Do You Respect Your Gifts {Or Just Expect Others To Do It For You?}

I remember when I was a brand new mom and I would go weeks without having time to myself.

I didn’t mean to and I knew it wasn’t healthy at the same time.

I wouldn’t say something to my husband until I was at the point of losing my mind or wanting to jump in my car and drive for days.

I don’t know if I was needing my husband to tell me it was OK to have time for myself or if I actually needed him to just push me out of the house.

I think I needed him to push me out of the house because he would TELL me I needed a break but I needed the ACTION of the pushing:-) to convince me I was still a good mom if I didn’t have my newborn with me 24/7.

Over the years I think I have read between the lines instead of taking Kelly’s words as the validation I needed to take breaks, workout, go make art etc.

Maybe you are like me or maybe you are really good at making time for yourself and your gifts (or even just time to be quiet).

I love what I do so much that it doesn’t usually even feel like work.

To many my job probably doesn’t even LOOK like work and THAT is what can be hard.

I get it.

I get it because I even struggle with it.

If you are an artist maybe this will make the most sense to you.

I get to take photos, design, style, remodel, redecorate and create art for my job.

That doesn’t look like any job I grew up seeing and I don’t know people in my day to day “real” life that have a job like I do.

Some days I have a hard time saying that I need to prepare, get my head into a project, practice a new technique, work on a painting etc. because when I am doing it it doesn’t look like work…but it is.

My studio doesn’t have doors and my job doesn’t have 9-5 hours.

If the lines are blurry to me…why wouldn’t they be to others too?

I just realized this past week that I am waiting for others to give me permission to do the parts of the my job that don’t look like work to the world.

I get classes up, I make sure packages get out, I pay bills, I answer emails, I take care of members on the site etc.

I also take care of the kids, do the laundry, schedule appointments, make dinner, clean the course etc.

All of this LOOKS like work and I just do it.

I am still asking to have the time to do the creating part.

I schedule it but don’t always honor the time I schedule.

I feel guilty sometimes about creating without being PUSHED into the studio.

I am years later still waiting for permission. Yuck!

That is going to change as of today.

I am not saying it will be easy but I can begin to make more honoring steps towards respecting the creative part of my business.

I am getting doors put in my studio and I am calling the contractor.

I am sitting down with my family and creating a schedule that works.

I am asking for help with the things they can do so I can create.

I am hiring someone to help clean the house.

I need to respect this part of my job.  This creating part of my job is actually the heartbeat of  my business so I HAVE to respect it.

Who else is going to if I don’t?

I want to respect my gifts and not just expect others to do it for me!

Did you know that making art, talking a walk, making a healthy meal, reading a book, snuggling with your child, going on a date with your husband…these things are more important than doing laundry? I have to remind myself of this sometimes!

{Unless you don’t have anymore clean underwear.  Then the underwear win}

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Comments

  1. Dawn commented:

    I can relate to this post! I have a hard time when it comes to myself. Everyone and everything comes first. When I do ask for
    Help I feel guilty. I’m a stay at home Mom and when people ask me what my job is they look bewildered. I hope to make some changes soon! Thanks for a heart stirring post.

  2. Rose D'Angelo Designs commented:

    I love this post, Jeanne! It has my name written all over it. So many of us suffer from mama guilt and put everything else before ourselves. I’m not sure how long it will take for me to make the changes that you are now incorporating, but I will try!!!

  3. Jeanne, this post is so on the ball. What a eureka moment for you and I hope for other creatives who read it. In it lies the key to unlocking the mistaken belief that one cannot apply oneself to the kind of work that is both an extension and enhancement of the person, the artist. I am an aspiring artist, one who has denied my self expression, until very recently… I don’t make money from what I do… but I’m still doing it, I am devoted. I have a lot to learn, a lot of catching up to do and it is my hope to make the transition from aspiring to working artist in my lifetime.

