Getting pregnant again only four months after having her first child was a major shock to Wendy Velazquez. When eight months into her exhausting second pregnancy she was let go from her job in sales, she felt completely lost. Instead of jumping back into the corporate world after her maternity leave, she decided to combine her creativity with her sales experience and now works from home creating handmade hats and hair accessories that she sells online, through salons and in boutiques.
1. What do you love about being a mom?
Honestly, my favorite thing about being a mom is that I think it keeps your imagination young. There is nothing like the excitement of a child. As you get older, you start to lose that childlike imagination and to see it come alive through your kids is so cool.
2. What do you enjoy most about working?
I love the creative process. The ultimate is being able to get a paycheck for being artsy. And, being able to contribute to the household funds is a definite plus.
3. What’s your biggest challenge in juggling both?
The biggest challenge is having enough patience and time – I work at home and I don’t have my own office space. Instead, I work at the dining table. My girls are obsessed with my headbands and all the sparkly and colorful things. When they are around I can’t work with beads and appliqués and small little things or things they can spill. They wreak havoc on my work stuff.
4. How do you deal with it?
A couple of nights a week, I brew a pot of coffee after the girls go to bed and work until midnight. My husband works from home too as a freelance writer so we coordinate having late work nights on the same evenings. Otherwise, it would be way too hard to see him relaxing on the couch while I’m working. I don’t have enough willpower for that. The other thing that helps is having the girls on the same nap schedule. I can usually squeeze in some work then too. If I’m in a real production crunch, my husband will watch the girls for awhile so I can do what needs to be done.
5. How do you re-charge?
I take breaks. Breaks from work – I have the flexibility to avoid work for week and then start again – and breaks from home life. My husband and I do a lot of weekend getaways without the kids, about once every three months. It’s essential for us. Spending the night away in a hotel is the best thing ever.
6. What advice would you give other women considering being a working mom?
My biggest piece of advice is to make sure that you give yourself ample time to just be you – not mommy, not businesswoman. You need time away from those roles. Get away for a girlfriend weekend or time with your significant other. It’s easy to get burnt out on being a mom and working. You stop appreciating the things that you have unless you take a break. Breaks make you a better mom and better at your business.
7. Who inspires you?
My friend’s mom Liz Carr really inspires me. She owns a boutique, she’s a mom and she owns a beautiful Tuscan-style house. All of her hard work has paid off.
8. What one thing can you not live without?
A bottle of Spanish wine.
9. If you had an hour of time to yourself, how would you spend it?