Thursday, May 23, 2013

Facing the Inevitable

My heart times 2.
   Here I sit. Its 9 p.m., I just got home from a 13 hour day, I am hooked to the dreaded breast pump, eating dinner and facing what I have put off for as long as I can. No matter how hard I try, I will not be able to be home every night to put Caleb to bed.
   As the sweetness of his first few months of life come to a close, and he is a little more self sufficient, I am becoming buried with work. We just got two huge jobs, totalling about 900 pieces, which is great, it really is, but it means that for the next 4 months, there will be many, many nights like tonight.
   I am so blessed to have this life, I can have him at work, stop to take a walk or read a story any time I want,  plop him down in his chair next to me while I make work. I have an amazing husband to help all day, every day. But there is nothing- nothing- that could prepare me for what I am feeling now. This conflict, this heartbreak, it's something I thought I could somehow escape.
    How could I know how heavy the burden of being financially responsible for my family would be once Caleb arrived. How huge the responsibility would feel on top of my typical Type A drive once the babies started coming. We need health insurance and bigger cars, and vacations so we can just be together as a family, nutritious food, a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, money for the future. On top of the financial pressure, I want to be there for my baby, to be the very best, most present mom I can be. I don't know if I can be both simultaneously. I want to be there for every second, change every dirty diaper, wipe away every tear, tuck him into every nap, give him every bath, be there for every little laugh.
   How do I reconcile this role of provider with my role as a mother? I must sit in that studio and make 900 tiles and keep the business going and growing, there is no choice there. When you are providing for your family and someone offers you a paycheck for 4 months, you have to take it. 
   We are taking 12 days off together as a family, a much needed break, and one I anticipated while Caleb was still in my belly. It has been a long 4 months. I had almost no maternity leave (less than 4 weeks), and the first 2 months were such a giant adjustment for us as a couple and as business partners. I fulfilled my lifelong dream of becoming a mother and discovered that even though it is by far the most challenging thing I have ever done, I can't wait to do it again. I finally found the meaning of this insane journey - it gave me a way to have and support my family.
   Off I go, to slip into bed, nurse my little one and toss and turn all night with worry. To start again tomorrow, dreaming of our little vacation, when for almost two weeks, I get to finally feel what its like to just be a mom and wife- away from the studio, away from the studio stroll, away from the dirty house the dogs, the need for a new car, the hospital bills, the taxes, the garden we have yet to plant . I am going to hang onto every second like its my last. I can't f**king wait.


  1. Its so hard to be all the things we want to be for our babies, all the precious moments we want to cherish and not miss a one. Its a high bar we moms set for ourselves. No one could have told us the over whelming love we would feel, the heartstrings that would be pulled, the guilt, the pressure to be there all the time for them. You are doing an amazing job and he is so lucky to have you for his mommie!

  2. Wow Heather... thanks for sharing this. I can totally understand and relate to what you are going though right now. I too am a self employed ceramic artist/business woman and currently 3 months pregnant with our first child. Although I am thrilled to be living a dream, I am filled with worry about when I too will be feeling your same dilemma. Just know you are a huge inspiration to me and working mamas everywhere! You are a superwoman... a supermom! Enjoy your time off with your family ;)

    1. Good luck to you! That is so exciting! Enjoy every second of being pregnant, even when you get to the end and are big and tired and have heartburn! What a special time.
      Let me know if you ever want to chat. I am happy to offer my experiences.

  3. Heather ... it's good that you wrote it all down ... release it & put worries to the back of your mind. True, responsibilities loom larger when a child comes, however, it all seems to fall into place & work out somehow. You have a strong foundation, a beautiful child, a supportive husband & creative freedom. These are what you must be grateful for as there will always be the unknown challenges in the future. One day at a time, one tile at a time. I, too, had challenges early on & struggled with the feeling of having our two daughters only 15 months apart & back to working full time after only a short time. Yet today, they are healthy, now in their last college years & becoming wonderful women. No, I wasn't there either for every moment, however I cherish the ones I was able to. I learned that life is a partnership & it's the culmination of a joint effort (or for some mothers a single effort!) & your child will remember those times when you were there & not remember those you weren't. So, keep the faith, take care of yourself. I admire your artistic talent & entrepreneurial drive. You're a role model to your family & most importantly, yourself! Enjoy your vacation. Much love & "virtual" support!

    1. Thank you Sharon! I am keeping the faith and gratitude coming! Our motto for my labor, which is still up on our wall at home says "It will not be easy, but it will be worth it"

  4. At this time it sounds like Movable Type is the preferred blogging platform out there right now. (From what I've read) Is that what you're using in your blog?
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