Wednesday, October 5, 2011

smells like burning

burnt cookies

When new acquaintances learn that I have four kids, I almost cringe each time in anticipation of the automatic response; "Wow, you've got your hands full!" It's the damn truth, but only half of it. Because next I admit that my husband and I both run our own businesses and are remodeling a 100 year old house and I often get strange looks.

Ever since I was young, being busy was part of who I was. I had a lot of pride in accomplishing much, even if it was for fun. I always had a dozen art/craft projects going at once, was in a band, had 2-3 jobs, was at the library weekly to get books on new weird topics all the way from astrology to photography.

After 6+ years of motherhood, I've finally lowered my expectations and come to accept what is realistic. I didn't slow down at first, Mara was a really independent baby/toddler so I didn't HAVE to. When she was 6 months old, I opened a boutique with friends here in Milwaukee. I didn't spend as much down time with her as I now do with my younger boys. No longer running a boutique, but still running Little Ocean, I have a lot more control over my pace and how much I work. Two boys under 3 years old can certainly suck you dry of EVERY spare minute in your day. Not to mention the shear size of our family is exhausting (laundering, matching, and putting away 42 pairs of socks weekly!) I'm getting used to it.

At the same time I feel a strong need to do more for myself and my family. I regret not having time to make Mara more little outfits when she was smaller, or go on more adventures. I've made a promise to myself that I will do more of these things now. I've decided to become Mara's girl scout troop leader like my mom was for me. And I'm making the whole family's Halloween costumes this year.

I made a "yeah-right" face as I just typed that.

I'm burnt out for sure. That was the theme of this post. I'm burnt out but I'm still pushing forward, adding new projects and setting new goals. I don't know how it is possible for me to simultaneously want to finish my fall collection, start a new design collaboration with friends, sew some pants for Sol, AND crawl under a rock sobbing and sleep for 10 days.

I need to take a vacation and then make some sort of a plan. A serious game plan. I will do this somehow. For now, I think it would be wise to announce that there will be no Little Ocean Fall/Winter collection. Most items have already been snatched up by the few boutiques I work with. A very small Holiday Collection with new jewelry, and women's and children's clothing will be in my shop in mid November.

flour sol

Wish me luck as I try to sort out my ambitions and become a less stressed and more fulfilled mama.


  1. Very sweet post, Janelle. We are so proud and inspired by you and you are a wonderful mother. We're holding you in prayer for discernment.
    --Joanna D.

  2. i admire you very much. i think it's wonderful that you "do it all", i just don't think you need to ALL the time. :)

  3. I have followed your journey for about a year or so now I guess. I have been so amazed and inspired by all that you take on and seem to accomplish with a house full of kids. Honestly, I have even spoken of you to a very close mother and creator friend of mine who practices "juggling" the need to create with the needs of our families. I have 2 youngsters an almost 7 yr old girl and an almost 2 lil man and just one boy is just about too much to handle and do much of anything else. You are a true inspiration seriously and even if you do nothing more than your family routine you would have a full schedule. Your post was so well expressed. I just had the urge to reach out and give you a virtual hug. Sending you warm blessings of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.

  4. Janelle, you are so inspiring. You will find a balance!