Thursday, March 21, 2013

The New Era

  I have finally found that balance I have been searching for since starting this adventure 6 years ago. Funny that it took becoming a mother in order to find it.
The babe staring out the window on a cold, grey day

    I told a good friend the other day, "Motherhood is a great job for a workaholic." - as long as the new "work" becomes the baby, I guess. I love being a Mommy, even more than I have loved being a professional artist for the past 5 years. I find myself loving getting up at the crack of dawn and making the coffee with one hand, and I love reading novels to my baby to put him to bed at 7:30, when I used to be still at the work table chugging another cup of coffee getting ready for a long night. Changing diapers, being held prisoner for 6 hours a day breastfeeding, getting peed on. I am loving every minute.
      My workdays thus far have been 7-8 hours  (technically my planned Maternity leave ended when he turned 6 weeks two weeks ago, but I actually returned to the studio part time at 3 1/2 weeks postpartum  ). Which is amazing, and only happened for the first time during the last week or two of my pregnancy, when I was getting too tired and it was too difficult to plan any further into the future than a few hours.
Taking a little time out for a snuggle

    I am so thankful that my business is stable enough to allow me the time with my son. The workday now consists of sprints in between feedings, running to replace the binky, the occasional story time break and wearing him while I work, and must end in time to go home and get him ready for bed. We set up a pack & play, and have some baskets for now filled with blankets and burp cloths, story books and rattles, which will hold toys and other baby things soon enough. I have a feeling he will have a full on nursery outfitted in the studio soon! We are blessed with a full service building and bathrooms big enough to hold the changing table, and a kitchen fit to cook up a grilled cheese when he becomes a toddler. I think i am definitely making some tourists uncomfortable when they come in to the studio and I am breastfeeding on the couch, but, hey, they weren't there to buy anything anyways.....right?
Spending a little time with Dad
    Another exciting thing is that  I have hired a studio helper. I am hoping to maximize the time that I do have in the studio so that we can increase production and shorten lead times for our galleries and wholesale clients. It is my dream to have a studio exploding with work, gain the flexibility I need to make more new work and of course, have more family time. So far it has been great. Its a little frustrating training someone, but Mike is there, as always, to help lighten the load a little. ( I cannot put into words how amazing he is, as a business partner, father and husband. I seriously hit the man jackpot. I call him a unicorn!) She is able to do a little more independently than he can on the studio side, so now I have even more hands doing the work that doesn't necessarily require my own. There is a learning curve for me, scheduling my days in such a way that really takes advantage of every second, figuring out everything that I can delegate without compromise, and really grasping the concept of time management, but so far, its going well, if a lot slower than before baby. I think it will only get better as we go on.
    On a side note, we really don't spend all day snuggling the baby on the couch, but the pictures sure make it look that way!  We have posted some babywearing shots on the facebook page if you don;t believe me!