Monday, March 03, 2008

Doing it All?

In Dark Trees
Originally uploaded by m.Lee
First, I hope everybody enjoyed their extra day. I did actually enjoy mine. I barely remember it at this point though. But I do remember that I enjoyed it.

But now trying to do it all isn't going so well for me. This is not a new piece.

How do you mums manage to balance everything so you can be there for your child while still having the time and energy to not only make art and or crafts? For awhile it seemed like I was doing it. Now just doing it but excelling at it. I felt powerful, I felt proud of myself. Sometimes I wondered even that people might think I was neglecting her because I was as productive as I am. Of course now I pretty much think the opposite. That people are watching me fall out of art and becoming simply a mommy. Not that there is anything wrong with just focusing on being a mother, but it just isn't what I want for myself. Am I being selfish?

I spend about five or more hours a day with my daughter strapped to me in some way or another. More during the weekdays. It is the only way she will nap and if she doesn't get her naps she screams. I'm able to do light housework and cleaning but that is about it. If I am wearing a certain carrier I can maybe draw. We just got back from one of our walks so I have a moment of piece. But mentally I am just not in a space to do what I need to do. I have all this canvas, gorgeous papers and of course blocks and inks to print with. Yet I have barely touched them in weeks. I haven't been sketching much and I certainly haven't been photographing my sketches for the 365 project. It just leaves me feeling like I failed already. Even going a week without making something feels like an eternity to me. I did some Gocco printing on Thursday but even that was too long ago. I haven't used any of the prints yet.


Jessica Ziel said...

I understand. I won't go into details, but I understand. One thing that I have tried to do lately, is have one day where I set aside lots of time to draft new ideas, start projects, cut-out fabric, sew, etc. During that time my mom comes and helps with the kids or whatever I need (sewing on a button while I change a diaper etc). It is only one day, but it has helped. Do you have anyone that might be interested in sitting with blee for a period of time while you just focus? Good luck. It isn't a fun situation.

Marissa L. Swinghammer said...

Thanks for your kind response Jessica. Sadly I do not have anybody to help. We have no family close that is willing to help and our friends are very busy with their own kids and or their own lives.

The only help I could get is if I paid for it and I don't want to do that.

Jessica Ziel said...

We used to live away from family too. It is harder when you don't have that as an option. you think your friends would be interested in trading? You take their kids one day for a few hours they take yours? That might be a bit more than you'd want to do! When my lil' one stopped napping, I cried. literally cried. I took everything out of my shop and let it sit empty for 2 weeks. I still don't get nearly as much done as I should, in fact you blow me out of the water in productivity...if that make you feel any better. Being a mommy and up-keeping a business/craft/art is a very difficult balance. I have complete empathy!

Marissa L. Swinghammer said...

Yeah, I've thought about that but I don't know if I could handle 3-4 kids because everybody I know with kids has more than one.

But on the bright side I somehow managed to make a collage today. I was feeling inspired and I did it in installments and now it is complete. But the battery to my camera is dead so pictures are going to have to wait.

Amanda said...

Do you have a baby swing? My little one doesn't nap much, and when he does, he falls asleep in our arms. If I can sneak him into the swing without waking him, the movement will help him stay sleeping for awhile and I can get some things done. He's 14 months old and it still works, so if you get a swing that's good up to 30 lbs it's a good investment. I guess the hard part would be getting blee out of the carrier without waking her.

Good luck! It really is a juggling act!

Jessica Ziel said...

YAY! Good job marissa. PS I love the sewing idea, it adds a very interesting element.