Tell us a little about your family & why it is special?
My family is special to me because I have only boys; 4 to be exact, ranging in age from 7-13. We are a very busy and wild bunch.
What do you do for work/volunteer outside of being a wife and mom?
As an extra income for our family I own a Daycare. After I send my boys to school I have about 9 to 10 children come into my home. After school I have about 14 kids each day. My is always filled with laughter, crying, arguing and playing.
Is there something your family does on a regular basis for quality time?
Quality time is spent at many sports games but our favorite thing to do is movie night.
How do you take time for yourself to recharge?
To recharge myself I run. It is a great stress relief.
What is your go to, never fail, and in a pinch recipe?
When things have been crazy and I don’t have dinner ready the best and fastest thing I do is eggs, french toast and orange juice.
What is the one product you cannot live without?
Microwave! With all the work I do and food I prepare it would be a big pain if I didn’t have one.
If you’re interested in being featured on Mom Talk, email us at [email protected] Subject line “MOM TALK”.
As we end the month long celebration for our 30th year in business, we thought it only fitting that Ramona, Creator of One Small Child, take over for Mom Talk Monday. Her experience and knowledge far outweigh anything you could learn anywhere else. Ramona started this sweet company herself and helped it blossom. We are so thankful to have her here to give up a look into what the last 30 years has been like.
-Starting a business, any business, is a tremendous undertaking. What inspired you to create one that is so hands on and detailed?
I didn’t know it would be so hands on and detailed. Who ever thinks of things like that when they are filled with a passion to create something? I have always loved to create beautiful clothing. I started sewing my own clothes when I was 13 years old. I love the process of visualizing and creating the end result. I love the feel of fabrics and the potential they present to create a beautiful human being.
I love the feeling people get when they look at someone who is beautifully dressed, especially children. I believe it builds a child’s self esteem when they are admired by other people and I create beautiful clothing to enhance how adorable they are. I recently realized that I have always loved art and the idea that I could be somewhat of an artist. I have spent my life’s work, not painting on a canvas with paint, but using children as my canvas for extraordinary clothing. I create beautiful works of art by enhancing their beautiful spirits with lovely clothes.
-How did you juggle your role as a wife and mother while growing One Small Child?
Sometimes not very well. It took a tremendous effort to keep up with the growing day to day demands. My family has always been my top priority, but sometimes I had to make a decision between them and putting out fires at work. I look back with regret on many of the things I missed with my children. I spent a lot of years getting up very early in the morning, working until it was time for the kids to get up for school, then working all day and spending time with them after school. Then, after they were in bed, I would work well into the evening. It was a difficult time and I often felt like I was on autopilot.
My younger children grew up in the shop, having their own room and toys to play with during the day. I interacted with them in between the demands of the business.
-Tell us a little about your family and why it is special.
I was very excited to have children and be a mother soon after my marriage. However, I experienced some difficulty at first. I had a miscarriage about a year after we were married. I felt very sad at the loss. A few months later, I had a tubal pregnancy that required emergency surgery and I felt that I would never be able to have children. To my delight, I was able to have a normal pregnancy and a beautiful baby girl a year later. 4 more children joined our family and I was happy thinking we were complete. Our oldest daughter was about 9 years old when I started designing and sewing a line of tricot slips and dresses call Fluff ‘N Twirl. We started selling them to retail stores around the USA, employing the services of independent Sales Reps. They were well accepted and we began to grow. At times, we operated a retail outlet locally and I’m often told by young mothers today that they loved their Fluff ‘N Twirl dresses when they were little girls. I love that I was able to bring joy to many people and they can tell me about it.
