biz with babies

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Posted by Lauren on June 25, 2002 at 16:15:31:

In reply to: dive in the henna posted by Alissa on June 25, 2002 at 15:37:00:

Working with the public at large is
: stressful, and it's often difficult for new moms to find long hours
: away from the baby anways (especially if you breastfeed, and what I
: preferred to do as well).

I've found that when I mention them up front, most people are willing
to work with me around my kids. They'll either come over after the
older one is in bed for the night (7:00) or when his dad is home to
watch him, or let me bring the baby along on the job. If I bring the
baby, I give them a free hour for every three to make up for the time
I spend nursing and changing him. Of course, this will only last as
long as he's mostly sleeping.
I've taken the new baby to street fairs and Rennaissance Faires and
SCA events and just fed him in the booth and the only comment I've
gotten was a few women came up to compliment me on being bold enough
to nurse in public. I am extremely discreet, showing less skin
nursing than most of the women in the faire with their tight push-up
bodices. I do keep a bottle of hand sanitizer conspicuously
displayed and am careful to have people see me use it after every
feeding or diaper change. It's also good to take an enforced break
every couple hours, even for a short time. People in general have
been willing to wait the few minutes until he's done. One day he was
really fussy and I just put him in a sling all day and worked around
him, even nursing while I drew! Also, people are forever coming up
just to look at the baby, and they tend to look at design books and
CDs and stuff, and once they're into a conversation, I've got another
customer. My older son (3 1/2) has been overheard walking around
just outside the booth and say "excuse me- would you like some
henna? My mommy is doing henna right over there!" Totally
unprompted, terribly cute. I've also seen go up to someone who's
walking away after looking and telling them they forgot their henna.
Slightly embarrassing but it usually cracks up people who overhear.
Of course, this whole thing only works if you've got low-stress kids
that like new people, and someone else (adult!) to help out in the
booth while you're occupied and make sure the kids and the stuff in
the booth aren't carried off while you're in design mode. I couldn't
even think of doing this without my husband.


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