…building a creative business: motherhood.

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If you are a mother and you are running your own creative business then God bless you. Let me tell you that you are amazing and I’m so proud of you for carving out your own space & time during you day to get recharged doing something creative and inspiring. Sometimes we busy ourselves with our businesses to just stay sane. I love my kids to the moon and back, but I cannot sit for hours watching them ride scooters up and down the driveway. I. Will. Go. Insane. I need to be doing something simulaneously that is a project. It sounds like more work, but it is actually a way to keep my brain active and inspired and I do feel joy from the process and the result.

Like the moon, I am learning that there are many phases to motherhood. I had the years of infertility trying to become a mother, the steep learning curve of mothering my first born, the growing chaos of adding a second and then the complete insanity that resulted in a third baby 15 months later. You run around trying to just keep all the balls in the air until one day you realize that all the kids are in school and you have multiple hours to yourself and you think, “Oh. Wait a minute. Am I all alone?” It sounded like a dream come true when you were getting up in the middle of the night nursing a baby to sleep, but a little scary now that they are occupied and you are facing a brave new world older and more weathered to say the least.

This is where I am right now. A few years ago I would have written about the chaos and today I write about the empty space before 4:00 when the house fills up again. I can’t be the only one that finds this intimidating. (Yes, Reid still keeps me company after pre-school, but it is a known and proven fact that boys are easier. Wink.)

So, here I am in another phase of thinking about what I want to do when I grow up. I hear from many of you retired creatives that want to open your own shop so I am assuming this self-reflection never really goes away. I think in Heaven I will lie on a beach for eternity. Not here though. I think as mothers we have to drive ourselves forward at all times because when those kids rush in the house with their emotions almost palpable, homework, ballet, soccer, piano, swim (as in my house) we are in acceleration mode. Zero to 90MPH. Can I get an amen?

Funny how working at something creative can help keep me balanced. Kinda in the 30-40 MPH range. Just enough to stay energetic without getting burned out.

There is another phase coming up and I’m sure I will once again have to readjust and find a more expensive eye cream. Hoping for level ground at the moment and for you as well, Mama.

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PS – So The Safe Nest was scheduled to launch on my bday yesterday, but I need to admit to you that I am, well, scared. It is the most open & honest writing that I’ve done and it’s frightening to put out there. But, I want to live a life without any more shame and for me the first step is unburdening myself from pain. The main goal of the site is to allow YOU to also unburden yourself by writing to me, “Dear Christen” and sharing your issue or problem in an anonymous way. A like-minded community will reply with love & support. Life is not easy and I do believe we can find healing in a safe community; a safe nest. With that I bravely & timidly leave the link…the safe nest.

…secret side table

I love when people email me with furniture donations. I love when they think about me and what I can do to a piece when they are moving or moving out family members. It means alot to me that you all think of me, so thank you. A girl from my town sold me this little side table many months ago. For about a year the pieces I refinish to sell have been on hold. I have been very busy spending my time refinishing for clients. When there is a lull, like in late summer, I finally have a chance to check out the items that I have to work on and sell. Here is the little side table when I started painting it.

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Cute legs, cute shape, but….it seemed off  balance when I opened it up.

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I showed DH the piece and we even talked about attaching a little bar to make the piece level when opened. Until, my genius DH realized that is was not broken or off balance at all, but instead held a secret!

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Flip it open, turn it, fold it….

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and ta-da!

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Amazing! You all probably knew it did that, didn’t you?! I guess it was to play cards or chess or something. I was very impressed. So was the client that snatched it up right away.

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I refinished with Country Grey and left the secret door in the natural, stained wood. I love the claw legs and detail on the sides.

PS – Thank you for all your wonderful travel-to-the-English-Countryside tips! I am going to pour over them and email you individually as I plan my trip. I have some time before reaching 40 to get it right. You listening, DH?! xoxo

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