There's this paradox about parenting that drives me nuts.
If you don't think about your kids all the time - make plans that include them, base your decisions on how they affect them, devote your physical and emotional energy to them - then the presumption is that you are a bad parent, and your kids will probably grow up unhappy. However, children absolutely need good role models - a mother who is also an independent woman, a father who is caring and loving aside of being the breadwinner. Thinking of your kids constantly is necessary but all-consuming, and leaves a little room for thinking of yourself. But you have to think of yourself to be the good, successful person your kid would want to look up to.
How do you balance between those two states? How do you transition from making grocery lists and teaching your kid to say "please" and "thank you" to making lists of all the places you want to travel to and teaching yourself to say "I'll have the red wine" in, say, Portuguese?! How do you do that all in one day, or better yet, all at once? How do you find the motivation to be a 100% devoted parent and a professional or an artist who kicks ass?
The consuming baby days are over. I used to struggle with so many things then, and now it's definitely easier. But the challenges are of a different kind, of a higher quality. The question isn't how to survive another night of waking up to breastfeed every hour, or how to lose the baby weight that crushes my back.
The question today is how to set my mind free as a person and an artist without ever forgetting or neglecting my responsibilities as a parent.
But, of course, the answer is the same as it's always been. Enjoy this phase. Cuddle with the kids. Look around. Chase the light. Pet the cat. Go for a drive. Take a walk in the neighborhood. Snap some photos. Write some notes. You will figure it out, and it will be okay.