by the two very talented ladies  Meg Mateo Ilasco and Cat Seto. I have a copy of Craft, Inc., which is also written by Meg and wonderful, but  I am so glad that I picked this book up as it has been so helpful and I recommend it for any mom or mother to be who is out there trying to make their talent their livelihood.

So what’s it really like to be a calligrapher and work at home mother of twins? I was so sleep deprived, that I  couldn’t take on much work in the beginning. When I did have work, and since we don’t have any family in the area, I had to hire a nanny and at the time, I could only afford to have her come for  three hours a day. If I had a singleton, that would have meant six hours a day-imagine that! Sometimes, I used those three hours to take a nap, because I was up all night with the babies. My husband works with woodworking machinery and has to be alert so I would let him sleep as much as possible during the night. What about hiring a night nurse? – Pshaw!

At that time, I was fortunate enough to partner with a lovely letterpress company,  Bella Figura and offered a few designs of my  on their site. It was really all that I could handle at the time, a win-win situation especially since I didn’t want to completely disappear from the world of Calligraphy. Whenever Bella Figura would process an order using my designs, they would email me with the details, and I would write, scan and send the artwork so it really was an ideal situation. I was able to concentrate on my calligraphy work. Besides, who wants to talk to someone on the phone with two screaming babies in the background?

These days, the twins are in preschool three full days a week, so I try to manage my time as best as possible. That means, no laundry or household chores on the three days that I am supposed to be working. I try to answer emails as quickly as possible, and on the days that I am with the kids all day long, we do business related errands like go to the bank, or post office  in addition to our play dates, soccer and ballet. If I do have to make a phone call on the days that I that I am with the kids all day, Richard Scarry’s Busytown Mysteries on Netflix has been my savior.

Its wonderful to get back out there work wise, I am teaching a few workshops this year, wedding season is in full swing so I am keeping busy and I feel very grateful.  Also, in case you missed this last week, there were a few Maybelle mentions on Oh Happy Day, Snippet & Ink and The Bride’s Guide by Martha Stewart Weddings. Please stay tuned in the coming weeks for some BIG announcements later this year.  xoxo M