When my youngest daughter was 10 years old, I strangely started feeling sick for a week or two. I very seldom got sick and I thought it must be the flu or something. For some reason, I felt that I should purchase a pregnancy kit and Voila!!, another baby was on the way. I loved the idea of having another baby to love, but I was 42 years old, extremely busy with our business and totally unprepared for this wonderful event. But, what can a mother do? We all just moved over and made space for this darling little boy. The other kids adored him and it was so much easier with a new baby, myself being older, more patient and having built in babysitters. I just picked him up from his bed early in the morning and took him to work with me. I fed him at work, had a room for him to take naps, a rocking chair to read stories in, toys of many kinds. He grew up amongst the sewing machines and the nuts & bolts of a business. I never regretted for a minute the wonderful miracle of him.
-What is your most humorous story you can think of that happened in growing your business?
Late one Friday afternoon, we got a panic call from one of our customers that she hadn’t received her order and the Christening was the next day. We quickly put together another order for her to be delivered the next morning. The UPS driver had already left with the days orders, so my son, Kendall, drove to the Idaho Falls, ID terminal to get the package on the truck. When he got there, he found that the Next Day deliveries had already left for the airport. He rushed over to the airport and saw that the delivery truck was on the tarmac, parked next to the airplane where the day’s shipment was being loaded up. In a heroic effort, he ran over to the fence and hollered at the driver to come over. Kendall tossed the package over the fence to him and it was safely loaded, on it’s way. It was such a good feeling that we were able to go above and beyond the expected customer service.
-Where have you drawn your inspiration?
Angels often give me ideas and inspiration. It’s like someone else takes over my body and creates something incredibly lovely. Vogue Bambini magazine. Brides magazines, Antique magazines and catalogs, old pattern books. I look at attractive things other people are wearing and think about how I can enhance it and make something similarly beautiful, but not a direct copy.
-Do you have a favorite product that stands out?
The Preslee Christening Gown. The first gown I designed that I was able to make with the very best fabrics and trims rather than have to cut back and think of ways to make it less expensive.
-What suggestions do you have for those wanting to start their own business?
Don’t go into debt right away. If your idea isn’t profitable, find something else to do that will satisfy your need to create.
Don’t grow too fast.
Don’t think that more volume is a solution. More volume = more expenses.
If it’s not good for your family, don’t do it.
Learn enough about business so you know if you’re making a profit.
Learn how to do cost analysis.
Don’t forget to add overhead expenses to your Cost of Goods.
Listen to your spirit. If you know it’s right for you, never give up.
If it isn’t right for you after awhile, don’t do it anymore.
Try to sell direct to the public. Selling wholesale is harder and more cost intensive.
-How do you take time for yourself to recharge?
Power nap. When I start feeling bone tired weary, I lay down for 15-20 minutes and breathe deeply, willing the feeling to relax and go away.
-What is your go to, never fail and in a pinch recipe?
Slow cooked Roast beef. Put in the oven at 200-250 degrees and bake it all day ( at least 8 hours). Always comes out pull apart tender. Especially tasty when you sprinkle a packet of dry soup mix over the top.
For our Mom Talk Mondays we have something new for you! A different and unique mom every Monday that will hopefully give you some inspiration for your everyday life.
(If interested in being featured on Mom Talk Mondays, please email Bethany at bmbarrow [at] hotmail [dot] com, title MOM TALK)
-Tell us a little about your family and why it is special?
I am a farmers wife and a mother of 3 with #4 on its way soon! My kids are from ages 11 to newborn [soon]. We recently built our forever home on my childhood farm and I LOVE being home! It’s been my dream since I was little to live on the farm and I am living that dream now. My children have loved being a part of moving cows, playing in the ditches and riding the atv’s around the farm and to Grammie and Grandpa’s house and even to their cousin’s down the road. Being close to family was important to us.
-What do you do for work/volunteer outside of being a wife and mom?
Outside of helping with the farm, I co-own a photography/hair salon called Paisley Studios. I have had a camera in hand for 14 years, starting in my mom’s darkroom in her house developing my own film and moving on to good old Photoshop! I love what I do, but I have to admit it is hard because my work is always with me. Still trying to find balance with working at home. At the same time I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
-Is there something your family does on a regular basis for quality time?
