I remember a conversation I had with another mom that became a turning point in my life about three years ago. I had two toddlers and a newborn at the time and my brain was was about as sharp as the lukewarm oatmeal I had fed the kids that morning. She was telling me about a junky coffee table she found at a garage sale that she painted and sold for three times what she paid for it. When she saw my impressed reaction she shrugged it off and said, “Oh I do stuff like that all the time. I’m always finding things to sell.”
There was a pang in my heart. I remembered a time when I used to be creative and industrious, but now I couldn’t see beyond the next diaper.
Gradually the “new mommy fog” began to lift. That conversation inspired me to find little outlets of creativity between laundry and meal prep. Ironically I am more involved with the kids now than I’ve ever been, while also doing more “on the side” than I ever have before. It is exciting and satisfying, while also being a constant source of prayer as I work to find a balance that blesses my family the most.
If you are in the fog, don’t get discouraged. There are seasons when life is nothing more than meeting the immediate needs of your family. That’s okay. You are right where God wants you to be.
But if you are ready to wake up the creative parts of your brain that have been hibernating since pregnancy, let me introduce you to five inspiring ladies. Visit their shops for some of the most fun Christmas shopping you will do this year and support your fellow mamas!
“I got started making these customizable onesies with suspenders and snap-on ties because I needed an outfit for my 3 month old to wear to my brother-in-law’s wedding. It turned out so cute, everyone encouraged me to open an Etsy store. I keep my shipping times to several days, to keep some pressure off of myself to get things done super quickly. I do most of my sewing while my son plays or sometimes while he naps. I love having a creative outlet, but without tons of pressure. Custom requests are my favorite!” Shop now!
“My little store is just one of the ways God allows me to enjoy creativity. I love all things retro, unique, and earth-tone. I make jewelry I would want to wear, but also pieces that have value to the wearer–like a dictionary necklace with a person’s favorite word, or a bird’s nest necklace with three eggs to represent someone’s three grand-kids. Selling jewelry has allowed me to help support some of my friends’ ministries and adoptions in the past, and now I’m looking forward to using the funds to help pay for graduate school, which I start in January!” Shop now!
“I never considered myself a crafty person, but I started making soap and other skin care products out of necessity for my family’s yearly dry skin battle. Someone asked me to make a small batch for them and my business grew from there. I consider myself a nocturnal soap-maker as I make most of my batches after my children go to bed. I consider it a “mommy treat” after a long day. I make my local deliveries with my kids in the backseat between drop-offs for dance and bible lessons. I actually like showing my kids my business. I know they are learning from me. My daughter recently set up her toy kitchen and announced that she was going to make a batch of soap, too!” Shop now!
“I’m a SAHM blessed with four kids and a wonderfully supportive husband. I do most of my work when the children are at school or after they are in bed. Balance is always a tricky thing. I have to remember that my family comes before my small business. Since 2010 I’ve been filling my Etsy shop with handmade items and homemade books. My passion has become catechism books for all ages. I enjoy choosing the papers and fabrics for the covers for my books, as well as the colored threads for the binding. All of the items in my shop are made by me from start to finish.” Shop now!
“I wanted something for my daughter Piper to play with that could be passed from one generation to the next. The result is “The Dollhouse Collection,” dolls that are truly collectible and are a special representation of the sweet innocence and imagination of childhood. Working from home is fantastic. Sure, I’d love to have my own natural light-filled studio worthy of a magazine photo shoot perched right above a coffee shop in downtown Boise, but I have the pleasure of spreading out on my dining room table, between my daughter’s stickers and stuffed animals, with the coffee pot a few feet away in the kitchen. Most days, my sweet Piper sits at the table with me and “paints” her own dolls and we work away together. Can’t beat that!” Shop now!
“I’ve been developing products for kids since 2012, after the birth of our first daughter. My original ideas have always come from a need experienced within my own family. I created “Sudsy Dough” to help my daughter enjoy taking baths. I made a moldable, eco-friendly soap dough that she could play with in the tub while also learning how to wash herself. I know she is having fun and also benefiting from the moisturizing, natural ingredients.” Shop now!
Amy Wohlgemuth: “Buttons Diapers”
“My husband and I started our business with the goal of being self-employed so we could spend more time with our family. We are very grateful that God answered that prayer. Since starting our business three years ago, I have learned that it is best for me to be either 100% focused on my job as mom/wife/home-maker or 100% focused on business. I have decided to only work on the business during the kids’ nap times or during designated times in our weekly schedule that my husband takes them to the park or library. I want to give my kids my full attention because raising them is an immensely more important job!” Shop now!