Motherhood and Creativity, the New Work-Life Balance

Margarita Wyld: On Creativity and Motherhood

For years, I have struggled with the self-confessed ‘work-life balance‘. I’ve written about it many times (read here, here, here, and here), I’ve pondered it in my personal journal, and, as the years go on, I’ve come to reevaluate this unrealistic notion of a ‘work-life balance’, and also how it applies to me and my life.

In retrospect, I wasn’t really looking for balance, instead I realized that I am looking to move forward and harness my creativity.

Moving forward means pushing my creative boundaries in writing, drawing, designing, curating, and even cooking. It means never staying still and, instead, feeling that energy and the vibe that being successful provides – especially when I have created something out of nothing. And what I realize over these past 12 years since becoming pregnant and becoming a mother to two children, is that I was never looking for balance in “work” and life, but rather, I was looking for a way to foster creativity despite the mundane, tiresome, and sometimes wretched aspects of life.

There were many times that I viewed being a wife and a mother and a homeowner as a bother. And that’s when I would fly off the ledge and succumb to the oppressive guilt of having negative feelings towards motherhood and housewife-ery and throw myself into those roles, headfirst, suddenly becoming the perfect wife/mom/homeowner for a short time before erupting into anger and tears and anxiety because I wasn’t being nourished by these roles. I didn’t get gold stars on my soul for having a clean bathroom, or cooking the perfect meal every single day.

And then I would give my head a shake and throw myself face first into the opposite – an entrepreneur, an artist, a writer, a designer – I have a million and one ideas at all times. I would work all hours of the night to develop these ideas, and spend my days trying to produce them – all the while ignoring the needs of my family, my home, and myself. I felt selfish. And then I would finally explode from exhaustion, doubts and fears would take over, and I would then succumb to the guilt of forgetting to sign school forms, or eating out too often because I was just too busy to cook… and then the cycle would start again and I would refocus my efforts on my home and my family.

I am consistently inconsistent in this regard. New ideas sparked creativity, but didn’t necessarily make me happy. Taking care of myself and my family made me happy but it also felt like something was missing. I would struggle with these emotions for years trying to figure out how to balance these two parts of my life.

And then I went to Israel. By myself.

VibeMommies Vibe Israel Blogging Tour Tel Aviv Beach

VibeMommies Vibe Israel Blogging Tour

VibeMommies Vibe Israel Blogging Tour Tel Aviv

VibeMommies Vibe Israel Blogging Tour

VibeMommies Vibe Israel Blogging Tour

VibeMommies Vibe Israel Blogging Tour

The idea of leaving my family for a week on an overseas trip was both terrifying and exhilarating. I had never flown on a plane without my husband or kids. I had never adventured around the globe. And my twenties were spent growing up with my husband and our kids, not with roommates or the freedom of allowing yourself to grow with random people who were just brief plot lines in the story of your life.

I was going to Israel on behalf of Vibe Israel, who had chosen me and 4 other mom bloggers to visit their beautiful country. The idea behind the trip was part culture shock and part ‘we’re not as different as you think’. We were meeting Israeli women, mothers and their families, to see the experience of motherhood and raising a family in Israel.

Prior to visiting Tel Aviv and its’ surrounding towns and villages, I had read so many articles about motherhood and creativity. Most notably there is the triggering ‘Secret to Being a Successful Mother and Writer‘ by Lauren Sandler, ‘Mother, Writer, Monster, Maid‘ by Rufi Thorpe, ‘How Motherhood Affects Creativity‘ by Erika Hayasaki, and ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mom‘ by Kim Brooks. Each include personal stories and points of view, but the underlying argument is how creativity affects motherhood and vice-versa.

I admit, there were times in my life, especially in the world of postpartum anxiety and depression and diapers and breastfeeding and no sleep, where I couldn’t imagine a better time. I didn’t think things would get better and I would watch myself dissolving into a hot mess of a woman, angry and unsatisfied. And then, of course, I would shower, put on a clean outfit, and write, draw, and have adult conversations and would feel like myself again.