    We are conditioned to place value outside of ourselves, without this shaped phenomenon we would not outsource our needs to be met by corporations who get rich and powerful by exploiting our basic human desires… to be productive, to be useful, to belong, to be loved, to be whole. This is exactly what my creative practice is about, this is what I am doing when I go to my studio… I go there to be me. Each of these needs can be met within ourselves and blessed are we who realise it, awaken to it and honour it in practice.

    Congratulations, thank you for writing this post, it was timely for me. I will too no longer seek permission or approval for doing the very thing that I feel called to do. Creative expression is for me, the umbilical cord which connects me to myself, the divine and the collective spirit of being human.

    Thank you :) Amanda

  4. OH Jeanne, this is me to a T! Yesterday while our eldest is here visiting I sat down to paint. He is in town for a week, probably the only time we will see him this year but I had to do it. For him, for me, for all of us! I was feeling stressed and anxious and even a tiny bit depressed because our time together is so short and to be honest I miss the kid when he is gone and his brother for that matter. It has been hard on me to have gone from having all three of my boys at home to only one still at home in the course of 12 months. I was used to the busyness of being mom, of homeschooling, of being a chauffeur, of doing it all… that is everything but taking time for myself. That has changed and is changing. It is definitely a process as you will find but I want to commend you for stepping out and taking that first step. For giving yourself “permission” to take the time and give yourself the respect!!

    Thank you!!

  5. Sandy commented:

    I realized this in my late 30s when my mom died and my oldest daughter left home…creating is my gift and given to me by The Lord. I believe it is very dangerous to who I am not to create… Follow that nudge Jeanne

  6. Believe it or not, even those of us who are single and without kids struggle with these same issues. Sometimes it’s too easy to get lost in the “to do” list and not give yourself time to create or to do things we enjoy doing because we feel guilty about having fun or enjoying the process when there are other things being left undone. I applaud you taking these steps to free up this time for yourself and your business (and highly recommend the hiring of someone else to clean the house! That person will appreciate having a job and you will have more time to do what you need to do).

  7. Oh Jeanne, I hear you so loud and clear! I have a door on my studio but it’s always open. Thanks for sharing this post, it’s an echo of what’s on my mind so often. xo Karen

  8. Donna P commented:

    I think most women are guilty of this, I know I am. I ignore my gifts, thinking there’s other things more important! but then I get so uneasy, can’t figure out why and realize I haven’t created anything for sometime. I go into my studio and try to play, but I always get interruptions within 5 min of creating, it’s frustrating. I guess I need to sit with my family and figure out a plan of sorts.

    Thank you for this post, it makes me feel better knowing a pro struggles with this too!

    ;)

  9. Susan commented:

    Beautifully, poignantly said! Thank you!

  10. All so true………………..

  11. Sam commented:

    Wow – it was like you were reading my mind! I’m exactly in the same place as you. You have inspired me to do something about it too – Thanks Jeanne!

  12. Proud of you for making this move! It took me years to realize that God had blessed me with creative opportunities so that I could use the talent he had given me to bless him. For too long I looked at it as a selfish thing.

  13. Kolein commented:

    Our hearts are beating in the same rhythm right now. Today I woke up and decided to schedule some time for me. Open ended time. My husband took care of the boys all day so that I could go drive around and think, share some time with a friend over coffee, go pick up some art supplies, etc. I’m home now and realized after reading your post (I saw it this morning but purposely decided to read it later in the day simply knowing its effect would be great) that this was preparatory for me to treat my gifts with respect and work out a schedule for expressing those gifts. This is hugeHUGE because I like to have “everything done” before there’s time for my creating. Guess what? I hardly ever have time for that. And while I don’t care for the schedule part much I’m beginning to realize that the earth still rotates whether or not I create…but my earth withers…so the schedule must happen. Thank you for this post. I’m drinking it into my soul right now.

    xo

  14. Yes, my dear…the underwear ALWAYS wins, hands down! Ha! I was laughing so hard at that one. Yes, when my husband says he doesn’t have any clean underwear, I know it’s time to do his laundry! That and the ironing of his work shirts which never seems to end.
    Good for you! Yay! Putting doors on your studio will be a ‘God send’. And hurrah for your decision to hire a house keeper. The dust shall you always have with you. And the vacuuming, and the toilets, etc. etc. Very wise decision.
    Yes, you have a very, serious, business to run, and there may be Super Mom’s out there, or at least, that is what our families want to ‘think’ we are, but when our minds go blank, as we walk into another room and forget what we went in there for…that is the time to pass others chores on to someone else. Go for it, Jeanne!