We love to have family game night! We choose a game and play it over and over…..well until bed time.
-How do you take time for yourself to recharge?
A night out or day with my girlfriends! Shopping, food…..it always makes for a great recharge! Connecting with other women in the same season of life as I am helps me know that where I am at is normal.
-What is your go to, never fail and in a pinch recipe?
Taco Soup – My kids love it but I think my husband is starting to get tired of it after 13 years.
-What is the one product you can not live without?
I would have to say Doterra On Guard Cleaner Concentrate. I use this on a daily basis to clean all of my counter tops and other surfaces in my home! I had battled with eczema for quite awhile and really needed to keep my hands out of the water as much as possible, and this is what did the trick for me to get things while keeping my hands dry. I literally have a spray bottle plus a bottle of the concentrate in all of my bathrooms, my laundry room and my kitchen. I would really have a hard time without it for very long! [I am discovering that I am a little OCD on clean, so this is the product that I must have!]
Thank you Kayla and congratulations on your soon to be here baby!
My name is Bethany and I am so excited to be a part of the One Small Child team! I will be assisting with social media to spread new products, projects, any and everything baby and most importantly inspiration from other moms.
I am still a “new” mom, I have 3 littles that I adore. My oldest is a boy who is 4 years old, my daughter is 3 years old and my newest is a sweet boy just 8 weeks old today! I call myself new because I still have so much to learn and experience with my children that it’s almost overwhelming to think about. And I have been blessed to be able to work from home but it can be easy to work when my children need me, even if they didn’t tell me they did.
S0 I have come to realize that slowing down in life is not a bad thing. Yes, work, activities and adventures are also necessary to learn, grow and enjoy life but I have learned that too much can leave us feeling drained. I want to lead an intentional life with my little family and it starts with me and how I set the tone for my household. My example is what my children learn from, good and bad. For example, our sweet baby boy at just 13 days old had open heart surgery to save his life. We were so blessed with everything and everyone involved. I could have panicked more than necessary though but I didn’t. I wanted my older two to see and understand that being sad, worried and scared was okay but that we had to be positive and keep going. So when Mommy and Daddy were gone for 10 days at the hospital, they were okay. They didn’t worry. Now they love to tell people how baby brother “got his heart fixed by the doctor” and then roll into what they did at school, dance class or story time at the library. I would say for today it’s a win.
I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be a part of this great company and blog and look forward to interacting with all of you!
As mothers, our number one priority is our children. Yet, our careers require much of our time and attention. Both are very important. Here are our strategies for balancing career with family life:
I work from home. So, I’m on the computer several hours a day while Josie is around. Needless to say, she doesn’t like the competition for mom’s attention. Not to mention it’s insulting that she can’t play with mom’s toy! It took a while to figure out how to juggle working from home and being an engaged mom.
At first, I tried to get all my work done in the mornings. That way I could play with baby girl all afternoon. Good strategy, right? Well, after I would push her away and ignore her to finish my work all morning long, she was grumpy and frustrated with me. I finally decided I would work strictly while she was sleeping. This meant before she woke up in the morning, during her naps and usually a little after she went to bed. This worked wonders in building our relationship back up. It was tough to resist enjoying some much needed “me time” during those quiet hours. But, I guess being a mom is about sacrifice.
Josie is becoming more independent now, and I’m able to work a little while she plays next to me. It’s been a challenge to learn to work from home. But it has been so worth the effort! As she grows to each new stage, I’ll just keep adjusting to find whatever works best for all of us.
Balancing family and career has been high on my radar for the past thirteen years. (That went fast!)
My career is a huge part of my life, and was there long before babies arrived. It has always occupied a good chunk of my attention, both on and off-duty. I love what I do, love the products we create, love the people I work with and the customers we serve.
