Balancing Art and Family

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Artist mother kissing her baby

So many people ask me about parenting and juggling family while still being devoted to my art, the creative process, and also building an ever expanding business.  Many artists I know,  feel selfish and irresponsible to immerse themselves into their art and spend long hours in the studio away from family. They feel guilty and that they might be neglecting their children. We raised 4 children less than 2 years apart and I know exactly what that guilt feels like as I tried to balance being a loving mother and a productive focused artists with a full time career. 

I remember Dalia, my third daughter was only a tiny one month newborn. I was holding her in my lap and rocking her while she cooed and smiled joyfully and I felt that pang of guilt, that I would leave her soon and go back to work. I had hired a babysitter that would come to my house 4 days a week while John and I painted. I stared at her beautiful face and thought about what she might become. What would be her destiny? What passions stirred in her belly? I realized right there in that moment that I had a choice.

Pursuing My Passion and My Heart's Desires

children painting and play with art supplies

I could step into my own destiny and live the example of a strong women who didn’t put her dreams on a shelf but embraced them and fearlessly, whole heartedly went after them. I could chase my dreams guilt free and be a mother that skipped PTA meetings, and didn’t help with science projects, or sit on the floor and play Barbies every day. I could show my three girls a woman with a passion and desire to live out her purpose. I still could spend plenty of time with them reading, talking, singing, painting, making crafts, and they could watch me paint, run my business while they had a loving baby sitter who would play barbies with them. 

Building a Legacy

I made this choice and have not ever regretted it. I have never heard my kids tell me that I neglected them, lived selfishly, or wasted my life on art. I feel like I built legacy and made a road for each of them to pursue their hearts desires and feel like whatever they choose, as long as it is chosen from a position of strength, is the best choice. I’m so incredibly proud of each of my four children and all that they are. Wise beyond their years, kind, driven, passionate, wildly in love with God and great examples of true artists. I believe no parent can go wrong pursuing her passion. Your children will watch what you do you, and after all, pursuing their passion, isn’t that what you want them to do?

Dalia Milan painting, artist painting in studio

1 comment

  • Catalina Bertola

    Before I ever heard you share your experience as a mother, I heard your daughter talk about how beautiful it was to have parents home full-time, always near by, and creating a stable base. I listened to this Light Room podcast while nursing my newborn daughter and thought THAT is the life I want to create for my daughter. It’s so enlightening to hear that the mother’s perspective differs so greatly from the daughter’s. While she felt she experienced greater devotion and quality time with her mom than her peers had access to… you felt a pang of guilt, self-doubt, and pressure- probably comparing yourself to full-time homemaker moms. It’s so comforting to know that our daughters can see us in the fullness of who we are and still have a strong connection. “Mother” is not a wispy archetype- it’s YOU. It’s ME. It is a person with all the fullness of a human life- so real and tangible we are someone our children can touch….. BLESSINGS to you and your daughter in this special time as you welcome your grandson to this world!!!!!!

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