Another strange blog post title but pertinent to my current state of mind when I think about my life and how much it has changed since I had children. Two and a half years ago exactly today, I was finishing my very last day doing an HR contract at Bendon. I had loved that contract and enjoyed every second of it and while it was originally intended to be 5 weeks, it turned into 5 months with me finishing at 4pm on the 11 September 2006. Why do I remember that date, well because at 4am on the 12 September 2006 I woke up thinking, yep think this is it and later that day Carter arrived and rather angrily screamed his displeasure for his first fifteen minutes of life on the outside. Then when he was just over 4 months old, I found to my surprise that his sister had sneaked into being and I was 6 weeks pregnant.
So, as you can imagine, life changed substantially with one baby and then having another one 4 days before Carter turned one, meant it changed even more.
However that first year (which I had two years in a row) is now over and I am enjoying having two munchkins and it is quite freeing to think that I don't have to have any more unless I really do get a strong urge (which is nowhere in sight at this point of time) and this year I do feel like I have more control of my life, even though it is an absolute juggling act and I feel like I am several different Melissa's depending on what day it is and what I need to do that day.
This year the kids are in daycare 3 days a week, which are then my work days. At least half a day I do the boring horrid accounting related stuff for our construction and property businesses. I don't enjoy it but I do get a sense of achievement when it is up to date and knowing that all tax and gst is sorted and accounted for. The rest of the 3 days are a mixture of doing some small HR contracts (which bring in some money) and working on my business plan, materials, programmes etc for the business I want to launch later this year (which of course brings in no money at the moment).
Wednesday and Friday are my two kid days so Wednesday (today) is lots of playing with kids and painting and drawing while supervising them playing with each other. With studying art part-time, I have to log 15 hours per week so I need to juggle that within these two days and then evenings and weekend. Wednesday is also when I try and find some interesting resources and reference material for the NZ Art Guild as I am a moderator on the forum as well as providing hands-on support to Sophia Elise the manager of the guild here in Auckland, and on Friday I try and catch up with friends and have play dates with our kids.
So it is a juggle, and while some weeks go to plan, other weeks just don't and nothing gets done in their allocated space. The "mummy guilt's" are part and parcel of juggling and I got them the worst time ever when I didn't make the Christmas party at daycare last December because I had meetings that I couldn't shift. And it makes me feel sometimes like I don't know how to define who I am because there are so many facets of my life that don't necessarily come across as interconnecting, but they do because they have to and because it is me. So today, here I am in my "mummy clothes" which now have dried banana and snot (not mine) over them. I have blue paint on my forehead and in my hair from when I was dashing up to the studio to do some glazes earlier.
Tomorrow is work day again, and I will be completing the work on a small contract I am doing. I will drop the kids at daycare, come straight home into my office and focus all day without having to have one eye constantly surveying the location and activities of each child. If I need to meet someone, I can pull on a business suit and feel like I am professional Melissa again, far removed from the snot and paint camouflage I have on today.
And yes, better mention Tranquility, well, that is the title of this resin piece which is the fourth piece that got hung at the Mercure Winsdor Hotel on Monday. And I guess tranquility and fulfillment is what we are searching for isn't it. At the end of the day, business stresses and juggling aside, I really like my life. I don't want to work full-time as I enjoy my days with the kids and yet being a full-time Mum would drive me crazy. Working part-time and also being my own boss works for me and has enabled me to have the time to be creative and escape through my art. Now I can't imagine going a week without drawing or painting. But I don't want to work as an artist (although that may change in the far off future), as I am fulfilled by being good in my professional career, balanced by art and my beautiful children (who would be even more beautiful if they would stop talking in their room and go to sleep!).
So while life is a juggle, I like all the balls I have in the air, so it's all good!