Obviously, being a good artist and a good mother at the same time is a daunting task. And I'm not going tell you that I am successful with balancing the two, or that I've
figured it out. Whatever "it" is. This post is more or less an expression of my struggle with it. As some of you might know, I home-school my three girls. They are in Kindergarten, Third Grade, and Fifth Grade. I home-school them through a co-teaching program at a local charter school. So, in a nutshell, I school them three days a week and they go to their charter school two days a week. SO much easier than it has been in the past. I did it all on my own for about five years before we "crossed over". Lol. Still, it's a ton of work. The charter school expects us parents to cover 80% of the teaching, so I guess the kids really just go to school to socialize and work on a few classroom projects. They absolutely love it though and we have never been so successful in homeschooling as we have been these last two years with our charter school.
My beautiful girls and their needs, homeschooling them, teaching them to love and follow Jesus, providing home cooked meals, loving on them, and teaching them the life skills they will need when they are on their own is a huge responsibility. In fact it does take the number one priority spot in my life right now. Not to mention that I do have an amazing husband who needs me too. Despite all these tremendous blessings in my life that I adore and want to give 120% of myself to, there is that intense and nagging desire to create. It is something that I cannot stifle and hope it will eventually die. When I push my creative side away, I am the only one who dies. I have found that I can go a max of about a week before it starts negatively affecting me and everyone around me. My family actually suffers if I do not have time to create. I am mopey, and depressed, and tired, unmotivated, and worst of all, completely unfocused. When I finally take the time to pull out my brushes and fuel my artistic side I feel lighter and happier and more fulfilled. It's like a great burden has been lifted and I can finally breathe. A good analogy is the difference between a house in the dead of winter all shut up and musty and gloomy and a house in the summertime with all the doors and windows open and birds singing and breezes blowing through. Sigh. I think I might need to paint today...
So how do I balance all of this? Who knows. I do my best with what I have every day. It doesn't mean that I do a good job of balancing it, but I try. The Lord is helping me to change my attitudes about my children and about the talents He's given me to balance my life better. I'm a work in progress. Everyone is, I suppose. But it sure does seem like other artist moms have it more figured out than I do and I wish I could get there faster. Enjoy the journey. That's what I keep telling myself. And I am! I am enjoying it immensely! But I still wish I could get there faster. Lol I am not a patient person. Not only am I not patient, but I'm a perfectionist as well. I want things done perfectly and ahead of schedule to be blunt. Wow did I just make myself sound like a case. I think I might have been a better boss than a mom.
I do have a plan, however small it is. My first step to balancing being both a mother and an artist is actually scheduling time to paint. No matter whether the laundry needs done, or the dishes need put away, or the carpet needs vacuuming, I will paint at my scheduled time. I can't have my cake and eat it too and to me my cake is a clean house and eating it is my painting time. Something's gotta give. And my house will just have to be a little more messy.
I know all of you other mommy artists out there struggle with the same things. I'd love to hear your success stories! Things you've tried that have worked well for you in getting in more art time and still meeting the needs of your family. Maybe I could put together a compilation of all your stories in a blog post to share with others. OR... what if I started a series here on my blog about Artist Moms and interviewed artists who are also mothers?? Does that already exist?
I will keep you posted on how it's going on my end. I also look forward to sharing with you more of my art process and how I paint and what inspires my art! Thanks for taking the time to read