Work-Life Balance Tips from HOW Design Live Moms in Business

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By Lidia Varesco Racoma of Lidia Varesco Design

Being a mom in business (and author of a blog called Biz Mama), I was thrilled to meet so many fellow moms in business (and mamas-to-be) at the recent HOW Design Live conference in Chicago. I met these moms—and some dads— through casual conversation, at parent-themed speaker sessions (such as those by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Janine Vangool), and at the Moms in Business Breakfast Table Topic that I hosted. I felt an instant connection upon finding out someone I was talking to was also a mom in business and it helped create lively conversations.

I’m always inspired and encouraged when I talk to or interview fellow working moms—especially those in creative business. I wanted to share tips from the mamas I met, as well as friends from past HOW Design Live conferences.

What is one way motherhood has changed your business and work-life balance?

I don’t waste time anymore. I have a new perspective on what really matters and how to best utilize my time and energy.

– Crystal Reynolds, Creative Dreamer at Crystal Ink
Calgary, AB CANADA


Read about Reynolds’ exceptional work designing the 2015 HOW Design Live program.

Motherhood has led me to bring more focus and efficiency to my work day. The time between 8:30 and 4 slips by too fast so I try to make every minute count. I do my best to minimize (or eliminate) distractions that pull me off course; texting, Facebook and other fun but time robbing activities. I want to be truly present when my family is home and not worried about checking emails.

– Nadine Noble, Idea Nest
Walkerton, Ontario, Canada

I launched UPPERCASE magazine the year before I had a child. It was an experiment and a financial risk, but I knew that was the only time I’d have that freedom and unlimited bucket of time required to get it started. In the years since my son was born, I’ve been the sole earner in the family so that my husband can take care of our son while I’m working. This responsibility drives me to ensure that the business has a solid future to support not only our living, but that it keeps me inspired creatively. UPPERCASE is a huge part of our lives, so I strive to make sure that we’re all enthusiastic about it. Happiness in work and at home are all wrapped together.

– Janine Vangool, publisher/editor/designer of UPPERCASE magazine
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


In this interview with Ilise Benun, Vangool shares the secret to her success at UPPERCASE.

Being my own boss, diva picking my clients, allows me to have a flexible schedule to be a great mom and a great business person to my clients because I love what I do!

– Jenny Poff, President/Creative Director of Presque Isle Designs
Erie, PA USA

If you’re like most creative professionals who work independently, your mind is always whirling with new ideas, new projects, new goals. Read Jenny Poff’s 6 Steps to Stay Accountable.

I’m a type-A workaholic sort, and before the kiddo came along I would work all the time: early mornings, late nights, straight through meals, on vacation. Now there are hard stops in my day. He gets uninterrupted time each morning for breakfast and the walk to school. I rearrange my schedule to coach his little league team and be there for him in the evenings, with no work distractions. And while that sometimes means that I have to work the early mornings or late nights, he doesn’t see it. He gets my undivided attention when it’s his time.

– Alisa Bonsignore, Writer & Strategist at Clarifying Complex Ideas
Pleasanton, California USA

My time has become more valuable, so it’s easier to turn down projects I’m not interested in.

– Megan Coleman, Megan Coleman Design
Chicago, IL USA

I find my creativity was boosted after having a child. Since I now have to find creative solutions for typical toddler problems (sleeping, eating, tantrums), it also encourages me to be more creative in my work life.

– Lidia Varesco, Art Director & Designer at Lidia Varesco Design
Chicago, IL USA

So, in the end it’s a juggle…

I think we all can agree that it’s not easy to juggle work and family. But our passion for creativity, newfound resourcefulness, and support from friends and family gets us through.

I hope these comments inspire and encourage moms who are juggling family and creative business—as well as those just entering the wild and wonderful world of working motherhood.

Are you a HOW Live mom in business or working mom? Would you like to participate in a community for creative working moms? Connect with Lidia on Facebook or twitter @lsvdesign to learn more about her new Creative Biz Mamas Facebook group.

About Lidia Varesco Racoma

With over a decade of branding and marketing design experience, Lidia Varesco Racoma of Lidia Varesco Design helps education-focused organizations share their message. She also outfits kids in good design with her children’s apparel line, typebaby and blogs about juggling motherhood and small business at Biz Mama. Find her on twitter at @lsvdesign.

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