The women I met in Israel amazed me. Why? Because I felt like so many of them were just like me – creative, not satisfied by a ‘typical’ life, always moving forward to develop new ideas, creating amazing businesses, art, and movements – and all the while, they were mothers. Mothers who had found a way to build a satisfying and creative life, and still hold their families close to their hearts.

They weren’t afraid to speak their minds, and they weren’t worried about societal values or being ambitiously polite. Their creativity drove them forward to becoming successful businesswomen, artists, and philanthropists, and the whole time, their families are what pushed them. Everything they did was for and because of their family.

Family is the core of their creativity and it is what drives them to success.

 

Tal Tenne Czaczkes: On Motherhood and Creativity

Tal Tenne Czaczkes: On Motherhood and Creativity

Tal Tenne Czaczkes: On Motherhood and Creativity

Home of Tal Tenne Czaczkes

Home of Tal Tenne Czaczkes

Tal Tenne Czaczkes is a conceptual artist, inventor, and designer, who lives with her husband and four children in a perfectly imperfect home, located a few steps away from her art studio. Tal is well-spoken (in English and Hebrew) with a quiet smile that explodes when she laughs. When she became a mother, she realized that success comes from connecting to her inner child and involving ‘play’ in everything she does.

Her studio, like her home, is filled to the brim with discarded toy pieces, vintage dolls, collectible cars, and an explosion of colour in every corner. The intersection of chaos and pure, unadulterated happiness.

As a mother, Tal went through a time of her own malcontent, trying to figure out this new landscape of motherhood and how it connects to her creativity. She learned that by embracing a childlike view it helped her connect with her children and sparked creativity in her work.

 

Esther Liebersohn Namer On Motherhood and Creativity

Esther Liebersohn Namer On Motherhood and Creativity

Esther Liebersohn Namer On Motherhood and Creativity

Esther Liebersohn Namer On Motherhood and Creativity

Esther Liebersohn Namer On Motherhood and Creativity

Esther Liebersohn Namer is a mother of three and the CEO and Co-Founder of Bosco, an app that gives parents the comfort of knowing their child feels both free and safe. When I first met Esther at SheSpace Studio in a hip neighbourhood of Tel Aviv, I was immediately drawn to her – she was chic, smart, and her smile radiated warmth. And she turned a common parenting fear into a technologically advanced solution.

My daughter is 11, and I have yet to give in to buy her a cell phone, yet in Tel Aviv it was very common for a child at that age to have a cell phone. Teachers even use WhatsApp to give homework to their students! Esther recognized that while kids having a cell phone is common place, she created a way to ensure kids are safe on their cell phones by creating Bosco. The app alerts parents to cyber-bullying, shaming, and other unhealthy behaviours to help keep your child safe.

As a mother to three and an activist, Esther is passionate about preventing bullying, shaming, and eating disorders. Back in Tel Aviv, in that hip little spot over cava and cookies, Esther wowed me with her intelligence and her accomplishments. What amazed me more is that she did this all as a mother, because she was a mother.

 

Ofra Abramovich on Motherhood and Creativity

Ofra Abramovich on Motherhood and Creativity

Ofra Abramovich on Motherhood and Creativity

Ofra Abramovich on Motherhood and Creativity

Ofra Abramovich on Motherhood and Creativity

Ofra Abramovich is a mother of two and founder of Mamanet, a mother’s Cachibol-league. I was lucky to share dinner with her at the lovely Claro, and listen to her inspiring words and passion for self-care as a mom. Essentially, she created Mamanet because she was sick and tired of moms not prioritizing their own needs. So, instead of being the ‘soccer mom’, the mom becomes the star of the game in Mamanet. Such a simple yet profound thought, because it brought up so many emotions in me.

