I am a wife.
I am a mom.
I am a designer.
I am an artist.
I am a full-time graphic designer by day and an artist by night. I am a serious multi-tasker.
I have recently been thinking about my various roles and how it may look from the outside in, so I wanted to share with you an inside-out perspective.
I love being a mom. I really do. I never thought I would have the opportunity, let alone love it so much. I am a kid at heart (hello artist!) and I enjoy playing make-believe and using my imagination just as much as when I was little myself. I bring that to my role as a mom all of the time. I make up songs, I play in imaginative ways…creating characters out of random objects amongst many other things, and when I read I get fairly animated. We have fun and I am really thoroughly present and involved.
I have my son with me when I work on Mondays and Fridays. He plays a lot on his own during this time so that I can focus on work. I honestly believe that all kids need to play on their own in order to grow their own sense of imagination. Too much interference and they wouldn’t be able to create make-believe scenarios all on their own. And trust me, this mama has trouble letting that happen, BUT work makes me make it happen. I can’t play and work. So, I essentially sit by and watch him and check-in providing opportunities such as letting him go out in the back yard while I sit near-by and listen out. Sometimes when I don’t take a lunch I even take him out to the park and we play and swing and slide. We may even take trips to target and get a little prize for both of us.
On these evenings after a full day of one-on-one, I generally need a little me-break. I may take a short nap or draw a little in my studio. If it were a really bad day and work was sacrificed then I end up working late to fill in missed time. It’s all in a balance.
On the other days of the week Tuesday-Thursday I can spend more time developing my own interests. I rarely take lunch and so it affords me the opportunity to get out of the house, go to the park or spend time in my studio. When my husband and son get home I try to make time to only focus on my son while my husband cooks. Oh yes, my husband cooks…that helps tremendously with me being able to enjoy my interests AND be a mom.
A lot of times my son will join me in my studio and color and watch cartoons while I finish something up and then we play and read or watch some tv. I am not against tv at all, as long as we are getting lots of unplugged activity as well. Which with all the outside play that he loves, I think we have a great balance.
All through the week I get about 2-3 hours at night while my son is sleeping to focus on other things. This tends to be when I fit in chores and studio time. I pretty much squeeze studio time in where ever I can here and there. I really care about it, so I make the time for it.
I know other moms and non-artist folks are like…does she spend any time with her kid?! She is ALWAYS drawing!! Always on social media?! But, the trick here is using your time wisely. My husband needs one-on-one time with our son and our son needs that with him too. Our son needs independent play, just as much if not more than getting time with me. But, when I am focusing on him, I am truly focused on him. We actively play.
When other moms are reading or Netflix binging or whatever, I am in my studio. I manage to Netflix binge myself in-between bouts of creativity (which comes in waves), but I have found that time stretches for the things you care about. When I was single, I couldn’t imagine being able to make art and have kids, but it turns out that I make more art now than I did when I was not a mama but I also regularly make time for playing and bonding with my son.
There are days when no studio time has happened, but I have taken videos and pics ahead of time and post the ones that haven’t been shared yet. I make it work because I will never stop drawing. I LOVE it. period.