Saturday, March 23, 2013

Split personality

After spending all day in the studio I find it very difficult to go back to being a Mum.

Last week everything in the studio took longer than anticipated, and when it was time to get the kids from school and daycare I was very reluctant to leave.

I was out for about an hour, including time at the supermarket planning meals on the fly, then in the car the kids commenced their bickering which is far from pleasant, and really tests my somewhat flimsy state of zen.

At home it all became chaotic. Small girl doesn't sleep during the day, and after a big session at daycare she is a hungry whingy banshee. The big kid dives into his Lego pond and is self sufficient, and I am left looking at the manky kitchen which I have hardly seen since breakfast. In my head I'm still in the studio, trying to follow through on making an item, photographing it, uploading tweaking and emailing to potential buyers. Gotta pay for that daycare somehow.

So this is where I find myself torn.

Before any food can be cooked the whole kitchen has to be cleaned - unappealing and time consuming. Before any leather goods can be sold the images have to be tweaked and formatted - time consuming but infinitely more appealing than domesticity.

Essentially I'm constantly shocked and disgruntled that my kids require feeding at the end of each day. It is my least favourite scenario. Sure I can cook, I'm not unfamiliar with my kitchen, but I want to eat Tom Yum soup at 8, not kid friendly stuff at 6.

The irony was not lost on me that this particular evening it was me that turned into a banshee. I have apologised to my family, but during dinner I was unbearable. Somehow I made a huge spread of tacos and vegies, all very colourful and not slop at all. But I kept moaning about being interrupted from my work, I ate so fast and wanted to hurry everyone off to bed or into an activity that didn't include me.
Part of me was internally screaming 'just enjoy time with your family, damn you', and the other part was already out the door and into the studio.

It reminded me of The Divided Heart all over again. Rachel Power's book of conversations with creative mothers essentially boils down to this principle - to be creative you need to be selfish, to be a Mumma you need to be selfless.

And that's me there in the middle having a meltdown.

The fruits of my labours this week - luggage tags featuring big beautiful stamps. These went to a friend who is, you guessed it, an equestrian fan.


Janine said...

Oh Emma... I've been struggling with the exact same thing. The wanting to be there and present with the family while your head is still deep in problem solving/list making/processing from a day's work. I've been finding it incredibly difficult to switch. I've been guilty of sticking the kid in front of the tv with a sandwich for dinner, so I can sort out that last little bit of work when I can't let it go.

I feel your pain, and I think banshee moments are totally allowable from time to time... if not necessary! Love your luggage tags. Hope you can reclaim your little bit of zen soon x

Anna Zagala said...

Those tags look serene.