How many times have I played taxi to my children and my husband? I make sure everyone is at their activities, on time, which are typically social and active, while I get to sit in the car or on the sidelines. Before that trip to Israel, I couldn’t remember the last time I did a yoga class or a mom meet up, something that was just for me.

Ofra took the time to create a league, which is now worldwide (even in Vancouver!), that encourages moms to put themselves first, be active, and be social. Ofra’s words are perfectly quoted on Be A Fun Mum’s blog: Invest in yourself as a person; like the ripples of a stone thrown in water, it will be a gift to your family.

 

The women I met in Israel, the ones noted above and many more, proved that creativity and motherhood can indeed co-exist. My “all or nothing” attitude was a hindrance to my life and wasn’t serving me in any way. Being a mother and being a creative, serial entrepreneur are both a part of me – so why did I think they couldn’t both shine together, in harmony?

My time in Israel invoked such deep emotions in me.

For the first time my eyes were opened to the idea that women could have everything they wanted in business, in family, and in life, and that I could also be that woman. I can be that loving wife and mother that has time for both her family and her business. I can be that home owner that could have her perfectly imperfect space that’s sometimes messy, but always full of life. I could be that creative woman with ideas flying all around her while still holding my children close to my heart.

The long elusive work-life balance doesn’t exist for me, nor is it something I ever really wanted. What I wanted was a life that allowed me to be creative and a mother, without sacrificing either. And it’s something I had all along, and a trip to Israel showed me that.

 

 

Want to learn more about my time in Israel?

The 10 Best Things I Did in Israel

Read the 10 Best Things I Did in Israel

Some photos were taken by myself, many of the photos in this blog post were courtesy of the amazing photography Sharni Sadicario

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Squamish is Hardwired for CIMC 2017 #cimc2017

cimc2017

Squamish, BC is once again the beautiful host city for the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference in 2017.  I absolutely love it because it’s a gorgeous and serene setting for a very tech conference – and it’s close to home!

Here’s why YOU Need to go to a  Conference!

CIMC blows my mind each and every year – it’s a conference that provides a wealth of knowledge like nothing else! Bringing together agencies, brands, and small business owners to talk all things digital, there are speakers from Google, Microsoft, AOL, Buzzfeed, Pixar, and a ton more people, all of whose brains I can’t wait to hear from!

cimc2017-squamish

There’s a limited number of tickets still available, so if you’re in the Vancouver and Whistler area, GO! Don’t hesitate! Head over to the CIMC Website to learn more and register for the conference!

I love that our little mountain town of Squamish is becoming a hub for tech business! The CIMC is a must-attend conference for anyone who works in digital marketing or owns a small business, and wants to increase their knowledge and learn of new possibilities in digital marketing. The networking is absolutely amazing, with a room full of like-minded people, I’m in my digital geek zone.

Learn more about the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference #CIMC2017 and see if it’s a fit for you!

 

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7 Podcasts for Bloggers, Creatives & Entrepreneurs

7 Podcasts for Bloggers, Creatives & Entrepreneurs

I’m made this the year of ‘Get Shit Done!‘ and I’ve been spending some time soul-searching, trying to figure out what really stokes my fire, and how I can bring that passion into my everyday life. How I can create a life that invokes the way I want to feel by doing the things I’m passionate about. (I’ll get to my favourite podcasts for bloggers, creatives, and entrepreneurs in a second, I promise!)

One of these things that I’m passionate about is blogging. I’ve spent over 20 years online (let that sink in for a second…) and throughout that time I’ve taught myself how to code, mastered Photoshop, I learned how to create websites, I’ve learned the ins and outs of social media, I’ve got a diploma in marketing, and I’ve taken numerous courses over the years to become ‘successful’ at blogging through various income streams, influencer marketing and social media management. Phew. Long run-on sentence, anyone?

 

Want to start your own blog? Here’s a step-by-step way to start a blog!

