What this Week Was Like
This week was one of those weeks that all moms dread. Jack, the younger of my twins, had to have emergency GI surgery that involved an over night hospital stay. He had a rare intestinal problem that he was born with but was not an issue until now, at age 17. The suffering that led up to the surgery was great, and the surgery was pretty major. In truth the surgery was a bit of a relief as it made all of us feel that Jack was now on a path to wellness, including Jack.
Last week I blogged about how I was distracted because of the surgery and it effected me in a live session. Well, in truth our role both as mother and wife and as solopreneur and small business owner does not stop. Even if we set time aside to be present when our kids are convalescing, no one else will run our business or our home in our place. My husband is amazing in every way. We coordinate about every thing. Those industry friends who have met Harlan know that he is always happy to help. But any working mom will tell you but we all have our roles and when something comes up in life to change our routine, it often just means that our routine as a working mom is temporarily more challenging. When I saw the feature image posted, it really resonated with me. Sometimes those of us who succeed in voice over are the do so because we have tremendous ambition, so under normal circumstances the idea of letting go of any thing is absurd. When you have a member of your family who is sick or recovering, this is essential to maintaining what you have worked so hard to build.
Our Job Doesn’t Stop
The Struggle has meaningWhen Jack went in the hospital I went back and forth about whether or not to put an “out of office” reply on my email or to continue responding to clients email by email. The day of his procedure, I had two voice over bookings come in that could wait until the next day, so I waited. I was fortunate that the bookings were both from long-standing clients that I felt comfortable telling I needed to delay recording. While in the hospital, I was able to do busy work tasks like web site updates that I had already made lists about and organized. I was not able to do marketing and correspondence. Creative work that required thought and patience just wasn’t going to happen while waiting for a doctor to come out and talk to me. My heart just was not in it. So, in some respects I was able to maintain business functions while Jack was in the hospital and with other tasks I was not.
When Jack came home, I was able to maintain somewhat of a “normal” work flow and rhythm. Instead of staying down in my studio for a good part of the day as I typically do, I would record for 30-40 minutes at a time and email the audio to myself so that I could edit while sitting by Jack’s side. I was able to then continue to audition and record booked work while he recovers at home. While it sounds great, the up and down was exhausting and the week has been challenging.
Our Household chores Don’t Stop
While I may have figured out how to manage my business responsibilities while Jack has been recuperating, doing that while also managing my home life has been tricky. I typically cook for my family. They fend for themselves for breakfast and lunch, and I prepare dinners. I now have to take care of Jack all day every day, and frankly I don’t feel like cooking. I did make quiche one night, but the rest of the nights we have gotten takeout. It’s the sum total of managing everything that is tricky, including: laundry, cleaning, homework help, bills, putting everything away, the dishes, and the list just keeps going. And I often feel that as soon as I finish one thing around the house, there are ten others waiting for me. I have a daily regimen chopping vegetables and filling kongs to freeze for my dogs, and all these little things add up. With Jack recovering and work, it’s a lot.
As a full-time working mom, we juggle. That is what we have always done and I know that I will get through, but when you have a routine, and that routine changes, it is hard. I am profoundly thankful that my daughter and my husband are helpful, but if all of this happened and it were not a pandemic, I know my mom and sister would be here for added support too. I really miss that. So I will continue to do what working moms all over do, juggle. I will find new ways of getting it all done, of making it all work, of getting my work work done, my house work done, and making sure my family feels loved and secure.
Why VO is Amazing
So as a working mom, I will say that working in the voiceover industry is amazing for many reasons, and this week has been no exception. Friday I woke up exhausted. Between sleeping in the hospital and sleeping in the sofa in my den since Jack could not go up the steps, I was quite low energy on Friday. At the end of the day I had two new commercial campaigns come in. One needed to be submitted on Monday, and one needed to be in over the weekend, so I decided to record on Saturday. When I was in my booth yesterday, I was thinking bout how blessed I was to set my own schedule. I was so thankful to have the ability to determine what made the most sense of me and for my family. I was so thankful to be able to not record on Friday when I was exhausted and to savor my time in the booth on Saturday. It was also great to know that I was leaving my son sitting with his sister who loves him at a time that was good for everyone when I did go to record. I am so thankful as a working mom to have this flexibility that so few women in this world ever have. And again, as Jack gets better and I can pick up what I had to let go of in the past week to make everything work, I look forward to working at full capacity with gusto.