Posts tagged working mom
When You Want to Say Yes to Everything
artist studio of Michelle Schneider, The Art of Michelle

artist studio of Michelle Schneider, The Art of Michelle

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.

an animation I've been working on

an animation I've been working on

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.

out for a walk with Josie and Sarge

out for a walk with Josie and Sarge

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. 

Balancing Work and Motherhood

We decided, for the first time since having a child, to actually hire a real babysitter to come to the house, which has proven to be a bit of a difficult transition for Josie who is very stranger aware and VERY attached to her mama.

But I've been desperate for some quiet time in the studio and have struggled so much to get all the work done that needs to be done every week, so we're pushing through the discomfort!

I'm hoping this transition will allow me a few extra hours every week to do some more serious marketing for my business and also to pursue a few personal passions that I've been dying to get to.

This truly is the struggle of motherhood- to decide how much time/energy to devote to your child and how much time/energy is healthy to spend away doing your own thing and pursuing your own dreams. Honestly, I see a lot of moms who don't take enough time away, and I totally get that struggle. 

But let me ask: should we, as moms, put our own desires on hold until our kids are grown? If not, how do we still pursue those dreams and be a good mom? 

I think the answer to these questions are probably different for everyone, but since I work from home, the boundary lines have always been blurry for me. I've felt the pressure to do BOTH jobs at the same time, which is crazy hard. Impossible most days. 

So, a few weeks ago, I finally asked for help and am praying it works out for us all. I actually think a little bit of space between Josie and I will be a good thing. The girl is obsessed with me, and I'm pretty obsessed with her too! haha

If you have young kids, is this balance something you struggle with too? How do you overcome the guilt of separation? How do you teach your kids healthy boundaries? 

Leave a comment and let me know! I need all the advice I can get!