 

The past couple of years have pulled me away from blogging specifically, but I’ve spent a lot of time working online providing websites, branding, and social media management for various companies, so I decided to turn that into a REAL actual business. Whoa. Electric Pizza Co was born, and I became so busy I didn’t have time to complete the website. Seriously though.

Another passion of mine? Helping others with their blogging and social media problems and questions. I belong to a million and one Facebook groups about blogs, mom blogs, instagram posse groups, pinterest lovers, etc, and I love helping people out when they’re lost and confused. I provide a lot of advice to others, for free, because I just want people to succeed at what they’re doing, and keep it true to themselves.

Don't regret anything you do, because in the end it makes you who you are.

And while one-on-one help is fun, I’ve decided to go One Step Further and create a podcast. Yep. My very own podcast. (I’m super excited and super terrified at the same time!!) I’ve listened to podcasts for bloggers and entrepreneurs for about a year now. It started when a blogging friend actually recommended a few podcasts to me at a conference last year, and I delved into the world of podcasts.

I admit that I can get picky with podcasts – especially the quality of the podcasts and the podcaster’s voice. I’m not even kidding, I listened to a podcast where the host (who was male) was sick, SICK, with a sniffle and a cough and his voice was so scratchy – I turned it off a third of the way through! I listen to podcasts in my car or at the gym, and I love them. That’s why I’m sharing my favourite podcasts for bloggers, creatives, and entrepreneurs.

Why do I love podcasts? I find them inspiring, encouraging, and I feel like I belong to this amazing, creative group of people who are all trying to find their own way through this world. And all of it’s OKAY. All of it’s awesome. Some people are foodies, some people create niche sites specifically to make money, others are trying to grow tribes, and others want to make courses to teach people how to do things – and it’s all unique to them.

7 Podcasts for Bloggers, Creatives & Entrepreneurs

1. The Biz Chix Podcast
I’m such a huge fan of this podcast, the creator, Natalie Eckdahl, features stories of female entrepreneurs and women in business who are at various points of their journey! The people she interviews share their work-life balance, productivity tips, where they’re at in their business, how they got there, and how to reach the next level. Natalie is a source of such wisdom and helps people focus on their goals – I especially love her “On Air Coaching” calls because I can connect with issues other entrepreneurs have (you will too!). Once you fall in love with her podcast, join her Facebook group to connect with other likeminded women!

2. Being Boss
Each episode of Being Boss is about making things happen in your business, with topics ranging from client management, creativity, productivity, being authentic, and getting your income under control. I especially loved the episode interviewing Marie Forleo on productivity and intuition. Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon run the Being Boss podcast and are super knowledgable ladies who are all about the hustle! Check out their Facebook group too!

3. The How They Blog Podcast
This podcast is super inspiring at any point in your blogging journey – if you’re just starting or a bit of a “senior”, like myself! Kat Lee focuses on how to blog to make a difference, how to push your blog to the next level, and how to stay authentic to your true voice. The episodes are super focused on various topics, so it’s easy to scroll through to find one that will resonate with you!

4. Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield
I love this podcast because I’m a marketing nerd – I love it. I swear. Amy Porterfield is a digital marketing whiz, who can easily tell you step-by-step on how to create a successful launch of your next product, how to target Facebook ads, creating a Profitable 5-day challenge, how to deliver value in your next course, and on, and on, and on. She is a cornucopia of knowledge when it comes to online marketing, and she relays it in an easy to understand way!

5. Profit. Power. Pursuit.
This podcast is by Tara Gentile, and it’s something I’m easing into because it’s not a straightforward podcast that gives you instructions on marketing or Facebook groups, it’s not simply interviewing people to see how much money they make – nope, it goes deeper than that. Tara is all about small business strategy, positive mindset, and she’s also the creator of Quiet Power Strategy. This is a good one. Listen to it.

6. Seth Godin’s Startup School
This podcast may or may not blow your mind. It blew my mind. Seth Godin is what they call a thought leader in the marketing and business world. This podcast is a series of live recordings, where Seth guides thirty entrepreneurs through a workshop on exploring how they can build and run their dream business. If you’re looking to make money through entrepreneurship – give this a listen.

