May 2011 – Balancing Act: Artist + Mother

At the beginning of the year, I wrote about The Big Balancing Act, balancing careers and motherhood along with everything else.

Recently on Art Biz Blog, Alyson asked her readers for tips on balancing art and motherhood. I replied to the post and thought that this is something soooo many women go through and it was worth sharing here too, so I’ve posted my response below:

Oh I can definitely relate. I’m a full time working mom who is trying to keep an art career going on the side. I find that it’s all about organisation and realistic goals.

Sometimes we have a tendency to focus on what we haven’t done and it’s self defeating. It’s a cycle that I have to continuously work hard to break. So what I do is organise myself. I break down my goals into tasks. For example if I’m entering an exhibition, I’ll note tasks such as painting, framing, application deadline etc. and I’ll make time slots for all of these through the week. (I learned a great deal of this in Alyson’s Blast Off Class in Jan 2011)

If you are able to get a good routine going it will become habit and your family will hopefully adapt to that schedule. But at the same time, I have to keep my goals realistic. Expecting to finish a painting in 3 days just isn’t realistic when there’s work, followed by caring for the fam, laundry and cooking etc. Plus sometimes I look at how much full time professional artist accomplish and expect the same for myself but that’s not realistic, another thing I have to keep in check.

In addition, I have to draw a line somewhere because when I spend time with my fam, it needs to be quality time. I have this written down in my art journal as a reminder:

“It is unacceptable to neglect health, family, friends and recreation in your eagerness to succeed. You must vigorously maintain balance that helps your art to flourish”… while not neglecting your responsibilities to loved ones and yourself.

Source: I’d Rather Be in the Studio

So in all –> Success = Organised Tasks + Realistic Goals

How do all of my mother’s out there balance their motherhood responsibilities along with their passion for art? Let’s share our thoughts and encourage others to find their balance.