Meet Kristin Austin, a WAHM and the designer and stylist behind Paige Simple Studio. Kristin worked in the corporate world before she had her son and soon after she had him, Kristin and her husband realized the demands of her corporate job was not a good fit for their family. Kristin decided to start her own business from home and Paige Simple was born! Paige Simple offers pretty party printables ranging from invitations, announcements, stationery, gifts, and printable party decorations. Kristin has styled many parties and has been featured on Pizzazzerie, Hostess with the Mostess, Kara’s Party Ideas and many other sites! Kristin was one of my first “big” clients when I started Sugar Studios and she has not only become a repeat customer, but a friend and colleague I can trust and bounce ideas off of.
Did you always plan to be a WAHM? If not, what made you decide to work from home?
Not at all! I had a corporate job and advanced college degrees. I always thought I would be a working mom and was steadily climbing the corporate ladder. After 3 months of my husband and I both working/commuting and having our son in daycare we decided it was too much. We were both missing a lot of work due to illness and it was very stressful for us so we decided to pull him out of daycare and that I would stay home for 6 months. 6 months was up over a year ago : )
How long have you been a WAHM?
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
1 – He is 2 years old. (Checkout her son’s 2nd birthday party on Pizzazzerie!)
What is your workstation setup like? (ie. In the kitchen, room to room, in an office/study, etc.)
I currently work at the kitchen island, but am working on turning our dining room into an office.
What days/hours do you typically work?
Monday – Sunday. I answer emails and keep up with social media all day, but fill orders and design new products during nap time (1-3pm) and after my husband gets home from work (6:30 pm – 12 am). On weekends I work during nap time and at night.
Do you have a nanny/mother’s helper while you work?
My mother takes my son 2 days a week, but I usually use that time to run errands, clean, and do things that are difficult to do with my son in tow. I only use it for work when I have to.
How does being a WAHM affect your husband/partner?
He has picked up a lot of household chores and child care duties. It’s worth it to him to not have to worry about taking time off for sick children and other household tasks (repairs, service appointments, deliveries, etc.).
What are some of your frustrations with being a WAHM?
It’s hard to not have ‘real life’ work friends and to not get dressed up and have a place to be every day. I’m quickly growing to know other women who are running similar businesses from their homes, but it’s not the same as having someone to go to lunch with and just chat about miscellaneous things without the distraction of children.
What is the single most gratifying part of being a WAHM?
Having the ability to balance your life. If there is something I want to do with my son or somewhere I want to go with him I can. I don’t have to request time off and use up vacation days – I just do it. It’s also nice to always be home when my husband is off from work and to not have to coordinate our time off. I get to spend more time with my sister (a nurse) and my mom and grandparents who are all retired. I’m looking forward to being able to participate in field trips, school events and sports when my son gets older.
Describe a typical day in the life for you as a WAHM.
We get up around 8. I give my son breakfast and check my email, social media, and shop while he’s eating. We get ready for the day and do a morning activity or have a play date. I give him lunch around 12 and check in on everything while he’s eating. He goes down for a nap at 1 and while he’s napping I respond to emails and fill orders. He usually gets up between 3 and 4 and we’ll have a snack and do an afternoon activity. My husband gets home around 6:30 and makes dinner. While he’s doing this I check in on everything and work on orders. We spend an hour or so together as a family and then my husband puts my son to bed and I go back to work.
What food/toys/technology/etc. could you not live without as a WAHM?
Diet coke, the internet, my computer, and my iPhone : )
How do you think being a WAHM has helped you and your family?
It’s nearly eliminated daily stress from our lives. There’s no rushing to get anywhere and if someone is sick we can address the illness and not have to worry about taking days off work.
What advice would you give to a mother working outside the home who wants to transition to being a WAHM?
You really need to make sure your partner is on board with you working from home and willing to help out around the house. If they’re not on board it may be very difficult for you to maintain everything on your own. I work more hours now than I did when I had a “real job”. The hours are just spread out and more flexible.
What sacrifices have you had to make in order to be a WAHM?
We made a lot of financial cuts and had to dip into savings to help me get my business up and running. I also gave up a pretty decent salary to make what seams like peanuts. I was 2 courses away from an MBA and put that on hold as well.
What are some of the misconceptions you feel exist towards WAHMs?
That they don’t work as hard or as many hours as moms that go to a job every day.
What sounds do you like to hear the most while working?
Either silence or the TV on in the background.
Is there anything else you want to share about life as a WAHM?
LOVE it! ; ) At the end of the day life is not about the lost income or missed career opportunities, it’s about the time you got to spend with your family and how that shapes the adults your children turn into.