7. The Lively Show
Jess Lively podcasts about MORE than just blogging and online entrepreneurship, if you’re unfamiliar with her, check out her website! Jess is about living with intention and creating focus in all parts of your life. This podcast is wonderfully positive and designed to uplift the everyday.

Honorable mentions: The GaryVee Audio Experience and The Smart Passive Income Podcast.

7 Podcasts for Bloggers, Creatives & EntrepreneursDo you listen to podcasts? What are YOUR favourite podcasts? I would love to find some new ones!

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Do the work

do the work. get shit done.

This is the time to do the work. This is my year of #GetShitDone.

Entrepreneur life doesn’t always go as planned, and there are times where I really spread myself waaaay too thin. The funny thing is, I don’t actually recognize when I’m sinking until I’m already deep in shit. True story.

I’m learning to delegate. I’m learning to ask for help. Really, I am! I swear! I’m learning to take the time and FOCUS on what I’m good at – the things I really love doing! – and paying others to do the work that I may not love, not enjoy, not be good at, or simply don’t have time for.

I still struggle with doing one thing at a time – even writing this blog post I interrupted myself by checking my email, making a call, posting to instagram, and grabbing some water… But I’m learning and trying to focus and to use my time wisely – really sit and do the work.

Here’s the bullet point list on how to get your work done as an entrepreneur:

  • Delegate.
  • Hire an assistant.
  • Outsource.
  • Use a timer.
  • Use a timing app.
  • Make a list.
  • Prioritize that list.
  • Check your email every x minutes. (30 mins works well for me!)
  • Turn off notifications on your phone.
  • Turn the sound off on your phone (check it every 30 mins)
  • Schedule your time.
  • Schedules change – re-schedule your day.
  • Organize your clients/emails/computer/dropbox/photos.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Drink *some* caffeine.
  • Schedule breaks.
  • Schedule lunch breaks.
  • Stay off social media.
  • Stay off Facebook. (yes, even if it’s your job)
  • Go outside on a break. You need fresh air.
  • Don’t allow set backs to get you down. Continue on through the storm.

Any other tips you can think of to help you focus and get the work done?

 

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What’s your intention or word for 2017?

2017

I think I’m failing at this whole “pick a word/phrase/intention” for 2017 thing. I know, it’s four weeks into the year and I still haven’t picked one.

What in the world am I talking about? You KNOW what I’m talking about…. On that magical first day of the year, everyone picks a “word of the year”, an intention, a path that pushes you forward – that motivates you to be the person you want to be – the person you deserve to be….

And they post it on Facebook or Instagram or whatever social media they prefer, and they let EVERYBODY know – this is it. This is MY year. This is the year I will be grateful. Passionate. Loving.

Some people choose words like ‘centred’ or ‘mindful, while others create a phrase ‘be the change’ or ‘thrive creatively’ – and then others go all Danielle LaPorte with five CDFs (core desire feelings) and make those their intention for living.

Me? I can’t figure out that one word that fully embodies the feeling of what I want to be this year.

Bear with me here.

I want to be pulled together. On top of all things. Be prepared and organized. Not have little things slip away. Not forget things because I didn’t write them down. Not be scattered. Not be stretched thin. Organized. Working on one thing to completion. Multitasking in a smart way if necessary. I want to use my time efficiently. I want to work wisely and have time for myself. I want to accomplish my goals without turning into a 24/7 hustler.

I want to wake up early. Break a sweat every day. I want to work hard. Check off all the things on my list. I want to have time to laugh and have fun – guilt-free. I want to know that I’m doing the best that I can.

I just want to get shit done.

So what then?

Is “get shit done” my motto for 2017?

getshitdone

Perfect.

Get Shit Done.

What’s YOUR word for 2017?

 

 

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