20 June 2011

WAHM Interview with Jen Goode

If you read my first WAHM interview with Sherell Edwards, you'll be as excited as I am to read the next one with Jen Goode! I'm having so much fun learning from these moms what it's like to have two jobs, a paying job and a Mom job. 

These women raise their kids, take care of their households and hold full-time or part-time work at home jobs. They were so kind to take time out of their busy days to answer my questions. I can't wait for them to inspire you too!

1.  First, can you tell us what you’re paying job is? Not to be confused with your best job, being a mom!

I am the owner and Doodler in Charge of JGoode Designs. I'm an illustrator and Designer creating art for a variety of uses from free printables for preschoolers to art licensing and products featuring my art. I also design craft projects for all ages, offering tutorials and consulting for product manufacturers. I'm a "Creative Professional". 

2.  How did you get into your line of work and do you like what you do?

I  LOVE what I do! I've always been involved in art at some level and was determined to figure out how to make money being creative. In college I worked for a student run design firm and years later had earned enough experience through different jobs to own my own design studio. My "job" evolves and changes as i find new angles to make money with art.

3.  Do you have any exciting plans you’d like to share about your business? Plans to expand? Hire others? A great sale?

I'm always expanding my reach and product offering so that I can share my art with as many people as want it. I'm broadening my offerings to include licensing as well as working on a few projects to offer my designs to home crafters and hobbyists.

4.  How can we visit you on the web? Do you have a website?

My main website is JGoodeDesigns.com. I also share project ideas for preschoolers at ProjectsforPreschoolers.com. I also write a blog and share my art through Facebook, Twitter, etc but you can find all that info in the "about me" section of my website. I'm hoping to inspire creativity where ever I can.

5.  How do your kids feel about you working at home? Do you think they are happier than if you worked out of the house?

My now 15 year old is the only child that has known me to work anywhere other than home. When he was really young I worked downtown and he was in daycare. My other kids were all born after I began working from home and I think they would be lost not seeing me sit here every day. The only drawback for my kids is, I think they are so used to me working, they don't realize it's work and don't always understand that sometimes I just can't stop to play.

6.  Do you make as much financially working at home as you would in a outside job?

This really is a relative question. I could never find a job that would allow me the diversity and control of my own schedule and skill use as I have working not only at home but for myself. Sure, I could find a job that might pay me more money, but the trade-off of being available to my kids and choosing my own job participation... you can't put a price on that.

7.  How do you manage the balance between demands of the kids and demands of the job?

I wing it every day! Seriously, it can be really difficult sometimes. It takes a lot of coordination as my husband also owns his own business and works from home and my kids require different attention and scheduling for activities. I make sure to communicate, letting everyone know when I need it quiet for a conference  or how much longer I'll be before we can go play. Sometimes it works well and sometimes the balance is completely off... work can take over and become overwhelming but in the end, my kids always come first.

8.  What do you love about being a work at home mom?

What I love most about being a work at home mom is the ability to be with my kids when they need me. I can take the morning to go play with my preschooler or the afternoon to have lunch with my son at school. I can take off early to watch my kid's baseball game or even take a week vacation without having to worry who is covering my shift or calls. I think it's a blessing to be able to work from home and actively participating in my kids growing up day to day.

Another bonus to working at home... as the kids grow older and distance themselves from mom and dad, I think working from home has allowed me to stay a big closer to what's going. We still have a relationship that continues to grow and I feel like I'm aware of more of the daily happenings.
9.  Are you a homeschooler also? 
I am not a homeschooler, however I do try to provide learning activities at home in addition to the schooling outside of the home.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers about being a Work-At-Home Mom?

Sometimes working at home with kids  we find ourselves alone, away from the grown-up mentality we need to maintain a bit of sanity. It's important to take time for yourself. Allow yourself a girls night out or a movie with the hubby. Don't feel guilty if you go out to dinner and don't take the kids. I find that I talk myself out of going out for fun because during the day I'm working, even though my kids are home, so going out at night just isn't fair to them... but it is ok. We need to take a break once in a while so we can offer the best we have to give. Decompress, relax and revive our energy for a whole new day of fabulous fun with our kids!

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