My apologies for the lack of Artist Meets Mother posts over the summer. As those who follow me on Instagram probably know I have been suffering with horrendous pregnancy sickness and a lot of things needed to be shelved for a while whilst I focused on getting through each day. I am excited to come back today to bring you the first of a new series of Artists Meets Mother posts, " A Day In The Life of". Have you ever wondered how other women manage to balance their time between their art and motherhood? This series is your chance to find out.
Our first "A Day In The Life Of" post is from abstract artist Sticks + Ink.
My day starts at 6.30am when I get up to do my morning physiotherapy exercises. They take a good 35 mins twice a day which I find hard to fit in, but getting up early helps get one set ticked off the list - hopefully before my children wake up! Another reason for getting up so early is so that I have time to get some chores done before I drop to children to school. I try and to at least get one load of washing done and hung on the washing line and all the mess from breakfast taken care of. That way I can head straight to my studio from the school run and utilize as much of my morning time when I’m at my most refreshed and productive.
Its 8.20am and I am walking my boys to school, the sun is shining and the entire time they are at school I get to go into my studio, so today is already a great day!
On my way home I nip to my post office to post some artwork to a collector, and as I am having an open studio this weekend I pick up some gorgeous tulips too.
9.45am I'm back at home it takes 5 attempts to leave the house as I keep remembering things I need at my studio, I’ve only been in 3 weeks so still hauling bits there everytime I go in.
10.05am I've arrived at my studio which is about a ten minute drive from my house and before I can play with my paints I get out my notebook to consult my 'Mother of All Lists' and using the ABC123 method I note down on a post-it which tasks I need to get done in the 4.5 hours I have before I'm collecting the kids again.
I always write 'creative painting day' at the top of my list on a Thursday as a reminder to myself that I'm supposed to keep Thursday for creative fun stuff and not let the constant admin pressures eat into my creative playtime! I get through about half of what I set up to do - hanging a bunch of canvases for my open studio, work on some merchandise ideas and play in my sketchbook!
4pm back home after picking up the kids so it's time to make dinner, tonight I'm making meatballs and a marinara sauce with spaghetti. Halfway through cooking I remember the children have a cake sale at school tomorrow so I start making chocolate rice crispie cakes at the same time. I then burn my arm and wonder why us Mums are being asked to juggle cake making when we already have so much on our plates. I vow that next time I'll just give the class rep a tenner and cut out this hassle!
4.30pm I sit down with the children and eat dinner together, I try and do this as often as I can, no tv on, just a bit of family time together for me to hear about their day. I love that the kitchen is usually cleaned up by 5.30 which helps me get more stuff done in the evening.
17.10 I'm starting to feel a bit tired which means if I don’t get the washing up and packed lunches done now there's a danger I won't do it at all.
I put on a podcast to help me push through the fact that I really don't want to do either and I'm aware I have three loads of clean washing on the bed waiting for me to put away. When I feel like this I mentally picture something I can reward myself with once I've got though these chores. Today I decide that the moment the kids are in bed I'm going to collapse on the (tidy) bed upstairs, open the windows and relax with a cup of tea and a good book.
17.15 For now, pod cast on, I'm going to try and get everything done by 18.30. Let's see if I manage it!
17.36 where did 20 minutes go? Got distracted by kids asking for their seventh post dinner snack and Instagram private messages pinging. Ok the chores start now!
18.05 washing up done and my back is really aching so before I do all the awkward bending involved with sorting out the laundry I lie flat on the bed for 10 mins and take that opportunity to write my daily Instagram post.
18.30 ok got very distracted and ended up splurging on some jewelry from Le Lou Ula! Post done, better get this laundry mountain dealt with whilst I can keep my eyes open. I call the boys up for their bath whilst I'm at it.
18.55 Half way through the laundry I had bright idea to start putting aside piles of clean clothes for our up coming holiday at the same time! Kids are getting bored in the bath so hand them a canister of Paw Patrol mouldable bath foam to keep them occupied a bit longer. Ignoring the fact I think they are emptying the whole thing - I need to get the laundry mountain dealt with and a clean and tidy bed to be able to relax later!
19.30 After a couple of stories cosied up in my bed my kids are down. I'm so tired I'm heading straight downstairs to collapse on the sofa with some trashy tv.
20.30 One episode of The Real Housewives of Cheshire is enough to get my equilibrium back.Time to do some work on my laptop, I’ve just released an eBook all about my success on Instagram and sharing how I’ve achieved it. I have so many ideas for more tips and tricks I’m still picking up along the way that I’m getting my thoughts down and shaping an idea for my next book.
21.30 Husband gets home just as I’m heading up to bed. Feeling thankful my laundry is done and I can see the bed!
If you would like to see more artwork by Sticks + Ink you can find her on Instagram, Facebook and Etsy.