“Yes, I know I’m supposed to be bathing him tonight, but … Yeah, I know I didn’t bathe him last night either, but tonight we’ve got a hell of a lot to get through, client changes and … What time? I really have no idea, you know I can never tell until we … Dinner? No don’t worry about dinner, we’ll call out for take-away from here … Yes, I miss you too … He’s asking for me? Tell him I love him and I’ll definitely bathe him tomorrow night, I promise … .”
Anything in the above bit of fictional dialogue sound familiar? Yes, it does for me too. You see, we are creative people us motion folk and perfecting a design, a texture, a storyboard, a render or whatever it may be takes time. And despite working like demons all day to be “out the door”-bang on leaving time, fate and clients all too often conspire to derail our best intentions.
Now, when we just have ourselves and perhaps a willing “other half” (who has decided to throw their lot in with us) to consider, late nights at work are bad enough. Bags under the eyes and cold shoulders in bed are no fun. But throw kids into the mix and it’s a whole ‘nother ball game. Concerns and neuroses multiply and multiply again: My folks were around for my bedtime, and so should I! If I don’t see her all week, will she still know me? Is my patchy bedtime attendance causing her long-term psychological damage?!
But all the while, perfection is drumming its fingers on the desk and we can’t let something half-assed go out the door. And there you have it, the classic creative parent’s tug-of-war: Do I rush this thing and leave on time to see my kid or do I do myself justice as an artist and give this the extra four hours it needs? Do I leave my design baby screaming in the cot whilst I rush home to bathe and put to bed the human one?
Well here at the Motionographer Work / Life Think Tank (disclaimer: “Think Tank” may in reality refer to a couple of casual email threads), we have decided to throw this open to you, the readers. Why struggle on your own when you can take solace in the fact that many others are having the very same problems? To this end, we’ve created a questionnaire to see how work life after kids is shaping up for you. And those of you without nippers, we want to know how you think becoming parents will change your working lives.
When the results are in we’ll pump out a couple of fancy looking diagrams which will show us what you the Motionographer readers think about work/life with kids.