Welcome to Week 43 of Motherhood by Design – the series where mothers who also run creative businesses share their inspirations and their experiences juggling the demands of raising children while growing a creative career.
"What I’ve learned is that you get to a point where you make the time because you want it so badly, so it may mean you are using your lunch break or staying up later or getting up earlier."
Jesse Coulter is a Texas native with a background in marketing, who also runs a lifestyle and DIY blog and hosts a yearly event in Austin for bloggers. They're the parents of one little boy and have twins on the way, and Jesse has been taking her readers along on the pregnancy ride, posting updates and showing the step-by-step transformation of her guest room to the babies' gender-neutral nursery. Her blog is so full of inspiration!
Welcome to Motherhood by Design, Jesse – can you please describe your family?
My family consists of my husband, Alex, my 3 year old son, Turner and I have twins (Walt & Whitney) on the way due January 2016.
What is your business?
I consider my lifestyle blog – JesseCoulter.net my creative business. I also host a successful blogger event in Austin called the ATX Blogger Mixer every quarter.
When you were a child yourself, how did you spend your free time?
Playing outside on my parent’s ranch….riding horses, playing dress up with my neighbor or playing sports.
Did crafting or handwork play a significant role in your childhood? If yes, in what way?
I participated in 4-H as a kid and took sewing classes, and my mother was a sewer. Other than that, crafting was not something I or my family did much of.
When you were a child, did you have ideas about your own future as a mother? Was motherhood something you’d always imagined for yourself, or is it an idea you grew into later in life?
I remember writing down what I wanted to name my future children, for a girl it was SID. Haha! Other than that, motherhood wasn’t something I thought of much.
In your early years of motherhood, did you have/make time for your creative pursuits, or was your creative work put aside for a while? If the latter, when did you pick it back up?
I started my blog about 2 years prior to my son being born, and thankfully I was able to continue using it as my creative outlet after he was born. I obviously didn’t blog as much right after he was born, but I maintained it consistently.
Did you start your creative business prior to becoming a mother, or after?
What prompted you to start your creative business? Is it something you saw yourself doing when you were a child?
Obviously I never thought of blogging as a kid since it wasn’t around, however in college I began following lots of bloggers. My favorite blogger was Kendi from Kendi Everyday because she was a friend who I went to college with and she has amazing style. After spending a few months dreaming about starting my own, I finally did. I was pursuing my MBA at night and working a day job and needed a creative outlet. I NEVER thought of myself as a writer, but I’ve grown in my writing over the years but that’s never been a goal of mine.
How do you balance your creative work with your role as a mother and how has that changed over time?
I stay up late : ). I don’t have set rules when it comes to my blogging. I may blog a few times a week or not at all for a few weeks. This allows me to not worry about posting. If my son needs more attention, then I may not get to blog one night and that’s ok. When my son gets home from school, I give him my undivided attention. It’s usually after 9/9:30pm when I get a chance to sit down and get on my computer.
In what ways does motherhood affect your work products?
Motherhood has obviously introduced more topics on to my blog, and allowed me to contribute to parenting blogs. I love that my blog has evolved with my life. I mainly wrote about fashion when I first began, and now I cover anything from parenting, travel, home projects, budgeting and more.
How do you think your creative pursuits, including your business, affect your children? Is there something you hope your children learn from you by having a creative business?
There are many opportunities I get thanks to blogging, so if anything he gets to have more fun experiences that I may not be able to do if I wasn’t a blogger.
Is there something you hope your children learn from you by having a creative business?
I hope that my children learn to pursue what they are passionate about, even if it isn’t for a full-time job. I want them to know that pursuing things you enjoy doesn’t mean you have to do that for a living. I fully believe that you can pursue something creatively simply for fun rather than it being your income that pays the bills.
What advice would you offer the mom who feels drained by the demands of motherhood and wants more hands-on creativity in her life?
Start small with whatever creative outlet you want to pursue. Maybe that’s blogging, painting, or making jewelry. Start out doing it for 30 minutes a few times a week and then bump it up to an hour and so on. What I’ve learned is that you get to a point where you make the time because you want it so badly, so it may mean you are using your lunch break or staying up later or getting up earlier. It also helps to have a helpful partner to help with the kiddos. A lot of times I ask my husband to help with putting my son down to sleep, because it gives me an extra 30 minutes to blog.
Thank you so much, Jesse, for sharing your thoughts with us today! You can find Jesse in the following places: