Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Okay, It's THAT Time!

What happened to my day - where did it go?  Sound familiar?

This a head-shaking question I ask myself all too often, usually as my phone alarm resounds a bothersome ‘STOP what you are doing and get the kids from school Mrs Author/Illustrator MUM!’ 

Then there are the times I notice my work day creep into ‘THAT’ time.  You know - THAT time, which is apparently important to the three hungry wolves sniffing at the door dividing my work area and the kitchen. I hear sounds not dissimilar to that of my companion toy poodle – Boaz, when separated from his first love (me). The whimpering and sniffing noises inevitably invade my space and interrupt my concentration.  Their tummies on a timer and smack on time too!

My mind is reluctant to free itself from the allure of the word-littered screen or pencil lines on paper, but sensing something akin to a Myer Stock Take Sale crowd about to burst through my studio door, I’m reminded of the demands of motherhood and its associated time restraints.  The will impedes the process and the battle of right and left side of the brain begins.  

I feel the shift but it returns long enough to envisage my 3 little wolves (the little pigs arrive only after food is served) licking the kitchen side handle and possibly devouring it any moment.  “Sorry kids I didn’t notice the time, I’m coming, just one more ...” …  STOP!  I switch worlds and land on the left side of the brain with a jolt.  

Ah the delights of working from home.  At least my kiddies (mostly) honour the boundaries of mum’s creative space – it only took 3 years to instil in them!

But isn’t it wonderful to have a job that captures us so much? Don’t get me wrong, I love my family time, but I love my job too.  I don’t know about you, but I have spent too much of my life waisted on the mediocre, feeling void of life when my creative inner self is kept on hold for too long.  There was a time I stopped creating but God’s Spirit told me to use the gift I was given so I searched for the direction through Him.  But once started, I soon saw His lead and got very excited.  Turning off the visionary mind isn’t easy.  Fuelled and motioned by enthusiasm it builds like steam in a pressure cooker.  

As I microwave my coffee a third time I thought, there is something about creativity that gratifies our soul and is a necessary in our life.  Is it because we are made in the image of a creator?
“Mum, is it dinner time yet?”
Whoops  – “Sorry, I’m coming now!”

Kayleen West is a children's book Author and Illustrator from Victoria. Her new picture book Adoptive Father can be found at

Her portfolio can be seen at:


  1. Hi Kayleen. Loved the way you worded this - such a vivid picture! And I totally agree. Sometimes, it's such a let down when you realise you have to stop the creative flow and get on with the other parts of your life (even though they are more than precious as well). Blessings XXOO

  2. Yes, I think the creative drive is connected to our being made in the image of our creator. I've also heard that even for the non creative types being creative can be helpful.

    As for finding the day gone and THAT time approaching - I know what you mean. For me it is normally the end of allocated time, rather than the family literally beating at the door.

  3. I think many authors will resonate with what you have written, Kayleen! I just commented yesterday to my husband how often my creative juices flow the best they have all day right between 5.00pm and 6.00pm when I should be starting to get our dinner together!

  4. Yes, I hate tearing myself away from creative pursuits so much that I often don’t start unless I know I have a long uninterruptible block of time.

  5. Great post Kayleen and I love your illustration of the children peaking around the door :).

    I so relate to this tension between being caught up in the creative zone and the demands and joys of loving and caring for my beautiful children (as well as all those other everyday chores). As you say both are precious and our children live with us for such a short time before they launch out into the world and make lives of their own.

    I like you had put my creative dreams on hold for such a long time. Four years ago I had to close the door to a career/vocation very dear to my heart because my three year old needed me at home with him. In one way it was the hardest decision I've made - watching 15 years of hard work, dreams and self-identity - disappear into a black hole. Yet in another, it was the easiest because we chose to bring our son into our family, God had entrusted his life and well being into our hands. Out of the ashes of that decision, God has reignited the flame of other dreams and has opened other doors.

    As the writer of Ecclesiastes says, "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven." I am beginning to learn to trust God's timing :)

  6. Hi Kayleen,
    This all sounds very familiar to me. Thanks for painting such a vivid word picture. It's sometimes alarming how short the days seem.

  7. Loved your post Kayleen. Loved your humour too. Yes, there's always the demands of family ahead of our own I agree. My computer is in the family room and so I am disturbed all the time with a restless hubby prowling around behind me and a son who needs food. I love having the house to myself to get on with my writing but alas it rarely happens.

    I also agree that it's great to have a job we are passionate about. Make life so liveable and so exciting doesn't it?
    Happy Writing and Illustrating!

    1. Kayleen & Anusha, I know exactly what you're saying. I'm in a similar situation. Thankfully I can tune out the TV and my fellows know they have to call me by name or tap me on the shoulder before I enter their world again.

      Love the illustrations.

  8. Thanks ladies,

    It is good to know we are not alone but all still as passionate about pushing on with it. I waited until my eldest 2 kids were at school before I began painting again. They are now 21 and 25 and had left home but I remarried in 2010 and adopted 4 more kids! The ones full time are now 7,9 and 11. They are the ones licking the door handle but melt me every time they call me Mummy.

    Anusha, I can't even imagine how you could write like that! I simply have to be alone to write. Or should I say - not on call. If I even sense demands it distracts me. I opted for night work when my space was once shared like that. Now I have seclusion I can power on mostly interupted.