Before I had to return back to work I felt like I was making some head way on a few projects. But a few weeks later after my return I feel like nothing has gotten done. Trying to balance it, my art and my 6 month old baby, mostly on my own, is definitely overwhelming. I’m desperately trying to find some balance and a routine but honestly, I feel the need to work on my mind set. Which means…
1. BE MFN GRACIOUS and UNDERSTANDING to YOURSELF! I’m guilty of being a perfectionist. I put way too much pressure on myself. I have about 5 WIP’s at the moment and I feel like they equally need my attention. Along with keeping my baby a priority and my home clean (and going back to work). Its too much sometimes but it’s why I have to force myself to stop and take a breather and just enjoy whichever moment I’m in. If it’s the 5 minutes it takes to hold and comfort my baby or the 5 minutes I get to sew or string a bead I need to be mindful and present. Remember that you’re doing your best. Don’t get agitated, this is an adjustment. Which leads to #2.
#2 Don’t feel guilty! Idk about you but I’m definitely the artist that can zone out for hours. Prioritizing my art over basic needs like going to the toilet, sleeping and eating. I know. But seriously if I’m in the midst of a project it has my complete attention; I’m lasered focused and fully committed to it. So there is this twinge that comes over me when I’m working and he is having a fussier than usual day and he won’t let me put him down or his standing chair time will not suffice. I feel guilty that I become impatient at moments, wanting to devote time to my art. I have to remind myself it’s ok. Your project will be there. Love on your baby, enjoy these moments because we all know how fleeting they are.
#3 Enjoy it! Time is precious. When art has been and is your therapy or a form of meditation in your life and your way of loving on yourself; Don’t feel guilty for enjoying it. Soon enough you’ll be able to share it with you’re little one. And they already see what you’re doing. The five minutes I do get you better believe I’m more likely to use them then I was before I had a kid. My little one can sometimes be a 15 minute napper. On those days I must take advantage of that time; Whether its to quickly do the dishes or just take a shower. Time becomes extremely more valuable when you have a demanding Lil baby that needs your attention. So the few seconds you do get, enjoy them and make the best of them.
I think the point is to remember that yes your art is important and you will have to sacrifice some of the time you spend on it but it doesn’t mean that you aren’t an artist anymore. It’s honestly a beautiful journey melding the two. Be open to the process. You do not have to give up your art. I know the feeling. I wondered if I’d have to give it up. Struggling with your identity after having a child is no joke. Just remember it’s just going to take an adjustment, some patience and understanding. When you have a baby, everyday won’t be the same, so just do your best to show up for yourself daily and try and do the one thing you can or need to do today.
I’m the first one that gets annoyed when people suggest day care. I don’t have too many people to rely on or understand that my art is more than a damn hobby to me. If you can afford day care more power to you, take advantage of it or anyone who is willing to help. But if you’re on your own I know how overwhelming the pressure can be. Don’t underestimate the value of: some sleep, a hot shower, a clean space, a cup of coffee or enjoying some nature. Relax, you’re doing great! Your child sees all that you’re doing. Hang in there.
And o one more thing! Becoming a mother is not a choice that should be taken lightly, no woman should be forced to carry a pregnancy or become a mother before she is ready. I’m so glad I waited till now and even at 37, I can admit it’s a lot of responsibility. It’s a fulltime commitment that takes 127% of your time. So enjoy your life and don’t be in a rush and dont let anyone pressure you in having children before you’re ready. I stand by all my fellow pro-choice women and supporters. Reproductive rights are human rights. A women’s rights poster to come soon!