Working Mama at Home in the Summer : An Update

We are almost halfway through the summer…can you believe it? Me either. In Kansas, we go back to school in mid-August, so July sort of feels like the beginning of the end. As a work-at-home mom for the first time, I was pretty terrified of summer. I’ve been super-lucky to have a packed work schedule, which I know is a huge blessing for a first time business owner, but to be honest, it’s been overwhelming. As I’m just starting out, I tend to say yes to every opportunity, because I’m not sure when another one will be coming my way. So far, my professional life feels very much like feast or famine. I am either so busy I don’t have time to sleep or eat or breathe….or I have absolutely nothing to do.

Tate on a Carnival Swing | Kansas Photographer

I’m so, so grateful we were able to find good childcare for the summer. I wouldn’t have survived this otherwise. In June alone I’ve had multiple photo sessions, my first art show opening, a trip to NYC for a photo shoot, I’ve assisted for other photographers on shoots and taught my first blogging workshop. We’ve also tried to make family time a priority, with a week long trip to western Kansas and a weekend at the lake. While all of these opportunities are AMAZING, I would have simply drowned without the help of our babysitter. She is flexible with my nutty schedule and the kids love her.

Grand Central at Night | NYC Photographer

Before I started this journey, I used to think work-at-home moms were the luckiest of all. They got to work AND be home with their kids. It was the best of both worlds! Right?! And while I am the happiest I’ve ever been, and I’m sure this schedule is the best for our family, there are still challenges. When Tate knocks at my office door, begging for me to come play with him. When Lucy says she’d rather I took them to the pool instead of the sitter so I could watch her do her new trick off the diving board. When the sitter leaves and I still find myself with a pile of work left uncompleted. When all I want to do is go to sleep, but there is a deadline looming and the house is finally quiet for the night. When I feel like instead of getting the “best of both worlds,” I’m getting the worst.

Kids at the Lake | Kansas Photographer

But if there is one thing I’ve learned during this journey, it’s don’t concentrate too much on the negatives, because the situation could be completely different tomorrow! Working for myself has given me the opportunity to try so many new things, I never know what is coming next. And that’s true with mothering as a work-at-home mom too. Some days feel perfect, and some days feel awful…but mostly what I feel is that blissful in between. Not quite perfection, but not the absolute worst either. Just purely okay. And for now, that’s enough.

Blogging for Creatives Recap : Kansas City Blogger Workshop

Last week I was thrilled (terrified, elated, etc.) to teach a workshop on blogging for creatives and small business owners for Hive Workshops. Hive Workshops, based in the West Bottoms area of Kansas City, hosts small business workshops to help creative entrepreneurs thrive. My class was all about how to use blogging as a medium to help connect with clients, enhance your messaging and grow your business.

Hive Workshops KC Blogger 008

Hive Workshops KC Blogger 003

It felt pretty incredible to share all of the knowledge and tips I’ve gathered over the last 11 years of blogging, and the creatives who attended the workshop were eager and open to learn. I am not much of a public speaker (and we all know I’m an introvert), but I actually, really, truly enjoyed this experience. I kept the class fairly interactive and covered topics that the creatives could then go and immediately use in their own businesses. We talked about storytelling, creating connection with clients, promotion, and social media. I also shared some of my favorite tricks and tips for making your business blog into a fun, simple tool for growth. One of the most important tips I shared was to be as authentic as possible. People know when they are being marketed to, so instead, actually try to cultivate a real connection. Be upfront about who you are, especially your mistakes and flaws. In my experience, when we share our weaknesses, it makes others feel more comfortable sharing their own stories. When the sharing becomes a conversation, that’s when the fun begins!

Hive Workshops KC Blogger

Hive Workshops KC Blogger

I felt the class went really well, and I’ve been thrilled with the response from the creatives who attended. One creative even gave me a sketch she made featuring one of my lessons. The reaction as a whole was so positive, I’m hoping to lead another workshop soon! When I decided to strike out on my own as a writer and photographer earlier this year, one of my goals was to add teaching to my resume. I love sharing my passion and knowledge with others, and I’m super grateful the team at Hive Workshops gave me the opportunity to do just that. After the workshop, I went out with a few friends to The Ship, a local dive where I learned the greatest benefit of working with photographers for a living…when you have a fantastic night and want to document it, they will professionally light and pose you in front of rad neon signs and make sure the moment is captured perfectly, using only their cell phones!

Hive Workshops KC Blogger

Hive Workshops KC Blogger

If you’re interested in having me teach a workshop for your group or organization, please contact me at for more information!

Hive Workshops Kansas City Blogging Workshop

Blogging Workshop : Hive Workshops Blogging for Creatives

I’m so excited to be teaching a class for {hive-workshops} this week all about blogging! This is a workshop for all creatives, not just photographers and will take the creatives through the benefits and how-to’s of blogging for creative businesses. The end goal is for the creatives to leave the workshop with the tools to either create their own business blog or to enhance their current blog and social media content. I will show real-time demonstrations and techniques for making your blog amazing! Worksheets will be provided for the creatives to keep for their own use. As with all {hive-workshops} open discussion is strongly encouraged!

