Life lately has been a little bit of everything.
Everyday, the contents of my to-do list range from calling banks, buying baby things, designing packaging labels to writing new blog posts. This is all on top of other unwritten activities of the day like feeding, playing and teaching Luke, ironing out the details of an upcoming trip, fixing the house and preparing the lesson for this week’s Bible study. Oh, and me-time. (Wait, actually, what me-time?)
It’s been hard, but far from complaining, I’m grateful to God because in this season of busyness, He has been teaching me a lot and I continuously experience an overflow of His grace.
When Mom Life takes over
If you follow me on Snapchat (@sheenzgonzales), you know what I mean when I say mom life has literally taken over my life because my daily snaps are really just of Luke! He’s now a year and a half and not as demanding of me as when he was a newborn but I’m still pretty hands-on with him and I try to spend as much time with him as possible.
I stay at home most of the time because as a designer, I can easily work from home anyway but most of my hours are really spent in Luke’s room; playing and reading with him. He wants my full attention when I’m with him (so I can’t just leave him to play on his own while I work on the side; aww man!) so I can only really work when he’s napping or when he’s finally asleep at night (at which point, I’m usually also already extremely drained. Haha!)
Putting personal pursuits on hold
Since I use my free times for work (designing for different brands), I rarely have enough time to spend on my personal pursuits such as illustrating. Some of you have been sending messages that you miss my drawings and how I wish I can poof up new drawings for you guys too!
It’s weird saying it but it really takes an effort to sit down and do what I love! Before I became a mom, my entire day was just me sitting on my desk, drawing and photoshop-ing away. But now, it’s a luxury to even have just an hour to draw!
And of course, what more for traveling? On our first two years of marriage, Mor and I booked long trips together. Now, we take turns going on quick trips (but I’m not complaining! I’m really so happy just to be able to travel!)
It has been a learning journey
It hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure. I’ve had tough days where I breakdown out of frustration (just ask my bewildered husband) and I’ve had guilt-ridden days where I beat myself up emotionally for not spending more time with Luke. But throughout this time, God has taught me so much and I feel like I’ve grown 10x as a person because of it all.
First, God always reminds me to put His things first.
One time, I told Mor that I feel so bad for not accomplishing most of my tasks for the day because I spent the entire day with Luke again. But he told me that in fact, I’ve actually accomplished so much because I spent time with Luke. And that really got me.
God entrusted to me my baby and it’s my responsibility and great privilege to take care of him. In an eternal perspective, God won’t care about how many drawings I’ve made this year or how nice the blog posts I’ve written are, but He will definitely care about Luke’s character and well-being and if I did my best to help shape him into the man God wants him to be.
I’ve also learned how to focus and say no to a lot of things
There are so many things I want to do in this world like work on new projects, take on more design works and even start new businesses, but I’m learning to focus only on the things that I’m best at. I’m done doing everything half-baked. Now, I’m all for improving and honing the skills God gave me so I can use them better for His glory.
This doesn’t only apply to work, but to other things in life as well. Sadly, I can no longer keep up with all of my friends from when I was still single, but I try to work on relationships and make time for the people who’ve stuck with me through the seasons in my life; from the sad times like my miscarriage to the happy times like the birth of Luke.
If I literally had more hours in a day, I would make time for every person, every dinner and every invitation, but it’s impossible to keep up so I’ve learned to say no and remind myself that it’s okay to do so. As with most things in life, quality is always better than quantity.
Lastly, I’ve learned that God’s grace trumps all.
To be honest, I don’t know how I survived my first year as a new mom. In fact, I don’t know how I’m surviving being a mom in general! This is something that’s so new and so different from my life before. My friends always tell me “I can’t believe you’re a mom already!” and honestly, there are days when I can’t either! I can only say that everything is really only by God’s grace.
I know that I’m not the perfect mom and that despite my good intentions, I’ve already made mistakes and wrong calls, but God’s grace covers me. There are days when I feel so overwhelmed by my tasks and burnt out at the end of the day (that I want to just collapse on the bed and stare at the ceiling, until I remember I don’t have time for that), but God reminds me of His love, and how it is enough. And His grace covers me.
In the end, I realized that my knowledge, my talent, my skills and all that I am, can only get me so far. If I don’t draw from Him, I will run dry. In the end, it is only by His grace that I have all these blessings, only by His grace that I can juggle my life this way and only by His grace that things turn out ok despite all my blunders.
Life is good and I’m happy where I am now, and it is all only by His grace alone.