Today, we’re lucky to start again our ‘Mum at Work’ interviews with the talented Amanda Jane Jones who was at the origin of Kinfolk magazine. This 30 years-old woman is the mum of two kids : little Jane, 3 years-old, and baby Miles, 9 months. She’s married to Cree, a PhD student at the Unversity of Chicago.
She tells us here about her professional career and her family life. A slow way of conceiving work and motherhood…
What was your job before taking part in the launching of Kinfolk and now Define magazine?
I worked as a graphic designer and freelance designer (which I still currently do).
How did it come to your mind to create Kinfolk design and now, Define? What inspired you?
For Kinfolk, I was inspired by simplicity and book design. We wanted something that felt very very different than other magazines on the market. For Define – I also strived for simplicity as I wanted the artwork to be the star of the magazine.
Can you describe your everyday job?
I always say that I’m a full-time mom and a part-time designer. The kids and my husband always come first. Since my husband is in school, I work part-time and he works part-time. We feel very lucky that we get to be with our children so much. When I’m working he is with them and when he’s working, I’m with them….it’s fantastic! I never feel like I’m missing out on anything.
What do I like about my job?
So much. I love what I do. I love design and the problem solving aspect of it. I love to make things beautiful and I especially love the flexibility it provides. If I had a design desk job, I wouldn’t be able to travel with my family like I do or be with them as much.
What’s harder in my job?
It’s hard since I do work from home, work is always kind of there. I’ve had a lot of practice though trying to ignore it until it’s my work time. My husband is excellent and leaving work at work – I’m still working on it.
What is your daily organization with the kids?
Miles usually wakes up first, so we bring him in our bed to nurse and for some cuddles. Then Jane usually follows. We all snuggle and talk about our day. Breakfast, get dressed, do hair, etc. Miles still takes a morning nap – so he’s down at 8:30 and then it’s just Jane and Mom time. When Miles wakes up, we head out for either errands or an adventure. Jane loves to swim and go to the zoo on our adventure days. Both kids nap (if Jane doesn’t nap, she has quite time because mom needs it!) I used to work during nap time, but I’m just too tired now with a toddler and a Miles still waking in the night to nurse. After nap, we work on dinner, watch for daddy out the window and then, start our bedtime routine. Pretty simple!
Do you have a nanny?
No – we tried to have a nanny for a month one time when Jane was little. It was awful – we probably didn’t have the right nanny to start with, but the whole experience has kept me wary of trying again. I don’t plan to – especially where Cree has such a flexible schedule.
Are you happy with this organization?
Yup! what would you change? yes! nothing right now but Miles’ schedule changes all the time, so I’m sure it will be something new in the not so distant future.
How do you manage to reconcile work and family life?
I think it’s an ongoing learning curve. Right now I feel like I”m in a good spot though. Once Cree graduates and we can’t share the work load, I’m sure we’ll have to rethink how we do things.
Do you have tips to soften your day as a busy mom?
With Jane, I was always trying to fit too much into our day – to do too many things.when miles joined the family , I was determined to slow down, to cuddle more and tonot expect so much. If jane asks for me to read her a book or hold her, I try to stop and accommodate as best I can.
Could you tell me one thing you love doing with the kids?
I love our morning cuddles – it’s my favorite way to start the day. I love playing games with them and taking them to the pool. We also always read stories before nap and bed and that’s one of my favorite times as well. I’m so glad both of my kids LOVE books. it’s such a sweet time just to hold them and bond.
What are your professional projects for the future?
I let my blog renewal lapse right when I had miles and someone bought the domain! I was so frustrated but what can you do? I’m going to redesign my website (which is way overdue!) and relaunch my blog in the coming year.