written by: Beth Woodward, Architectural Imagery
Hello fellow OTE friends, as I write this blog I have a pot of carrot lentil soup simmering, I’m rocking a 2 month old to sleep and I am browsing through pages upon pages of design and construction blogs looking for the next fun blog topic. So I figured since I’m finally used to the multitasking of “working stay at home motherhood” I would share some insight on our wonderful business and how this great group of people shape this working mamas life.
Before I dive into talking about how much of a manic multitasker I am, I should disclose that I frequently wear my son in a wrap while working, I don’t work 9 to 5 and my house is not as clean as I’d like (Hey, I’m being honest…)
My days start bright and early. Pop the baby in his pouch, make lunches, round up school stuff, ask 3 times if teeth are brushed and then hustle everyone out into a -20 degree walk to school. Nothing wakes you up quite like a Canadian winter morning. Once that ordeal is done, my work day starts. That is where I find I excel above and beyond my day to day tasks of motherhood.
The funny thing about starting a family business is that you fully invest yourself into it (to be honest, more than you would expect). You work harder and with more dedication than you could ever give a corporation, your heart and soul goes into it because it’s not just for you. One day this little business that was molded into shape and held together by my dear old dad will be bigger than the few of us. One day it will be something we pass on (God willing, one of our children will want it). Knowing you are working for something bigger means you take shorter breaks, work longer hours, and wake up with thoughts about what type of furniture you should be putting in inventory. It means showing your children that you are building something for them, and that anything worth having takes hard work.
I am lucky that I have the children I do (my husband will say there was no luck involved, it’s how they’re raised) My little family drive me on, they celebrate our successes and quite honestly are just happy to be involved. Jack sleeps through business meetings, Olivia folds flyers and builds bird houses, and my husband watches them both at Home Shows. I spend countless hours on the phone with my dad, brother and Kevin (our adopted business brother) and am more in the loop than I ever was before, and it’s rewarding to be able to build something with people that are already so invested in your life.
Despite the occasional long hours, I do have the freedom to actually spend quality time with my family. Something I lacked when I worked 9-5. I get to pick my daughter up from Track & Field club and join the Parent Council. I get to sit in on Story Time at the library with my son and watch him start to discover the world. I get to cook a proper meal at night (most nights…) and by the time my husband gets home, the chores are mostly done.
It doesn’t mean that everything is perfect and you can do a million things, but the freedom to choose your schedule makes a huge difference, and honestly, I think the best part of family business is the time you get to spend with your family. Family is what builds you up, shapes you, and whether your born to that family or find them somewhere down the road, they are all architects on an important project (you). I’m lucky my architecture is comprised of dedication, hard work and above all else, love.