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Industry - Art & Design
A Little Bit About Our Family
My family is small, sweet, and simple, while simultaneously complex. I am a single mom of my 2-year-old son and share parenting time with my ex-partner. I am a self-employed muralist who helps home and business owners live and work in a joyfully authentic space that is unique to them. I solely manage my business operations, the design and execution of custom murals for clients, and parent on my own without a partner or family nearby. Because of the nature of my career and single parenting, not a single day looks the same for me. Generally speaking, my work and personal life are intermingled within each other daily, 7 days a week, between shortened daycare hours and coparenting schedules. By choice, I do not work standard workdays or hours and each week looks differently for me; sometimes meaning I work weekends and long days when I do not have my son so I can fully embrace my time with him when we are together. This ever-flowing schedule is dependent on a smooth coparenting schedule and communication mapped out far in advance.
Knowing this career change would be no small feat, I reprioritized every aspect of my life to focus on my mental, emotional and financial well-being to move through this career change and massive shift to single parenthood on top of being a new mom.
A Lot Can Change Over Time
It’s an understatement to say a lot can change in a short amount of time. When the pandemic first hit, I was engaged to be married to my partner of 12 years, living together as a family with our 7-month-old baby, working as a graphic designer in the corporate world at a company I was deeply unhappy working for, doing work that felt meaningless. My partner and I were both working from home at our dining room table with our baby, our nanny (Grandma), and our 2 large dogs in a 1,200 square foot home. Surprisingly, there was a lot of laughter to be had at the time because it felt like there was nothing else we could do (the Tiger King days I like to call it). Work was getting completed, but the majority of it was being done after my son’s bedtime, making each day long, exhausting, stressful and unsustainable. As a nursing mom during this time, my largest Covid blessing was that I was able to go back to nursing my son as needed throughout the day instead of stressing about pumping in a closet, not producing enough milk for my son, while worrying about productivity and judgment from leadership.
A few months into the pandemic, I chose to leave my job, take the summer off to parent my son out of daycare, with the goal of starting my own business with the financial support of my partner to kick it off. Unbeknownst to me, my relationship abruptly ended shortly thereafter, sending all aspects of my life as I knew it into a tailspin in the middle of a pandemic. I spent the first several months post-split grieving, mostly isolated, contemplating what my options were for financially supporting myself under these new circumstances. I have talents to share with the world and I wasn’t willing to give up my joy, career and life goal of becoming my own boss. Knowing this career change would be no small feat, I reprioritized every aspect of my life to focus on my mental, emotional and financial well-being to move through this career change and massive shift to single parenthood on top of being a new mom.
My shared responsibilities in both personal and professional life turned into being the sole caregiver, backup daycare provider with daycare closing regularly due to Covid, sole dog walker, housekeeper, chef, playmate, chief operations manager, designer, creative director, painter, supply manager, marketer, accountant, saleswoman, and social media manager; all while navigating immense grief.
To say the least, it was and has been overwhelming but the best decision I have ever made. I took accountability for the life I was given and am building a life I truly enjoy living.
For the first several months of changes in my life, I was very isolated. I didn’t know who to talk to about anything. I felt embarrassed and like a failure both personally and professionally and was desperately looking for a community of women who could relate, especially locally. The tools and community Mom Mastermind is creating is valuable and essential for moms in the workforce.
Balancing Career and Motherhood
Through the natural ebbs and flows of life, I have never been a believer in true balance. I’ve discovered that the key for me is to have the right support systems in place for when one area takes a greater focus. Life cannot be done alone. I was lucky enough to have no other choice but to ask for outside help in the form of therapy, friends, family, childcare, business experts, government financial support, and an online community of women that I discovered and connected with. With the heavy support of others, I have worked hard to regain control of my life and build the career I have always wanted, while being the kind of Mom I have always wanted to be. There is something beautiful about being able to craft the life you truly desire when there is nothing left that serves you. I wake up every single day excited about the work I do and the people I get to help bring their own true selves to life in their environment through my artwork.
Though not always blissful, everything in my life has changed for the better. My view on life is entirely different than I have ever experienced before, and I have had an immense amount of growth and inner peace than I have never experienced before. The responsibilities between my career and single parenthood are immense, but I also get to make my own choices for how all of them are mapped out and intertwined. This allows me to be fully present in both aspects as they come, something that hasn’t always been true for me.
It took A LOT of intentional work and choices to get to where I am, and I still have a lot of learning, growing, and expanding to do. Feeling seen, having the right support systems and judgement-free community is vital for working moms to truly succeed, which is why I am so excited about the mission behind Mom Mastermind. For the first several months of changes in my life, I was very isolated. I didn’t know who to talk to about anything. I felt embarrassed and like a failure both personally and professionally and was desperately looking for a community of women who could relate, especially locally. The tools and community Mom Mastermind is creating is valuable and essential for moms in the workforce.
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