  15. Sheila commented:

    How timely and well said. I feel this in it’s entirety. I’ve gone so far as to run out of my studio and turn on the sweeper when I hear my husband’s car in the garage so it appears that I’m cleaning. Not because he insists that I cook and clean, but that I need to prove to myself I’m worthy of creating art and I feel I must have all of the other “family” type work done before I allow myself time in my studio. I find myself “sneaking” in there to create during the day. And, feel guilty and “caught” when he comes home unexpectedly. I’m 52 years old, my twins are 17, married to a saint for 22 years, and I still feel like this. Again, not because my husband puts this guilt on me. I put this guilt on me. This stops now . . .Thanks, Jeanne!

  16. Laura French commented:

    I read an interview with one of my favorite artists, Charles Wysocki. He said for him, painting was his job. He had breakfast in the morning, went out to his studio (next to his house) painted until lunch, and after lunch he went back and painted until dinner time. When my husband works at home he is also very focused on just his work. But as a woman, I think I am hard wired to muti-task in order to get through the day. It’s a life long habit and I have let it influence my art the same way. How wonderful to step back and look at our habits and how they affect what we are trying to accomplish. There really is no need for me to multi task at this point in my life and maybe I need to start treating my art as “my job” too! Thank you for saying this. I think it’s kind of like having a budget…not pleasant but very necessary and even satisfying once you’ve done it!

  17. Peggy Mcdevitt commented:

    I think most women do not have boundaries , suffer when they say no to what other people expect and need validation. We are nurturers and we take care of everyone and everything but ourselves. I realized one day that I am my children’s role model. I realized that if I didn’t do nothing, read a book when a wanted and go in my studio to make a quilt or art, they would follow my example someday. My daughter tod me one day , thank you Mom you taught me it’s ok to do what I want, leave the housework, take a walk and do nothing at all. Ask yourself this question? What are you showing your children, someday they will remember what you did not what you said. Lock the door, have someone clean the house and do nothing. Enjoy. Love your classes, blog and what you stand for

  18. loved this post and you know ‘Now’ sounds just the right time to start respecting my creative part of my business.

  19. Jane commented:

    What a wonderful post, thank-you. This has been my struggle and I have often felt like I’ve needed broad shoulders to take the strange looks when I tell someone what I do and dream of doing. I treasure this quote: “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are,”
    e.e. cummings

  20. Thank you so much for sharing this Jeanne! I am about to be a first time mom in November and know that this will be a struggle for me, so I greatly appreciate your words and insight as my husband and I will soon be entering such a new season!:)

  21. Lovely post! I think about my gifts in a similar way but backwards. I work, not 9-5 but I am out of my house a good portion of the day. My children are getting older and no longer need me as much. That is not a bad thing! So I do get some early afternoons to create and because of my husband’s job I also get a few weekends to create. So it looks like I am creating all the time on my instagram. I love to share! But I have been asked several times (which I take as a huge compliment) why aren’t you selling, where’s your Etsy, can you make me this?? The simplest answer I can give is…that would make it a job!! For me at this point in my life would take all the fun and relaxation out of it. I have such respect for the artists who have made this a living. It is a JOB!! With everything that entails it might even be harder than what I do. I get in a creative slump or don’t have time to make something fabulous it’s no biggie I still get paid. I can’t imagine the time that goes into answering all the emails from your creative network. I have been on a few of those threads and holy moly I might be looking for a bridge. And that’s only one part of what you do. So kudos to you sister you are making it work and it looks fabulous!!
    As an aside I have to say you have spoiled me with your amazingly affordable online tutorials. I loved every one of them and have learned so much!!