Motherhood changes everything about your life. You can be told one hundred different times in equally different ways and you'll still be shocked when your turn comes. During pregnancy, I imagined life on "the other side" would be easier. With the cumbersome belly gone and all the pressures of big client work off my back I'd be able to concentrate on fine art, sitting down to illustrate a childrens book that I'd have time to write and finally being able to work on some stationary designs. I was giving myself a "year-off", my own self-made Canadian maternity leave, just like "everyone else" who wasn't a freelancer and had real employers who made them pay EI. The house would be spotless. Dinner would be ready (and nutritious, delicious and piping hot might I add). I even remember telling my husband that when the baby came, giving me relentless hours of free time, he should expect to never cook or clean again. What a beautiful, ridiculous dream I was living in.
I am blown away by amazing women such as Rachelle Anne Miller, Gina Perry, Holli Conger and Heather Castles who really seem to make being a stay-at-home illustrator/mom so effortless (even though I know it's not). Every day has it's challenges. At first I didn't even know if I'd get around to having a shower, let alone figuring out if I'd be able to get to the dust bunnies. These days the house is pretty clean, the bed is made and supper is for the most part on the table. The studio, however, is getting dusty. Or maybe I'm just starting to get rusty. Instead of picking up the sketchbook when Dexter hits the hay I find myself wilting on the couch with a bag of chips in my hand watching Supernatural or Modern Family. Maybe I'm still exhausted from my mom's surgery or maybe it's the lack of having a full nights sleep for over a year? I took a short visit to my friend, Amanda Woodward's studio and had a little pang of longing when I saw her working on a children's book. The beautiful sketches for her current project were so lively, fun and thoughtful. I'm pondering how to find balance in my life, how to carve out more time for my career. I miss it.
Also found time to see the AGA or Art Gallery of Alberta and a little coffee at the Three Banana's Café afterward without Dexter. Loved the exhibitions. Here's a little snapshot of the building, which I completely adore!