Sunday

Feeling the pressure

Lately I have been putting so much pressure on myself to do ... everything. 
Motherhood is one big juggling act. Trying to balance being a mother, being a wife, being a cleaner, being an employee, being a chef, being myself ... it is in actual fact impossible. Impossible to successfully carry out every task on my current to do list. And on top of all that I'm trying to find the energy to be creative and try to write, paint, sew and blog ... as well as trying to rest.
It is not going to plan.
For years now I've forced myself to be creative, because I am and I can, but motivating myself is the hard part. Now more than ever I feel I need to get my projects going, so my dreams can finally begin and I can have my home business but I am just so bloody tired. Mentally.
I absolutely do not understand how the inspiring mama's on my Instagram feed do it. I know it's not 'all what it seems' BUT they're doing it!! I can't even bring myself to sit at my sewing machine lately.
I get waves of inspiration and urges to sew or paint but those phases soon wear off, probably because I have used up all my energy for the month in one go! I manage to get a good amount of creative work done but then it comes to a halt.
The most frustrating thing is that I have (most) of the materials to create art, I have the space and the time (Nap times and evenings!) but I lack the most important thing - spirit. Enthusiasm perhaps.

I have been in the same predicament for years. I am fired up and I'm doing it and then I have lull and just lose my magic. I arranged to start my Maternity leave a whole month before Olive's due date just so I can focus on my creative time. Peaceful, quiet, slow, relaxing time to concentrate wholeheartedly on re-launching my virtual shop and filling it with sweet lavender scented gifts. But it didn't happen. I begun it of course, but something was telling me to stop. To enjoy the peace, slow moments and rest. Visit friends and watch films and eat all the festive treats in front of the Christmas tree. Alone.
The same thing happened last year. With the last of my Maternity pay I bought so much festive fabric to create wonderful Christmassy treats to sell and I was so excited. I started straight away. I spent evenings creating the perfect patterns before sewing up my wares and I successfully created a basket full of tree decorations and other Christmas essentials. But I didn't do it all in time, I hadn't produced enough to sell, not online anyway. A few loved ones purchased some but only those who knew about it. I didn't push myself hard enough, and now I'm exactly in the same spot as I was last year. In abundance of festive fabric with no motivation to start again. All I want to do is admit defeat, tell myself that perhaps it's not my time. Just let my mind and body rest like it's asking me to do but the Christmas range that I so desperately want to put out to the world will go to waste, like all my other dreams.
To top it all off I handed my notice in at work last week, but not to focus on my projects- MrTTDER has that responsibility at the moment (He took the leap in the freelancing world earlier this year and we're supporting his dreams coming true). But to venture into a new role, a role where I can carry out my part time hours successfully. My current role, which I love, is impossible to maintain on part time hours. It is time for change.

I can't help but think ... what if next year we decide to try for another miniTTDER and in a year or two's times I am STILL exactly where I am. In the same rented town house, in a town I despise, with a pile of unfinished projects.
What do I even WANT to be doing, to earn money. Is it sewing? Writing and illustrating childrens books? Or is it just finally having our own home and being surrounded by mini Turton-Wall's and baking altogether, sowing seeds and slowing right down?

Universe, tell me what to do!

If anyone still comes back to visit this little semi-abandoned space of the internet, tell me, How do you keep focused? How do you motivate yourself? Do you ever feel these waves of constant questioning? Questionning your path, your purpose, your self?

16 comments:

  1. Listen to Elizabeth Gilbert's Magic Lesson's podcast. It will help you on your journey, especially for creative spirits like you. Good luck!

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  2. Start small, and let it grow! I find that's the best way to get anything creative done. Just a little at first and then see what happens - if I start with a big vision in mind it demotivates me! I also once wrote a long list of things I'd like to do, then forgot all about it for a couple of years. When I found the list again I realised I had dove or was doing most of the things!

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  3. How about starting personal to see if it triggers a buzz - if you've got a lot of materials, create something special for Olive? Even if you don't make anything else all year then you've made something to keep forever.

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  4. Hi there. You're not alone in feeling so lost - I've been there too and know how frustrating it can be. At this very moment I have a project planned that I should have started weeks ago but I'm struggling with that initial spark to get things moving. I don't think I can say anything that you haven't said to yourself already, but I just wanted you to know that I completely understand x

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  5. I know this feeling... the having and then the loss of your inspiration. I can only recommend what has worked for me in the past, but reading biographies and memoirs or watching documentaries of highly creative people is always reinvigorating. That & spending time with those creative unicorn muse type people in your life that endlessly inspire you. Good luck! I know you can find your groove again and start to work on your projects! Finding a balance will take time but just don't give up :)

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  6. Totally, Charlotte! I am the worst procrastinator and overthink/over-plan everything. Mr P and I are thinking of writing a film - we have the basic plot and the premise but when it comes to MY part of the process, of actually getting it down on paper in the form of a short story to work from, nothing has happened. I have no idea how to get motivated either but often think that once I start, my enthusiasm is fuelled. This was exactly the reason I started my blog this year, in a bid to coax me into writing again but, I have to say, it hasn't exactly worked out like that. I feel your pain, and I don't even have a child to throw into the mix. Stay strong - you'll get there, I believe. I'm vowing to pick up a pen this week x

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  7. Thank you for posting so honestly about this! I am constantly feeling the pressure to do everything. Between work, trying to study to go back to school, keeping our rented house clean, trying to learn Spanish to speak with my boyfriends grandparents, blogging, knitting, and trying to write a novel (!!!!) I feel like I am constantly falling short in one area of my life. Something that helps me to is schedule blocks in for creativity but during those blocks just to go with the flow. I read an article a few months ago about how we pigeonhole ourselves into thinking creativity is one thing (writing, sewing, knitting, painting, etc) and if we don't do that one activity we are not being creative and reaching our goals. If we expand our idea of what creativity is (doodling new ideas while sweet Olive is napping or dreaming up children's book ideas on an afternoon stroll) we take some of the pressure off and the creativity will start to flow!

