Birthdays, birthday cakes and careers.

10/17/2013 § 1 Comment

Yesterday was my youngest’s 10th birthday.  And I love him so much my heart aches.  Looking at him now, all big and big and bigger, I see how quickly time passes.

Before I had my daughter, I had a career.  One I loved.  One I was so good at, it was like I was born to do it.  But once she was born, I wanted to stay home more.  I wanted to work part-time.  But my career was not set up like that, so I hired an amazing nanny and all in all, I was MOSTLY happy with the set up.  Then came Rowan.  And I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t miss out anymore.  So I quit.  I quit my job, left my career.  Let it all go to embark on the wild adventures of stay at home motherhood.  Which for years was fantastic.  Those first years were the cake years.

I used to make cakes.  Birthday cakes.  Big ones.  There was a castle sitting on a hill, both carved entirely out of cake, a beautiful heart shaped cake covered with roses from the garden, a fireman cake decorated with bright orange and red flames, a construction site cake complete with a little wooded bulldozer and a steam shovel moving around a mound of “dirt” made from icing and coco powder.  None of them tasted very good because really, I am not a baker.  But they were fantastic.  And then, things changed.

At some point, all those wonderful things I used to do for and with my children began to feel like chores.   Giving all my time and energy to two little people began to take its toll.  I was drained.  I was cranky more often than not.  And I began to hate baking cakes.  I continued to do it because I felt like I had to, but I just pushed though the process putting more resentment and irritation into those cakes than love.  And what I realize now, looking back, is that I needed a career again.

Which leads to my business now.  Again, I have a job I love.  At the end of the day when I think about it, I am satisfied and I can curl up and fall asleep happy and content.  However, it also takes so much time and so much energy.  And in the background my children are growing up and turning 10.  And I am missing it.  Again.  And again, there is a part of me that wants to stay home and watch my children grow.

Yesterday I took the day off and baked a birthday cake.  I made it with love.  And it was amazing.  I was one hundred percent content.  I didn’t feel like I was sacrificing my time.  I felt like I used to in the beginning when the kids were little.  I felt like baking that cake was a privilege.

So the million dollar question is, what happens now?  I am not giving up on my career again.  I don’t need to.  My children are older.  More self-sufficient.  However, perhaps I will step back more often and watch my kids.  Be with them without thinking about the orders that need to be in the mail.  Take afternoons off to go to the park again like we did when they were little.  Eat ice cream together.   Just be with them and witness their lives.  And the job, perhaps I will learn to be satisfied with the small amounts I can do in between being a mum.  Perhaps I will learn to be happy with my little company and not feel resentment that I don’t have to time to grow it bigger.  And the birthday cakes, well, those are definitely back on the schedule!

 

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not facebook ready.

10/04/2013 § Leave a comment

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My “picture perfect” shell and bead necklace made for me by my son for our overnight trip to Fort Ross.

I have begun the next big step in my business – a business blueprint.  The questionnaire I have been given asks a lot of questions about social media.  One of them being, do I have a weekly social media calendar, and if not, why?

Why?  I’ll tell you why.  Because my life is not set up for social media.  I do not spend my days walking through forests collecting wild mushrooms for a picture perfect mushroom pie that I will later share with 6 of the most gorgeous people I know seated around a rustic yet sophisticated table that is set out on a porch decorated with twinkle lights and candles.  No.  That is not my life.  I do not have a well maintained studio with lots of natural light to show off my collection of antique tools-of-my-trade.  I just don’t have the life that lends itself well to social media.  My life is messy.

I live in a ranch house that was built in the 70s.  And believe me, I would love it if it were the type of ranch house you are thinking about right now.  It will be…one day.  But as of yet, we don’t have base boards.  Our kitchen was remodeled by the previous owner – badly.  Very, very badly.  Our vegetable garden is a mess and probably won’t get planted this season.  We live with a gigantic pile of laundry that holds its position on an otherwise beautiful chair in our living room.  Our couch has little tiny greasy finger marks all over it.  That is the truth of my life.   I spend my days driving, and cleaning, and cooking.  And somewhere in the middle of all of that, I work at the job I have waited my entire life to do.  I design.  Beautiful things.  And I make.  Beautiful things.  Those things I photograph and post.  But those moments are just punctuation marks in an otherwise very unkempt existence.

My perfect moments are probably more normal and more tangible to you all than those in Kinfolk – but believe me, I would love to have a life that pretty.  My picture perfect moments are personal.  Listening to my older daughter teaching her brother to cook in the kitchen.  My youngest boy crawling into bed with me in the morning to cuddle – at the age of 9.  Watching my daughter learn to walk through life with confidence and grace.  Laughing at my husband’s dry and sometimes inappropriate humor.  These moments can not be photographed.  And if they were, no one would understand the meaning behind them.  They would just be snap shots of my family.  My wonderful, messy family.

So when the question arises, why do I not have an active social media life, I think “why the hell would I?  Who wants to see this mess?”  But perhaps I should be honest.  Post what is real in my life.  After all, I design everything to be used by someone like me.  Someone whose life is far from perfect.  Because in the midst of all the chaos and mess that is life, it is essential that we have at least one beautiful item.  Just for ourselves.  Something that elevates us when we use it.  At least one item that, even when we are far from well-groomed and very far from picture perfect, we can pick up and see that all is not lost.

Where Am I?

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