A fellow Instagram artist posed the question on her feed of how other mom/artists felt about balancing their work with their children. It was such a good thread and I enjoyed others' insights. Here was my two cents:
I was pregnant with my fourth baby (in four years), when I felt a very strong impression that God wanted me to pursue my art. Really? Now? But if he thought I could do it, I was willing to give it a try. It's been six months now, and I've been amazed to see how I've been able to do both. I have to be organized and efficient with my time. I've sacrificed play dates and other social outings at times. I made a little rule of Mom in the Morning, Art in the Afternoon, which coincides with naps and preschool (the rule can get broken when occasion calls). It's made me more deliberate when I do sit and focus and play with my kids. And I think it's actually been good for them to have more independent play too. The older kids have art supplies, so they'll often come create by me while I paint and that's my favorite. I've learned to let the interruptions become part of the process, and it doesn't rock me as much when I have to set down the brush to change a Barbie outfit. I'll use the time when I stop and nurse the baby to step back and stare at what I'm working on, which has actually helped my art. Balance may not come in every moment or even every day, but I'm conscious to rotate my neglect and not let any area of my life suffer too drastically. An unexpected joy has been to see how thrilled my kids are with what I create. When they see my painting in a show, they're crazy thrilled and proud of me. Even my one-and-a-half year old will point at my paintings and say, "Mama!!" I hope it will teach them to pursue their own dreams as well.
What are your thoughts? How do you pursue your creative work while raising kids? How do you balance your needs and their needs?