Happy Mother’s Day

Momdress_croppedHappy Mother’s Day! I have a lot of artist-mothers reading this blog and taking my classes. Most have given up a lot of their career ambitions to be mothers. Some let go of their own dreams for a while and returned to them later when their kids were older. Mothers make many sacrifices for their children.
(I’m fully aware that fathers do the same, but let’s focus on moms today.)

I’ve been asked on several occasions to address the juggling act it takes to be both parent and artist. I can’t do it justice. I am mother to only two cats (although I feel quite maternal toward the fox family on our property). I don’t know what it’s like to have to take kids to soccer, stay up all night when they’re sick, and make sure they do their homework. It’s amazing that mothers have any time at all for their own art and ambitions.

So, here’s to you, moms. You do an amazing job. If you have any secrets for being both mom and artist, please leave your comments below. Others will benefit!

Image: Barbara Pannage Stanfield–my mom. I’m quite proud of her. She runs a very successful business, Oklahoma Quiltworks.

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7 comments to Happy Mother’s Day

  • KJ

    No secrets, but coincidently, I’ve just completed a blog timeline of my career and it includes three kids and many moves with a military husband. It helped that the family respected what I was trying to do. See sidebar link to Timeline, http://kajac2000.blogspot.com

  • It is definitely a challenge to balance being a mother and an artist, especially when you have really little ones. But it is a challenge that I enjoy. I have found that taking a little time to be creative actually makes me a better mother. Plus my children constantly inpire me with their natural creativitly and enthusiasm.

  • Great post, Alyson! I used to sell BBQ Sauce and Jam at a Farmer’s Market, and to advertise my Farm I displayed one of my paintings of the place. Every single week some young mother would talk to me about the painting, even near tears that they had given up art. My pep talk to them, give yourself permission to make some art on a regular basis, (taking classes is a helpful strategy) and Remember: Children Grow Fast. Mine were 7 and 8 before I took up paint again. Notice how I had not given myself permission yet to just be an artist at the market, and my children were already in college!

  • This is a sweet and thoughtful post, Alyson. Thanks.

  • I don’t have any secrets, either, but my mother was an artist, and dedicated herself to her art, more so than parenting. As a result, I try very hard to keep some sort of balance, although I find that it’s more of a “back and forth” kind of thing: sometimes I’m completely immersed in art, and other weeks it’s all about Little League. I figure it all balances out in the long run, if I just pay attention to how I’m feeling. I occasionally write about this in my blog since you’ve inspired me to start blogging!

  • Lauren

    Thanks Alyson, very nice post! I have two kids 6 and 4 and are juggling art and being a mum. For me, I just make sure that my kids always come first but I always make sure to schedule in some art time for myself every day, usually at night when the boys are asleep. I don’t watch tv, I choose my art instead. I also put my youngest into daycare one day a week so I can spend a full day painting, and my husband takes the boys one day of the weekend so I can paint as well. It helps to have a supportive husband who can pitch in and help, without him I wouldn’t have the time to paint at all.

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