(a little sketch i did this weekend)
most of you know that, like all moms, i juggle parenting + then everything else
(sounds so simple, doesn't it?)
i like to believe my schedule is flexible, and in some ways it is, but in other ways it's more set in place than i'd like to believe.
i am home with my girls, and then on the mornings (ruby is three mornings a week and monrovia is at school monday-friday until 3 pm this year!) when they are in school i work in my studio on non-illustration related paintings. i have a rule that my studio time is only for my paintings and not for my freelance work.
at night when they go to sleep i work on freelance illustration jobs, mostly for papyrus
all the time people say to me, "you're so lucky you work from home."
yes, yes i am.
i'm incredibly grateful for the fact that i get to spend my days with my girls.
matt and i have made a lot of choices so that we could be the primary ones with our kidlets in these beginning years,
but i also recognize that doing freelance work enables that choice to happen more easily.
i honestly don't know how i would have held down a typical job when m was first diagnosed as being deaf and done all of the appointments, therapy, school an hour away, so it has been a lifesaver for me to have a job in which i make steady (even if it isn't massive) income while doing something enjoyable. i love, love, love getting to be with my girls, so that ultimately trumps the downsides, but in the day to day i do feel the pressure of being stretched in multiple directions.
i get to have mindless tv on in the background while i work
(of course it is usually to keep me awake since i work at night),
i get to work when the entire house is asleep & i get to work in my pajamas if i want!
i make money doing something creative- not many artists can say that.
oh, and i get to buy my own greeting cards.
also a win.
that said, there are downsides that i am always trying to work through:
i feel like i could always (yes, always) be working.
in fact, if i am just sitting reading a magazine even if it is at 10 pm, i feel like i should be working on freelance ideas even if i don't have a deadline.
i take vacation (haven't you seen my fun posts or instagram pics of jaunts to tahoe, ventura and so cal?) of course, but 90% of the time i have deadlines when i am on vacation. which means the part you don't see is that i am scanning art or running to ups or emailing art directors when i'm supposedly on vacation. my sweet matt is very patient with me, but he often gets the short end of the stick when i am stuck working when we are on vacation or it's his weekend.
just because i am home doesn't mean i am doing either job- being a mom or working on artwork- very well. sometimes i'm just sucky, behind, or sloppy at both of them. or giving way more attention to one over the other and failing miserably in one arena. it feels sort of defeating to be constantly trying to hold the two in balance.
sometimes i am up very late. sometimes? very, very, very late. last night i put the girls down around 7:30 pm and then was working from 7:45 at night until 4:18 in the morning. and then my alarm rang at 7 to get up and start my day with my kids. burning the candle at both ends, anyone? yes, that would be me.
this past week i've been working like crazy on some deadlines and the only way i could get work done was to let my kids be in the studio with me.
ruby wanted to be held so this was my compromise:
i kid you not, i worked on a greeting card with her on my shoulders
i was planning on working all night long and ruby got a sudden, terrible flu
which meant instead i sat on the couch holding her.
a sacred moment to comfort my sick child
but my mind kept racing back to what i was supposed to be working on...
some little paintings like this one...
so i improvised this morning
knee deep in deadlines?
ruby came and painted on my studio floor
worked on the floor while ruby and my nephew ezra played.
i can't decide if that is cheating as a parent/nephew-sitter
i think a lot about how many ways women have so much on their plates these days,
how we are trying to carry so very much and make it all healthy and pretty and doable.
and i hope i am in some way succeeding and balancing it (sort of kind of!)
i know i'm not alone;
every mom i know, even if they are "stay-at-home,"
is juggling so much and with such love.
how do you prioritize?
how do you know when you need to walk away from your work?
(and can someone give me a hand clap for making it until this afternoon on two hours of sleep without coffee? because i kid you not- we ran out of coffee beans and so i had no caffeine, two kids, a deadline, and somehow i held it together.)
(and let's hope we all get more sleep tonight?)