Saturday, March 29, 2014

Remembering to Listen

I spruced up the living room this week!
       The past few years have been full of some pretty extreme ups and downs for me. Just since getting pregnant two years ago, I lost my best friend and my studio space, moved into my new one, brought my husband on full time, had a baby, experienced a chronic injury and doubled my business. Can you say stress?
   Having a baby changes you so much, and I feel like I only had a few minutes to enjoy it before I was back into a pretty grueling work schedule over the summer. There have been a lot of tears over the last year. Trying to keep up with the day to day can be so overwhelming for a new mom. Figuring out how to juggle baby sleep schedules, teething, breastfeeding, developmental changes, new roles in your marriage, changes to your personal identity, a new body, and on and on and on. Its an emotional roller coaster even without a 60 plus hour work week.
We went out to dinner! Bonus of early bed time, we can go out on Friday night and still have the place to ourselves.

   I am so hard on myself naturally, and there has been this insane sense of pressure (see my last entry) to cram everything into this neat, little tidy package that would somehow constitute a "normal life". News flash, Heather, "your life is not normal." All this cramming and conforming and pressure and stress has been taking its toll, and honestly, making me a bit depressed. I haven't been coping very well as of late.

     It occurred to me  that I have stopped listening to myself on many levels, creatively, spiritually, and physically, I just shoved all the signals down in the name of work and obligation. In reality, yes there are times when I will not have so many choices, but do i really need to stuff down my inner voice at all times? Probably not.

   My mission right now is to listen and act, no matter what. Practice makes perfect! That means if I feel that I need to stay home with the baby in my bathrobe, that is what I am going to do. If I want to take my family out to dinner instead of working late, that is what I am going to do. If I am on a roll in the studio and feel the need to work an 80 hour week, then THAT is what I am going to do. I am hearkening back to the good old days when I took really great care of myself. And now that I am finally pain free, maybe I will even start using that gym membership I have been paying for.

C spent a few days not feeling so well this week, I got a lot of housecleaning done. Babywearing is the answer!

Since making this new promise to myself, the baby got sick for the first time, and cut another tooth, so it has been a good week to get practice staying home in the mornings to work from home and slowing down a little. I even went to the bookstore, got a giant cup of coffee, curled up with a pile of design mags and brought home some new source books - all by myself!!!!! Its been so long since I did that - I can't even remember when it was!

   I have joked quite a few times about getting a tattoo on my wrist that reads, "remember."  It may be time to seriously revisit that idea. Momma's should really be the first on the list sometimes.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tales of a 5 day work week

  Things are hectic right now. Its that push as the slowness of winter lets up, always a surprise for some reason.
    This year, I committed to a 5 day work week-at least when possible - this is a first for me since starting my business 7 years ago. Deadlines and the nature of ceramic work can push me hard at times, and make this impossible, but that is just the reality of owning my own business. I am doing my best to honor the commitment to having a weekend, for myself and my family. It gives us much needed leisure time together, and time for Mike and I to just be married people with a baby, since our work days are double duty. A 12 hour work day when you are also parenting is challenging and will burn you out quickly, and lets face it, I am not getting any younger. A 12 hour work day, even without a baby, has gotten more challenging in the past few years.
Reading to C at a few weeks old
   The shift to having a weekend, plus C's current schedule, is leaving me both rested and deflated. On the one hand, the beginning of the week starts out awesome. Tuesdays are great, I bounce in to work ready to take on the world, but by the time I get half way through the week, I really miss my baby. The weekend taking has made it so I have to cram all 60 of my work hours into this neat little 5 day package, and you see, I hate missing bed time. Its the worst.  This has come up for me at various times over the past year, its gotten a little easier to keep working and not think about it - I used to sit at my work table and cry after Mike took him home - actually, I'm crying right now just thinking about it - breaks my heart that it has to be this way.  Last night, I kept him in the bed with me, just to make up for all the goodnights I miss. To smell his shampoo and hold him close.
    There is always going to be a trade off. I am so lucky to be able to keep him with me every day and still have my career, but it hasn't been without sacrifice and I couldn't do it without the unwavering support of my husband, who takes over those bed time duties 5 nights a week so that I can stay and work. I know that this schedule will change, his bed time will move to a little later again at some point, that there will be slow times and vacations when I don't have to miss a thing....... Being a Momma sure does break your heart a lot, in lots of little ways.
    For now, I am doing my best to adjust, to soak in the days I get to stay at home, and know that its a good trade I am making.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

A New Beginning

Me & C

        I took a break from my blog to catch my breath and think. Its been bothering me that I felt a disconnect between what I felt I should be writing and what I felt called to write. I really needed a break after the push of the huge project over the summer and then the combination of really big press and the Christmas rush....... honestly, I was feeling like I didn't want to have a blog or that this one needed a complete overhaul. Its weird and hard to explain, it just felt like a burden, and I needed to step away.
      So here we are. I have been digging around in my brain, trying to come up with some grand concept, a reinvention, a new direction, a new name, etc, etc..... What I have come up with is this. I will be reposting everything I feel is truly authentic and relevant to the journey I am on now. When we started getting ready to become parents, my life really started to change, and it really is now in a constant state of transformation. I can honestly say that I have changed almost every aspect of my life, and those are the things that I am called to write about now. Cooking nutritious food, running a household as a business owning mom, running an art studio with my husband and with the baby in tow, finding out who I am again, how I keep it all straight in my head, natural parenting, baby wearing, my lack of a social life, my reliance on Pinterest for EVERYTHING.......
    So, from this moment on, what you can expect is a look into my most authentic self, as a mom, wife, artist,  passionate home cook, and business owner.
    Cheers to spring time, and a fresh start.