Hive Workshops Blogging for Creatives


At the end of this workshop, attendees should be able to:

– Understand how blogging helps build their business

– Identify the top blogging platforms for creatives

– Understand simple HTML and CSS tricks and tips to help them create and design their blog

– Know easy methods for building story and interest through blogging

– Describe how to make content shareable on social media

– Identify the best social media platforms to focus on in order to build their brand

– Understand how to promote their blog, including SEO and hashtags

– Describe and explain the “3-and-3 Blogging Rule”

– Be familiar with programs/plugins specific to creatives that make blogging workflow fast and efficient

The Blog Salon is gifting one lucky Creative a free consultation and all the Creatives $50 off any design package. BlogStomp is also giving every attendee 20% off Coupon code!

I would LOVE to see you at this workshop on Wednesday, July 17th from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at {hive-workshops} fantastic new space in the West Bottoms in Kansas City! To sign up, click here!

Kansas City Rainbow Skyline

In Anticipation of Summer : A Work at Home Mom Dilemma

Can you guys believe it’s almost summer?! Me either. My preschooler has already ended his school year, and my third grader is done in two days! Ack. The summer months have become a little more challenging now that I’m a work-at-home mom. When I was in an office full-time, I used to lament the fact that my kids never really got a “summer.” I mean, sure, it was hot outside, but they still had to get up early and head off to daycare or camp in the morning. Actually, most of the time, summer felt just like the rest of the year. One of the things I looked forward to the most when I started my freelance life was getting to spend the summers with my kids. It’s so nice being able to let them sleep in a bit and not be so rush-rush.

KC Rainbow Skyline

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges. I still have to work, but in the summer my childcare is seriously limited. I don’t exactly need full-time childcare, but part-time care is expensive and difficult to schedule. I have spent the last three months trying to find a summer babysitter that would be able to work part-time, but had several girls back out because they wanted or needed more hours. Which I totally understand, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating! Luckily, we have found someone awesome who will be helping us out this summer with the kids, but since she doesn’t start until June, I’m basically working around my kids for the next few weeks.

I think this is a challenge we all face, whether we are work-at-home moms, stay-at-home moms, or moms who work outside of the home. It’s easy to assume the other side has it easier, but in reality, we are all dealing with frustration, messy schedules and missed opportunities. When I worked in a corporate setting (which I did for most of my career as a parent), I would be so jealous of the moms that worked from home and got to spend more time with their kids. Now that I’m working from home with a flexible schedule, I miss the continuity and availability of full-time daycare. I hate putting the kids in front of the TV so I can take a conference call or having to turn down work opportunities because I can’t find child care. In fact, I’m writing this post from inside a local play place where I’m sitting on the floor in the corner while my son runs around to burn off some energy. It’s not exactly the most inspiring place to create!

But the trade offs will always exist, no matter what parenting path you choose. There aren’t any easy answers, and there are sacrifices regardless, so I try to focus on gratitude and the positives. I get to spend the summer with my kids. I get to work and create art. I get to be there on all fronts. I get to continue to grow, through different challenges and obstacles. And most of all, I get to choose. That is a complete luxery. When I worked in my corporate job, I didn’t love what I did for a living. I was unfulfilled and uninspired. The work was good, the people were great, but I wasn’t doing what I was born to do.

These days, I love what I’m doing. Is it perfect? No. Not at all. It can be frustrating, scary and stressful at times. There are days when I want to give up and just be at home with my kids, with no client obligations. There are days when I want to go back to an office full-time. But most days, even when it’s hard, I know I’m in the best possible situation for myself and my family’s unique chemistry. And now, with long summer days looming ahead, I know I am making the right choice for me. Am I doing it all? Hardly. But I’m doing my best, and that’s got to count for something.



Last week I was fortunate to travel to New York City for a work trip with a little fun added in! I had originally planned to try and visit my best friend (and the other half of the NYC + KC project) this spring, and when I mentioned it to one of my freelance clients, they asked if I could add a couple of days to my visit and spend some time in of their NYC offices. It all worked out perfectly, and thanks to my husband who took over the homestead while I was away, I was able to head off to the big city for five days.


This trip was so needed, and I feel so lucky to have been able to go. I have been a working mama for most of my motherhood career, and it isn’t always easy. So it was actually pretty nice to take a little break from serving as a human Kleenex and just focus on my work for a few days. I rode the subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan each morning, and after a long work day, I headed back out to my friend’s house with no worries about what I was making for dinner or if we were late for soccer practice or if everyone had done their homework. The day before I left for New York, I completely lost my cool with the kids, and I knew we all needed a little break from each other. Sometimes the pressure of parenthood can be much for even the best of us, and some distance and space only makes the heart grow fonder. A few days in New York City helped me remember who I was before I was “mama” and also allowed me to actually MISS my own life. I believe every mom or dad needs a little break now and then to recharge and regroup, and for me, NYC was the perfect place to do it.


It didn’t hurt that I got to spend some good, quality time with my best friend and her family. I hadn’t seen Theresa in person in almost three years (!!!) so it was just lovely to be close to her for a few days. We rode the subway together to work and talked late into the night. On Saturday we wandered the city for 12 hours, walking 11 miles as we talked and laughed. It was a perfect New York day. I love seeing New York with actual New Yorkers, because they introduce me to things I wouldn’t have tried without them. We ate pizza by the water in DUMBO and drove out to Coney Island to look at the roller coasters. We walked the Highline and visited the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. But mostly we just walked and talked and experienced the day together.



I am so grateful for this time and for this trip. I came back to Kansas City tired, but recharged creatively and mentally. I am ready to get back to my real life and live it to the fullest. And when I saw my smiling family at the airport, I realized how much I really did miss them while I was away. New York was fun, but my heart is wherever my family is. And since my family is in Kansas City, that’s where my heart belongs.

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