We have been fans of May Designs for a while now; from personalized journals to photo books, this paper company is terrific. Mica May, the mother of the May Designs and mother of three, is a woman who allowed her passion to dictate her profession. We are in awe of mothers in general, and we feel inspired by their stories of pursuing their dreams. We loved hearing from Mica about motherhood, her business, and the crossover between the two.
What came first, your business or your babies?
My business came first, followed shortly by my first baby.
Which was the less intimidating journey to begin?
I’m generally not a fearful person, so neither journey was scary to me beforehand. Ignorance was bliss! I didn’t know what it would be like having 3 kids back to back (one with special need), and I didn’t know beforehand about the difficulties that would come with having this business either. It’s in hindsight that I realize the hardships, but I wasn’t intimidated beforehand!
What is a personality trait that is necessary to portray in both your business and in motherhood?
Being flexible. The ability to adapt to change and new situations that arise is so crucial for both business and motherhood.
How do you decompress from a day of work and parenting?
I usually decompress by going on a date night with my husband. We’re committed to a date night once a week, no matter what. We always try to put our kids to bed ourselves if we can, but then once they’re in bed we’ll get a sitter and walk down the street for a glass of wine!
Describe your ideal work environment.
I think we’ve been able to make May Designs into an environment we love, which is so great! Our studio is an inspiring place to be and our location here in downtown Austin is amazing. We have a work-hard, play-hard culture and we really value flexibility. If I need to step out and pick up kids from ballet, I know that’s okay and I’ll work again later to finish my things. Oh and there are always candles and cookies and cocktails around!
Do you use your notebooks for quick note taking and/or true journaling?
I originally made a May Book to have one place to write everything. Whether it is work notes, grocery lists, personal to do lists, my May Book is where I put everything! I literally have a May Book with a monogram that says “All the Things” and it’s like a post-it-note catch-all that stays in my purse.
Did you journal during your pregnancies?
Yes! I designed our Bump Diary so I could journal during my pregnancy and then once I had my first baby, I designed the Baby Diary so I could journal throughout his first few months. Loved it!
Do you write in your journal for you or for your kids to later read for themselves?
I do! For example, I have a notebook for Madelyn where I write down all of the funny sayings and hilarious comments she makes. I love looking back through those and I can’t wait for her to read them one day.
How would you encourage new moms to capture their beginning of motherhood?
To me, I think I take a million photos with my camera (way more than I need to!) because it solidifies that the moment happened. I might never send every single photo to a grandmother, or post them all on Instagram, but since I have all of the photos, I can easily remember all of those special moments- early snuggles of a newborn, making cookies with Madelyn, Harper up on the counter helping me make coffee, so many memories!! And when doubts creep in about being a working mom, I can look back at my photos and see how much fun we’ve had together and all of the things we’ve done as a family! I could let mom guilt get in the way, or I can remember all of the amazing times we have!
In what way do you take time for yourself that you feel, in turn, helps you function better as a mother?
A quick stroll through Anthropologie or a midnight run to Target will completely inspire and recharge me! It gives me the energy and creativity to color with the kids or do fun projects when I feel inspired. I love to roll my windows down and drive while listening to a podcast or my favorite music. That’s my time to not be on a phone call, not have someone asking me questions, and not have kids hanging on me. Driving around for a bit works wonders!
Do you have someone speaking encouragement to you in motherhood? What is the thing you remind yourself of the most?
I always remind myself of something my mom told me once. She said that ten or fifteen minutes of eye contact once or twice a day with a kid will make them feel like they’re the king or queen of the world. So I try to commit to having alone time each of my kids for 10-15 minutes every day. No phone and no multitasking. I get to talk to them about school, ask them questions, and just love on them! They walk away feeling like I just filled their love tank and it’s the best! To me, quality time is much more important than quantity. If I’m getting to spend twenty minutes alone with each kid each day, I’m going to make sure it’s the greatest twenty minutes!