Today Olga Hill is a mother of seven, blogger, professional ballerina, photographer and creative director of Living Notes, an online platform for families. The woman left for the USA from Ukraine 20 years ago and now lives with her family in San Francisco, California, says Svitua.com.
Olga invites people into her little world from everywhere: in a social network Instagram 330 000 subscribers follow her life. Many are interested in how she manages to cope with such a scale of responsibilities. Voice of America tried to figure it out in a conversation with Olga.
Emigration and acquaintance with the future husband
Olga came to the United States at the age of 17, planning to make a career as a professional ballerina, decided to stay in the States and make efforts to achieve her goals: “I made my way. It was very difficult, but I think these first years were the best, they set me on the path I am going now, ”says Olga.
“In Ukraine and Eastern Europe, everything is planned out: you go to school, then to college and so on. If you fall out of this flow, it becomes difficult to fit in. I had a choice - either to return to Ukraine and try to "fit in" without realizing myself, or to break through and do what I really wanted. I chose the latter and it prompted me to move forward. "
Olga met her future husband in the university corridor four years after her arrival in the States. Later they were paired up in a university dance team: they matched each other in height. So they began to get to know each other better. When Olga came it was time to return to New York, Justin made her an offer, which the woman accepted - only four months passed from the day she met to the wedding day.
The life of Olga and her family is at a glance for those who follow her in Instagram... In the blog, a woman writes about her maternal feelings, conveys important moments in the life of her family, shows the directions of her work. Only one area of her life is hidden from human eyes - this is dancing: "I share my life so much as a blogger and creative director that I want to have something that will only be mine, personal."
Olga is engaged in dancing, but as a freelancer. For years she was bound by contracts that, among other things, did not give the right to maternity leave, and freelancing gives a certain freedom. Olga is trying to smoothly switch from active activity due to her age (she turned 37) and to reduce the load. However, he notes: “I love dancing. This is something that will always be with me, something without which I cannot exist. Sometimes during the season, when I have to play a lot, I feel tired and I want to get it over with. But a week or two passes - and I want to return again. "
Online business and blog
Your blog Living notes Olga started in 2007 when the first blogs appeared and did not exist Instagram. Then it was a personal online diary, in which she wrote about her experience while waiting for her third child. At that time, the family was still living in New York. Her husband, a marketing expert, decided to try her skills on Olga's projects - and she assumed the role of creative director. From her experience, a woman knew how difficult it is to choose products for children, if there is not enough information, and a lot of products. She decided to create a kind of guide for parents, which she lacked herself when the family was preparing for the appearance of their first child. Olga began to publish information about products for children that were useful to her. So the blog has become popular.
An example to follow and the object of criticism
Blog on Instagram Olga perceives it as a way of connecting with people and something very personal: “My goal is to convey the message that I myself would like to hear at 20, then I would have done some things differently. And if my reflections, discoveries help others in any way, I am happy. "
“There was a time,” Olga recalls, “when negative reviews were very painful for me, especially if I was sharing something very personal, for example, the story of the premature birth of my second daughter. At the same time, I got rid of this, it became much easier ”. Thousands of people sent comments and messages in which they wrote that they had experienced this. The biggest challenge was learning to ignore the negativity. “It's okay - you shouldn't be liked by everyone. The main challenge is not to let negative comments stop you. "
Balance of professional and personal life
Olga's strong fear was that she would not be able to continue doing what she loved if she had a family. “After the birth of her first son, my mother came to visit me, I showed her the records of my performances, and ... burst into tears. Mom said: “Why are you crying? Just go and do it. You can take the child with you. ” Her words were the push I needed. ”
Olga continued to work. My husband was at work all day, and none of his relatives were there to help him, so she relied only on herself. In the studio there was always someone who could look after children, toys for them. After finishing the work, Olga gave all the time to the children, keeping the balance. Over time, the work schedules of Olga and her husband became flexible, and they were able to take their children to extracurricular activities and go about their business. At some point, they began to build a team. Living notes and work in an office / studio.
School at home - features of distance learning
Before moving to San Francisco, children went to a regular school. But in this city a special school system, says Olga. While in most states, children attend residential schools, in San Francisco, the school is determined by lottery results. “Since all our children had different interests, according to the results of the lottery, they ended up in different schools throughout the city. I would have had to spend 40 minutes to get from one school to another. Plus the stress that the children are separated. ”
The alternative was distance learning. Olga was incredulous about this idea, but when she saw with her own eyes how the system works, she is now a supporter: “The system tests the child’s knowledge, gives individual lessons, allows us to delve into what interests them and progress in this direction.” Children communicate with each other, meet with peers who live nearby, work on joint projects.
Advice for parents who want to have more children
“After the second child, with every next one, we heard from our parents a question - why do you need more?” Olga says. She is sure that there are no norms in such matters: “For some, one child is all that is needed. Other people have ten children and are happy. You need to listen to your inner voice. Olga also notes that a mother should be able to support her children on her own, since life is unpredictable.
Olga considers resistance from society not worthy of attention: “I never thought that I would have a big family, but now I cannot imagine my life without any of them. Yes, life has its own difficulties, but it is so wonderful to watch how children communicate with each other, to be with them ... Each of them is a part of me, and together we are one. I would not want it to be different. "