But my children. They are pieces of *me*. Always on my mind, in my heart, always needy. They always will be. When I look to the future, it’s my family I see. I love them with every part of my soul.
So how do I balance? It’s more complicated than I’d like it to be. When school is in session, it’s fairly easy to compartmentalize my days. They go to school, and I go to work. When they get home, I am home. When school is out, I am home (I’m fortunate to be able to do much of my work from home when the need arises). This is a double-edged sword, however. Some days it is difficult to be able to focus entirely on one or the other, and my attention bounces back and forth. Some days I am able to keep firm boundaries on what absolutely must be accomplished, and we get it all done. I love those days!
Mostly, as time goes by I’m finding that it’s crucial to simplify: to choose to participate in fewer activities (only the most important ones!), to make time for looking my kiddos in the eye and really listening to what they have to share, to focus on here and now and let the rest go.
With that, here is my quick and dirty list of tips for balancing family and career:
1-know what’s most important
2-keep a schedule
4-focus on being present
5-allow for margin
7-be okay with less than perfection
Fresh ideas are always welcome! What are your strategies for balancing career and family life?
There are three of us bloggers here at One Small Child, and like many of you, we are wearing the multi-tasking hats of mom and working woman. We are each in different stages of motherhood: Samantha is just starting out with her first little girl, now 6 months old. Katy has two spunky toddler boys (plus a darling tween girl), and Audrey is living smack in the middle of the tween zone. We regularly meet together as a team to discuss business affairs, and invariably, lots of ‘mom talk’ gets sprinkled into our conversation. Each of us is highly committed to our families, and we are all learning the art of motherhood.
We believe that one of the best ways to become a better mother is to share ideas with other mothers. It’s best not to re-invent the wheel, right? We learn so much from others who have been there before, and sometimes we just need a fresh perspective. With all this in mind, we really wanted to share our ‘mom talk’ with all you mothers out there. We hope that you’ll join in, too!
With that, we’d like to introduce ourselves and share with you what we’re learning from our current stages of motherhood.
I’ve just started my long-awaited motherhood journey, and I love my baby girl dearly! So many feelings–unconditional love, joy and intimidation–have lingered since she arrived. Motherhood has definitely proved to be a lot different from what I expected! It is tough and a joy, beauty and boogers, all wrapped into one! I’ve come to rely (again) on my own mother for advice and support. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know!
I’m learning to follow that ‘mom instinct’ that fortunately guides us every once in a while. It is such a learning curve, caring for a baby! Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do and what not to do. I’ve found that my gut feeling is usually right. My little family is working hard at making sure things don’t come before our time together. Developing routines that enable us to spend quality time together, while still accomplishing our commitments is definitely a balancing act! This is a tough transition, but we’re determined!
One of my favorite things to do is watch my little one while she goes about her play. Everything is so new and wonderful in her observant little eyes. I cherish the moments that I take time to live in!
How excited I am to keep growing as a mother, as my baby grows as well.
Hi, I am Katy and I am the mother of 3 little miracles. My story is unique in the fact that my family grew in ways I never imagined, but wouldn’t trade for the world. I am the mother to a 10 year old daughter, two boys, a 4 year old and 20 month old. My 10 year old is my biological daughter and my boys came to us through the miracle of adoption.
As you can imagine I am one very busy mama.
In my current stage of motherhood I am overwhelmingly grateful. After the birth of my oldest daughter we came to the realization that we may not have any more children. But through the miracle of adoption our family has grown exponentially. What a miracle! I have learned not to take these moments for granted, for they almost didn’t happen. I had always wanted a big family and to see my dream come true through a birth mother who placed her trust in me and my husband to give her children the family that she desired them to have is a very humbling experience and I want to do the best that I can.
I have learned to calm down and enjoy the noise and all the craziness that comes with these little ones. It goes by super fast.
