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From Chasing Dreams to Chasing Kids

By June 3, 2015

While many of our SpitfireMoms have their own business, some choose to leave the hustle for the normalcy of a 9 to 5. I gotta say, sometimes that sounds SO appealing. Our newest contributor and my wedding industry friend, Henny Vallee, recently did just that. She left a creative and passionate business to focus on her other equally fulfilling “day” job, allowing her more time with her family.  ~ Heidi

For about 8 years after I graduated from college, I juggled a full-time corporate job while running a boutique design studio with my best friend, where we designed branding for small business entrepreneurs, and helped some of the most amazing women with their businesses and blogs. It was challenging, exhilarating and fun! Sometime in between, I also met my wonderful husband and we got married.

Four years later, when I was pregnant with our first child, I co-founded an online wedding magazine that has now blossomed into such an exquisite publication featuring some of the most beautiful weddings around the world. In the next 3 years, I met some of the most genuine, talented and passionate people in the wedding industry and made great friends. During those years, my family has also quickly grown in size, from 3 to 5.

Though I loved the juggle and hustle, chasing after my dream of leaving the corporate world to be my own boss lady, it has definitely put a lot of strain on our marriage and family life. Leaving my family to attend an industry event has become such a challenge with mommy guilt kicking in full gear. At some point, I had to be honest with myself as to what I can handle and what I can put my family through. Last year, I made the extremely difficult decision to leave behind that world of running my own business, so I can focus on my work and family.

Now that it’s been almost a year, I’m happy to say that I think I’ve made the right decision. Professionally, I create and manage social media posts and design marketing collateral for a health supplement company. Not that glamorous, but hey, I really love what I do and love the people I work with. Most importantly, it supports my family lifestyle. It’s nice not to be stressed out about a pressing deadline after I get home from work and not having to yell at my kids to leave mommy alone to work, because they’re my number one clients now. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely still a lot of yelling, but it’s for other reasons (like “stop playing with your food”, or “don’t jump on the bed”, or “calm yourself down!”).

There are days when I do miss doing something other than work and family. For now, I’m happy to be blessed with a new set of “clients” (three mini clients to be exact) that keep my creativity sharp. One of my regular clients (the middle child, age 4) loves to challenge me with his imaginative requests. One time, after he saw an accordion fold brochure in the mail, he commissioned me to do one like it but to make it into a dragon. Not one to dismiss my clients’ peculiar requests, I got straight to work. After about 15 minutes with some scrapbook paper, tape and scissors, I delivered my project to him and to my relief, he was quite pleased. I must say, that this was one of my favorite projects for him.

Since then, I’ve created an eclectic collection of paper cut out toys for long road trips, a custom car ride for Elsa and her little friend, a pair of girly clothespin best friends, and tons of ocean pictures with sea animals and mommy and baby dinosaurs. All this inspired by a TV show they watched, or their creative imagination.

I must say, I think I can see myself doing this for years to come and find fulfillment in that.

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