Most people think that owning my own business is wonderful and easy. Oh what fun! You can wear pajamas all day! Awesome! You make your own hours and can work when you want! What joy!
Well, that's rot.
I work much longer hours as a jewelry designer than I ever did with any of my other jobs. Even when I was a translator in the Air Force (my most interesting but also most stressful job) I didn't work these hours.
Weekends are not weekends. They're mega-work days. I'm either exhibiting at a show or working in the studio, taking photos of jewelry, making jewelry, updating the web site, writing tutorials, preparing for my next teaching job -- you get the idea. There are no days off.
In between working to make my business successful, I'm a mother. And that is indeed the hardest job ever, on an entirely different level. My heart is in my art, but my heart BELONGS to my son.
I'm a mom first and foremost. I don't do much work when he's out of school, choosing to spend my time with him, which can mean anything from helping him with Kindergarten homework to making a craft to being "on call" for when he decides he needs me for something. All the other hours, that's when I work.
Lately, I've had to make some decisions about my business and how it relates to being a mom. Zack has some health issues that have made this year more trying and stressful and difficult, and I've been finding myself pushing back from the work and spending more time with him -- and taking more time taking care of myself. I can't do it all and be good at any of it. I have to make choices.
So I'm allowing myself to let some things go. I'm still doing the shows I've committed to -- Zack loves to travel and I love meeting customers. But I'm turning off the computer more frequently, updating the web site less often, making some life changes. These new choices, new directions I'm taking, will ultimately, I think, make my business better in the long run. And the most important thing in the world is for my son to know that his mom is always, always there when he needs me.