My name is Summer. I am a 32 year old stay at home mom to an 8 year old boy and a 6 year old girl. That's right, they are both in elementary school full time now. Last year my daughter entered full time kindergarten, which was new to our school system. This meant that for the first time in seven years, I had my mornings, and most of my afternoons free. So naturally, I panicked and filled that void by babysitting for the entire school year. I mean really, what did I have to offer the world outside Mom-hood? It isn't really just about money, but what kind of job outside of the home would pay me what I am worth (since my time is clearly extremely valuable) without requiring a degree, and will allow me to only work from 9am-2:30pm Monday to Friday with every weekend off, plus two weeks off for Spring Break and Christmas so I can still always be there for my kids? (not to mention two months in the summer so I can spend time with my very busy hubby). In order to avoid figuring this out, I offered to babysit and figured my life was sorted out for at least the next 3-4 years, as long as this little girl's parents needed me. Turns out they only needed me for a year since they are expecting again very soon and will be home with the new baby. Once again faced with my personal battle, I think I am finally ready to figure out what I have to offer the world during those quiet weekday hours when nobody needs me.
I have always been creative. It started when I was a child, continued through highschool and morphed into a job as a screen printer/designer, then into another job as art director for a hotel. Eventually we moved as my husband found a teaching job closer to Vancouver where he could gradually inch his way into a bigger music scene. After only a year we were expecting our first baby. Through my hotel contacts I was offered a job as art director for Bell's Alaska Travel Guides. This was something I could do from home with a baby. I still work for Bell's today and I am grateful to them for giving me my creative outlet and giving me the opportunity to earn enough money to help with some bills and pay for Christmas.
Now, I want to expand. I want to add more contacts, more work, more ads, posters, logos, brochures. I am craving it, but I have even more than that to offer. See, during all those years of mothering and babysitting, I never stopped creating. I didn't realize this until I one night, while Googling "ways for Stay at Home Moms to make money" I came across a blog about blogging. I have always wanted a blog of my own, but never thought I had anything to write about that was worth reading by anybody other than my mom and some parenting board friends. (no offense Mom....and Shari...etc.) A day later, while skimming through folders of old photos of my kids, it dawned on me that I have a lot to offer. My children are very imaginative. They exercised my creative brain to the limit with their crazy ideas. Every birthday party where they requested some wacky theme that does not exist on any dollar store paper plate, every Halloween/Storybook Character day/Alphabet Day costume that you can't find at Walmart (or don't want to pay for), every decoration I made to help enrich their classroom was a well documented example of what have accomplished. I created so much out of nothing just to make my children happy.
This is the topic of my blog. This is my new baby and I am extremely excited about it. Creativity is a sleeping hermit which I have nudged out of hiding. I have folder upon folder of photos of ideas and creations I have made over the years and still more to come. I look forward to sharing them with you, along with somewhat detailed instructions on how to do some of them yourself. So next time your son asks to be a Lego mini-fig for Halloween, you too will be prepared.
About the Author
Summer is a stay at home mom, happily married to a teacher/musician in British Columbia, Canada. Also an art director for Bell's Alaska Travel Guides and freelance graphic designer, Summer always manages to find ways to share her love and knack for art and design with her children.