I am taking a break from house stuff lately because we have been doing just too much. Anyway, for the sake of keeping it real I want to talk about my experience with being a stay at home (sometimes working at home) mom.
About 11 years ago, when I was in graduate school at the Rhode Island School of Design I spent a lot of time thinking about what I hoped my life would be like once all my schooling was over. I had this idea that once I was done and had my MFA degree I would set up a studio in RI and spend my time designing and coming up with new ideas and creating new pieces and teaching all while socializing with my artist friends and being truly happy. That is the life I pictured for myself for so many years.
The reality is this: Once I got done with grad school, needing to earn a paycheck (since my husband was still in school) I went to work for a costume jewelry company. It was interesting work. I got to draw a lot and design and I earned a good living, but the dreamer in me knew it wasn't enough. I wanted to use my own brilliant, creative ideas for me - not for someone else to make a lot of money off of.
So, once I was pregnant with my first child (8 years ago now) I decided to leave my job. I never really thought I would stay home for the duration, just for the first year or so. What no one told me was that once you are home it is very very difficult to go back. So, I did freelance work for a while until we moved back to NY. For a time, I really thought I could be a mom and have a studio and make art and my kids would be happy to play in a corner of the studio outfitted with toys and life would be just grand. DOH!! I mean really who is doing that????!!! I need to know so I can come and see if you are a real person or are secretly an alien programmed to function without stress and anxiety.
Fast forward to my life now. For the last few years, I have been home with my second child. I take on custom jewelry projects here and there, but its not nearly enough to even give me spending money. And it's really stressful because I have to try and figure out when I am actually going to have the time to get the work done.
I occupy my creative brain by thinking about house projects and gardening and design all while honestly being really depressed that I can't give my creative endeavors the nurturing they need to grow. I know some people say that they can do it all (run a creative business while having young kids at home), but I can't for the life of me understand how?!
I was talking to another artist friend today who chose basically the same path as me, and even though her kids are grown enough to be in school all day she echoed what I feel. Moms have it hard. I think if I could do it all over I would have stayed at my job at least for a while longer. I admire my friends who are working moms. I know it can be very hard for them too to be away from their kids all day, but I think in the end if mom is happy it's better for everyone.
So, why such a negative post? Well, all we see these days on blogs, FB, Pinterest, Instagram, etc, is how happy everyone is, and how perfect their house is, and how wonderful their life. That is NOT real life. Real life is sometimes sad days, dirty dishes, screaming kids, dogs who decide to puke when you are expecting company, and dinners of mac and cheese from a box. That is reality for more people than what we often see on social media.
What can we do about it? I am not really sure, but just writing this post makes me feel better. I hope to read more posts about people keeping it real and then maybe our own reality and the pile of dirty laundry on the floor won't seem so bad.
If you made it to the end of this post. Thank you for reading. Thank you.
(and at least she makes me laugh)
|One of both of us was probably crying 10 minutes before or after this picture was taken!|