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  8. Take a deep breath and enjoy every moment. Good things are coming and you will get to where you want to go. I find myself questioning things at times I'm doing a job that at times I think I can't do this for the rest of my life but then I think we'll actually what do I want to do. I feel like I spend more time at work and not enough time doing the things I enjoy with the ones I love. One of the things I try to do is to schedule and set aside a time whether it's an hour or so where I know that I'm going to come home and do that. It's like I can prepare my mind. Sometimes it is hard and I feel really tired but it's ok to have those days. Another thing I've started doing is having positive quotes around. One I love is good things are coming.
    I'm always here if you want a chat.

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  9. Girl, I feel you! I have two little people under the age of 3 and sometimes the motivation to do anything, let alone something creative is lacking.

    What I've found is that sometimes just I need to start even if I don't feel motivated. I'm into quilting right now and am working on this GIANT quilt for my mum. Sometimes it sits on my sewing table making me feel guilty so I just force myself to sit down and do 5 minutes on it. Pretty much every time I end up getting in the groove.

    I also just give myself permission to let go of certain hobbies if I'm not feeling them anymore. Even if I've spent a lot of money on materials and tools (I once thought embroidery would be my thing, but nope!). I'll still keep everything because eventually I'll come back to them, but creative hobbies should be fun! And make you excited! I find especially after having kids, my solo time is so precious! I want to have something to look forward to doing, not dread something I "should" be doing.

    I'm a big fan of Elise Blaha Cripe (http://eliseblaha.typepad.com/golden/2014/07/consuming-vs-creating.html), she's so inspiring! I was gifted her 100 Pep Talk books and I read it every time I need a boost :)

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  10. You have written what so many of us are feeling. I am a mom to a four year old and a one year old and I can relate to every single thing you said, 1,000 times over. I think one of the greatest challenges of being a mom is feeling a bit lost, that we've lost some of our original identity that has now been taken over by the "mom role." I love blogging but have hardly kept it up since I first became a mom. I find the biggest way to make it through all of the pressures, many of which I place upon myself, is to give myself GRACE. With all I have on my plate, I realize I'll always feel inadequate in most areas but if I give myself grace, I feel free-er to do my best in all ways that I can. Also, as an introvert, I have found it absolutely vital to schedule some alone time and self-care for myself. I can't be the best mom and wife I can be if I don't take care of myself, and my husband has been very supportive in letting me have pockets of time for this, as he realizes it also as necessary (for all of us)! Hang in there, you will persevere and get out of this hard spot. Just keep remembering how amazing you are!

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  11. Hey :) I know exactly what you mean and in some ways I want to tell you to give yourself a break because looking after your little girly is exhausting and wonderful! Don't put the pressure on yourself to do better,we are human beings,not doings! So enjoy life where you are at the moment. Be content and satisfied. And then take time to think through what your priorities and dreams are. Family is a beautiful dream and so rewarding to fulfil but it doesn't have to be your only dream. It seems like your creative side is a real passion so don't lose it but don't be hard on yourself if it takes time. Think through your priorities and dreams and then think through how you can give a bit of time to each one. And then if it still isn't satisfying you by doing a little bit then think things through again and see if there's anything you can drop. I totally know where you are coming from and have loads that I want to do. Some things I think unfortunately just can't be achieved because my want for a family is bigger. And that's a bit sad. But then there's other dreams that I know I can still push for and get there with a bit more time. And I have no idea where that time is at the moment but I'm giving myself a break and then I'll make another shift and change things around. It's frustrating. I want to do it all! But for me, my faith is the main thing and then family so I guess even if i have to say goodbye to some things,it's for my real dreams to come true. We'll get there! Xxx

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  12. I can totally understand your current predicament, as I am also at the same place, having to decide where I want to be and what I want to do. I feel as though I have no purpose, or passion, and that's scary. I'm considering retraining and following a completely different career path entirely, but I keep questioning if it's actually my passion, or if it's something I think I'd quite like to do, that i'd be good at, and that would fit with my life as it is currently. I just don't know. Alice xxx

    www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

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  13. I have followed your blog for so long! I used to be satin & Souffles but now I've moved onto a new adventure! I can totally understand what you're going through (I work in a nursery & my class has 26 two year olds, I'm glad to give them back at the endof the day !) I check back to your little space all the time, I adore your aesthetic and I love watching your adventures, even if it is just going to get cake ♥️

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  14. I think often it's just doing something - starting small, even if the something small isn't something you end up using in the future!

    https://lizziedailyblog.blogspot.co.uk/

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  15. Hi Charlotte, how the devil are you? Oh my God I feel so shameless for not being on here for a awhile. Wow your little girl is so grown up, gosh I remember when she just a little baby. As always beautiful photos and I'm happy to help you anytime. Xx

    www.annanuttall.com

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  16. I absolutely love your blog Charlotte, and the images and the thoughts so raw and focused on the detail - your mind seems to speak a lot that mine does, and I just find your blog such a comfort! You are doing something creative, but motherhood takes time to adjust to (and not just socially acceptable time!!!). I hope you find the answers you're looking for!!! xxx

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