Not going to lie, running creative business as a full time mom is damn hard. Well, running any kind of business while raising a kid is really hard. You will have lots of frustration, moments of tears and breakdowns, wanting to throw it all to hell. But eventually you will find your flow, know your limitations and plan accordingly. Just hang in there, it will all get better with time.
Stop making plans for the day
I completely stopped making plans for a given day. Instead, I usually make a list of things I want to do in a given week. I cannot predict what will happen on a given day. How much energy I will have and what mood my daughter will be in. When I used to plan day-by-day, I would end up incredibly frustrated when evening came that I did not manage to accomplish what I set out to do. I also changed how I feel about to-do lists in general. It does not in any way reflect how productive or worthy I am. I used to really believe that the more things I check off the list the better person that makes me. Now I came to treat it for what it really is – a list of things I want to get done so I don’t have to constantly clutter my mind at the end of the day, trying to decide what I should do. Instead, I take out my list, sit down and get to work.
Know your limitations
It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I cannot do everything I want to do. It’s just not possible and day will not magically have 48 hours instead or 24 just because I still want to get something done. This was the hardest thing for me to overcome and a source of many, many frustrations. It still sometimes is. However it did force me to learn how to prioritize. Like, really, hardcore prioritize. And I think I am actually all the better for it. When you have two hours a day at best to work you really learn the hard way how to decide what you have to get done.
Ask for help. A lot.
Ask for help whenever you can. I don’t think I would be able to get to where I am without my husband. We are raising our child together and we split taking care of our daughter as much as we can, while still spending time together as a family. He makes suppers in the evening and puts our daughter to sleep so I will have more time to work. I take care of her when he is working. Whether it be your partner or close friends don’t be afraid to ask for help so you will have more time to work or simply rest.
Learn to rest
With a seemingly never ending to-do list it is absolutely vital to learn how to rest. Whether you like taking a walk, reading a book or watching Netflix, try to plan days off when you will not think about anything even remotely connected to your work. For instance, nothing relaxes me as much as reading a good book in the evening with a hot cup of tea. Learn to take care of yourself and remember that your needs are important too. Otherwise I guarantee a serious burnout.
Here we are! This is how I do it (or wing it is more appropriate, I think). Running a creative business as a full time mom is a true rollercoaster of emotions, multitasking and patience. What can I say, at least if you still find the strength to pursue your work it does truly prove that it is something you feel strongly passionate about. So keep going, all will be easier with time.
If you’re interested in how I became a surface pattern designer and illustrator I wrote a whole blog post about it.
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