Balancing Motherhood + a Creative Life

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This season of my life has me creating art.

I’ve had to shift the gears of my creative mind. For years, I’ve been used to working at night, under the cover of the moon, sleeping children finally quiet in their beds, the motions of the day on pause. I would work until the birds were heard chirping in the morning. It was hard on my body because I was still expected to wake up with my kids and take care of their needs bright and early and then start my writing. But it was a sacrifice I was willing to make to do my art.

Funny the way life is. I gave up any notion of doing art professionally because I just thought it was an impossible lifestyle. But I had friends and relatives encourage me. Some gave me not-so-subtle pushes. So I went for it. I just started creating pieces just to make them, because they needed to be created. Now here I am, working on pieces for three upcoming art shows in L.A, Oakland and my hometown of Riverside.

Three shows. Hmmm.

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I had to flip my creative processes. I’ve been creating art during the day and saving the writing for late at night. My writing has slowed down a bit, so I can focus on the art and I’m okay with that. My studio is currently filled with works in progress, wood panels and canvases, paint and brushes and water jars. I’ve had the conversation with my family so they could look out for one another, cook for themselves and basically know that I still love them even though I am hyper-focused on this art stuff at the moment. We are all currently still alive but I know without a doubt I couldn’t have managed this when my kids were really young. The guilt and the messy house alone would have sent me straight to the looney bin.

Here is the secret to balancing motherhood and a creative life: there is no such a thing as a “balance”. It’s a careful teetering over the edge of a cliff, narrowly escaping death every day. It’s pretty exhilarating if you think about it.

That said, I start my mornings by turning a blind eye to dust bunnies and dirty dishes and I sip a cup of herbal tea while I clean my paint trays of dried acrylic paint globs (which is oddly satisfying, I might add). Dare I say, I feel like a real artist.

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