I'm not sure why it took me so long to realize that full-time stay-at-home mom is not the life for me.
In order to keep my sanity and still grow as a person, I need a lot of alone time to think, read, journal, pray, paint, and work on my business. You just don't get that kind of time when you have a toddler running around the house in her diaper screaming! :)
I'm willing to give up nearly everything for my kids, but, I've come to realize that there are some things I'm actually NOT willing to give up. My career has just meant too much to me- it's a part of who I am, really. It's one of those things that brings me joy and restores my sanity. I'm just not willing to give it up right now.
Having kids has been a great filtering system for me to see quickly and clearly what I need to start saying "no" to and let drop out of my life and what I want/need to say "yes" to. It's actually helped me simplify my life to where I now feel the freedom to be much more selective with my decisions in order to allow me enough time to be with my family and do the things that are really important with my career.
Nowhere does this filtering system serve a better purpose than in my business. I used to feel like I wanted to do everything, literally everything, with my art from licensing to wholesale to illustration. I was always adding to the list of aspirations.
But now it seems to be crystal clear that my focus needs to be in just two areas every single day: serving my customers and working toward a career in children's illustration. The rest, for now, I'll have to say no to, even though saying no literally gives me pain in my gut almost every time. I still want to do everything, but I now know that I just can't do it all right now.
This newfound clarity has really been inspiring and motivating for me lately, and, for the first time in a very long time, the lack of clutter in my brain has caused a flood of new ideas for my portfolio and for children's books and illustrations. I've been working on my portfolio nearly every day when I finish my commissions, which is huge for me!
So, I'm thanking God today for all the help I've had lately with Josie and for the clarity that I've been so desperately praying for! I'm hoping to start sharing more of my personal illustrative work here on the blog and will in some small ways over the next year, start to turn my career in that direction.