It’s amazing how social networking connects people! We came across Joan Saunders Orchard’s Bitsy Creations company on Facebook. Joan had created a sweet little birth announcement for a friend of ours – – who posted the design on her Facebook wall. A few emails back and forth, and Joan becomes this week’s parent in the know!

The Myersville resident is wife to Joshua (a scientist at the National Cancer Institute) and mom to a five year old daughter and two year old son. Her graphic design company offers everything from logo design to mommy cards. Joan was kind enough to chat with us about her design inspiration and how she built a business that evolved around her family.

Love Joan’s work/family balance philosophy? Check out her blog and Facebook site, too! You can also follow her on Twitter @BitsyCreations.

_ _ _

What’s the story behind Bitsy Creations?

My husband was still a full time student who also worked part time when our daughter was born. We were very short on money & I desperately wanted to be home with my daughter. I stayed home with her and had a small in-home daycare. I knew I didn’t want to do that long-term, though, so during any free time I had, I worked to build my business. After a bit, I was able to just do graphic design!

How do you balance being a mom with being a professional?

My family comes first! If that means staying up late to get an order out on time because one of my children is sick, then I do it. I try very hard not to take time away from them and give it to my work. I try very hard to stay organized so I can feel well-rounded in my life.

What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? The last thing you do before you go to bed?

My children are such early risers, so my mornings are a little foggy!! The last thing I do before bed is have a conversation with my husband. Just the two of us. We’re best friends & it’s such a wonderful way to end our days.

If you had an entire day to do anything with your kids, what would you do?

Honestly, I’d probably just ask them what they’d like to do & actually do it for as long as they’d like–no excuses about time or a schedule.

Favorite ice cream flavor and best place to get it?

I had one year of college left when my husband & I got married, so he followed me out to the middle of nowhere Idaho and got a job at a local dairy. He figured out how to make his own ice cream and has made a few batches each summer ever since. It is to die for… except for the time he thought “celery & peanut butter” would make a great ice cream flavor.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I absolutely love when I get to design for myself–create new invitations or stationery from whatever is floating around in my head.

How do you and your spouse balance parenting responsibilities?

We don’t have too many set-in-stone responsibilities; we just make sure we aren’t expecting the other person to be a mind-reader! If I need help, I ask & he does the same.

What’s the funniest thing your child has ever said to you?

This happened when our daughter was just starting to get to the point where we had to be careful about what we said around her (you know… because she’d repeat it to whoever would listen).We were picking up toys and clutter before bedtime. Joshua had recently gotten some batteries out of a new package and left all the trash sitting on the kitchen table. I just said, “Oh, Joshua!” kind of exasperated & our daughter, who was following right behind me, goes into the living room and says in a voice–clearly trying to stay calm, but firm– “Dad, you left your trash all over the table! We’re angry and we’re sick of it!!” Guess we know what mom says around the house!!

Best local-area date night?

On our very first date, Joshua took me to his favorite spot, which was mine too (he didn’t realize): We walked along Carroll Creek in Frederick & enjoyed the Community Bridge, a bridge painted with murals by an amazing local artist, William Cochran. It was the perfect first date because we chatted & got to know each other. And it’s still the perfect date because we get to enjoy the artwork and enjoy time with one another.

Best thing about being a mom?After a crazy busy & hectic day, I get to tuck them in & watch them sleep. No matter what the day brought to me, I get to see these little people who depend on us so much and who are absolutely nuts about us!