Occupational Hazards

Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Don’t you just hate it when you leave your desk for three minutes and return to find your coworker has glued your office supplies into a sculpture? Nothing is more frustrating than when your supervisor insists on sitting in your lap while you work. These are just a few of the challenges facing many women of the EtsyKids team as they juggle a home business, raise children, work a day job, and hold onto their sanity.

All five of Tiny Stitches children have spent time on her lap helping her guide fabric through the sewing machine. Her seven year old son found crouching under the sewing table to push the sewing machine pedal, a ‘very cool’ way to help his mom. My Baby Sweet Pea has had days where she makes a dozen hair clips then while waiting for them to dry, she returns to find her three year old daughter has glued them together to create a sculpture of her own. Knitting is much more interesting with a one year daughter old at hand, PerkyBeanies has discovered. Quick little hands can unravel a hat in the two minutes it takes to make a bottle. She has been found with a ball of yarn unwrapped and rewrapped around her self, leaving her mom undoing knots for hours. The yarn box also makes a cozy nest for her small assistant.

Max And Magnolia has two boys who are eager to help make her I SPY bags. One afternoon they all had fun together naming the items and watching them drop through the funnel into the bags. Later that day 3 yr. old Max asked for his Thomas train back. She was confused because Thomas was not currently having a time out for being unkind to little brother Tate. When she asked Max where his Thomas was, he promptly walked to the sewing table and picked up one of the finished I SPY bean bags. Max swirled it around a bit in his hand and pointed to the train inside. He had slipped it in when Mom wasn't paying attention and she sewed the bag shut with the train inside! Apparently he thought another child might love the train as much as he does, but not enough to actually let them keep it.

I had the brilliant idea of inviting my three year old daughter’s friends over for a photo shoot. Three small children and princess dress up clothes, what could go wrong, I thought. That afternoon I learned the hard way that photographing children is no walk in the park. All three girls ended up in tears, they all wanted to wear the same costume. When I refused to let them wear their Disney princess shoes for the photos, I earned Wicked Stepmother status. Bribery was my last resort. It took a box of popsicles to get one set of good pictures, but none of all three girls together.

The amazing thing about children is that fifteen minutes after they have cut your latest project into confetti, they provide you with an idea for a brilliant new design for your shop. When running a shop that sells products for children, it’s very handy to have a few around for perspective. They provide instant feedback on toys. You always have the perfect model for photo shoots. They help make fabric choices on shopping trips.

Bibs, Blankets And More even gets shipping assistance from her oldest son. He loves carrying the package into the post office and placing it on the scale. When the postal clerk greets him, he gives a smile and answers whatever question they may ask him. He is always eager for the next trip to the post office.

It’s not just the littlest helpers who have input. The teenagers at Green Jello Home keep their mom up to date on current styles. She has her son to thank for the wooden skateboards for sale on her shop.

As challenging as working at home with your children can be, these EtsyKids Team Moms agree that the rewards outweigh the occasional glue-tastrophes and work room tornados. Our children are our models, companions, and most importantly, our inspiration.


Mybabysweetpea said...

Love it! It was so funny to read~I'm so glad that it's not just me! I was starting to think I was doing something wrong!

TinyStitches said...

Loved reading this piece. Thanks to all who shared stories, they were really fun to read. My children love being apart of the process, even if it costs me time and occasionally supplies.

Unknown said...

It is SO hard to find that balance! I am hoping to at least get rid of the day job part in the next few months, so I have a little less to balance!

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