While my job at work is important, I never want my children to feel that it was more important than them. I try hard to find a good balance and to not over commit to other projects or people, that it is okay to say “no” when needed.
These are the days to let go of the extra and focus on the day to day with my children.
I am Mom to three kiddos, ages 8, 10 and 12 (girl, boy, girl), but everyone else calls me Audrey. I love so much about the current stage I’m in with my trio of tweens! They keep me just as busy now as they did when they were tiny(maybe even more so), but I’m truly enjoying the experience of helping them develop their talents and interests as they continue to learn and grow. It’s amazing to me how each is living true to the personality they were born with.
I think the lesson I’m learning most from motherhood right now is the need to slow down and l-i-s-t-e-n. My little family is blessed with many opportunities to work and perform and contribute, and with that comes a lot of distraction as we rush from one place to another. Life is busy, it just is. We’re all running at full steam all day (at least at my house). In all honesty, I’ve heard at least two of my children ask me to “just listen” in the last twelve hours. Sometimes it makes me sad that it’s so difficult to learn this lesson. But I’m glad for the chance to keep trying, and so I do!
We’d love to hear your thoughts: what are you learning from motherhood?
Highlighting one of our own One Small Child Moms and what a not always normal, but somewhat regular Day in the life of Mom looks like.
5:00am – Accidentally hit “dismiss” instead of “Snooze”. I’ll totally get up….
6:00am – Feed the baby. Finally get up.
6:30am – Bring myself downstairs to eat breakfast and do my daily devotional. Somehow even when I am alone I eat standing up. I stare at the overflowing dishes in the sink from last night. I lay my bowl on top.
7:00am – Exercise to either Jillian Micheals or Richard Simmons. Feeling lazy, Richard it is.
7:30am – “Mommy! Where are you?” I get the kids cereal and turn on a show for them. After a few snuggles I do some laundry, the dishes and feed the dog. Throw away a business card my husband wrote on years ago, no way it’s any good. The garbage man takes it away. Bathe the kids and get them dressed for Preschool. There is at least 1 meltdown and 1 toddler argument. Forget on the way out it’s Show and Tell day. Pick a toy, of course for both it’s the wrong one. Go back in and get new ones.
8:55am – Finally getting in the car, good thing Preschool is only a mile from our house.
9:05am – Get home and feed the baby. Cuddle him tight and really enjoy our alone time together since he is our last. Do a little bit of work and hopefully put on “real” clothes. I don’t…
11:15am – Get home, get lunch ready and do some reading/homework. More laundry.
1:15pm – “Quiet time”. My older two no longer nap. I want to cry uncontrollably over this.
1:30pm – Cleaning and de-cluttering. Doing a “Minimalist Challenge” since all of our junk stuff is starting to drive me crazy. I throw away a few more things I hope my husband doesn’t notice. Husband texts me to ask if I have seen a business card with writing on it, there is a lock combo on it for his work locker. He can’t remember the numbers… “I don’t know where it is.”
2:00pm – Sit down to work. Suddenly hear running water upstairs I don’t recognize… my kids put a whole roll of toilet paper in the toilet and flushed.
4:30pm – Start dinner. Husband calls to say he is on his way home and will promptly be called back to work in about 10 hours. Great. Confess to my card crime.
7:00pm – Get the older two in bed. Praise all that is good and holy.
7:30pm – Dishes/work/attempt to watch a show on Hulu. I get half way through one and promise I’ll finish it tomorrow; probably won’t.
10:30pm – Bed finally. Write my “to do” list on the ceiling like Sarah Jessica Parker did in “I don’t know how She does it”. Maybe I’ll try to watch that tomorrow…
Bethany is our social media consultant and works from home. She has 3 children, ages 4,3 and 4 months. Her husband works on call and is away 2 days at a time, so she has a lot of non-alone time. She dreams of a beach vacation, paying someone to clean her house every week and fall year round. Being with her kids and husband is her favorite way to spend any day.