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Balancing Act

Written by: Z. Briggs November 14 2012 One of the things that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how I’m going to balance being a mother, with being a professional working woman, with being an artist. I know that it’s something that so many women deal with, and I wonder how I will...

Written by: Z. Briggs

One of the things that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how I’m going to balance being a mother, with being a professional working woman, with being an artist. I know that it’s something that so many women deal with, and I wonder how I will handle things once our baby comes into this world. I’ve always been one to take on large projects, is this something that will change? Probably. But I really can’t tell yet.

People have been asking me, Are you going to keep working? Are you going to continue to do puppet shows? How is that going to work? And I tell them I’m really not sure yet, because honestly I don’t know. I know that I want to continue with my work at The Jim Henson Foundation because I honestly love my job, and I feel that I make a real difference there. I want to continue to be involved in that work, it has already led me on some amazing adventures and I can only imagine what might lie in store. Also, I love to perform. I have anticipated that this is something that I will have to put aside for a time while our baby is very very young, but I also hope to be able to do some shows again soon.

This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to help run a 3-day film festival called Puppets on Film at Brooklyn Academy of Music. This was an event that I’ve been helping to curate and work on for the last seven months. The weekend was amazing and exhausting. When I had some moments of calm, I would think to myself,Will I be able to do something like this a year from now? What kind of mom am I going to be? Will my husband take care of the baby all weekend while I run the festival? So many unknowns.

Things I do know are that I need to get better at time management. I opened a fortune cookie the other day and it said, “It is not the hours you put in, but what you put into the hours.” Based on my conversations with other moms in my life, this statement seems very fitting. One puppeteer friend of mine, who is a mom to a four year old told me, “Make every moment in the puppet studio count, it’s amazing how much you really can get done when you only have an hour.”

On Monday, the day after the festival had ended, I was a bit exhausted. The old me would have gone back into work and just kept moving forward. The current version of me needed to take the whole day and lay in bed and rest. I think I was running on adrenaline for most of the weekend. Monday morning came and I just couldn’t will myself out of my pajamas. I am slowing down, it’s true. I wonder how I will fair in the future—only time will tell. One thing I do know, I am excited to be a mom. That adventure is bigger and better than any festival or puppet show could ever be.